Have you or your partner experienced a sudden longing to have a baby? If so, you may have baby fever. Baby fever is a longing to have a child of your own. But, the longing doesn’t equate to having children, nor does having children always arise from baby fever.
When and Why Baby Fever Occurs
The concept of having babies may begin as early as 2-3 years of age when individuals start to develop their gender identity. Societal norms tell individuals, especially women, that they should have children. As they approach their 20s and 30s, it’s considered a next step when they meet their career and relationship milestones. The desire to have children grows as the individual’s or couple’s peers begin having children. Being around their peers’ cute babies and smelling their perfume-like aroma may activate individuals’ orbitofrontal cortex, where emotions and pleasure senses are stored in the brain, leading to baby fever.
Baby fever tends to peak in 50% of women in their 20s and declines as they age. Though baby fever usually begins with women in their 20s, it has become more common for women to become pregnant with their first baby around 30. But baby fever is not limited to women in their 20s or even 30s. More women are having babies in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s.
While we’ve just discussed women, women are not the only ones who suffer from baby fever. All individuals have maternal and paternal instincts. Men, having maternal instincts, are known to get baby fever, but it happens less frequently than with women. Baby fever occurs in 44% of men. Men usually have their first child around the age of 34. But if they are yet to have a child, men may experience the longing in their 40s when baby fever peaks.
What Causes Baby Fever?
There are many reasons people experience baby fever and people’s reasoning varies.
Some reasons individuals may experience baby fever include:
- Age – The desire to have a baby occurs in the 20s and 30s for women and for men in their 40s.
- Infertility Issues – As women age, they become less fertile, making them feel the need to have a baby while they can without being a risk to themselves or their future baby.
- Lineage – People often want to carry on their lineage or family name. Having a baby offers them a sense of pride.
- Life Meaning – Having a baby can give a certain meaning to an individual’s life, leading them to want to live healthier, longer lives.
- Social Pressure and Expectations – Having a baby is often considered the next step after beginning a career, getting married, and buying a house.
- Being Around Babies – Holding a cute, cuddly baby close enough to smell the sweet, almost perfume-like newborn baby smell can activate baby fever.
Talking to a Counselor Can Help
When it comes to having a baby, there are many factors for individuals or couples to consider. Speaking to a counselor can help you work through serious discussions about what a life with or without a baby could look like.
Things to consider before having a baby:
- Feelings, Beliefs, and Values – A counselor can help address feelings about having a baby. For couples, a counselor may assist in working through the differences in beliefs and values that arise from the individuals’ families of origin.
- Finances – A counselor may help promote open dialogue and transparency about finances.
- Stress – A counselor can help you deal with the stress wanting a baby puts on a relationship.
- Health Challenges – A counselor can support you and your partner through infertility or other medical issues.
- Communication Concerns – A counselor can help individuals communicate concerns about having a baby with their partner.
If you or someone you know is having baby fever, All Counseling’s therapist directory can help you connect to a therapist who specializes in pregnancy concerns. Whether to have a baby is a big decision. A counselor can help guide you through your feelings.
It’s Okay If You Don’t Have Baby Fever!
Khazan, O., 2021 [online] The Atlantic
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/12/how-common-baby-fever/621083/> [Accessed 27 April 2022]
Where did baby fever come from?
Merriam-Webster 2022 [online]
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/what-does-baby-fever-mean> [Accessed 27 April 2022]
Is Everyone Destined to Experience Baby Fever?
Sarkar, D., 2021 [online] Discover Magazine
https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/is-everyone-destined-to-experience-baby-fever> [Accessed 27 April 2022]
It’s Not Just Women: Men Get Baby Fever, Too
Vinopal, L., 2022 [online] Fatherly
https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/men-baby-fever-biological-clock/> [Accessed 27 April 2022]