What is the best age gap between kids?

What is the best age gap between kids?

Should you have another baby now, or wait a few more years? Find out what's right for your family here.

So you’re thinking of growing your family, but you don’t know how long you should wait. Should you wait a while so you can rest a little before taking care of another baby? Or should you have your kids back to back so your kids will be at similar stages as they grow up?

One isn’t necessarily better than the other — they all have their benefits and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons to each interval, from BabyCenter and Parenting.

1-2 year age gap

best age gap between kids

Photo: Shutterstock

Pros

  • Research has found that kids younger than two years old have an easier time adjusting to new siblings, probably because they’re not as aware enough to be able to get insecure of new arrivals.
  • Kids of similar ages will never want for a playmate — they often have the same friends and play with the same toys.
  • Raising two babies at once is so demanding that it unifies the family. Dads have little choice but to step in.
  • Having kids close together gets the messy, noisy, and tiring infancy period over and done with in one go.

Cons

  • When your new baby arrives, your older child might still not yet be sleeping through the night, so you’ll have to adjust to two young children with different needs and sleep patterns.
  • Closely-aged kids fight a lot.
  • Paying for childcare for two young children at the same time may be hard on your budget.

2-3 year age gap

Pros

  • By the time your new baby arrives, your first child will have become more independent.
  • Your body will have recovered from the stresses of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.

Cons

  • It will be a while before you kids can really play together.
  • Sibling rivalry could be an issue if your older child struggles with insecurity.
  • Juggling the demands of a baby and a toddler can be taxing.
best age gap between kids

Photo: Dreamstime

3+ year age gap

Pros

  • This allows you to devote your attention to each child during their baby and preschooler years because by the time the new baby comes along, the older child will be in school.
  • You’ll have more energy to enjoy the baby.
  • A larger age gap lessens the chances of sibling rivalry and competition.
  • The older child may look forward to being a big brother or sister, and can even help you take care of the baby.

Cons

  • It can be difficult to meet the needs of kids at different developmental stages.
  • It may be difficult to get pregnant again after a long interval.
  • If you’ve already returned to work, you might have a hard time adjusting to being a mother of a baby again.
  • If your peers’ children are all growing up, having a baby can impact your social life as well.

 

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