Planning a second baby? What’s the best age gap between siblings?

Fertility and Pregnancy

When you get used to raising your first child, many moms and dads start thinking about having a second child. Some may wonder about how many years of the age difference between the first and second child is best. Others worry about how they can possibly spend their second pregnancy while taking care of a toddler.

So we have summarized several points to consider when timing your second pregnancy.

When to start your second pregnancy?

When considering having a second child, you may need to focus on “parenting” and “economic circumstance”.

First of all, in regard to child-rearing, consider if the older child is easy or difficult to manage in order to decide if it is the right time for him/her to have a sibling. Many mothers worry about what to do with the older child during hospitalization during pregnancy or birth.

In terms of economic circumstances, parenting costs can be sufficiently prepared, and whether the tuition and expenses of the children do not overlap in the same year must be taken into consideration. Also, if you have a job, you have to think about balancing work, pregnancy, and child-rearing.

From the medical viewpoint, to avoid the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight infants, the best timing for the second pregnancy is said to be one and a half years after the first. Considering that the mother’s body is healthy, the lactation is okay, and care for the older child has been managed properly, the burden will be lesser for everyone.

To discuss the circumstances of the family, the husband’s suggestions, etc. to figure out the best timing for your family. Consider requesting your parents and family members to cooperate during morning sickness until the second pregnancy cycle is stabilized.

Benefits and Disadvantages by Year’s Difference

So, what are the merits and disadvantages of the age difference between the first and second child? The factors can change depending on the character of the older child and development but refer to it for guidance.

One year difference

Because the second baby will start to grow inside the mom’s belly while the older child is not yet walking, and both children are almost the same age, you will be making twice the effort in taking care of your children, but you will also be free of certain duties almost at the same time upon reaching a certain age.

● Advantages

  • You are able to play and have fun with your children often. When you go to their kindergartens and elementary schools, there are many common topics such as teachers and friends, school events, and fashion.
  • Because the second pregnancy is a repetition of the first one merely a year ago, childcare for the second child gets better.

● Disadvantages

  • The older child may not understand his/her mother’s pregnancy and may at times be unable to hold her and he/she may feel lonely. Try your best to communicate and demonstrate affection to the older child.
  • There is a lot of burden on educational expenses. Saving up to prepare for these expenses is wise.

2 to 3 years difference

● Advantages

  • The older child tends to love and appreciate having a sibling easily and accepts the baby even after knowing the responsibilities that go with being the older child.
  • Since you are able to better manage care for the older child around this time, the burden on you (the mother) is lesser.

● Disadvantages

  • Some older children may not readily accept the baby and even get jealous. While pregnant, communicate and explain to the older child that the affection for him/her does not change even if the baby is born.
  • The mother may have a hard time because of pregnancy symptoms while the older child is in kindergarten/nursery school, and learning important life lessons such as toilet training. So dads and relatives must be ready to help.

4 years or more difference

Because the upper child is capable to do many things to some extent, he/she is able to help mama with baby care. So consider taking time to give priority to the upper child actively.

● Advantages

  • Even when you are busy, you can find time to relax and recover from stress while growing your children with confidence.
  • Because the older child is already in kindergarten and elementary school when the second one is growing up, you can take time to watch over the younger child.

● Disadvantages

  • The older child may be forced to endure a lot of things because of the large age difference. Show that you love both equally on a daily/regular basis, such as scolding each child firmly about what is useless regardless of his/her age.
  • Since the upper child has already learned many skills, he/she will be involved and get restarted from pregnancy to child-rearing.

Even if there are differences in age, each one has merits and disadvantages. Even if you are in a bit of a hurry and want to raise your children at the same time, a lot of factors must be considered that depending on what kind of methods you want to raise your children, the character of the first and second child, expenses, etc.

Summary

There are many moms taking care of two toddlers at the same time. There may be some difficult times when they are babies, but according to most mothers, growing up together was lovely, and it was also fun. Many of them look back and feel that they made the right decision to give birth. And when their children leave the home almost at the same time, it can be lonely.

Whether the age gap between siblings is small or large, what is important is to reinforce to your children that your sister/brother is family and therefore irreplaceable; strive to make decisions for the sake of everyone’s best interest.

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