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Should you have another baby?

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Baby lust!

Even though my husband and have been out of the babymaking business for some time, and with the whole-hearted buy-in of both of us, sometimes I still feel it: deep and strong desire for a new baby. Maybe I've just seen a new baby, or glanced through photos of my own children as infants, but it is most definitely there.

Two women kissing baby

Sometimes the feeling passes, and sometimes it doesn't. I've wondered - as have friends I know who have similar bouts of baby lust - whether I should do something about it. Was I meant to have another child?

Simple nostalgia or something more?

When younger friends have babies, I like to be first in line for holding duty - if it's being offered, that is. If it's not, I'm content to be nearby, helping with whatever needs to be done. I just like being around all that newness, all that hopefulness, and that milky sweet baby smell.

Sometimes the feeling of baby lust is just nostalgia and sometimes it's a little bit of grief for that time in our life. Sometimes a dash of reality creeps in and we remember the bleary sleep-deprived days or the challenge of young toddlerhood. Sometimes simply spending time with a baby is all we need to satisfy our baby lust - especially when we can give the baby back to the mom when the serious fussing and crankiness starts.

Volunteer with infants

The desire to be around babies can be satisfied in other ways than accosting friends with infants. Hospitals and other organizations may offer ways to volunteer your time to work with babies and toddlers. If you are willing to spend the time to get specialized training you may become a trusted, needed member of a team of volunteers that work with really special babies. In this way you can really make a commitment to that age you are missing without also needing to open another college savings account.

If you really do want another

Sometimes, though, the baby lust doesn't abate. This is when you need to look deep inside yourself and try to figure out whether having another child is the right thing. If you and your partner have agreed previously that the number you have is enough, this can lead to some hard conversations - or maybe your partner will surprise you and say, "I was thinking I'd like to have another, too."

If you've take more permanent steps to not have more children, this decision could mean you need to go down different paths to become a parent again. Reversing surgical procedures isn't impossible, but it's not always successful, either.

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You may want to consider adoption if more biological aren't possible - and there are many ways to adopt. You can look for "traditional" adoption, international adoption, or contact your local social services departments to learn about children that need homes. If you are open to parenting children with special needs or other circumstances, it might happen sooner than you imagined! Being open to becoming a parent again in many possible ways can really open a world of possibility for you and your family.

Get more information about adopting here.

My husband and I have decided that we're too old to have more biological children and though the idea of adopting is still kind of floating around, I'm satisfying my baby lust by being around babies as much as I can. I've realized I may just have to wait for grandchildren to have my baby lust more fully satisfied - and I think that's okay.

For more on family planning

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