It’s all about timing, right? Though there’s no ‘right’ age gap between siblings, there are differences between each. Whether you’re on baby #2 or #5, here are a few things to consider before deciding to put another bun in the oven!
Very close (12-18 months)
Pros: Less sibling rivalry because the eldest has not developed a strong sense of identity or jealously, yet. Plus, some parents find it easier to knock out each life stage (ie. Diapers) in a two for one style.
Cons: On the flip side, this means twice as many diaper changes and naps. Additionally, child care for younger children can be very expensive so if you’re paying for help while you work, it could be a big hit financially.
Close (2-4 years)
Pros: While sibling rivalry can be problematic, siblings with this age gap only grow closer as time goes on. They are close enough to enjoy similar things, but still maintain their own individual interests too.
Cons: Terrible twos are, well, terrible. Having a new born baby while trying to navigate temper tantrums can be tough. Plus, sibling rivalry is strongest during these years.
Far (5+ years)
Pros: Larger age gaps make for the least amount of sibling rivalry. Parents are also able to provide more one-on-one time with each child. The mother’s body also has time to fully heal between pregnancies.
Cons: With vastly different interests, these siblings may not play as well together. For the parents, it may also feel like starting from scratch when it comes to things like diapers, feedings, and potty training.
One overarching consideration is mom’s health. A new study published by the American Medical Association has found shorter interval pregnancies led to potential risks for women of all ages, only in different ways. Among nearly 150,000 pregnancies, the maternal risk increased to .62% at 6 months compared to .26% at 18 months. Though maternal risk did not change dramatically for women 20-35, there was an increase in infant risk with 2% at 6 months and 1.4% at 18 months. Overall, the magic spacing between pregnancies is around 18 months or longer as it reduces risks for both the mother and the baby.
At the end of the day, deciding when to have another child is just as personal as your first. Being mentally ready for another child is just as important as waiting for your body to be ready, too. It all depends on your feelings and what’s best for your family. Remember that as long as your decision is yours, it is most certainly the ‘right’ answer!
P.s. Ready to try another little one? Check out the best Aphrodisiac Foods to get that bun in the oven!