How to Respond to “When are You Going to Have a Baby?”

I think Drew and I were at our wedding reception the first time someone asked us when we would have a baby. At the time, I just sort of shrugged it off and went back to celebrating. We’ve now been married for about four and a half years, and I’ve snapped at more than a few family members for asking that question.

Before I go any further, let me get one thing off my chest: It’s never okay to ask someone that question. The decision about when and if to have a baby is only between that person and their partner (and maybe their doctor). 

But, if you’re still nosy, consider these other reasons to avoid that question:

  1. 1. Some people never want to have kids. There’s a growing child-free movement, and asking them when they’re starting a family could put them on the defensive or make them feel bad about their decisions.
  2. 2. They might not be ready for children yet. They might be trying to save money to give their kids a better life. Or, they might want to spend some time traveling and exploring before having a baby. 
  3. 3. You don’t know what people are going through. The person you ask might be trying to conceive and just hasn’t gotten pregnant yet or could be struggling with infertility. Or, they may have miscarried and don’t want to be reminded at every turn. It’s also possible that they are pregnant, and asking just ruined the surprise. 

Nine possible responses to “When are you going to have a baby?”

If you’re continually being asked when you’re going to have kids, it might be a good idea to have a few responses in your repertoire, so you don’t lash out at the next person who asks. 

I’ve put together nine possible responses (depending on how snarky you want to be):

  1. 1. When God decides it’s time.
  2. 2. Whenever we decide it’s the right time.
  3. 3. I’m not really sure. It’s an important decision, and we don’t want to rush into anything. 
  4. 4. You’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
  5. 5. We’re not sure yet, but we’ll let you know when I’m a few months pregnant.
  6. 6. That’s a really personal question that I don’t feel comfortable answering.
  7. 7. Did you know that one in six couples who want a child struggle with infertility? I won’t tell you if we’re one of those couples, but it could be hurtful to ask some people.
  8. 8. That question puts a lot of pressure on us. We don’t know, so please have some patience.
  9. 9. I’d rather not talk about it. Thanks.

Remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation

Some people ask because they’re trying to make conversation. Other people might have ulterior motives (like parents who are ready to become grandparents). And others might just think that it’s time. 

No matter who’s asking, remember that you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.  So, it’s probably best to give a short and polite non-answer and try to change the subject. 

couple holding hands