When We’re Having Another Baby

When Amalia turned six months, I started getting questions about when we were going to start trying for a second baby. At first, I laughed it off and literally thought my friends, family, blog readers, and strangers who asked me on the street were joking. My body was still healing and I was finally feeling like myself mentally again. The thought of starting the whole process over again made panicky.

There seem to be two schools of thought among my friends and peers: One is to have a second kid ASAP so you can get both of them out of diapers as quickly as possible. The other is to wait so that the first child can be a little more independent so that your new infant can get the attention he or she needs from you. And let me tell you, I’ve learned that people are quite strong in their opinions on this topic! I happen to think they’re both great options depending on your situation.

Anel and I started talking about our timeline more and more and decided to set a date to “start trying” again based on that first school of thought. But that date has come and gone. We both realized that we weren’t even close to ready, and that we had set the date because we felt pressured by other people and the idea that we needed to keep our kids close together in age, not because we wanted it for ourselves.

But the more we thought about it, the more we realized that we are in the second camp. We want to enjoy Amalia and focus on her right now. We finally feel complete, happy, settled, and have this parenting thing (kind of) down. I’ve truly never felt more whole in my entire life. We also just opened Anel’s new gym and that has been like having another baby in and of itself.

We would love to have a second child eventually. Since I grew up with a sister who is now my best friend in the world, I can’t imagine Amalia not having a sibling of her own. Selfishly, we both agree that we would be completely happy with just her. She is the light of our life and I can’t imagine loving another baby as much as we love her. (I realize that every mom says this and every mom is proven wrong.) But I’d love for her to grow up with a little partner in crime.

If we have trouble getting pregnant again, we’ve decided that we’re not going down the road of IVF or fertility treatments. If we’re lucky enough to have a baby, we’ll be so happy, but if we can’t, that’s ok too. This could change, of course, but right now that’s how we feel.

When we explain this to people, they still want to know when. When will this theoretical natural pregnancy occur? The answer is that we’re not totally sure. It’s not now. It’s probably not going to be in the next six months, and I don’t really have an answer beyond that. I’m sorry that’s not very satisfying!

So what’s your school of thought on this topic? Have kids close together or space them apart?

Outfit 1: Sail to Sable Plaid Shirt c/o / J.Crew Jeans
Outfit 2: 1901 Sweater c/o / 7 For All Mankind Jeans c/o Tuckernuck / Similar Quilted Vest (mine is old)

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  1. Lindsay said:

    You and your hubby do you. I find it rather intrusive when people ask others this question anyway because you are right – puts pressure on that mom. My first and second are 9 years apart and while I know you cannot wait that long if you did have another, just know that my first two girls are SO close, despite the age gap. I am pregnant with my third girl now and my youngest is 3 1/2 years old. I found this to be a good time to be pregnant again because it gave me time with my 3 year old (like my first had) and my body time to really recover. Also, 3 is such a sweet (and impossible!) age because she is into dolls now than ever before and such a little “mommy”. She can understand (sort of) what is going on with me and that there is a baby in my belly, so that helps too. She is of course a little anxious about it because so much is still unknown to her – unlike my 12 year old who 100% understands – but I am happy with a 3 year age gap too. Just enjoy your baby right now, you will know when it’s time for another. Hugs

    10.10.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I love hearing this, thank you so much for sharing your story. And congrats!!!

      10.10.18 · Reply
  2. Samantha Castillo said:

    My boys are 2.5 years apart and we have enjoyed it! Now that my youngest is 2 they both play well together and I can tell will be close. I could not even fathom having them any closer together… my second pregnancy was rough and I do feel like my older one got neglected from me a bit just because I was sick in the evenings for EVER. But once baby came we had a pretty good transition and my toddler started full time daycare and not just mommy’s day out. Anyways that’s my story I feel like Im in the second group of thought but still 2.5 years really isn’t that far apart! Stick with your gut on this don’t get pressured!

    10.10.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      That’s so great to hear! I’m glad your transition to 2 wasn’t rough. That seems to be the overarching response from moms of 2 or 3 today!

      10.10.18 · Reply
  3. Colleen said:

    How nice of you to even broach answering this question! Honestly people have zero boundaries! We have an 18 month old and people ask us everyday and the annoyed voice in my head is always like “none of your damn business!” Kudos to you for steering into the skid! I give you a ton of credit for doing this- but you know you absolutely didn’t have to! Love your blog- and keep being true to yourself!

    10.10.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah I hear you on that. Glad I’m not the only one though!

      10.10.18 · Reply
  4. Erica said:

    I am currently pregnant and I’ve had this conversation with my SO too. While having another baby would be nice this pregnancy has had its own scares and worries along the way and your body goes through so much so I can’t imagin doing it back to back. I have friends who have multiple children very close in age and honestly they don’t manage well so that made me want to space ours out if we decided to have another child. It’s when and what feels right to you guys. Everyone has a opinions but at the end of the day they aren’t going to carry the next child for you and they aren’t going to be there to help you if needed. ‍♀️

    10.10.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I remember thinking that when I was pregnant too! I think you black out a little bit of it later because now those thoughts are becoming less and less.

      10.10.18 · Reply
  5. Jessica said:

    2nd school of thought!! We just had another baby 3 weeks ago and our son turned four in June. We loved every second we had with just him .. we did so much together and took so many fun trips as a fam of 3. It was actually our son who pushed us to give him a sibling haha. We were just in no rush. Now we have two beautiful boys and can’t wait to see their relationship grow. This transition is hard, but it’ll all be worth it.

    10.10.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Congratulations, Jessica!!! And best of luck with the boys.

      10.10.18 · Reply
      • Jessica said:

        Thank you 🙂

        10.10.18 · Reply
  6. Elle said:

    My school of thought is this is nobody’s business and I’m sorry you are feeling pressured. If you want to share this info, cool, but I’ve never understood the question. I know people mean well but no one has to justify their family planning choices. Also I feel like it’s even worse knowing your history and that you may or may not want to share about that in the moment.

    To each their own on whether they want to share this information with people, but it really isn’t a question anyone needs to be asking.

    10.10.18 · Reply
    • aes said:

      I completely agree with Elle! Why does it matter? I think it’s great that you are doing what works for your family and not caving to the pressure. There are so many different ways to build a family and they are all great!

      10.10.18 · Reply
  7. Caitlin said:

    I used to be in the first camp until we had 2 miscarriages trying for our second. Then I realized that even though we try to have control over these big milestones in life… we actually have no control at all. I had my last miscarriage in May and we are taking plenty of time to heal our hearts after these painful losses. We are enjoying our 2 year old very much and we are not in any hurry to start trying again. When it feels right, we will!

    10.10.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m so sorry for your losses, Caitlin. I know how hard it is and am sending you so much love from CT.

      10.10.18 · Reply
    • Liz said:

      You are so right Caitlin. For those of us who’ve had trouble getting pregnant/staying pregnant, you just hope to have a baby period instead of keeping with whatever desired timeline you had in mind. I’m sorry for your loss. I had a miscarriage in between my two babies, so keep the faith, even though I know it’s devastating! Sending you good vibes.

      10.10.18 · Reply
    • Jill said:

      Second this, we had 2 miscarriages after our first. When we finally got pregnant the details about exactly how far apart they are go away. 3.5 years seems perfect now that this is our reality.

      10.10.18 · Reply
  8. Katherine said:

    I got married over the summer and people are so quick to ask about when we are having children. We both want one but I never realized how small a chance you have to get pregnant every month….

    10.10.18 · Reply
  9. Allison said:

    I have 5 kids (crazy, I know). My school of thought is this: you and Anel will instinctually know when you want to start “trying” for another baby. Do not rush it. I really believe that you will know. There is no “right” time to give your baby a sibling. Close together or spaced apart will not make a huge difference to them in the long run…just my opinion.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  10. Jennifer said:

    My first two are two years apart and I had my third when my first two were 2 1/2 and 5 1/2. Wanted my third earlier but life events happened and got in the way! Two years apart is ideal, three is not terrible. I can’t imagine having them further apart. My siblings and I are one year apart and four years and again, wouldn’t want it any further! Growing up together is important but you have to do what feels right for you! I cried like crazy when I found out I was pregnant with my second (even though we were trying!) because I felt like it was going to be so terrible for my first, who was the light of our lives! Also questioned how I could love another one so much!!! Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty!!! You’re blessed to have Amalia and if she is it then life is good! You’ll know when the time is right if you decide for more, don’t let others influence you!!! You’re a great Mom!! My three are 22,20 and 16 and I would kill to go back to the years when they were as little as Amalia!!! Just enjoy every second! You’re killing it!!!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  11. Barbara S. said:

    For me, three years apart was perfect. Being away from family, we wanted our oldest to be potty trained, independent, and in preschool before we had our second. Having the age gap has been wonderful. My oldest can get his own snacks and play independently, and loves to interact with his baby sister. Having a second was so much easier than our first in more ways than one!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  12. Caitlin said:

    Do whatever feels right for your family! I’m an only and closer to my parents than anyone else in the world. As they grow older, I do wish that I had a sibling to share the eventual responsibility of caring for them, but I wouldn’t trade our relationship for anything else. As long as you love your child, (which you obviously do) there’s no right or wrong answer for having a second or when.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  13. Vanessa Rivera said:

    My daughter is a month younger than yours, and we constantly get asked when is the next baby coming. While we were pregnant, we decided that we were one and done, and would tell this to people, only to be glared at like we had 2 heads each. Like you said, I cannot possibly see myself loving another kid like I do my April, and I’m fine with just one child – she’s a handful! But at times, I do wonder what life would be like with 1 more. We shall see where life takes us!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  14. JRB said:

    I just no longer feel the need to have another baby. I’m completely satisfied with the one I have. It doesn’t help that neither myself or my husband are close to our siblings, so that’s not really an incentive. I’m totally with you – I know it works some how, but I just can’t imagine having to split my love and attention with another child. I’m weirdly jealous on behalf of my baby.

    On the other hand, my friend had no interest in a second baby despite her husband pressuring her constantly and she had a little surprise pregnancy, despite being on birth control and the fact that it took 12 months to conceive their first. So I guess you never know what will happen!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  15. Deb said:

    I find it so intrusive that people ask you this (to be expected from family members perhaps but complete strangers?) You and Anel don’t owe anyone an explanation or answer to this question. Even if you wanted to answer definitively, it’s not all in your power to control. You are a better person than I to entertain a response!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  16. Christina G said:

    I’m Surprised (And also not surprised), that this is even a question you have to answer to anyone other than yourself and your intimate family. I think your family planning is none of anyone’s GD business. I respect you for addressing this in such a public forum as your blog. I also totally respect any decision you & your husband make about future family decisions, without judgement! It’s YOUR life and YOUR business. No one else’s. I wish you all the best for however life takes you and my hope is that you’re happy along the way. 🙂

    10.10.18 · Reply
  17. Ash said:

    I love this! My baby just turned one and I feel like we’ve been asked this question since she was born! ANd honestly we are leaning on the side of only having one with a very slight chance of trying for another in a few years. Whenever I share this people get so mad! I’m not sure why because they’re not the one who will go through it all! Thank you for sharing this!!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  18. Liz said:

    Just be reading these comments, it’s so amazing me to that people get asked this question from family members, friends, strangers, lol. When we had trouble getting pregnant the first go around, this used to devastate me. After having my first though, it was easier to deal with the #2 questions — I sort of brushed it off and tried to remember that people have good intentions or use this as a way to make conversation (sounds like you’re in that boat Julia). It’s funny, when I thought about trying for a second baby, I didn’t really hit a point that it was like — “this it it!!” I just decided that I did want to give my son a sibling and I didn’t want to wait and make it harder on myself with my age and known fertility challenges. My boys are now almost three years apart, which has been perfect for us. You do what’s best for you! Even though it’s obvious, I tried to remember that you basically have almost a year of pregnancy, so you have quite a bit of time to hang with your oldest, work and get prepared while waiting for the second to be born. That’s kind of a long time to get used to the idea!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  19. Cynthia said:

    I used to try and live my life around these timelines I had set. I have crazy anxiety that riddles my life. It places restrictions and rules around me that I have a hard time letting go. My first is 3 now, and I had said we were going try this past summer. We were very fortunate with baby #1. The month we tried, that month we got pregnant. I am still not pregnant yet, but I am learning to just go with the flow and mindset of when it happens, it will. Our daughter is also the light of our lives and we are totally blessed and enjoying her! When people at work ask when we are having baby 2, I just say we are enjoying our first right now 🙂 We also live in a world right now where many parents both have to work, so it is a juggling act of daycare, etc. I say enjoy all these moments and you will know when its right for #2!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  20. Christine said:

    OMG I love this post so much!! We’re definitely in a “wait for independence” camp while all my friends are trying for baby #2! I’m just so NOT ready and neither is my husband. So many life changes recently (moving cross-country, new jobs, going back to work, NEW BABY!) that the thought of being pregnant again makes my skin crawl. I love my little guy and could definitely be happy with just him. We’ll likely have another baby at some point, but why the pressure from EVERYBODY?! I just want to be happy and live my best life with my little guy!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  21. Kelly said:

    I think it’s all a very personal decision and one that you can’t even really plan to make in advance — when my first daughter was 11 months I couldn’t FATHOM having another baby or getting pregnant again anywhere in the near future, but then we ended up trying and got pregnant immediately when she was 14 months (so, basically, a lot can change your mind even in a short time span!). Our girls are now 22 months apart and I love it! I think it’s important to realize that even when you have your mind “made up,” oftentimes our bodies have different ideas about how that’s actually going to be executed (or not). It can be fun to think about and plan for future babies and I know that’s why people ask such an intrusive and presumptuous question (while still being well-meaning), but it’s a touchy subject!

    10.10.18 · Reply
  22. Sarah Dunfee said:

    Love this… It so resonates with me as so many of your posts do. I am currently 41 years old and have a 10 month beautiful little girl- Savannah Scarlet Rose. I had an ectopic pregnacy with emergency surgery and 2 miscarriages before the arrival of Savannah. After my 3rd loss in January 2017- I read your post about Aimee Raupp and success stories and immediately ordered her books and began implementing the bone broth, supplements, no alcohol, no gluten etc etc…. 4 months later I was pregnant again and this time it stuck… Was it an easy pregnancy, no.. but it stayed and I promised myself if I ever was able to have a child I would be happy with the one I had. Now that my little girl is 10 months, people are constantly asking when I will have another one. I am still breastfeeding and haven’t gotten my period yet. I have such mixed emotions in regards to trying to have another one because of all the heartache we went through. I am with you in that I am feel whole with what I have and just ever so grateful to have my sweet Savannah. I want to thank you for sharing your stories as I wonder if she would be here if you hadn’t, I am forever grateful. Please know how much you have helped me in making my dream come true of having a child, and of course can not say enough praise for Aimee Raupp, her bone broth and everything else.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  23. Rachel said:

    I think people also need to be mindful when asking that question – as many have said, it’s not really any of their business. 🙂 My husband and I tried for 3 years before starting fertility treatments, including two rounds of IVF, before becoming pregnant with my daughter. I was pretty vocal about our struggles and what it took to have her and still people began asking when she was just a few months old when we plan on having another! I always thought if it was possible that I’d like to have children close in age because my sister and I weren’t very close growing up four years apart but now 1. I’m too busy enjoying her to even think about that, 2. I don’t know if I could handle the cost and physical/emotional toll of IVF again and 3. I really see the benefit of waiting until baby #1 is more independent. It’s all very complicated and way too heavy of a conversation to have with a nosy coworker when they stop me in the hallway lol.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  24. SS said:

    We’re on the kids close in age camp and yes, I say this while still on maternity leave with my first who is only 3 months old in a few days. We always knew we wanted a bigger family and that we wanted them all closer in age. However, we also happened to stumble on our forever home recently and are in the process of closing. So between a move and initial financial restraints of taking on a mortgage, we will be holding off on trying for baby 2 for atleast 1.5 years from now. Had the house not happened, we would have likely started trying again early next year.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  25. Jamie said:

    I liked the 3 years space. But if I had a tough time having a second, one would have been just fine. And trust me it never ends. I have 2 girls and now I get asked when I’m trying for the boy. People just always have a way of wanting to be in your business.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  26. Mary said:

    The answer to that question should really just be “none of your business”. I can’t believe the gall of people to be asking you that.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  27. Lewellyn said:

    Such a private matter, I wouldn’t even do a post on this topic.

    10.10.18 · Reply
  28. Kira said:

    I love that you wrote a post on this and I 100% believe that it’s one’s decision if and when one wants to have another child. I’m only 21 and not married or planning to have kids any time soon, but I know that I definitely want 3 or 4 children and I don’t want to have them too far apart… probably 2-3 years apart. My reason for this is that I am one of 2 children and my brother is 7 years older than me. We are extremely different and I feel that 7 years is too much time being having children… my brother and I never really grew up together and because of that we never formed a strong sibling relationship like most siblings do. My entire life I have wished that I had another sibling- a sister, so that’s why I definitely want at least 3 children. I know everyone has their own thoughts and opinions on this subject, but that is just my two cents.
    Amalia is so adorable by the way! 🙂

    10.10.18 · Reply
  29. Britt said:

    So funny (& often annoying) how everyone has an opinion and feels like they need to weigh in on when there should be a second baby! I was at a wedding recently and a woman my age was sitting next to me said that I had already missed the window on having a second because its better to have them close together. I was so taken aback (& wanted to both punch her and lecture her on social etiquette….what if I had just had a miscarriage or was having trouble getting pregnant??!?!). I was in the first camp, but like you, that date came and went because we just didn’t feel ready. Hoping for an under 3 year gap but you can only control so much and I am happy having this precious time with just my daughter.

    10.11.18 · Reply
  30. Vanessa said:

    I think whatever works for the parents is the best method. Truly, everyone is different so whatever makes the parents most happy is ultimately what counts.

    My sister and I are five years apart (she’s older). My parents had her in the late ’70s and they decided to wait to have another until my sister was older and my parents became more independent and settled in their careers. Lo and behold, I came along five years later and because there was such a big age gap between my sister and I, the two of us never got along. I adored and idolized her, but she wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. That lasted for nearly twenty years. My sister didn’t actually start talking to me until I was around 19 or 20 years old. I’m 36 now (and she’s 41) and, thankfully, we’re close now but those years growing up, I remember thinking how lonely I was and wondering why I was never good enough for my sister. Why didn’t she ever want to be around me? It was heart-breaking and I tease her all the time about it now. I can tell she feels somewhat guilty over the way she treated me then, but the most important thing is now we’re okay. Anyway, that’s my story.

    10.11.18 · Reply
  31. Ann Clark said:

    The photos are lovely and Amalia is still as precious as ever!
    Not having had any children of my own, I’m not competent to offer suggestions, except to offer that in anything it’s better to follow the wisdom of your own body, heart and mind.
    I’m still looking forward to meeting Amalia and you!
    With love from Mary’s Channing House elder friend, Ann

    10.12.18 · Reply
  32. Emma said:

    The information people seem to feel entitled to never ceases to amaze me! I work with kids and can say from what I have seen that there is no perfect age difference-what is way more important is how the members in the family relate to each other, and how they encourage the kids to treat each other.
    Personally, my brother is 3 years younger and that worked out great for us. Growing up we had some (very typical) conflict-I would always want to be in charge and he would always “annoy” my friends and me-but we are super close now.
    As always, you have such a lovely way of putting things that is also very honest and open-thank you for sharing your life (and beautiful family photos!) with us 🙂

    10.12.18 · Reply
  33. Liza said:

    We brought our daughter home through adoption and our family is complete. Feeling very blessed!!! Seriously, though people need to mind their own business.

    10.12.18 · Reply
  34. Jane said:

    Thank you so much for sharing such a personal piece of your story! It sounds like you and Anel have a very healthy approach to this situation. My husband and I had a very hard time getting pregnant with our daughter (had to go through MULTIPLE fertility treatments) and finally got out little miracle. When she was 6 months old we decided that we weren’t trying, but weren’t preventing. Imagine our surprise when about 6 weeks later I found out I was pregnant! Our son arrived just shy of 17.5 months after our daughter! We couldn’t imagine it any other way now, but there are sure some crazy days! I think it’s so amazing that you chose to share this story and present it in such an amazing way. I can’t help but fall in love with you and your blog a little bit more! Best of luck to you and your family as you continue to enjoy each other and anyone else who may come along.

    10.12.18 · Reply
  35. Erin said:

    I love this post. We always thought we would be the pop em out one after another kind of people :). But when we started trying again it seems there are other plans. It’s now been 2 years and we still don’t have a sibling for our gal. We’ve moved three times though in those 2 years, our biggest one yet being to London this year. So sometimes other things happen and take precedence. That said, we’re in the dark trenches of secondary infertility and treatments and figuring all that out, so that is no fun. BUT, it’s made me realize exactly what you’ve said here – both options are good options and sometimes it’s pressure from everyone else that makes you feel like you should have kids back to back and you’re weird if you don’t. You guys are clearly awesome parents and everything will happen just as it should!

    -Erin, Attention to Darling

    10.13.18 · Reply