How do I know when it’s the right time to have a baby?

How do I know when it’s the right time to have a baby?

Who can say when it’s the right time to have a baby? It’s a very personal question to answer, but by weighing up some of these factors, only you can say when it is the right time. Considering work, your relationship, finances and balancing life and children can be the key to identifying when the time is right for you.

So, when is the right time to have a baby? In the movies, if a woman takes a pregnancy test, one of two things happens. She either cries with joy or falls to the floor in tears of fear and panic. In real life, it’s more complicated than that.

For me, I was about 97% joyful. I was 24, married and living in a beautiful home. It was what we planned for, but I still couldn’t help but think about how a baby was going to affect my career. Was this the right time to have a baby?

I was scared. I hadn’t quite mastered putting my laundry away after washing it, how was I going to be a mom and maintain some semblance of a life? Had I done everything that I should have? Should I have gone on one more big vacation? Should I have secured at least one more promotion? Was I ready to start ‘baby’ chapter of my life?


Women are having babies later in life than ever before. It’s difficult to avoid the fact that biology plays a part in how easy or difficult it can be to have a child.

One question that would run through my head was ‘Do I want to be an older mom?’ Being a young mom meant I would have the energy to enjoy my children. This meant taking a career break. I watched my friends move up in their careers, buy bigger houses, and go on luxurious holidays while I stayed at home and tried to manoeuvre  a 2-year-old with a 3-month-old attached to me!

My friends that waited to have children had secured their positions at work, had beautiful homes and great experiences under their belts. The obstacles they faced were biological. Some fell pregnant easily, some had to wait years and some turned to IVF for help.


While your career may be progressing well, it’s important to consider your employer’s maternity package. Many employers require you to be a permanent member of staff for at least 18 months before employees can claim their maternity packages. Having seniority, experience and credibility can make it easier when you return to work. You won’t be starting from scratch to build their trust in you to work flexibly and manage your responsibilities.

Your relationship

This sounds obvious, but your relationship needs to be in a healthy state. There seems to be an old school of thought around a baby fixing your relationship issues. I can assure you, it won’t. A baby can add an immense amount of stress to even the strongest of relationships. 

If you’re facing issues in your relationship and are looking for some help, this is not the right time to have a baby.  Women especially can fall victim to the pressures of society when it comes to having children. Listen to your voice and be confident that you are making the best decision for yourself and your family.


Having a baby is expensive. While initial costs associated with having a baby seem manageable, childcare can be a strain. Our nursery costs were comparable to having a second mortgage! Do some research into nurseries and nannies in your area to see what this means for you and your partner.


You may not think that a baby will affect your friendships, but being the first in your group to have a child can leave you somewhat lonely. Having a few friends with children can be a great support, especially as a new mother. There are also groups like NCT that can help in making new friends with children in your area. I have been guilty of telling friends considering if it’s the right time to have a baby to ‘go for it’. I love being a mom, and they will too, right? Maybe not!

The right time

Who can say when it’s the right time to have a baby? It’s a very personal question to answer, but by weighing up some of these factors, only you say when it is the right time. Throw away your pre-baby bucket list and don’t expect to be 100% ready. If you do find out that you are pregnant, rest assured that you can make it work if you want to, like you always do!

Developmental Delay: How to cope as a parent

Developmental Delay: How to cope as a parent

Developmental delay in children and how to cope when milestones are not met. Useful links for advice, guidance and professional help.

When our children are born, they are so tiny and perfect. As parents, we do everything that we think we are supposed to do, breastfeeding, babyweaning and wooden toys. Our journey as parents comes with many trials and tribulations from not latching, colic, teething, and nappy rash. Most of these we deal with without missing a beat. However, developmental delay is one that stops us parents in our tracks and knocks us flat.

Skills, like talking, smiling, walking, crawling or sitting unaided, are also known as developmental milestones. These can predictable happen at certain ages for the majority of children. However, for a child with a developmental delay, these milestones either do not happen at all or they are much slower reaching them than expected. 

As parents, we know our children and we know when something is not quite right. They may not be smiling, listening or responding to their name. They may not be sitting, rolling over or crawling. Firstly if you have any concerns, they should be addressed with your health visitor or GP. NHS family support can offer further advice and guidance.

Developmental delay is not your child starting to walk at 18 months when your best friend’s son was walking at 9 months. This is when major milestones are not being achieved by our children. This is when we as parents must step up and seek help for both them and ourselves.

Who can help with developmental delay?

Professional help is always the best place to start for any developmental delay issues. This could be in the form of physiotherapists if your child requires help sitting up, crawling or walking. Speech and language therapists will be able to assess your child and provide advice with regards to speech or language delay. Occupational therapists provide help for those struggling with everyday tasks like dressing or feeding. Educational psychologist if your child needs help with learning or an educational setting.

You need to prepare yourself that the professionals will need to ask questions and carry out developmental assessments to pinpoint the issue and the best course of action for your individual child.

Coping with your feelings When A Development Delay Is Identified

You will have to deal with many feelings, as you navigate a different path than you had pictured with your child. The feelings of failure, the judgment from other parents and the embarrassment. There will be some difficult times ahead, with some very difficult emotions to deal with. Especially those that you have somehow let your child down, that you did or did not do something that you should have. 

This is not the case, a developmental delay may occur for many reasons. These could be genetic conditions such as downs syndrome or complications during pregnancy or birth, like premature birth. Long term illness, family stress or long periods of hospitalization often cause short term delays.

Talking to other parents in a similar situation or that have been through it can provide a way to deal with these emotions. Other parents can also provide great support and valuable information to you at this difficult time. 

Let People In When Dealing With A Development Delay

Just because your mum friends have not been through or are not going through the same experience as you, do not isolate yourself. Arrange the playdates, go for coffee and celebrate the tough job you do of being a mum-especially with the extra challenges that you are dealing with. These ladies will be there to offer support, advice or just listen to you vent your frustration. Now more than ever is when you need the support of other Mums.

Do Not Let A Development Delay Define Them

Simply because your child has not reached one milestone or maybe two, does not mean that they have not achieved any. A developmental delay does not define your child, it is just a page in their story that you will eventually turn. Take joy in what they have achieved and not by what they still have to achieve.

Celebrate who they are, if they have a wicked sense of humour or a death-defying zest for adventure. They may be the kindest soul you have ever encountered. As parents, we have much to learn from our children.

Finding It Difficult To Conceive? This May Help You

Finding It Difficult To Conceive? This May Help You

A survivor’s guide to how to get pregnant faster, cope with disappointment and five of the best fertility aids

It occurred to me, as I lay with my legs against the wall and pelvis lifted to better encourage fertilization; ovulation testers scattered liberally over my dressing table; that there had to be an easier way. There is nothing more unappealing than waiting for the ovulation window to be open before having soulless and unsatisfying sex as many times as possible before the window shuts again. Sex became a means to an end, a chore that had to be done to produce an end result.  Finding it difficult to conceive can lead to many frustrations for all those involved to say the least.

Reasons You Might Be Finding It Difficult to Conceive And What Could Help

Problems conceiving can take us to a very dark place indeed and according to the NHS Website affect up to 1 in 7 couples. The main problems include:-

  • A blockage in the fallopian tubes
  • Low sperm count/ sperm not moving
  • Not producing eggs
  • endometriosis (womb lining growing outside of the womb)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease and PCOS

I was suffering with “Secondary infertility”. Having conceived easily once my ovaries had become a barren wasteland. Almost half of infertility cases fall into this category, a huge 4 million people. Every month I would convince myself that my breasts had swollen, that I tasted metal and that my period was late, so I would rush out to get a pregnancy test only to find that, yet again, I wasn’t pregnant.

So, how do you overcome problems with conceiving and move on? Practically, you can eat a healthy diet, drink less alcohol, stop smoking and exercise more. The NHS offers some great advice and a wide range of fertility treatments to help increase your sperm count, clean the lining of the womb and encourage ovulation as well as the better known IUI and IVF. 

7 Easy tips to help overcome mental blocks

The tendency to ask “Why is this happening to me?” is all consuming when we try to conceive and fail. The temptation is to fall down the rabbit hole of self pity, loss and despair. And yet, baby and toddler groups are full of women who once were told that they could not have children until their little miracle came along. I tried every fertility aid in my ever more desperate attempts to get pregnant. Here are some tips to stop you cracking up in the meantime:-

  • Be grateful for the good that you have in your life, and use the loving energy you would give to your newborn to other parts or people in your life. Helping others helps put our own problems into perspective.
  • Visualise your child with you, talk to them, reassure them and send loving thoughts to them.
  • Step away from social media if seeing endless posts of new mother’s happiness or other people’s babies is too much for you to bear.
  • Do all of the things you will not be able to do once the baby arrives – travel, play sports, volunteer, go to the theatre.
  • Do seek help, it’s better to know what you are facing than to just blindly hope for the best.
  • Consider other options such as IVF, surrogacy, fostering or even adoption.
  • Invest in and protect your relationship, you are both in it together.

Fertility Aids If You Are Finding It Difficult To Conceive

The market is saturated with products that promise to improve your chances of conception and improve fertility. Here are some of the most popular:-

  • Fertility supplements – vitamins to improve sperm flow, improve the health of your reproductive organs and more
  • Ovulation Kits – Tell you when you are at your most fertile and most likely to conceive.
  • Fertility Calendars – Help to track your most fertile times and explain when you would get a positive pregnancy test.
  • Lubricants – Can help sperm move faster and better and match your internal PH balance.
  • Old wives tales – Rosemary under the bed, honey and cinnamon, raising your legs and pelvis after ejaculation and holding a newborn.

I was lucky, I was blessed with several more children. However, I will never forget the feeling of despair and loss while I was trying to conceive. Unfortunately, some people never manage to give birth to a healthy child. Although there are alternatives, such as surrogacy, adoption and fostering; coming to terms with not being a natural mother can take years. There is help and counselling available for anyone struggling with infertility.