Volumes of books could be written about this topic and at the end of reading them there will still not be one, definite answer. Each age comes with its own set of challenges and advantages.
We look at each age and discuss the pros and cons of each.
When you are young
This may be the obvious age, the easy one to recommend because when you are young you have the energy to cope with pregnancy, sleepless nights and active toddlers. Your body also handles pregnancy easier when you are younger. The disadvantages of having your babies when you are young is just that, you are young. Many of us don’t have a clear idea of what we want to do with our lives when we are in our early 20s. We have just finished studying or are in our first job enjoying the freedoms that come with being young. I had my first child in my mid-twenties and it was too young, it was a rash decision made with very little thought. A baby changes this all dramatically and the responsibility can be overwhelming when you are still young. A big advantage of being young with small children is that by the time you they are ready to fly the coop you will still be young enough to do the things, perhaps you missed out in your youth.
When you are middle aged
This is becoming the new recommended age for becoming a parent. By having your children in your early to mid-30s allows you to spend your 20s being irresponsible or travelling and figuring out exactly what it is you want from life. You will probably have also been with your partner for a while which means your relationship is more secure and stable which will make dealing with a new baby easier. You will also be more financially secure making the financial commitments that come with a baby easier to deal with. The challenges obviously are that risks to an unborn baby increase the older you get and infertility could be a possibility. I had my third and fourth child in my early-mid thirties and it was a shock to the system and it can be exhausting keeping up with the two smaller ones.
When you are older
More and more women are having their first babies after 40. The advantage of choosing to have your baby this late in life is that you know, for sure, that a family is what you want. Your relationship is stable and you should be financially stable and secure. By 40 you will also have a clear understanding of how you want to parent, what you believe and what values you want to instill in your child as well as more life experience to draw on. The cons of being over 40 is that the risks to your health and the babies are dramatically increased and will need to be monitored. The toll it takes on your body will also be felt a lot more than in your 20s. It will also be more challenging to keep up with your toddler.
While each age does come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages there really is not right answer because women want different things from their lives at different times and sometimes the decisions are made for us. I have had my children over a 12 year period. I have experienced nearly all the options and still cannot say which one is the best one. The decision as to when to have a child is a personal one and whichever age you chose, that is the right one for you.