What is an ideal age gap between kids?

This is one topic we all wonder (at least those who even remotely think of having more than one kid.) There has been enough said and written about this topic but still every couple who wants to have more than one baby has this question in its mind. So what exactly is an ideal age gap or rather is there an ideal age gap between two kids?

To start with, let me first tell you a bit about myself. I have two kids and there is an age gap of five years between them. Infact very exactly of five years. My daughter turned five, twenty one days after my son was born.

Me and my husband both always wanted to have two kids, so we started planning about when to have the second kid when my daughter turned two. But I was just out of breastfeeding and diapering phase and definitely didn’t want to get into it again. Also, we had planned to put our daughter into a play school as soon as she turns 2.5 and we were  expecting a lot of emotional anxiety from her in that phase and that is why thinking about another baby didn’t sound very good at that time. As expected, first few months of her play school phase were very emotionally taxing to three of us. She started settling but still needed me to be there for her everytime she was back from school and I wanted to do that too. Soon it was time for us to fill formal school forms for her and I knew it is again going to unsettle her and it was then that we decided to plan another baby only when she finishes one year of her formal school and is a little more independent. I believed that it was the best thing to do.

Our plans kind of failed when I conceived a few months after my daughter turned four. However, we didn’t mind it because we were just 3-4 months ahead of our planning and with a boom in nine months we were four.

My sister in law on the other hand had her second one, three years after she had her first one and I have observed her journey during and after pregnancy very closely.

Here are a few Pros and Cons of having a larger age gap and a smaller age gap –

Smaller age gap –

Pros –

1. Kids get along easily as they would have common things to do together;
2. You have most of the baby gears and other relevant stuff at home
and you won’t have to buy them again;
3. You will be done with birthing, nursing, diapering of all the kids sooner.

Cons –

1. Handling two kids together can het exhausting for you, as both the kids will be completely dependent on you;
2. Chances of having a jealousy factor will be more as the elder one will also be still a baby;
3. Leaving the elder one at home while yoj are away for delivery can have an emotional impact on the baby;
4. Pregnancy can be a little rough phase as a little baby won’t be able to understand why it does not have to jump on mom or why it cannot sleep on its mom.

Larger age gap –

Pros –

1. Elder kid will be independent in carrying its own day to day tasks;
2. It will be easier to make the elder one understand situation;
3. You can include elder one in preparing the arrival of the baby and raising the baby;
4. The gap between two kids woukd have made you mentally and physically more energetic.
5. Pregnancy is smoother with older babies as they easily understand the limitations their mother has now.

Cons –

1. Both of the kids won’t have any activity to do or interest in common so you will have to juggle between the two;
2. With a larger age gap between two kids there are chances that you might have forgotten a few basics like how to make formula feed, how to swaddle or how to massage.
3. If you have crossed the age of 35 by the time you have your second the chances of unnecessary complications increase and thus you will have to undergo more scans, more tests and more check-ups.

Having said everything, there is no one checklist that is true for all of us and that is why as a couple your decision should be your best guideline.

Let me decode it for you, the most ideal age gap between two kids is the age gap where parents are most mentally and physically ready.

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