Alec Baldwin, young wife expecting: When are you too old to be a new dad?

Alec Baldwin, 54 and his new wife, Hilaria Thomas Baldwin, 28, confirmed Tuesday that they are expecting. The baby is due this summer.

From USA Today:

“Today People magazine and Extra are both reporting “exclusively” (how can they both be exclusive?) that the couple are expecting. However, InTouch magazine reported it last month.” …

Extra had a few more details, probably because Thomas, 28, a yoga instructor who married the 30 Rock star last summer, also is a “lifestyle correspondent” for the TV gossip show. They sat for an interview with AJ Calloway today.

“It was a surprise, a wonderful surprise,” she told Calloway. She said she secretly took a pregnancy test, then startled Baldwin, 54, with her screams. At first he thought she had found another spider on the wall, then realized they were screams of delight.”

People often discuss maternal age in relationship to having a baby but what about the father’s age? Is there a point when a dad is just too old to start again? (Baldwin has an 18-year-old daughter with Kim Basinger.) We know men can produce the sperm needed at a very old age, but is there some point where they are too old to chase a baby on the playground, teach a child to ride a bike or a teen to drive a car?

I’m 40, and I can’t imagine getting up during the night with a new baby or chasing a new baby around. I just feel too old to start again.

Do you think men have that feeling? Is there an age that’s too old be a dad even if you can father a child?

36 comments Add your comment

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February 13th, 2013
12:54 pm

Evidently some men do not experience that feeling. There’s a story that ran in US Weekly about Steve Martin being a first time dad at age 67.
http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/steve-martin-67-becomes-first-time-dad-wife-anne-stringfield-has-baby-2013132

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 13th, 2013
1:06 pm

wow 67 — can you imagine– my dad is turning 70 this summer and while he’s in pretty good shape, I can’t imagine him with a new baby in the house.

Scooby

February 13th, 2013
1:19 pm

I’m sure the baby will have plenty of nurses/nannies to chase it around and see to most of its needs.

G'Vegas Dawg

February 13th, 2013
1:21 pm

My unlce, after being divorced twice, married again in his early 60’s to a girl in her late 20’s. She wanted a child of her own. My uncle is a grandfather of teenagers and is now the father of a 4 year old at the ripe ole age of 73! I couldn’t imagine being in his shoes, but, he has a bit more of a spring in his step then he did just 5 or 6 years ago. I guess it keeps him feeling younger.

Wow...

February 13th, 2013
1:49 pm

…having kids that late in life is just bad for the kids – I truly believe that the old guys with young kids are really doing those kids quite a disservice in that most are not able to give them the appropriate attention, physically, that younger men can.

Yes, I know, some younger men do not interact with their kids, either. And, this is just my opinion, and every time I look at Larry King and his brood with his 40 years younger than him wife, I eat my own words…

HB

February 13th, 2013
1:59 pm

Actually, I know a several physically fit older dads who seem to interact more with their kids. They’re at a point in their careers where they work fewer hours and/or have more flexibility to leave the office for school programs, afterschool sports, or just go home and have play time with the kids than many young guys trying to work their way up the career ladder.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 13th, 2013
2:14 pm

interesting point HB -

bo

February 13th, 2013
2:43 pm

older Dads may be more financially stable, mature, wise, knowledgeable, giving, and self-aware than they would have been at a younger age. I suspect all those traits could potentially make one a better father.

Mayhem

February 13th, 2013
3:13 pm

Tony Randall became a father for the first time at 83. He died shortly thereafter. I agree with Wow…..a complete disservice to that child. Now that kid grows up without his father. Although I’m sure Mommy got a huge inheritance and can give that kid everything, but she can’t give him back his dad……

I think its selfish for a woman to marry a WAY older man, and get pregnant. There’s only ONE reason for that, and it ain’t love……..Its the almightly dollar. especially when a celebrity is involved. There are some women out there who do their darndest to get pregnant by a celebrity. They think it’s all wonderful, until they become a single parent and have to sue for child support.

Metro Coach

February 13th, 2013
3:19 pm

The fact that Baldwin is procreating is bad for the world.

Over 40

February 13th, 2013
3:35 pm

Theresa, you’re tired because you have been doing this with for a decade with 3 kids! Childless people just aren’t tired in the same way. Babies born to parents who (1) have picked a good co-parent/partner and can provide a stable, loving home for a child (2) have wisdom from life experiences (3) choose to have a baby, and often work really hard to get pregnant and (4) have “been there, done that” with career, travel, etc. and are ready to dedicate time to the baby instead of dreaming about what they “could be” doing if they were single and free– those babies are lucky!!! Sure, those babies +typically+ won’t have as many years with parents because parents are likely to die when child is younger, but even a young dad or mom can get cancer, get in a car accident, or get divorced and move 3000 miles away. Plus, a dad like Steve Martin may be able to spend most days for the next 10 years with his child– something a young dad working and commuting can’t do. (Some of my friends see their children for 30 minutes a day!) Some people are late bloomers and aren’t ready for children/aren’t in the right situation for children until they are older. MOST children are born into less than ideal circumstances– let’s not single out “old” age of parent as more important for a child’s happiness than a parent’s stability, love/intention and wisdom.

Just sayin

February 13th, 2013
3:40 pm

I have to agree with Mayhem a little. Many times when there is a MUCH older man involved money usually comes into play. Actually that can probably also be said about men having relationships with MUCH older women. Lets face it. In a lot of those situations the younger party is carrying on a side relationship with someone closer to their age. What did Ashton Kutcher do? First got caught cheating with a younger woman then started dating someone his own age as soon as he left Demi Moore. As a woman in her 30’s I personally can’t imagine sleeping with a man that old (70’s and 80’s). I mean come on it’s like getting with one of my grandfather’s friends. If it makes them happy then whatever.

Misty

February 13th, 2013
3:42 pm

Scooby is totally right. There will be nurses and nannies for the child. I just hope he’s a better dad the second time around than the first time around.

As for normal men and women who choose to become parents at that age, I hope that they have help because it’s not right for the child(ren).

Techmom

February 13th, 2013
4:15 pm

Older parents may have more money and even potentially time but I just don’t think it’s fair for kids to be born to parents in their 50s or older. No, we can’t predict the future and a young parent could die unexpectedly but we KNOW the life expectancy of the average male in the US is 78. So IF Alec Baldwin lives to be at least the average age, he’ll be alive until his kid is 24. So maybe he’ll get to see this child graduate from college and maybe get married or maybe he’ll die a few years short of that and this kid will be lucky to have his/her dad at high school graduation. (We are talking about the Baldwins however so maybe this kid will be lucky to simply graduate from HS without going to rehab.)

I know several grandparents who are raising their grandchildren and yes, maybe it is because they’re tired since they’ve been raising kids for 20 or 30 years already but I just think you begin to slow down naturally and it’s often more difficult to relate to younger kids. Even my good friend who is 43 and became a first time mom at nearly 41, wishes she had her children younger simply because she feels like she can’t keep up with them without being totally worn out… her husband who is a year older shares her sentiments. One of the things she actually worries about the most is trying to get back into the workforce once she’s in her 50s. It’s hard enough for moms in their 30s or 40s.

FCM

February 13th, 2013
4:45 pm

Abraham was 100 when Issac was born. He was 86 when Ishamel was born. He lived long enough to make sure Issac had a wife. In fact, there is verbal history that says he married after Sarah died and had more children with that wife.

That said:

A study published in 2001 in the Archives of General Psychiatry found the risk of schizophrenia in children was associated with older paternal age. For instance, children of fathers over 50 were almost three times more likely to have schizophrenia than children born to the youngest fathers, the research found.

Lead researcher Dr Narendra Singh told the BBC: “We found there is a significant change by the age of 35.”

Sperm quality : Dr Singh’s team examined sperm quality in 60 men aged between 22 and 60. All had healthy sperm counts. The researchers found that men aged 35 and older had higher concentrations of sperm with broken strands of DNA, and that the damage was greater.”

We have counseled for quite a long time that as paternal age increases, there is an increased frequency in new mutations,” said Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, president-elect of the American College of Medical Genetics.

Some studies suggest that the risk of sporadic single-gene mutations may be four to five times higher for fathers who are 45 and older, compared with fathers in their 20s, Dr. Simpson said

My non medical degree opinion based on available research is that YES men do contribute to risks as they get older…that it is just not spoken about…then again look how long it took to get ED to be discussed/addressed.

[...] Baldwin is considering plea deal in …Washington PostAlec Baldwin?s Wife PregnantDaily BeastAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Reutersall 90 news [...]

motherjanegoose

February 13th, 2013
5:16 pm

I am 53 and my husband is 52. I cannot see him with a newborn. He was very involved with our two but that was over 20 years ago. I know I could not do it. I am with kids all day long, most days, but they do not come home with me. HOORAH! My sister is 40 and she has never had kids. She too was wonderful with my two and still is. She says that she cannot see herself having children.

OFF topic…I ran into a neighbor who has taught HS for the past several years, today. She is so frustrated with her HS students. A great parent herself ( one out of college, one in and one in MS…all good kids) and frustrated with the home situations many HS kids live with today. The conversation took it’s course and she told me I need to not be so sensitive to foul language as this is the norm for HS students and their vocab is often filled with profanity. That is just the way it is now a days. REALLY? Do those of you who have HS students hear this with your kids? Mine did not use profanity and rarely ever do I hear it from them. I saw a clip on a student who was almost expelled for hair color and yet they can curse openly in school? Does not make sense to me: http://www.bubblews.com/news/221775-treathened-to-be-expelled Anyone?

non committal mind reader

February 13th, 2013
5:20 pm

Love the advice and comments from all of the “experts” in this forum. HB@1:59 is the only poster who seems to have a clue to the real world. I have 4 children: 2, 4, 19, 21. I am 52.

TGW, if you want a separate “interview”, I’d be glad to give my thoughts. But for the rest of you, here is my in-a-nutshell experience:

When I was 30, I paid FAR less attention to raising my young children. I was too busy working, keeping fit, following my own passions. Compared to my two youngest, my two oldest were cheated at the same age.

At 50, I am a nearly 50% care giver. I can tell you anything about my children. I know their favorite toys, clothes, foods, tv shows. When they cry or have a boo-boo, I am the one they come to for comfort. I have put them to bed, almost exclusively, every night of their lives. I cook for them, bath them, take them to the doctor, walk in the woods with them, etc. I have much more money now than when I was 30. I have a life insurance policy to make sure that they are taken care of if I die before 70 (my parents/grand parents lived to about 80).

Sorry, but most of you are dead wrong. It was my first two children who got the short end of the stick. Maturity plays a bigger role than physical fitness. Yes, I am tired of changing diapers and picking up after two at this age. So much so that I would not agree to one more (my wife would like a boy… we have two daughters). But to suggest that my current young children are cheated is just so far from reality that if you, in general, believe this to be true for older fathers then you are living in a petty little judgmental world of your own creation… devoid of any real experience. I am GLAD I am no acquaintance of yours.

Felicity

February 13th, 2013
5:52 pm

The key is $$$$$. Yes, if you are Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin with millions you can get the young wife and have a baby at anytime. Why do people not get this? Money buys whatever you want. It’s unfortunate but true.With a child, no matter what happens the wife will get money from the old men that they spent their early years with…

motherjanegoose

February 13th, 2013
6:35 pm

@ non…I am not an expert. My husband was very involved with our two early on and still is. I guess he was not self absorbed like some younger men are. He was the one who bathed and read to our kids back then. We had no money then but we focused on our kids and did what we needed to do. Our kids know they can come to us now, with anything. Kudos to you for being a successful older Dad. You sound like you enjoy it and it works well for you!

Fred ™

February 13th, 2013
7:38 pm

I was ALMOST 40 when I had my daughter. Now I’m 50. I’d love another, but having one taken away from me was enough. I was the primary caregiver, and that really pissed my wife off so she snatched her up and put her in daycare when she was 4. She resented the time I had with her. go figure………

Now if I had a new wife and could keep the child I have, I’d be all over having several more. I’d treat them like the first. I made ALL her baby food, read to her, played with her all day, taught her to do all kinds of stuff. We went everywhere together………..

But, Fred TM...

February 13th, 2013
7:43 pm

…you were not old…but go on patting yourself on the back…

Fk

February 13th, 2013
8:17 pm

My parents were 48 & 52 when my sister was born. At that point, they had three children under the age of ten, plus a few teens and adult children. My dad passed two years ago, at the age of 91. Yes, they were older, and probably the oldest parents in the crowd, even for my younger brother and me, but they were the youngest of their friends. They outlived all of their siblings, 10 between them, friends and cousins. My mom will be 90 this summer and still going strong. How many 89 year olds has anyone heard of going to a personal trainer? They took care of themselves because of us – all of us. I find all of the judgmental comments interesting.

catlady

February 13th, 2013
8:48 pm

Not my business, but if you will be eligible for Social Security before your child finishes high school, you are too damd old! Simply my opinion.

Observer

February 13th, 2013
9:24 pm

Love the comments from HB, Non committal, and Fk. I respect the comments from those have been there. All others passing judgment under the guise of opinion.

TWG, another topic, maybe, another time: grandparents rearing grandchildren. Multiple reasons why and how that is working. Just a suggestion.

K's Mom

February 13th, 2013
9:31 pm

My husband is 48 (I am 38) and we have an almost 3 year old and an almost 10 month old. He also has an older child from a previous marriage. He will tell you that he is a much better father now than he was in his 30’s because his priorities are a little different and our marriage is far better than his first. We met when we were 33 and 43 and wanted children and we were blessed with two. I forget most days that he is older than me and he does everything with our kids that other dads do and he will continue to do so. I did not marry his for money, in his divorce she got the goldmine and he got the shaft….I married him because we fell in love and we had children because we have a loving home to give them. I get some of the arguments for not having kids at his age, but since my husband is not much younger than Mr. Baldwin I felt I had to chime in.

My grandfather was 47 when my mom was born and my grandmother was 44. My mom was a menopause baby and my grandparents together had three older children and a grandchild when my mom was born. My mom never felt the least bit slighted and my grandparents lived to be quite elderly and we had wonderful years with them.

I think this is something that is an individual choice. I could not imagine giving up my 20s and the work I did and the fun I had to have kids then, but that is what worked for me. I saw the big world out there and am quite content living in small town in a house with a big back yard! But that is just me. Good luck to Mr. Baldwin and his new bride!

K's Mom

February 13th, 2013
9:49 pm

And before someone gets snarky, I met my husband 3 years after his divorce. His ex met her current husband 6 months before the divorce.

Scahlet

February 13th, 2013
10:54 pm

I think Hilaria is a simply awful name. If I was named Hilaria, I would drop the “a” then simply be Hillary with a cutesy Californian spelling. They simply must name their child Hilarius. That would be so …. you know. :)

holly2

February 14th, 2013
5:59 am

I am 28 and had a baby boy 8 months ago. My husband is 42. This is his first child. He is great with my 5 yo daughter. I have no doubts he will be just as wonderful with the baby as soon as the “new baby being so fragile fears” wear off.

Andy

February 14th, 2013
7:45 am

I am 51. I have a 3 month old son. There are people I went to school with who are old, and there are people I went to school with who are not. Absent an accident or a debilitating disease, it appears to be a choice. I need less sleep than I ever did, and I love getting up with this baby. I don’t understand people who say “Grandchildren are great. You can spend time with them then send them home.”

mystery poster

February 14th, 2013
8:34 am

@Mayhem
“I think its selfish for a woman to marry a WAY older man, and get pregnant. There’s only ONE reason for that, and it ain’t love…

I call them “anchor babies,” the same term used to refer to immigrants to have babies here to secure their position. These babies are also born simply to secure mom’s position.

FCM

February 14th, 2013
8:42 am

Look some teen moms find a way to make it work. Some older dads find a way.

If it works for you great.

I am not against older men being parents. My brother is trying (at 40) to get his first child with his 27 yo bride. They will BOTH be awesome parents if God blesses them with a child. That child will have young aunts (the bride is the oldest of her sibs) and an older one (me–I am older than my brother). It will be adored by my parents (in their late 60s) as much as my 2 daughters have been for the last 10 & 13 years.

There are rumors that my children’s father (42) wants children with his bride. I have no doubt he will be a much better father to those children then he was to ours. Simply because his maturity factor is better now. (Honestly those of you saying you had them older, the big difference I read is that you were mature enough to really get what the priorities are, and better financially to make it work).

However, just as we have started learning about the mother’s age at child birth for MEDICAL reasons, we need to at least start looking at the paternal age factor on the same. Do all children of older moms end up with medical issues? NO. Neither do those from older fathers, but at least let’s start the discussions and get information out there.

Erin

February 14th, 2013
9:23 am

My mom was 32, almost 33 and my dad was 49, almost 50 when I was born and generally, the men in my dad’s family tended to die rather young. So my mom told him, even before I was born, “Look, you need to take care of yourself and stick around until this child is grown.”

The funny thing is, he did. Barely. I was less than three weeks past my 18th birthday when he died.

But as a father, my dad was great. He was Navy veteran and was always into airplanes and fishing and football and stuff, but if I wanted to play tea party, he was all about that. He was an awesome dad, but I have no doubt whatsoever that him being an older father (and everyone always thought he was my grandfather rather than my dad) made him a better father.

catmom

February 14th, 2013
9:30 am

My grandfather was 50 when my dad was born (grandmother was 34). It did affect my dad negatively–all of his cousins were 20+ years older than him, not to mention other relatives. My dad remembers being dragged around to a lot of funerals as a child. My grandparents were overprotective and wouldn’t let him participate in things like Boy Scouts or take swimming lessons. But this was in the 1950s and 60s. Times are different. A lot of fathers are more involved now.

catlady

February 14th, 2013
3:11 pm

Observer: Love to give you teachers’ version of how that “works.” Our set of observations would be much, much wider than most people’s sample of one or two.

Kat

February 15th, 2013
2:52 pm

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin can get up with their kids each time, since they are already up to go to the bathroom several times a night by themselves.