Would-be parents now consider their finances to be more important than the state of their relationship when deciding when to have kids, a study has found.
The optimum time for a baby is seen as three-and-a-half years into a relationship, and it should be deliberated on for 10 months before trying, according to the poll of 1,500 adults with kids up to 16.
But with the cost-of-living soaring, couples now worry more about whether they can afford a baby (39 percent) than the stability of their relationship (34 percent) or if they are ready for the responsibility (32 percent).
Other considerations include whether the house is big enough, how it might affect their sex life, if other friends had started families and whether the house could be ‘babyproof’.
Some would simply think about whether they were ready to give up nights out and if they could quit smoking.
But 69 percent feel there is never a ‘right time’ to have a baby.
It also emerged that while 37 percent take the woman’s health and lifestyle into consideration, 15 percent believe the man’s health has little or no impact on proceedings.
The research was commissioned by vitamin brands Pregnacare Conception and Wellman Conception, which have teamed up with Dr Lauren Rockliffe, a pregnancy health coach and health psychologist to provide tips for couples hoping to improve chances of conception.
Dr Lauren, from www.bloomwellpregnancy.co.uk, said: “If you’re trying for a baby, there are various lifestyle factors that can affect fertility for both men and women.
“It’s therefore just as important for men to consider making healthy changes when trying to conceive, as it is for their partner.
“Making these changes together can help with motivation and make them easier to stick to in the longer-term, which is important, as it can take up to three months for some lifestyle changes to affect sperm quality.”
The study found 20 percent fretted about whether they were fit and healthy enough to have a child.
Men were also more worried than women about how secure their job was, before having a child (23 percent of men vs 15 percent of women).
But of all those polled, 42 percent believe it’s simply not possible to ever truly be ready to become a parent.
The minimum age that people believe someone is emotionally and physically mature enough to have a baby was deemed by the results to be exactly 26 years old.
And on average, respondents had their first child at 27 and three quarters, according to the OnePoll.com figures.
More than one in 10 (14 percent), however, don’t believe they thought about it long enough before taking the plunge.
While 23 percent don’t feel they were as fit and healthy as they could have been, when preparing for child number one.
A spokesperson for Vitabiotics, maker of Pregnacare Conception and Wellman Conception, said: “There’s a lot to think about when bringing a child into the world.
“It’s not just about wanting a baby, but also about being physically, emotionally, and financially prepared to give them the best start in life.
“Clearly it is essential to be in the best shape possible.”