Do you have baby on the brain … again? It's natural and normal to want to add another to the brood. And it's also natural and normal to be nervous about it. Knowing exactly what to expect can be a good thing and a bad thing!
Here are some signs that you may be ready to expand your family again, straight from the mouths of moms.
Confidence in abilities
"My husband and I felt more confident as parents and knew we could handle another."
Marni Loughery, 39, Wyckoff, NJ; mother of two boys
Ready for a change
"I wasn't ready to really consider a second until my daughter was about 2 1/2. I think seeing her play independently gave me a big signal that, 'Hey, adding another one could be doable.'"
Melissa Walker, 38, Brooklyn, NY; mother of two girls
"I knew it was time when my first child got just a little too egotistical and needed to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around her."
Cynthia Connelly, 44, Township of Washington, NJ; mother of three girls
"I think you know that you're ready when your baby envy is so strong that you want to kidnap your friend's baby!"
Robin Gruen, 38, Chicago; mother of a boy and a girl
I knew I was ready to have another when I saw a pregnant woman and I got that ‘pang.'"
Kristina Godfrey, 46, Corona del Mar, CA; mother of three boys
"I had a sudden onset of ‘baby fever.' I noticed babies and pregnant women everywhere I went! I am sure there were not any more than usual, but I began to be much more aware of them."
Elissa Blanchard, 35, Long Valley, NJ; mother of two girls and a boy
Time for a sibling
"I think my husband and I knew we were ready for another when the desire to give our daughter a sibling finally outweighed all other apprehensions. We wanted her to have family even when we're no longer around. That sounds macabre, but it was that selflessness that allowed us to do what we thought was best for her/our family than what felt most safe/comfortable/easy to us as individuals."
Jenny La Monica, 39, Massapequa Park, NY; mother of a girl and a boy
"There wasn't a single thing that happened that showed us we were ready for another baby. It was more about just generally feeling like the time was right. We always wanted our kids to be close together in age, and two years apart was perfect for us."
Stephanie Miles, 32, Sacramento, CA; mother of two boys
"I knew I was ready for baby number two when I (an only child) saw my 2-year-old daughter starting to develop friendships at preschool. I felt certain that I wanted her to have that close bond with the type of friend I never knew—a brother or sister."
Harper Robinson, 40, Katonah, NY; mother of a girl and a boy
"I wanted my kids to be spaced out so that my first child was a little independent before bringing a newborn into the picture. My daughter was out of diapers and potty trained so I only had to deal with one in diapers!"
Renee Aronesty, 39, Upper Saddle River, NJ; mother of a boy and a girl
I always wanted siblings to be three years apart. That is what my sister and I were, and I thought it was a great age difference. So once my now-older daughter turned 2, we knew we were going to start trying in a few months. We also knew that the terrible twos were going to be tough. So once we got through that stage, we knew it would be OK to add another baby to the mix. And we knew that our older one would be at an age where she could appreciate her sibling and engage with her at a level she couldn't have done before."
Erica Ben-Zvi, 39, Briarcliff Manor, NY; mother of two girls
"I started seeing my own parents get older, and having the support from my siblings was huge. I wanted to give my daughter a sibling to support her for that time in her life."
Hana Froum, 38, Park Ridge, NJ; mother of a boy and girl
"I felt our family wasn't complete. I wanted my kids to have other siblings."
Pam Moran, 38, Severna Park, MD; mother of two boys and a girl
"We knew it was a good time was because we were financially ready. We knew we both were in good spots in our careers, and we could afford two kids (and still have our careers)."
Laura Lappine, 39, Bushkill Center, PA; mother of a boy and a girl
"A big reason we waited before having a second was the cost of daycare. We couldn't afford many years of childcare for two."
Kim Weyland, 39, Apopka, FL; mother of a boy and girl
"My husband and I knew we wanted at least two kids, and we had our younger son when I was 33 and my husband was 42. I had my younger daughter just before I turned 35, and we took her home from the hospital on my husband's 44th birthday. Age was the reason we knew we were ready for No. 2—and the reason we knew we weren't going to have a No. 3!"
Dana Cran, 40, Houston; mother of a boy and a girl
"I think I was ready when I realized that I could function on very little sleep. My first was not a great sleeper!"
Danielle Koch, 41, Township of Washington, NJ; mother of a girl and a boy