When you finally get over the sleep deprivation and you get a vague sense of order in life, your mind will think of all possibilities to do it all over again – Adding another member to your brood!
Remember not to stress too much about the psychological impact the age difference would have on your kids. There are both benefits as well as challenges with big or small age gaps. There will be double diaper duties and especially sibling rivalry which is common.
If you are planning to have children closer together or to space them out here’s what you need to know!
One Year Apart
One year gap between babies means you will be a busy mom. Two little babies under two is a big task. It will be hard but close age gap does have some advantages. They become ready-made playmates, especially if they are of the same gender they will play on the same soccer team too.
Being close to each other in age will develop a close bond between the two. While they may have some squabbles over toys, your little ones will learn very soon to be friendly. Children younger than two years learn to adjust to the new sibling than older kids. This is because the little ones aren’t as aware of being displaced or jealous as an older child would be.
It is easier for you to slip back into the role of mom. You haven’t had time to forget how to care for a newborn. As parents, it’s easier to nip the bad behavior in the bud. Having babies close together may be helpful in returning back to work sooner as well.
The early hardships of caring for two very young ones are high. Most obstetricians recommend not to have another kid until your first baby is at least a year old. This is only to give your body recovery time from childbirth and restore the depleted nutrient levels. There are chances of putting your next baby at higher risk of premature birth. You may find it difficult to develop the strong bond with the newborn while the toddler demands more attention. Two car seat, two strollers, two cots, two of everything! Handing down the baby gear wouldn’t be possible.
Caring for two small children is demanding, but with the right care and help from the ‘super dad’ as well, you can sail the ship easily and unify the family.
Two Years Apart
The popular and the most common age interval in American families, according to demographic surveys. Even some experts feel this age difference is ideal. Your kids are still close together, you have given your body time to recover, and you will have time to do things for both kids.
It is important to give your body time to recover and restore the nutrients to grow another little one. There is no risk of premature birth if you get pregnant after 18 months of your first baby.
Your little children are close enough in age and also would enjoy many of the same activities. Squabbling between siblings will be more as the elder one will be more demanding. The firstborn will demand more of your attention when the new baby is born. Toddler regression is common. If you have toilet-trained your first born and when the second little baby arrives, the first one may need nappies again. It might be a struggle to cope with the demands of the newborn and the ‘terrible twos’ of the toddler.
Three Years Apart
An interval of three years between babies will allow for time with each child. Larger the age gap, lesser it alleviates the competition that comes with close-in-age kids. Life will be less chaotic. Women who have children with more age gaps are at lowest risk of labor complications. The body has time to recover and restore nutrients.
Your first child will have the independence to entertain for short duration while you feed or change the nappies of your newborn. Your three-year-old might be at preschool, giving you some time with the newborn.
You might be pulled in different directions as your children might have different needs. Chances of sibling rivalry and jealousy are more. Your preschooler might act like a baby herself needing more attention.
Four Years And More Apart
An age difference of four or more years is stress-free. Your four- or five-year-old will treat the newborn as her own by showing genuine affection, empathy, and compassion. Your four-year-old child can help fetching diapers or grab a baby spoon. She would be more excited than sulk about having a baby around.
You can have quality time with them as your older kids are not demanding as a toddler. The eldest child will be mature and would have outgrown the aggressive toddler ways. Your elder child will feel less threatened or insecure.
You should prepare yourself to face the newborn sleep deprivation mode again. You will know what exactly is the rhythm, it will be easier to start the mom-role with confidence. If you consider having a baby after 35, know the risks of birth complications clearly.
Even after careful planning of your family’s size and spacing, there are countless variables that could shake things up. Just be thrilled with the dynamics of your family and enjoy!!