Becoming a mom can be one of the most special experiences in a woman’s life. From the indescribable sensation of feeling a baby inside you to teaching your young one how to walk and talk, parenting is a wild ride. The first baby is always the most unpredictable, as you hadn’t been down this road before. If you’re wanting to build a large family with your partner, you’ve probably contemplated when you should try for another baby. But, how do you know the time is right?

The simplest answer is that you’ll never truly be 100% ready for another child. However, there are several things you can consider before trying for baby #2. Here’s how to know when you’re ready to bring another baby into the world.

Budgeting for baby

Let’s face it, having a baby costs money. From the initial hospital bill to diapers and eventually childcare, starting a family doesn’t come cheap. Making sure you’re financially prepared for a child is perhaps the most important factor in knowing whether you’re ready for a second kiddo. When you really start to crunch the numbers, raising a child can be expensive. So expensive, in fact, that middle-income parents can expect to spend $12,980 annually on their child. This cost can reach up to $233,610 collectively until your child turns 17 years old.

If you’re unsure whether you can afford to support a second child, take a good hard look at your budget. Evaluate your household income and check to see whether you’re spending money frivolously on unneeded items (i.e. dinner dates, excessive shopping, monthly subscriptions). If it looks like you have a good amount of extra income that can be spent on a new baby, that’s one sign that you’re ready for another child.

If your current financial situation is looking bleak, consider ways to make your monthly spending leaner while cutting monthly bills where you can. You can even start a separate savings fund dedicated to a future baby. However, it would not be wise to start trying for a second child if you’re finances aren’t already in order. Financial stability in your family will make bringing another child into the world much, much easier.

You’ve got support

It takes two to tango, and it’s no different with making a baby. Before stopping your birth control or tracking your ovulation pattern, make sure you sit down with your husband to discuss having another child. Having an active, committed partner while parenting makes raising a child a lot easier. If you’ve discussed this idea with your husband and he’s open to trying for another child, you should go for it.

If your husband is a little hesitant, don’t brush this off. Take some time to really discuss a potential new baby with your husband. If one of you isn’t ready, it might be better to take some time to warm up to the idea. If it feels like one of you is rushing the new baby, this may be a sign that you aren’t ready. There’s no need to rush when it comes to expanding your little family. It’s also important to have a support system for two children in place. This means having ample babysitter options, preferred childcare arrangements, and sufficient help from your parents, your partner’s parents, and other family members. It takes a village to raise a child, and rearing two children takes even more effort. Try your best to have these support systems in place before trying for baby #2.

Start streamlining

It’s never too late to start getting organized. With two children in the house, you’ll need to be much more efficient than you were before. If you’re interested in having another baby, you should begin implementing a consistent routine around your house. Assign chores to specific days, teach your current little one to go to bed on time, have dinner at the same time, and learn to plan out meals in advance. These are all good ways to keep your household tidy and running on schedule.

Cleanliness and regularity will be much easier to maintain with a newborn around if you already solidify these productive habits. What’s more, having a consistent dinner time and bedtime will eventually allow your kids to eat and go to sleep at the same time each night, making your life much easier. Before you start trying for your second child, you can even begin the nesting phase sooner than your last pregnancy. Take note of how the nesting phase feels.

Begin setting the nursery up sooner rather than later, and you’ll feel a lot more relieved once the baby is on the way. It’s never too early to stockpile diapers, bibs, and other items you may have given away or tossed from your first child. If the thought of nesting seems daunting, this may be a sign to pump the breaks on baby #2. While some women may feel overly anxious about nesting, it is a necessary step to ensure things run as smoothly a possible once the baby is here. Don’t let a little nervousness deter you, though. Being nervous about having a second child is natural.

Overall, having another baby is a lot of work. Although no one can truly prepare you for the unexpected blessings that come with having another child, these tips will help you discern when the time is right to have baby #2.