Whether you are a fresh-faced twenty-something or a confident career couple in your late thirties, deciding when to have a baby can be one of the hardest decisions you have to make.
Consider the options - nights out, long weekend lie-ins and spare spending cash versus nights in, disturbed sleep and a significant drop in salary. It can all sound a bit daunting but, for most, having a baby is something we just cannot resist in the end. After all, they are so cute.
But what are the signs that we might be ready to take that all-important first step to becoming someone's mummy and daddy? Here are some clues it might be time to start changing that spare room into a nursery...
You never noticed it before but the world seems to be occupied either by heavily pregnant women or gurgling babies.
They are everywhere - in the shops, on the telly, even all your favourite celebrities are coupling up and procreating. Were they all there before? The answer is yes but you were too busy with your own life to notice.
Even more startling is all your friends are at it and pretty soon no-one can come out as they are busy nappy changing.
These are all signs that you might be reaching the time to take the focus away from number one and make someone else your main priority. After all, if you can't beat them, join them.
Owning a cat or dog has never been high on your priority list but suddenly there you are cuddling your friends dog or cooing over a cute kitten. This rush of animal love could well be disguising a desire for what you really want to be looking after - a baby. Often, it is natural for couples to buy a pet first to see how they cope before taking things a bit further.
While going out with friends to a pub or club was once the only way to spend a Friday and Saturday night (as well as one or two nights in between), gradually the idea of settling down on the sofa to watch a good film can seem a far more appealing option.
Don't worry, you are not turning into a couch potato, this is simply your nesting instinct kicking in. You have found your perfect partner, made a home together and you are happiest there. So why not add another little person to your party of two to complete the picture?
You have never before strayed into the baby section of your favourite department store but suddenly you find yourself there cooing over the little dresses and fluffy all-in-ones with teddy bear ears on the hood.
If you don't have any little family members to buy for, this is a sure sign that it is time you had one yourself - otherwise what are you are going to do with all the tiny baby trainers you have just bought?
Did you know there are top ten charts for the most popular boys and girls names?
You might not have before, but lately you have been wondering what names go well with your surname and you are horrified to discover that every name you like is on everyone else's favourite list too.
Araav, Rianna, Aiman and Hrithik have all been taken so it looks like it's back to the drawing board. But the most telling sign is if you actually have some favourite names and you won't tell them to anyone else for fear they might be stolen.
Your pretty little flat was everything you ever wanted when you first moved in, but suddenly it seems very cramped. You find yourself asking exactly where you would put a cot if you were ever to need one. However hard you try, it just won't fit into the linen cupboard.
When you get the feeling you have outgrown your space, maybe it's time you say goodbye to life living as a couple and start looking for that forever family home.
The spare room has always been useful for extra storage space or for when friends come to stay, but now you are eyeing up what a cot and changing table might look like in it. Or you have taken one step further and have picked out exactly what cot and changing table to are going to buy. This is now not just a sign, but simply a matter of time.
You were at work surfing the internet and came across www.emmasdiary.in or another pregnancy or baby website. Everyone looked so happy and content, you found yourself joining up!
Luxury five star spa resorts and long haul flights to exotic locations don't mix well with small babies so if the idea of choosing a water park in Delhi or Disney in Hong Kong over a fortnight in the Maldives doesn't fill you with horror then it sounds like you are ready for family life.
A clear sign that thoughts of starting a family have stepped up another level is when you start looking seriously at your finances, working out whether you can afford it if your two becomes three. Having a baby often means a reduction in the money coming in, so you need to be sure that you are able to cope with your change in circumstance.
Are your dreams filled with you cuddling a beautiful baby or playing peek-a-boo with a smiling toddler? It could be your subconscious is trying to tell you something.
Most importantly, you have sat down with your partner and voiced your desire to have a baby. Being on the same page when it comes to starting a family is vital and both need to be 100% committed before taking that first step to becoming a parent. But if you are both in agreement then maybe it is time to make a little magic.