Having children before 20 can result in various health risks. Even in your early 20s, you must be financially stable/independent, committed to raising a child, and emotionally mature. Your social life will get disturbed, your relationship with your partner will change, and your career and personal goals will halt. You must be mature enough to raise a child and be there for them. Having a child isn’t a quick fix for anything and is a decision you’ve to be responsible for the next 18 years.
As soon as puberty hits and your menstruation starts, your body is ready for childbearing. But that doesn’t mean you’re prepared to have kids.
The average reproductive years for a woman are between ages 12 and 51, but age is only one of the crucial factors when deciding to have a baby.
While peer and societal pressure are among the leading factors for having a baby, you must consider various factors before making a final decision. Let’s look at these factors and if you’re too young to have a baby.
How young is too young to have a baby?
Every woman’s opinion about having a kid may differ depending on many factors.
Biologically, you can have a kid in your teens, but you’re neither mentally nor physically ready. Even in your early 20s, you must consider many factors before taking the leap.
Teenage pregnancy can create issues such as a greater risk for death and disease, including bleeding during pregnancy, toxemia, hemorrhage, prolonged and difficult labor, severe anemia, and disability.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women in the United States are waiting longer to have their first child, with the average age coming up to 27.
Birth rates are rising in the age group of the 30s and dropping in the 20s.
7 signs you’re too young to have a baby
When you’re entirely ready, not just emotionally but also mentally, physically, and financially, you feel incredibly excited to start planning your own family.
But when you’re having doubts, the news of a baby can seem like a burden. You might not feel fully committed and keep having doubts.
You must consider various factors and think logically before fully committing to the decision.
1. Not financially ready
When you’re young, surviving on your own is still a struggle. You might still be in university or just out of it and in a new job or searching for a job, and you’re still finding your foothold in the world.
Even if you have a job, it’s still early in your career, and you’re trying to figure out how to handle your finances and grow your career. In such a situation, having a baby can be a financial burden.
Babies are expensive, and the costs of child care for working mothers are even more. Experts advise you to budget at least $1000 for diapers and $450 for wipes for the first year alone, which comes to about $120 each month.
Fully clothing and feeding a child and then planning to send them to a decent school is just the basic necessity that requires a steady source of income where you can afford their basic needs.
Reflect if you’re financially stable enough to support yourself and your baby at the current age or not! Finances shouldn’t strain your relationship with your partner, too, if any.
If you feel stretched over finances, overwhelmed, and need constant financial help from your parents, you should reconsider.
2. You don’t feel committed to raising a baby
Parenthood requires complete devotion and shouldn’t be taken too lightly. When you bring a child into this world, you’re their everything from a parent, a provider, and first teacher.
Until they become an adult, which is till 18 years of age, you’re legally responsible for bringing them up in a decent way. How committed you’re to raising your child can significantly change the adult they become.
If you have a partner to rely on, it’s a bit easier to raise a child, but if you’re doing it all independently, you have to be more responsible towards your child.
It requires a 100 percent commitment, and if you think you can’t give the kind of attention and love your child deserves, then you need to rethink your decision.
It also implies you have to be a responsible person because you can’t expect a child to grow on their own.
3. Social life gets hampered
When you’re young, you are more into having a good time with your friends and partner. You’re also a bit spontaneous and don’t think twice before doing many things.
When a baby gets into the picture, you must pause this social life and think twice before doing anything. You’re now responsible for your baby; they need attention and love, which requires your presence in their life.
Even if you’re not a party person, you must consider things that will be interrupted, like sleeping and resting on weekends. Even a simple meet-up with friends will require you to think if it’s possible or not.
Having a kid at an early age can create a gap in the conversations between you and your friends, creating a feeling of isolation.
You would try to find relatable people who just had kids as opposed to your friends who will look for people who don’t have kids yet.
If you’re ready to make more mature decisions in your baby’s best interest and don’t feel like you’re sacrificing your young adult life, then you’re prepared for this!
4. Your life will revolve around your baby
As much as you want to deny this statement and think that you can manage to be an individual and a mom simultaneously, you couldn’t be more wrong!
Once the baby comes, away goes your plan for spontaneous trips or discovering your interests and hobbies, which every young adult does. You’re still early in your career thinking you can spend your money however you wish to, but with a baby, most of it will be spent on their current needs!
The mom life will take over, especially in the beginning. Your career will take a backseat for a while as you try to figure out how to be a mom.
Your mental health will also take a toll on you, so you need to be mentally prepared for all these changes.
5. A rocky relationship with your partner
If you’re married or have a partner you’re living with, your relationship with them will change for sure.
There won’t be any more spontaneous sexy times, but they will become more scheduled, just like date nights, which need to be planned more meticulously.
One thing that helps the changing equation with your partner is if you already had a healthy relationship with them before having the baby. You and your partner also need to understand the responsibility they’ll be taking as a parent.
Even if you’re facing struggles but are still ready to work it out by either amongst yourself or going to couples therapy, it’s a good sign to think about having a baby.
Don’t ever think that having a baby at a young age will magically bring your partner close to you or use it to tie down your partner because that’s an imaginative solution that doesn’t work in reality.
If your partner is exhibiting signs such as withdrawing from you, drinking, smoking, and not being ready to work out the issues, then you should put your baby plans on hold.
6. Desire to finish goals
You could have an unintended pregnancy or consider having a baby for other reasons at a young age. One of the most critical questions you need to ask yourself is whether you can focus on your baby or whether your interests lie elsewhere.
The main reason women tend to have children in their late 20s is that by that time, they have their careers stabilized, have a home, are in a stable relationship, and most importantly, have reached all their main goals.
Each woman has goals they need to achieve in their life before they feel fully committed enough to bring a child into this world. It’s up to you to decide which goals are important to you.
If you think having a baby will ruin your plans and goals for your future, then it’s a sign to put your plans on hold for now.
7. Not mature enough
Of course, we learn everything as we go on with our lives, but some people mature faster, and others do later in life. It all depends on the personal situations one faces.
There’s no test for maturity, but to raise a child and be responsible for them, you need to be mature enough to make better decisions.
As a mature person, you’re expected to show restraint, not throw a fuss, tantrum, or threaten or hit in frustration. A child can be challenging, and you must be mature enough to handle them.
If you think you’re still showcasing these signs, you’re not emotionally mature enough to raise a child.
What are the benefits of having a baby in your late 20s?
Women are still very fertile in their late 20s and have the same 25 percent chance of getting pregnant every month as they did in their early 20s. A pregnant woman in her late 20s is more stable, not just financially but emotionally.
Women tend to become wiser and have more patience. You also get to live your life and build your personality in your early 20s when you decide to have kids in your later 20s.
What’s the ideal age to have children?
Having children is a very personal decision that’s made after considering various factors.
Experts say the best time to get pregnant is between the late 20s and early 30s, and this age range is perfect for the mother and baby. According to a study, the ideal age to give birth to a first child is 30.5 years.
While having children at a young age has its benefits, where the odds of conceiving are more than in your 30s or 40s and reduces any pregnancy complications, there’re still other factors to consider.
When deciding to have a baby at a younger age, you must consider your finances, emotional stability, relationship with your partner, and the will to raise a child.
You can always plan for a family later, but if you’re unsure about any aspect of your life, don’t jeopardize your child’s future by having them right now.