Age gap between children

Dec 04, 2008
When is the right time to have another baby? Many couples, who plan to have more than one child, are often concerned about it. Age gap between children is a matter of a personal choice, financial considerations and health concerns. The decision when to have your next child will also influence the relationships within your family.

There should be mentioned that there is no perfect age gap between children that would work wonders because every family is unique. But there are certain advantages and disadvantages to account for before you plan another family member.

Woman's health

Mother's age is one of the main factors that influence the choice of having another baby. Younger women may decide to wait longer before conceiving another baby, while those who had their first child in the age 35 and over may be more concerned about decreasing fertility and decide for smaller age gap between children.

Gynecologists recommend having at least two years gap between childbirths. Other specialists agree that at least one year gap between breastfeeding of the older and younger child is advisable. Different studies show that second pregnancy within six months after the first pregnancy is a risk factor for such complications as premature delivery, low birth weight and others. Specialists agree that woman should recover from one pregnancy before planning another. It should be mentioned that if the age gap between children is more than five years, these risks may become significant again.

Big age gap between children

Psychologists recommend waiting at least three years before giving birth to the next baby. There are several reasons for that:

  • A child younger than three years old feels special connection with his mother, when he cannot emotionally separate from her. If mother switches her attention to another baby, her first child can experience certain difficulties, reflected in his psychological development.

  • The bigger gap between children means there will be fewer conflicts between siblings. The older child is prepared to the arrival of the younger one, being more reasonable and understanding.

  • The older child is rarely jealous of the new family member as he was fully cared for as toddler.

  • Children older than three years show natural interest towards babies and may want to take part in baby's care.

Small age gap between children

The smaller age gap between children often is associated with more difficulties for a couple. It may take a lot of emotional, physical and financial resources for parents to care for two or more children especially in the early years. But it may also mean that parents will easier adapt to the demands of the new baby having the previous experience not so long ago.

  • There are certain advantages of smaller age gap between children.

  • First of all, children closer in age will be a good companion to each other, can always entertain, play together and learn.

  • But it may also mean more rivalry between children as they often may want the same things.

  • The smaller child often spends more time with his or her sibling and less time with parents, which may delay his speech development.

  • For a mother smaller age gap between children is often quite a difficult time. It can be hard time for a woman to care for the next child during pregnancy, especially if it is complicated. She may need help to organize childcare of two small children, who have different schedules and thus she may experience stress.