If you're in your 20s, you're probably familiar with the feeling of being bombarded by engagement and baby announcements every time you log into Facebook. Not matching pace in the rat race to couple up, settle down, and start a family? That's OK. As of 2013, the average age of women having their first child was 26 years old — but a new study suggests it might be wise to sit tight and wait a bit before having kids.
Independent reports researchers at the London School of Economics analyzed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, which monitors the development of 18,000 British children for an extended period of time, in order to determine the effect of a mother's age on the growth and development of her child. The golden years? Your 30s.
The study published in the journal of Biodemography and Social Biology determined that babies born to women in their 30s are more likely to be intelligent, score higher in cognitive testing, and outperform those born to women in their 20s or 40s.
Additionally, "First-time mothers in their thirties are, for example, likely to be more educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier and have planned their pregnancies," researcher Alice Goisis told The Times.
And while women who give birth in their 40s tend to breastfeed and read to their children more, and smoke less, this age bracket is the most likely to have obese children, as women of this age were found to be less likely than younger mothers to play with their kids.