I thought I’d be done with kids after my first one, but then came the longing for more. It can’t just be me that’s feeling this way! There are so many questions about when to have another child and if there is a perfect age gap between them. Let’s break it down into concrete facts from real studies on what the pros/cons of having children close together vs far apart may mean.
The Perfect Age Gap Between Kids Is A Myth
For as much thought and worry that parents put into figuring out when to have another child, there really is no single best time. There are benefits and drawbacks of having children spaced closely together just as there are pros and cons of spacing kids apart further. It all depends on your particular family dynamic or what you can handle for your own family’s needs in the future.
A Look At Sibling Spacing
Lets take a look at the pros and cons of closely spaced children versus those who are spaced further apart.
12 to 18 Month Age Gap Between Kids
With closer age gaps, sibling rivalry can sometimes be less intense because the first child is still too young to have developed a strong sense of identity or jealousy. This means that they welcome their new playmate with open arms and are happy for company!
In general, siblings who are close in age demonstrate much less sibling rivalry than other relationships between children. The reason this tends to happen is because the older child may not yet feel challenged by having an even younger kid around – it’s more importantly just about keeping them away from each other out of boredom as opposed to any sort of power struggle over status within their family unit.
Another reason parents consider under two years to be the best time for having another child is because it would condense all of the sacrifices and work that go into raising young children. One parent may choose to stay home with them until they are in school, saving on childcare costs during this period as well as when or if said parent decides to re-enter their workforce once again.
The only drawbacks to having kids close together is the intense needs of toddlers and babies. This may be a bit rough on their mother, but it’s good for her because she gets them out sooner! When you have two young children you’ll need double everything: diapers, help getting through the night without one child waking up either parent with his or her fussiness, potty training (and all that entails). But then again when they get out of this stage-you’re done!
Additionally, the physical toll on the mothers body may be hard to bear. Her body is just recovering from the previous birth and she may still be breastfeeding her first child. You are forced into weaning your child too soon, but you suffer through it for their sake because they need nutrition as well!
A 2-Year Age Gap
Obstetricians recommend waiting at least 18 months before conceiving again to best protect the new baby’s health. The downside is, this puts you smack dab in the middle of your childs Terrible Twos! Sibling rivalry during these years can be most intense and parents are often already struggling with a toddler who loves to use his or her favorite word: No!
However a 2-year age gap can be a blessing when it comes to parenting. By the time kids turn 10, they’ve reached their own separate interests and identities which makes for fewer arguments at home!
A two year difference in ages creates an ideal dynamic between siblings as older ones have more patience with younger ones while also being able to enjoy some of the same hobbies or even share similar tastes.
3 Years And Older
Three years or more between your children will lessen the chances of sibling rivalry. By this time, you’ll be confident in your parenting skills and capable to care for both kids on a one-on-one basis with time leftover for yourself. As an added bonus, if you’re looking to return back into the workforce after having baby number two then waiting three plus year is advisable because it gives mothers’ bodies enough recovery from pregnancy and childbirth before they try again!
Deciding When To Have Another Child
Just as deciding when you want your first child is personal and private, so too should the time of adding a new one into the mix be considered carefully. Talk with other people about their experiences dealing with kids of various ages in different scenarios before making this important strategic call, as well as ask yourselves these important questions:
How Do You Feel? How are both parents feeling with one child? Are you physically and emotionally capable of caring for a baby again?
How Will It Affect Your Finances? Can you afford to have another child? If you need daycare, can you afford to pay for two children? Will one of you stay home from work? If so, for how long and can you make it on one income in the meantime?
What Is Your Age? Sometimes, age dictates that we have children sooner than wed have liked. If Mom is older than 35, her fertility is decreasing and the window for having another child is closing fast. If youre in your 20s or early 30s you have more time to space out your children without worrying too much about fertility problems.
Are You And Your Partner In Agreement? Does your spouse or partner want another child? It is extremely important to be on the same page. Both of you should be ready and welcoming of another child.
What Milestones Are Coming Up For Your Older Child? Are you going to be in the throws of potty training, sending your child off to preschool or elementary school or expecting some other big life change (a move or a new job, perhaps?). Consider how a new baby will impact you as well as your first child. Will you have time to pay attention to both of them and yourself?
As you can see, there are a number of factors that come into play when deciding whether or not to have another child. The best time for one person may not be the same as it is for their sister, friend, and neighbor. Keep in mind your family situation and how things currently stand before making any decisions about having more children!