Contrary to popular belief, men get baby fever, too — in fact, studies show that guys are (perhaps surprisingly) more likely to develop an insatiable urge to raise children as they get older, whereas women actually become less and less interested in having kids with age.
But like women, men experience baby fever in many different ways. As proof, we’ve listed a few of the many responses in this Reddit thread that asks men what it’s like for them (sic, obviously, throughout).
“I’ve always wanted kids,” commenter oiuw0tm8 writes. “Recently, my best friend from high school announced that he and his wife are having a baby, and I got mad jealous.
“Also, something happened a few weeks ago that didn’t help: I’m an EMT, and we responded to a call for a two year old who had a febrile seizure. We got to the hospital, and when I picked him up out of the car seat, he wrapped his arms around me and buried his head into my shoulder. I figured he was one of those kids who doesn’t mind strangers, but his grandma said, ‘I don’t know what you did, but he’s normally not like this with strangers, so he must like you or something.’ I just melted.”
“I never thought of it as baby fever, but I really, really wanted to have a baby — before my wife did actually, when I was in my late 20s,” explains commenter AnArcher. “What really pushed it over the edge for me was seeing 12 to 15 month olds (the age where they just begin to walk) in Halloween costumes. Now I have two stinky teenagers, but the years before adolescence were amazing.”
“Baby fever for me is already having several notebooks full of dad jokes and a fresh pair of white leather New Balance shoes ready to go,” commenter ga_mcm writes.
“As a non-dad (no kids, no desire for kids), it wasn’t a thing,” commenter bound2upsetu explains. “As a pre-dad (awaiting first born), it was nervousness and wondering if I’d be a good dad, if I was ready and so on. The decision to even have a kid, while partly mine, was due more to the fact that I married someone who I knew wanted a family, and I wanted her to be happy. I realized after a while that I was waiting to be ‘ready,’ and there’s no way to ever be ready to be a parent — you just do it and figure it out. As a dad with two kids now (youngest turning one tomorrow, eldest is nearing three), I love babies and would have them forever if I had all the time and money in the world.”
“I always have baby fever,” commenter Smokeydodge explains. “I love kids. We have four, but my wife is done, and I don’t blame her (lol). My part in the production process is so minimal that I try to make up for it after they’re born. I love families with kids. If I have to sit next to a screaming baby somewhere, it doesn’t bother me. I can usually tell if they’re hungry or tired or whatever, too. I’m enjoying my natural kids right now, but I plan on adopting until I’m too old to do so after that. I do a lot of music and art, so I’m used to having a kid right there with me, helping them do their thing. Some people were born to be rock stars, or extreme athletes — I was born to be a dad, and I naturally have jokes for days. My friends growing up thought I had a crappy sense of humor. Nope: I was just telling dad jokes this whole time.”
“I kinda felt it when I saw my ex babysitting,” commenter Notauniquepersonhere writes. “She was so good with the baby, and I kinda wanted to put a baby in her. Also, sometimes when I pick a baby up and play with a baby I think that I wouldn’t mind one of them. It’s very much linked to being with a significant other for me.”
“I’m not interested in having kids, but I have felt the urge to nurture and pass on knowledge and lessons to a younger me,” appropriately named commenter Its_Your_Father writes. “Also, sometimes I’ll look at my girlfriend and think, Damn we’d have beautiful babies.”
“I love kids, and always have,” commenter Rebootkid writes. “They give me hope for the future. I have two. They’re older now. Every couple of years or so, the wife and I have the, ‘So, do we want to adopt?’ conversation. One time, I started the chat, and she started cracking up. Turns out I’m predictable as hell. If I’ve been around babies, even sick or fussy ones, I start the ‘we should adopt’ conversation.”
“I’m really not fussed about babies, but I’ve really started enjoying the time I spend with the older children of couples I know — say, between four and 10,” commenter SerPuissance writes. “They’re just so much fun, and I have cool hobbies that they want to try, so it’s super fun to teach them things and hang out. It makes me want kids of my own very badly.”
“But babies and toddlers are different,” SerPuissance continues. “I’m hoping that the attachment hormones kick in as hard as they seem to for other people, because I’m essentially just preparing myself for three years of poop, vomit, sleep deprivation, tantrums, loud squalling and soiled nappies. But when they’re older, I reckon it’ll be worth it.”
“For a long time, I was a baby-hating Reddit guy,” commenter askmeaboutboardgames explains. “I got married, several years passed and I grew more open to the idea of having kids. Then, my wife and I found out that it would be nearly impossible for us to naturally have kids. When doctors told us that natural conception would be nearly impossible, reality hit and it was a world of shit. After a couple failed intrauterine inseminations and lots of tears, we did in vitro fertilization, and it was successful on the first go. It was a large undertaking financially, emotionally, physically (wife) and timewise. Our religious family generally didn’t approve and gave us a share of emotional abuse.
“Once I heard the heartbeat, I felt like I was struck by lightning and was basically thrust out of a major depression into a world of anticipation. The despair instantly melted and new anxieties kicked in. At first, there was a lot of pressure about being the sole income provider, so we figured out our finances. I started wrapping up projects on the house, making sure my wife had good nutrition and ensuring that long-term employment was in order. I was doing a lot of extra stuff, like re-sodding the backyard so our kid can play next year, looking up treehouse plans, looking at two-seater fishing kayaks, looking at toddler toys. I was basically dreaming about what type of boy our baby was going to grow up to be and thinking about where my parents went wrong and what I can do better. I don’t really read any baby stuff online (my wife does). I just give it a go or ask her input.
“Our son is seven months old now, and it has unquestionably been the best seven months of our lives. Every day there’s a new sound, expression, belly laugh or whatever, and it’s all amazing. My wife was an absolute hero throughout, and she’s such a great mom now as well.”