Child Spacing: What’s Ideal Between Pregnancies?

Child Spacing: What's the Ideal Spacing Between Pregnancies?

What Is Child Spacing?

Child spacing is that little part of being a mom that no one ever really talks about. I honestly didn’t think about how far apart my kids would be in age until I had already had my first. Then, panic set in. When should I try for a second? Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

I always wanted my kids to be two years apart. When that time came, there was no way I was ready for a second. How about three years apart? Nope, still not ready… My boys ended up being four years apart, and there are still to this day times that I think I might have messed up their futures beyond repair by having them too far apart or too close together…

So, is there a perfect number of years to space your kids? Not really.. Each age difference has it’s own ups and downs, so let’s talk about them.

One/Two Year Age Gap

The best thing about having your kids one or two years apart, is that you get it all over with at once. That sounds bad, but, your mind is still fresh on making bottles, breastfeeding, changing diapers and installing car seats from baby #1 when baby #2 comes along.

Think of potty training two kids at once, and then being done with diapers forever! The joy! Plus, a short age gap usually means a built in playmate for your kiddos. They can play with the same toys, wear the same sizes of clothes, use the same diapers, cups, etc..

Plus, when your kids are this young when they gain a new sibling, they really don’t understand, so this makes it easier to avoid that “new baby jealousy” that sometimes hits in the older years. Be warned however, babies close in age are often best friends, but that sometimes also means they fight like mortal enemies. It isn’t bad, just comes with the territory!

Two/Three Year Age Gap

This is the space that is most common between American children. Most experts agree that this is good timing. The kids will enjoy the same things, go to the same schools, etc.. but they will also give mommy a break in between pregnancies.

However, the negative… this age gap is where kiddos fight the most. There is a strong aggression between kids that are born two to three years apart. Experts also note a higher level of stress among parents of kiddos that are two to three years apart.. “Well duh!” says every person that has ever taken care of kids in this group!

Four or More Years Apart

My kiddos fall in this category, at just over four years apart. This age gap wasn’t totally what I had in mind, but I am actually glad I had them four years apart. Doctors say that a larger age gap can really alleviate some of the aggression between siblings.

That is not to say my boys don’t fight, because, boy, do they! However, my older son often takes on a parental role to my youngest, on his own, helping him with his toys, or putting on his jacket, etc.. This is something he does naturally, with no help from us.

It’s nice to see him helping out his brother, but they do have their “hate each other” moments. Experts advise that it can be tough, since both kids are at different developmental levels, but for us, this age gap has proved to be the right one!

What about you guys? What’s your idea of the perfect age gap between kiddos?

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Monica Scott, BS, RN
Monica Scott, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.