Is the Economy Affecting Your Decision to Have a Baby?

Does it feel like you’re buying fewer baby gifts these days? It may not be your imagination. For the second year in a row, the National Center for Health Statistics is reporting a drop in the U.S. birth rate. According to the recent National Vital Statistics Report, the number of babes born last year dropped 2.6 percent -- from 13.9 births per 1,000 people to 13.5. (Compare that to the baby-full year of 2007, when the birth rate was 14.3 per 1,000 people.)

Experts cite one big reason for the decline, according to the Associated Press: the sad state of the economy. Babies, it seems, are just too expensive (all those diapers!) when money is scarce and job security is a thing of the past. In fact, according to a recent report, it costs about $222,000 to raise a baby to age 17! That’s an intimidating number when you’re cutting coupons and worrying about your next paycheck.

Personally, I can relate to the desire to wait: My husband and I would like to give our son a sibling, but we’ve been holding off because of the recession. We’re both self-employed, and frankly, keeping our family a cozy threesome seems like the financially responsible thing to do right now. But emotionally? That’s another story. My son is almost 4 years old, and I worry about spacing the kids too far apart. (Although, to be fair, my sister and I are five years apart and we’re extremely close.) Then there’s the matter of my own age; Obviously, I’m not getting any younger! There’s a part of me that just wants to say screw it -- and do it.

Is having a baby during a recession a bad idea? Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
- Mom-to-Mom Tips on Budgeting for Baby
- 10 Things for Moms to Cheer About in a Tough Economy
- 10 Secrets to Help Your Children Handle this Financial Crisis


Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web