Your little one is growing up too fast and thoughts of adding to your family start to surface. Before you start picking out the second batch of newborn clothes, there are some things you may want to consider first. The most common question any parent may have is; what is the perfect siblings gap?
There are many different views when it comes to the right age gap between siblings, so it really comes down to what is right for your family and lifestyle. If you are unsure, here are a few of the known pros and cons to think about before making your decision.
- Children who are between 12-18 months apart tend to play better together and sibling rivals are less likely to form. Younger children have more expensive childcare so if you are planning on staying home with them it may be beneficial to have your children closer together if you want to get those harder years out of the way all at once. However, having back to back pregnancies is much harder on mother’s body and the demands of two children under the age of 3 are much more difficult to manage.
- Waiting until your first infant is 18 months- 2 years is most recommended for mother and baby physically but it could present a challenge when it comes to the relationship of the two youngsters. Many psychologists suggest that the age of 2 is when a child has a growing sense of self which can be threatened by the new baby causing jealousy to make one or both children to become highly competitive. This normally levels out as the siblings grow together and form a bond.
- After 3 or more years, there is the least chance of rivalry as the oldest has a well-established sense of his or herself. The wider gap also may provide a chance to give each child more undivided attention. The disadvantage of waiting is that the children may not play as well together as they are in completely different stages of brain development. Also, it could seem like you are starting the difficult diapering stages all over again, which can be tough as you may feel that life has finally started to settle down after your previous pregnancy.
Age and focus
Your age may also have a significate role in how long you wait on another child. If you are over 35, it may be harder to become pregnant the longer you wait. However, do not let your biological clock rush you into having another baby. Keep in mind that you will have to spread your attention between two or more sets of needs as well as trying to find time to take care of yourself in the process.
Your finances need to be considered as well. Do you have a plan for returning to work? If so, you will need to think about the costs of daycare. If one parent plans on staying home, how long will one income be sufficient to upkeep your household with minimal strain?
Growth of Siblings
If your current child/children have any changing milestones such as bathroom training, the first day of school, etc. coming up soon, it may be beneficial to wait as introducing a new baby to the mix may put unneeded pressure on the other child.
You should talk things over thoroughly with your partner to make sure you are both in agreement and ready to accept the new changes and challenges ahead. Your other child/children should also be asked how they would feel about a new addition. Making sure your entire family is on board with the idea will make the process go more smoothly and reduce the stress for everyone ensuring a more harmonious home for the new baby.