Social Question

takeachance's avatar

What age is too young to have a baby?

Asked by takeachance (701points) May 1st, 2011

My friend Tayla has just has her baby this morning and she is 16 years old by a couple of months. I think this is too young but I know she has alot of support out there and the baby (Taite Ronnie) will be fine.
How old do you think is the okay age to start having kids?

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38 Answers

AmWiser's avatar

When you are mentally, emotionally, and financially ready, and that can be at any age.

cazzie's avatar

Physically, 16 is too young. Carrying a baby to full gestation is a lot of wear and tear on the body and at 16 a woman isn’t fully grown yet. It adds to the risk factors and can physically scar her body for life, much more than a woman in her mid-20’s.

Emotionally and socially is a whole other kettle of fish. I know of 30 somethings that have had kids and aren’t ready emotionally for them, and 30 somethings who I’m so glad don’t have children because they’d have to either take the kids to the pub with them or would be leaving the child alone far to much.

The social and financial factors can always be worked on and changed, (getting family support to stay in school and get a good job, meet a supportive man and get married… thes are all things that can change while raising a child.) , but the age factor and the physical nature of pregnancy and childbirth is something permanent. Bone loss, hip problems, scarring and stretch marks are all MUCH worse when the mother is not fully grown herself.

takeachance's avatar

And as I forgot to add her mother is an alcoholic and stopped taking care of Tayla when she was about 10 years old, so since then she has been living with her older sister (24). She is in good hands with her sister and has alot of supporting friends.

jca's avatar

I think anything in the teens is too young, regardless of how much support they have, etc. In my opinion a girl should complete school (high school at the minimum) with a little time to spare, at least. Ideally, I think a woman should be in her early 20’s at the minimum to get through the fun part of growing up and not feel like she missed hanging out with her friends and all that.

me myself and I was an old bag at 41 when I had my one and only, but I understand I am not typical

@cazzie I respectfully disagree with you as far as the physical aspect. I think a 16 year old girl is physically mature enough to give birth. Have you ever seen a teen mom after she has given birth? Their bodies snap right back (not like us old folks who give birth and are never the same again). Most girls are as tall as they’re going to get at age 16. Women’s bodies were made to be ready to give birth starting in the early teens. (I am not saying a girl in her teens should have a baby, as I stated in my first sentence).

BarnacleBill's avatar

The supporting friends will vanish; they have lives of their own.

You are entirely responsible for another person when you have a child. Most parents want to give their child a life that’s as good as or better than the one they had. Each child has a right to not worry about where food, clothing and shelter will come from. If you are not fully able to support yourself, you are not really ready to be responsible for another person, and will have to rely on the help of family. In reality, your friend’s sister has had the responsibility for the security of your friend’s child thrust upon her.

If you want an age, somewhere around 25 – 28 is a good age to have children. By then, you hopefully have some education or work experience, have had a chance to do a few things that you want to do, and have learned to manage money.

RareDenver's avatar

From 9 months on from the age of consent in the country the woman happens to be living in can only be regarded as acceptable.

Cruiser's avatar

When someone is not mentally and emotionally ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of a child for at least the next 18 years is too young. I know 30 yr olds that are “too young” to take on the role of being a parent.

cookieman's avatar

There are too many factors to state a definitive age for all women.

I really like @AmWiser‘s answer.

That being said, I’d be a little sad if my daughter had a child before the age of 25. I’d like her to at least finish an undergraduate degree and get the ball rolling financially.

creative1's avatar

I feel a teen at 16 is too young to have a baby regardless that she has her older sister to help her. Mid 20’s to 30’s she is more emotionally and financially ready to handle the situation. You say her sister is helping her I am guessing her sister is footing the bill and/or she is getting financial assistance from the government to help her.

My friend is a social worker and more teenage mothers loose custody of their children more often than someone who was at an age and more equiped to being a parent. The teen has yet to have the freedoms of being a teen and will go out and do just that take off and leave their child with the supporting member leaving all the care and duties to someone who in fact is not the childs mother but grandparent or in this case sister or even a brother, they end up calling social services asking the child to be removed or ask them to step in and legally remove the child from the care of the teen and place them with the family member that has been caring for them. One of the first children offered to me was a little boy who was 3mths old and the mom was 17 who took off leaving him with grandpa to take care of. Grandpa was not able to do so, so he called and put him in placement and ultimately they were looking for an adoptive home for him because it didn’t look like the 17 year old was coming back because she was already gone for 2 months at that point when Grandpa finally called. I have heard more stories then I care to and feel really bad that the ones who end up suffering for the lack of care are the babies they have. Or they could be fine if only they only had one child but they keep having them until they have 5 or 6 and can no longer care for any of them like as with the case of a friend of mine whos foster daughter has 5 other kids the mom is only 20 so you do the math on how she got 6 kids in such a short time. Now all the kids are separated and living in different places. Number 6 was born just recently whom my friend has as well, she got pregnant and had her while the rest of the kids were already taken away. Its very sad to think about because she can still have more kids when she hasn’t got custody of any she had before.

Did you know that a child of a teen mom is more likely to be a teen parent as well? So it just keeps cycling and cycling.

I am not saying that older people don’t have problems they do but there are less occurrances with it.

jca's avatar

@cprevite: my logic was not only did I want to be financially stable, but I wanted to do a lot of partying and traveling and get it all out of the way, so I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself of a young-adulthood.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Whenever you feel ready, mentally and physically.
Also you have to be sure that you have all the support you can get from your parents, the father of the baby and his parents as well.
Although I think that having a baby under the age of 20 is a bit young… thats just my opinion ;)

marinelife's avatar

Anything teen is too young. You have not even finished growing up yourself. All of the good teen times are over.

cookieman's avatar

@jca: Also a good point. My wife and I travelled a lot in the seven years before we became parents (and more still before we were married).

Porifera's avatar

Under 25.
You need to live your life, experience the world a little, and have some understanding of life before you can take the demanding task of raising another human being. Of course, each case is different and people have different levels of maturity at different ages. But in very general terms, I don’t think anyone regardless of the kind of life they have lived, should become a parent before 25.

john65pennington's avatar

In the past, there was a child that had a child. The girl was 8 years old.

Now this is ridiculous. From what I remember from the story, she was raped and her parents decided to let their daughter have the baby.

Was this the correct choice?

creative1's avatar

@john65pennington you should make your own question with this, it would make a great discussion on its own, don’t you think

Porifera's avatar

@creative1 I agree.
@john65pennington Yes, why don’t you? It’s a great Q.

JLeslie's avatar

At minimum, when you are financially independent. Any time in the teen years is too young. A teenager barely understands all the world has to offer. If she has a child, more chances she will never know, or find out too late. Sure some teens with lots of family support wind up doing ok, but a big percentage wind up poor and less educated, and having a more difficult life.

Hibernate's avatar

At any age you think you are ready. [ support from friends and money ]
Because emotionally it’s gonna be an issue [ some parents have breakdowns even if it’s noit the first kid and age doesn’t seem to influence it ]

Anyway tell her good luck raising the kid :P

derekfnord's avatar

Like most here, I don’t think there is a single age that’s appropriate (though I can’t say I think anyone is really “ready” while they’re still in high school and living at home, etc.) But I’ve known people who were ready in their late teens, and others who definitely still were not ready, even in their forties. It all depends on the people…

Brian1946's avatar

My ex-boss had her first child at the age of 15, and from what I could tell, everything turned out to be okay.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think that 99.99 percent of people are NOT ready to be single parents. So if you aren’t in a grown-up, committed relationship (preferably within the legal institution of marriage) you’re not old enough / ready to have a baby.

Ladymia69's avatar

I would say 9 or 10 is too young.

Kardamom's avatar

As much as I love the Beatles, they got it wrong when they said, “All You Need is Love.” Just look what happened to John Lennon.

You also need a stable home environment, parents who are caring and available (some day car and babysitters are OK, but the parents HAVE to be involved and and raise their own children, otherwise there will be emotional prices to pay) enough money to raise a child without becoming impoverished, medical care (you can’t just assume everything will be OK that’s like gambling with your child’s life), a safety net of support (friends, family and neighbors) care-givers who can provide a sense of well being and safety for the child (so that they don’t feel neglected or abandoned or ignorned, things that can damage a person’s psyche) parents or care-givers who know enough about nutrition to raise a healthy child (plenty of children eat, but they eat so poorly that it damages their brains and their bodily health, sometimes to the point that the damage is irreparable) Parents should be old enough and wise enough and mature enough to know how to raise a child in a responsible manner so that the child does not become a burden on society. I doubt that most teenagers have that skill, even though it’s fashionable to think so. And it’s super-exciting for young teenaged girls to think it will be fun to have a baby, and it will be a cool experience because they might get to be a celebrity on that MTV show about teen moms. Or that the teen will think it’s a great idea because she has no one else to love her except her baby. Mature women do not have children for those reasons.

I think it’s incredibly immature and selfish for teenaged girls to have children. Back in the old days, girls that got “knocked up” had no choice but to give birth. Today there are plenty of options: abortion, adoption, or having their own parents or other mature relatives help to raise their children. I understand that birth control is not 100 percent effective. That is why teenagers should not have sex. They should learn about other ways to give and receive pleasure that will not put them at risk of getting pregnant.

When teenage girls choose to get pregnant, or choose to give birth and especially when they choose to keep their kids, they are putting those babies at a great disadvantage on purpose. Just because there is anecdotal evidence about some teenaged girls raising healthy, normal, well adjusted kids, that is not the norm. Most teen mothers and their babies struggle desperately.

It’s hard enough for 2 adults in a married, comitted relationship to raise a child. Teenaged girls raising children is a horror.

JustJessica's avatar

I had my first child at 16 years old… this was way too young, but If I had to do over again I would do it the same, It’s funny how things have a way of working themselves out.
As far as what @cazzie said, it is very hard on your body when your that young, I suffered from a hernia after my pregnancy due to my body not being ready to carry a baby.

But as far as me saying it’s too young for anyone else, I can’y really say because everyone is different. Who am I to judge.

I wish your friend the very best!! She will learn really quickly that she is the only person that she can depend on, fathers, and so called supportive family and friend quickly dissipate.

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @AmWiser only I would add the person would also have to be physically ready as well. Most people don’t realize but you actually don’t stop growing up to 21. I think its is best to wait till your body is done growing before a person decides to grow another human being. Carrying a baby inside you does a lot of different things. Changes hormone levels, stretches out bones, uses up lots of nutrients that the mother may need as she is also growing. That can always endanger the health of the baby as it is. No mother has a guarantee as to the health of her baby but its best to give a baby a fighting chance by being sure that she is a full grown healthy adult.
But what is done is done. Its not like she can go back 9 months or more.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know why nature causes girls to start ovulating at 12 and 13 if their bodies can’t handle a pregnancy. We need to have a meeting with Her, send out some memos, something.

JustJessica's avatar

@Dutchess_III We can also ask if maybe we can just ovulate once a year instead of once a month.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or better yet, on demand only!

Trojans40's avatar

we may look down at teenage parents and say they will struggle, but the kids will be more fittest than that if kids with parents of 30 and 40. I would say during the Prime or Pre-prime of motherlable.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Trojans40 I have no idea what you were trying to say there…

Dutchess_III's avatar

but considering the question, Nina, his screen name is pretty funny!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

True, my Lady Twit, very true.

BeccaBoo's avatar

I had my first child at 19, and I feel this is way too young. When I got to 30 and was sitting with all my girlfriends, I realised I had done nothing with my life other than bring up small children. I had nothing to give them, teach them show them, because I hadn’t experianced life myself. My son is now 16 (have to say he has turned out pretty well) he is clever, out going, curious to learn everything and has a passion to want to travel. The only thing I passed onto my son over and over, was to wait to have kids until he was in his 30’s and live life, do everything, see everything, try everything and then learn from it. Something my mother never ever taught me to do. Oh and practice safe sex, as I don’t wanna be a granny so young (well not while I can still reproduce aunties and uncles younger than his offspring would be) So to answer your question I’d say live a little first, learn some stuff, meet the guy thats going to be the best father to your children and then you’ll know.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

If you aren’t emotionally ready to put everything else in your life on hold, or watch your boobies and ass drop, or commit yourself 100% to raising that child in a stable environment, or if you’re still in high school…you’re not ready to have a baby.

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