So you have had baby number 1 and she is 9 months old and suddenly everyone wants to know when you will produce a sibling for her. Or maybe you too have started to think whether you should have babies close together or well apart. Deciding when to have number two (or three) is a very personal decision and the following principles come into it:
- How old are you and Dad? The reality is that eggs and sperm are fresher if you have your babies younger so an important factor in deciding when to have a second baby is how old you will be when you have your last baby.
- Your fertility – If you battled to fall pregnant with number 1 and have a condition such as endometriosis, your doctor may advise that you fall pregnant as soon as possible to avoid the same issues arising again or even to leave it to chance because you may not fall pregnant for a long time.
But lets say you have time on your side, when is the best time to add a sibling into the mix? There are pro’s and con’s to both that you should weigh up:
Have a small gap:
- Your children are more likely to be closer friends if they are less than 3 years apart
- You can get the nappy years over with quicker if you have a small space between babies
- While you are in the quagmire of sleep deprivation and mess, you may as well get it over with all at once
- Share the costs of child care and passing on clothes, can make this more cost efficient
Leave a little more breathing space:
- Let your body (and mind) recover before having another. This is particularly true if your birth process was traumatic
- Leaving more space allows the older sibling to full understand that a sibling is coming and maybe even help entertain the little one
- Space out the expense of nappies and later the expense of school fees and teen clothing
I once read that the best gap is 3 years 3 months. To me this makes Sense but as with all things parenting – ultimately its personal.