Menu

How to make a baby: The quick + dirty guide to getting pregnant

4. Use apps + tests to identify your most fertile time.

how to make a baby

So you're ready to have a baby. Let's take a moment and think about the awesomeness of that! We are so excited to be here with you along your journey.

Here are the 7 steps to getting pregnant fast:


1. Get prepped for pregnancy.

  • Make an appointment with your doctor and discuss your overall health as it relates to getting pregnant.
  • Start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid to help prevent spinal tube defects in your baby (taking it prior to getting pregnant makes it more effective).
  • Stop taking birth control. Check out our guide to getting pregnant to learn more.

2. Decide: Wing it, or plan it?

Do you want to take more of a “let's see what happens" approach to getting pregnant, or would you feel better charting and strategizing? Either is fine! And know that you can change your mind as you go.

If you decide to have a conception plan, then understanding your cycle is key.

3. Understand the menstrual cycle.

Your fertile window is five to six days long, typically in the middle of your cycle.

On average, a woman with a 28-day cycle will ovulate on day 14. But you are so not average! So charting your cycle is key to identifying your unique fertile days.

Once an egg is released from your ovary, it will survive for 12 to 24 hours. That means that it must meet the sperm within that window in order for it to become fertilized. The good news is that healthy sperm survives in your body for up to five days.

The trick is making sure that the sperm and the egg are alive and well in your body at the same time.

This is why knowing when you ovulate is so important.

Say you ovulate on Wednesday at midnight. Having sex anytime on Wednesday means that the sperm is potentially going to meet the egg during that 12- to 24-hour window. But if you had sex on Tuesday (or Monday, or maybe even Sunday or Saturday), the sperm may still be alive and waiting for the egg when it's released. So if you are anticipating ovulation within a few days, having sex will increase the chances of having living sperm ready to fertilize your egg.

From the Shop

Essentials for romance

4. Use apps + tests to identify your most fertile time.

Ovulation strips (like these). Just pee on the strip. If the test line is as dark or darker than the control, you are likely fertile.

Fertility monitors (like Clearblue Fertility Monitor). Pee on a stick, insert it into the machine, and it will tell you when your fertility is low, high and peak.

Apps (like Glow and Kindara). They allow you to track your period, ovulation signs and tests, intercourse and even your sleep to help you determine your most fertile windows.

Wearable devices (like Ava). When you wear it on your wrist overnight, this device detects changes in your body that indicate approaching ovulation.

5. Read your body's signs.

Some women feel most comfortable paying attention to the physical signs their bodies show them:

Cervical mucus

Cervical mucus is the normal vaginal discharge that changes as you progress through your cycle. It will go from nonexistent or dry to sticky, then creamy, and then wet, and then finally it will be the consistency of egg whites. That egg-white consistency means it's fertile cervical mucus and indicates that you are about to ovulate. It's the most sperm friendly, because they can easily swim through it up to the uterus.

Side note: If you use lubrication during sex, choose lubricants that are sperm friendly, like Pre-Seed. Other ones can actually hurt sperm.

Drop in basal body temperature

If you're taking your temperature every day to chart your cycle using a fertility app or chart, you'll notice that just before you ovulate, you may see a slight drop in your basal body temperature, followed by an increase.

Cervical position

If you're up for doing your own vaginal exam, you might note that your cervix is softer, higher and more open around the time of ovulation.

You may also experience pain/cramping, breast tenderness, spotting and an increased interest in sex.

6. Have sex.

If you're not tracking ovulation, simply have sex every other day all month long.

If you are tracking ovulation, and your partner has an average or high sperm count, you can have sex every day in your fertile window. If he has a low sperm count, have sex every other day in order boost the sperm concentration in the ejaculate.

Sperm is healthiest when men ejaculate every two to three days, so encourage your guy not to wait too many days between orgasms. (Lucky guy.)

7. Have fun!

Trying to conceive can become a bit stressful, so make sure you're taking care of yourself and each other as a couple. Don't force yourself to do anything that doesn't feel right. And try to enjoy this process.

Good luck out there, mama.

Psst: Want more tricks + tips to get pregnant + enjoy it? Join Motherly and get your FREE, personalized week-by-week guide to motherhood. We can't WAIT for you to join us!

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

True

Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

Keep reading Show less
News