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Ask a Mum of 8 #1 When's the right time to have the next baby?

Thank you so much for all your great questions for Denise - there were so many that we decided to do a series so you could read them in bitesize chunks. Perfect for sleep deprived Mamas!

I've had the pleasure of knowing Denise for over 13 years now. We've raised children together. She would be the first to say she's had her fair share of ups and downs - I don't think anyone finds mothering easy - but she's definitely been an inspiration to me. I've often drawn on her experiences in classes, some of you may remember!

So, the questions that came up most often were around deciding when to have the next baby. Here's what you asked and Denise's responses...

How do you know it's time to have another baby?

Well for me, each time the start of the process was determined by my hormones. I'd become broody after about a year. After my first baby was one, this happened, and although I had some reservations, it was mostly due to worry about what others would think, as I was young, more than worry that I couldn't manage.

Were you worried about how you'd cope?

After being a mum for a year and loving it, I felt confident I could do it again. I knew it would be different with two and harder in some ways, but I just felt in my gut that it was possible. My first baby was easy so this helped. After a year of being a parent, your skills and intuition are first class. The investment in another baby is so personal and important to you that everything in you will work to make it work.

What did you find was the best gap?

A two year cap has worked best for us because the new baby comes at a time when the older one is needing a little less and actually can be quite helpful and involved; such as fetching nappies to assist a nappy change. I found that involving the younger one(s) here and their meant they were less likely to fuss or be jealous. More peace for mum! With 2 of the babies we had a 3 year gap. I didn't notice a huge amount of difference with the 3 year gap in terms of the children. Possibly it was a bit easier on my body.

NEXT WEEK YOU ASK #2 How did your body cope with 8 pregnancies and births?

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