The timing of children during individuals' lives has many important macro level and micro level effects. This paper presents a theoretical framework for understanding an important psychological sequence that affects the timing of childbearing by individuals. In the first step of this sequence, child-timing attitudes and beliefs affect child-timing desires; in the second step, child-timing desires affect child-timing intentions. The Child-Timing Questionnaire is a data collection instrument designed to measure attitudes and beliefs relevant to child timing. Using this instrument, we constructed four child-timing indices and tested the two-step framework with data from 187 husbands and 188 wives with no children and 182 husbands and 184 wives with one child. The results provide support for the framework and indicate some important sex and parity differences in the psychology of child timing. The Child-Timing Questionnaire appears to be a reliable, valid instrument; it is readily adaptable for use with any population in which the timing of children is an important research or service issue.