How long should I wait between babies?
Real Mom Problem
“My son is about to be four months old. I originally thought I wanted to wait a few years before having another baby. Now I am not so sure. What are your thoughts about spacing? I want him to have his time as the 'baby' of the house, but I also don't want the gap to be so big that they don't want to play with each other.”
- 1. There are advantages to having your kids close together and advantages to spacing them in larger intervals
- 2. Having kids close together means they can more easily share toys, clothes, and activities
- 3. Spacing your kids with a larger gap means the older children will be able to help during your pregnancy and during the newborn phase
Real Mom Solutions
What's the right age gap between kids? See what these moms have to say about planning -- and not planning! -- your next pregnancy.
Space Them Close in Age
I want my children closer together. My brother and I are eight years apart we've never had anything in common.
We wanted ours close in age. My sister and I are 16 months apart and she's honestly my best friend. My daughters will be 19 months apart and although I know it's going to be tough with 2 little ones, I don't think I'd want it any other way. For me personally, as much as I LOVE the newborn and toddler stages, I'm looking forward to getting them over with all at once!
For us, we started late, so we want to just pop them out and both get fixed! If we had not waited so long to start, I would have probably tried to space them out. But, I am happy with them close in age.
My oldest was six months old when I got pregnant with my second. It can be frustrating sometimes because they're both girls and so close in age, but for the most part I love that they're close in age. I have a sister who is almost exactly a year older than me, then a brother, 9 months younger than me, and another brother who was born just over a year afterward. My mom said she loved having her oldest four close in age, she said it actually made things easier because she didn't have to pack away and store anything - basically as soon as one of us grew out of something another one would be ready to use it.
My boys are 20 months apart. My middle child and my youngest are 16 months apart. I love it. They are into the same thing at the same time. All the toys are age-appropriate for all of them and I don't have to worry about them getting stuff they shouldn't have. They are also best friends most of the time. I call them the three musketeers because they do everything together including fighting. They are lost if one of them goes somewhere by themselves.
Try a Larger Age Gap
My son was five when my baby was born and he took it great! He wanted to help with everything and was so excited to go to doctor's appointments with us. He is still such an awesome big brother; they are so close. When my youngest cries he will go to his big brother before he goes to us! I think it really depends on the child. My oldest son was raised around younger cousins so he was already used to babies.
My daughter is 10 years old and will be almost 11 when her baby sister gets here. I'm 32 weeks along. She was so excited and has been so helpful during my pregnancy. She takes out the dogs and if I drop something, she bends down for me to pick it up. Every morning when she gives me my hug and kiss she will kiss my tummy, too, and talk to the baby. This baby wasn't planned but I think having an older child is even better because they are more mature and there won't be so much fighting. My sister and I fought all the time and didn't get close until we were in our 20s. I have a feeling my 2 daughters will be besties!
My son and his soon-to-be baby sister are seven years apart. May sound crazy but my brother and I are seven years apart, my husband and his sister are seven years apart, and that's what we wanted.
All Age Gaps Have Pros and Cons
My son was nine months when I got pregnant with my daughter. I was scared to death to have kids this close together but they are like twins now and each other's best friend. I do feel I missed out on some things with my son but I wouldn't change anything about it. I'm currently pregnant with #3 and my son is now eight and a half and my daughter is seven. I feel bad now having one so far apart from them as he/she won't have a playmate like they had. But, I'm sure it will all work out just fine.
My daughter and son are 13 months apart. I am due in September. There will be four years between my son and this baby. I actually feel like baby will be left out since my older two are so close.
My daughter and son are four years apart. It was easier because she could do things for herself and I didn't have to carry her around. The boys will be two years apart and I'm exhausted!
There are pros and cons to sibling spacing whether they are close together or far apart in ages. My oldest son tends to be more frustrated with his younger siblings. They tend to get into everything and anything. My youngest two boys are very close in age and can't live without the other. They are the dynamic duo who will test your patience. You turn your head for a second, and they are up to their destructive ways. They are masters of disasters. They are all really good when it comes to little babies and will help out. By the time Samara is born, Zach will still be 6, Daniel will be 4, and Jasper will turn 3 this July.
I think it is best to wait at least a year. After that, what works best for each family is most important. For me, three years sounded like a good number. My sister and I were four years apart. That was too far because my mom gave me 100% of her attention the whole time. Then my sister came along and it was hard for her to bond with my sister. Sometimes think it would be good to wait until my baby is four before having another baby so I can avoid the whole terrible twos and such while juggling pregnancy and a baby.