- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice»
- Parenting Advice & Tips
How Far Apart Should I Space My Children?
Your Ideal Family
When it comes to your family or family planning a lot of potential mommies and daddies wonder what the ideal birth spacing of their children might be. The answer is not as simple as the question makes it out to be. When thinking about the spacing of your children a lot of questions come to mind...
How old are you?
- How old are you and your partner?
Men have the ability to become fathers from puberty until death.
Whether considered a "lucky" ability or a "unlucky" ability it differs greatly for woman.
Woman have a window of about 30ish years or so to have children, from the onset of puberty until menopause.
Your age is an important number to keep in mind during family planning.
World's Oldest Mom
World's Oldest Mother
Keep in mind were not taking into consideration the minute few who use fertility treatments to achieve pregnancy well into their 60's, 70's etc.
Were talking about the general population of people looking to add to their families.
If your looking for a house full of children then it's best to start as early as circumstances allow and continue on your path until your have created your ideal family size.
How many children will you and your partner have?
- How many children are in your picturesque family?
The Duggars Come to mind...
When planning your ideal family size this question should be at the forefront of your mind. Simply because the amount of children you desire to complete your family is a big factor in the time you have to accomplish those dreams.
Again if a house full of children is your dream it's best to start as early as possible.
Finances, Space, Careers Oh my!
Think about how much added responsibility you and your partner can take on now.
Ask yourself and your partner:
- Is the time right?
- If you have the space?
- The money?
- Will you still work?
- Will your partner still work?
And of course keep in mind the amount of children you and your partner desire to complete your family.
The "experts" say....
The "experts" (whomever that may be) seem to agree that spacing of over two years but averaging around 3-4 years is ideal. This allows the first child time to grow, learn, and become more independent before welcoming another child into the home.
An older child is also more likely to accept a new sibling because they have the ability to understand their roles in the family unit as well as "help" mommy and daddy with their new sibling or siblings.
Some studies suggest that it is very hard for a someone to parent two children in diapers. The theory is that parenting two little one's in diapers makes parenting more about avoiding dangers rather than teaching, enjoying, and understanding one's children.
Regardless of when the exciting news of a new family member strikes the "older" brother or sister role is one that should be supported and praised well before the arrival of baby number 2.
Surpises DO happen....
Sometimes family planning is not possible. Sometimes your new family member has decided he or she is tired of waiting and ready to join you. That's OK some of the best surprises come in little packages, let go of the "plan" and move forward and celebrate your upcoming arrival.
Don't wait to long....
Chances are good that you and your partner will be able to plan your ideal family whenever your start your journey to pregnancy.
However there may be unforeseen bumps along the way and since age is not always on the women's side it's best not to wait to long before "testing" the waters.
Of course this goes without saying that only add to your family when you and your spouse are 100% ready.
Just don't wait till 45 to start planning that ideal family of 4 children.
My girlsClick thumbnail to view full-size
My personal experiences
Born into a family of 2 I was the first child. It was not until 6 years later that I became a big sister.
In essence I was an only child for quite some time, I became accustomed to being the one and only. When my brother came along I was excited, jealous, and with such a large age difference I was in another stage of development.
I truly believe that the age difference between my brother and I has carried on into our adult years where we rarely see eye to eye and seem to be worlds apart in every aspect of life.
On the other hand my children are 14 months apart. It wasn't planned that way baby number 2 was a complete surprise and I must admit It was PURE madness those first few months.
But as they grow up and become more independent its getting easier and now they are the best of friends. It was also easier in the aspect of diapers, potty training, manners, lessons, teachings, bed times, nap times bedtime routines etc.
BUT they did miss out on vital one on one mommy time (or so the "experts" believe). I hope that they continue to remain close through the years and even into adulthood. Something I feel I lack with my brother, simply because of our age difference.