Once you have your first child, you and almost everyone else start thinking about making them a sibling to spend time with. But how soon should you start having these thoughts? And how much age difference should there be between your kids so you don’t just lose it?
Well, there isn’t just one answer to this question. So many factors influence when you’re ready to go through this whole process again. And so, you may find yourself preferring one age gap over the other.
That Perfect Age Gap Between Kids Is A Myth
First things first, there isn’t a PERFECT age difference between kids. So let it go!
But there are signs you can check to know when you and your family are ready to welcome another little one.
- Do your regular checkups and tests and make sure your body is ready to carry a new beast.
You’re over your postpartum depression
- You can’t raise a new child while suffering from postpartum depression.
- Or maybe you can, but you’ll feel drained and exhausted & won’t enjoy the new precious cub.
- So make sure you’re emotionally & mentally available & capable of reliving this again before.
- And even if you’re all good I shall warn you that major guilt might kick in once you decide to finally conceive again.
You are CONTENT with how you look. And I CANNOT stress this enough!
- Your post-baby body might stick with you for a while. But it shouldn’t necessarily bother you.
- BUT if you feel you need more time to bounce back & then think of baby #2, take all the time you need!
Your first child or children sleep through the night and alone
- My oldest started sleeping through the night at the age of 2. When she was almost done teething.
- But she didn’t really sleep in her own bed until he turned 3, which is when we decided to have Kareem.
Your baby fever is off the top!
- When you just can’t hold your tears or AWEs when you see a baby, maybe you’re ready to get a new one.
- But that’s not always the case. I have a 5yo, a 1 yo, I am loooving all the new babies around me, but no new baby for us. Still too soon!
Your last baby is potty trained.
- This will make your life a whole lot easier. But it’s not always possible with a small age difference.
A Look At Sibling Age Difference
Now that we discussed how you, a mother should feel like before having a new baby, let’s see what each age difference or gap has as pros and cons.
12 to 18 Month Age Gap Between Kids
In general, siblings that are closer in age fight less. They’re as close as they can be to actually be twins which is great for them. Who wouldn’t want a free playdate 24/7? However, this means you’re in for double trouble and also double the love. Both would teeth around the same time, you’d be bottle feeding, potty training and sleep training 2 kids at a time. Quite exhausting!
Which some mothers consider a good thing since you’d be “DONE” with all the chaos once they’re 2+ yo.
A 2-Year Age Gap
Many obstetricians and pediatricians recommend waiting at least 18 months before conceiving again as best for the new baby’s health. The downside is, you’d be dealing with a newborn rigt in the middle of the “Terrible Twos” when you’re oldest is going through the worst phase after teenagehood!
Also, sibling rivalry is at its highest during these years & parents are often already struggling with a toddler who hates sharing and loves saying “No!”
But in the long run, a 2 year age gap works out pretty well for the kids. They will grow up to be play buddies and even BFFs!
3 Years & Older
A gap of 3 years or more greatly reduces the chances of siblings fighting. By this time, usually, the older child is secure in him or herself and quite independent. He can eat alone, use the potty, and even get dressed. In my case, Sally spent a month or so with her baby brother before she went to school which was great. She started making friends and having her own life and that got her head off of the little one.
In addition, the mother’s body is fully recovered from the challenges of pregnancy & birth of the first child. This big age difference gives parents more one-on-one time with each child and if the mother decides to get back to work, she could during this gap. BUT, it will feel like starting everything all over again, just when you thought you’re back on track. And what I’m suffering from the most now, they don’t play so well together.
Sally’s already established a playing style and pattern, has all her toys arranged in some sort of way, and Kareem doesn’t really follow through on her plans! And am always stuck between them at ALL TIMES!
So as long and hard as parents plan pregnancy and time the age difference between their kids, handling more than one child is not very easy. But don’t panic, it’s not that bad either. It’s actually a fun and cute. And let me warn you, mama, if you thought you could never love a child more than your firstborn, YOU’RE WRONG! the more kids you have, the more your ability to love grows.