Just Right For Your Family

How do you decide how many years to go before you have your next child? We talk to moms who have “been there, done that” and see what they think is the perfect interval between kiddos.

Siblings reading together

Once you’ve had one child, you may be wondering what the ideal space is between siblings. There are many factors to consider that may influence your decision — what was your family like as you were growing up? Do you want your kids to be close in age so they are better friends, or would you rather not have two in diapers? We spoke with moms to find out how their experiences as “moms of many” went.

Space? What space?

Sometimes, babies join their families with very little space between pregnancies. Brigetta, mom of three, had two back-to-back pregnancies. “They are 15 months apart, both boys, and they fought like no other for years,” she explained. “They are 15 and 16 now and are best friends!”

“Mine are 13 months apart,” said Heather, mom of two. “I guess because it's all I know, I think it's great. Diapers at the same time, we haven't had to hold onto a ton of baby gear and clothes for long periods of time. When my second daughter arrived my oldest daughter was too young for jealousy to be a big issue. Nap times and bedtimes correspond beautifully. However, finding one-on-one time is difficult.”

Charlene from New York had similar feelings on a close age gap. “They're almost 16 months apart,” she told us. “Not ideal at all to me. I feel like I never get alone time with either, they both always want my attention. And they constantly fight.”

Two years

Two years is almost enough space for some moms… but not quite. “My girls are 22 months apart and my middle child and son are 31 months apart,” said Ashley from Wisconsin. “I think that the 31 months apart was much easier than 22 months. My oldest was very jealous of our second daughter when she was born. But my middle daughter was in love with her brother when he was born and I think the bigger space of 31 months helped.”

Jolene, mom of three, agreed. “My girls are 23 months apart,” she told us. “I think this will be good as they get older because they can be friends and will be into the same things so family vacations will be easier. I also think it is too close of an age gap because I'm not able to fully enjoy either one.”

Three years

Jessica from Florida loves the three-year spacing. “They are almost exactly three years apart,” she said. “I feel like it is perfect spacing. Sage was old enough to listen and have restraint and be gentle with the new baby — also he was out of diapers and becoming independent already. Now they are almost 2 and 5, and he and Sage play together all the time.”

Liz from Iowa agreed. “Mine are roughly three and a half years apart, and I love it,” she said. “Evelyn was old enough to help out in simple ways, but not so old that she couldn't bond with Aubrey.”

… and more!

Even longer stretches between kiddos works better for some families — you may want to enjoy your child as an only for several years, or secondary infertility may come into play as well. “I think it depends on the temperament of the first child and/or any other medical factors,” explained Sarah, mom of two. “We waited almost six years between our two children because my eldest needed so much attention and guidance.”

There are many things to take into consideration when planning your family size and spacing. Talk with other moms, family members and friends to get a real-life idea of how parenting kids that are close together can be, as well as far apart.

No matter what you decide, it will be perfect for your family.

More on getting pregnant

Thinking about baby number two
How to increase your odds of conceiving quickly
How to keep sex exciting when trying to conceive

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