Should I Have More Children? and What’s the Best Age Gap Between Siblings?

Best age gap between siblings
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/James Roe
Deciding on having more children is up to each individual family and planning the Age Gap between siblings is an important part of it, depending very much on your particular family dynamic.

Inquiring minds want to know, is there a second baby being planned? Hold up! Was the first one even planned? LOL .  (If you are my mom or dad reading this, stop now and read something else! I know what your answer is!)

I’m a total chicken and I don’t think I’ll ever plan for a child. IF (very huge IF) my husband I decide on another you can believe it’s the second coming.  Okay, just kidding!! but exaggerations aside, I’ve been feeling a little bit of unnecessary pressure. Not put on by anyone but myself. A couple of my friends that were pregnant around the time I was are either pregnant again or working on it.

I’m in no way ready to have another, but I wasn’t ready to have one in the first place as I’m sure most people aren’t.  You really only know what a mother goes through if you are one.  You can read books, interview people, watch videos, and babysit.  But you truly only know by being one.

I wonder if it would be easier now that I’m “experienced“.  Shouldn’t there be a parade for first time moms that make it to a year without killing anyone? I mean, at least a banner of some kind. No?

The love I feel for my child is something I’m unable to put into words, then I think How could I possibly love someone else this way? I worry like crazy that something will happen to my son. When I watch the news and see a child that has died it really puts a dagger on my heart.  Being a mother comes with a lot of good but it comes with a lot of stress.  You do the work of 20+ people!!

Best age gap between siblings

I really am proud of women in general.  I don’t know why they have the phrase “Take a like a man” I mean, seriously? Have you seen a man sick at home? Total whiners.

Take it like a woman is more like it! 

When and If we decide it’s time to have a second I really hope it’s planned just like I would have wanted the first one to have been.

Now let’s talk AGE GAP

I know there pros and cons to all of them.  And if you research you’ll go a bit crazy with the amount of information out there.
1 Year Age Gap 
*Your child is 1 when your newborn baby arrives*

Some prefer just getting everything out of the way as soon as possible. If that’s you. You’re a saint.  I couldn’t imagine having my toddler running around while trying to take care of a newborn baby. I would definitely need help.

The good thing about this is you’re already used to caring for a baby, and you just go with the flow, you’ll probably re-use all of your other child’s clothes and baby gear. If you’re still nursing, you can just add the other kid to the other boob and bam! (Tandem Nursing).

Although I would be a little terrified to have my rambunctious 1 year old next to a newborn baby. If you’re a SAHM (Stay-at-home mom) planning to go back to work, this one would also facilitate getting back to the work-force.  There might be some issues from the fact that you weren’t able to devote your time to the second baby as you did with the first. But that guilt would be probably be self-inflicted.

The father would be more apt to help out with the toddler, which is always great news.

2 Year Age Gap
*Your child is 2 when your newborn baby arrives*

I don’t have a 2 year old yet, but I would think that would still be hard. Carrying a belly while still having a “baby” to care for must not be easy. If you experience any nausea or morning sickness it would also be difficult to deal with as a 2 year old would not be patient or able to understand that their needs cannot be met right away.  But they are more independent, and now able to play by themselves for a moment or two.

It is believed that children of this age are simply not ready yet to share their parents and thus experience intense resentment towards new siblings and lowered self-esteem because they’ve been abandoned. (If the space between siblings is under 1 year or over 4 years, the negativity disappears). Research at Colorado State University has found that for firstborns, having a younger sibling born two or more years later dealt the older child a blow to its self-esteem, while having a sibling born less than two years later did not have that effect (Goleman).
Baby gear clutter would be gone quicker!
3 Year Age Gap
*Your child is 3 when your newborn baby arrives*

From my perspective I would think 3 years apart would be ideal. The older child would be a bit less dependent, out of diapers (hopefully), able to understand commands more clearly (another hopeful suggestion), possibly spending some time at preschool (be prepared for your child to bring home illnesses), so you can devote some more one on one time with your newborn baby. You may have some baby gear around, but some of it might be expired/out dated.  Buying new things would most likely be the better option.

Your child now could participate in a lot of the before baby activities. They will love being included in shopping for baby items, choosing a name for your new little one and caring for the baby when they are here.  But their big kid toys now could pose a threat to your baby, little parts can easily be swallowed by younger babies. Assume everything is a choking hazard and try to keep the older child’s things in one room only. (Good luck with that!)

This age gap between children is so common that your firstborn will have friends with similarly spaced siblings, which is very convenient for double play-dates.

If planning on staying at home with the children is your choice, then nothing changes but if you’ve gone back to work after your first born and now have to leave again only to return one more time, can be a bit of hassle.

Jealousy could still be an issue.  Your child might not be able to understand that the newborn baby needs a lot more attention and might create some friction.

4 Year Age Gap or More
*Your child is 4+ years when your newborn baby arrives*

Your child is able to understand without being jealous of the new baby. Can help you with a lot of things.  Will be more nurturing  towards you and the baby.  You may be a little rusty when it comes to baby care.  Every few years new information about caring a for a baby changes and you’ll have read up on that.  We don’t want outdated information.

You can devote more time to your little one since the older child will be away at preschool.  Also a great age gap for moms with a career outside of the home.

Depending on how big the age gap is your children may not bond as much, since they’ll have very little interests in common.

Activities will be a lot different for each child.  Most likely each parent would have to take one child and do things separately which might not be ideal.

If you are older like myself, waiting to have children might not be in the cards because of limited child-bearing years. Conceiving could be more difficult and stressful on you and your husband.

Whatever age gap you choose or stumble upon accidentally I pray it’s an easy transition.

What’s your ideal age gap? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!


SaveBooks To Read:

*These are affiliate links, by purchasing through the links below you help me keep up with costs associated with running a blog at no additional cost to you. Thanks in advance!

1.For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker
2.The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori
3.Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom by Pamela Druckerman
4.Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson
5.Motherhood Realized: An Inspiring Anthology for the Hardest Job You’ll Ever Love by Power of Moms

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9 thoughts on “Should I Have More Children? and What’s the Best Age Gap Between Siblings?”

  1. My big man was 5 when my daughter was born. I always thought I would have them closer together, but life had a different plan. I have to admit I love their age difference. My son can help, and actually help out around the house, and with his sister. He wasn't jealous, he was more independent so he didn't need as much mommy time anymore. It worked out perfect!

  2. You accurately described many of the concerns I had before my second child arrived! Mine are spaced two and a half years apart and I was terrified of how my oldest would handle it. Oddly enough, I had no reason to worry. She's usually the first to respond to him crying and they love to make each other laugh. She even calls her little brother her best friend. 🙂 You were right though that two year olds aren't completely independent. It can make things frustrating when you're pregnant and constantly having to get up to help a toddler. Pros and cons to each situation I suppose!

  3. I have 2 years between my kids and it is perfect. Very hard in the beginning by now that my son is 1 and my daughter 3 they are starting to play so nicely together. But the first year was ROUGH!

  4. My children are a whopping NINE years apart in age, due to a divorce and remarriage. It's actually totally awesome. There is no jealousy either way, and big brother (11) is not only totally self-sufficient, but is also a tremendous amount with little brother (2). We are working our way toward him babysitting within the next year or so. We do end up needing to divide up for activities sometimes, but we also do a ton of things as a complete family. The only drawback is that my husband (40) and i (38) will not be done parenting for a LOOOOOONG time…

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