23 answers

How Far Apart in Age Is Good for Moms and Kids (And Dads Too)?

My son is 8 1/2 months old and my husband and I want to have 3 or 4 kids. I am 24 now and don't want to keep having kids into my mid or late 30's (no offense to anyone who has I just want to be done at a young age) and my husband is almost 29 and worries about not being able to play with his youngest if our kids are really far apart in age.

Physically I am back to normal (even weight a little less if thats not really strange) and feel emotionally ready to get pregnant soon; I have a few races this summer but would like to get pregnant is August. This would put my kids almost 2 1/2 years apart.

Just wondering if I should try to have my children closer or further apart in age. I am looking for any advice or suggestions.
Thanks!

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Featured Answers

My son and daughter are 16 months apart. We love it! We are hoping to get pregnant again sometime next year - making it about a 3 year gap between the 2 youngest.

Whatever feels right to you, is probably what is right for you!

We like 2 years apart at my house.

More Answers

MIne are 3 years and 3 months apart. That worked out great for us. Though a part of me had a hard time with going "backwards" to babyhood.
I liked the age gap because I could trust my daughter to sit at the table and eat if I had to nurse the baby or change him. She could grab me a burpcloth, book, etc. when I was sitting and nursing. Only had one in diapers. I had alone time with the baby when oldest was in preschool. The baby sat in the bumbo seat on the kitchen table while my daughter and I did arts and crafts.
I think your patience level is a good determining factor instead of your age. Can you handle the fact the baby might be screaming while you're toilet training a 2 year old? Or the 2 year old is crying because he doesn't understand why you stopped playing to get the baby.
As far as whether or not they become friends or play well together when older, my opinion is that it depends on their personalities, not the age gap.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not really answering your question - just a quick comment. I had to laugh when I read about your concerns about having kids in your thirties. Please let me ease your fears a little. I had my first when I was 34 and my husband was 42. (Married late.) While the sleep deprivation part of early child rearing was probably harder on us "old folks", the truth is that being an older parent can be an advantage. We have more patience, at least a little more wisdom, and substantially more income than we did in our twenties.

1 mom found this helpful

K.,
There has been some research on this it makes sence, but as always follow your heart. The healthiest for the mothers body is to space them at least two years apart. The healthiest emotionally for children is 3~5 years apart. But they are going off of less sybling rivelry and feelings of security, both of which you can accomplish by other means then years. In my family growing up, the oldest and I were 17 months apart. That was really fun while we were little, but upon getting older it was hard because I had thought of her as an extention of myself for so long. And didn't have my own identity. I just followed what she said and did. So it was a hard transition for both of us to let go and be free. But we are great friends still. My other sisters and I are two years and 1 month apart and that seamed pretty good. Still close but not too close.
My kids 4 kids are 2yrs 2 month~ 2yrs 4month~ 2years 8months and we are thinking about a 5th and I might just stick with my accidental pattern of doubling the month:) 2yrs 16months. I can tell you I liked the first spacing, but the second was easier. And the third was the best so far. Its just a little nicer when the sybling is a little older then 2.5 when you have the next. They just understand better and listen a little better.
So that was really long, but hopefully helpful:) I too wanted to be a young mom. I wanted to have five and be done by the time I was 30. I will how ever still be done by 33 so I was off a few years but for my sanity its been worth it for me:)
Good luck
E.

1 mom found this helpful

Every family is different. Whatever is comfortable for you and your hubby will be right for you.

I had a daughter (now 7) and her dad got a vasectomy when she was only 4mos old... I KNEW I didn't want anymore with him... Even while I was pg.

My hubby now... He's 40 and we have a 2yr old son.

Whatever works for you will be right.

1 mom found this helpful

I absolutely cracked up laughing reading this, and by no means should you take offense, its just I would of LOVED to have had my kids close together in age, it just didn't work out that way. My kids are 19 yrs apart, yes, years apart! I was 19 when I had my son, and (do the math) 38 when my daughter came along. (No there are none in between them and no we did not use any form of birth control). As for your husband being too old to play with kids if you wait awhile? My husband is 5 years older than I am, he didn't have a problem playing with our daughter, then or now! (Our daughter is now 20!) Whatever YOU decide, I'm sure it will be the right decision for you and your family...just take my lil bit of advice...don't wait 19 yrs between them! LOL Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

There are benefits both ways.

Close together, when you are done with diapers, you are done. When you are done with baby stuff, you're done. And you don't have one kid with "big kid toys" that everyone else wants but can't have!

Farther apart and it's easier in other ways. For instance, my 6 year old can really help out and be trusted quite a bit with the baby - my 2 year old wants to feel like he's helping (but it's not really that helpful:). Also, with a child in school all day + a baby, you coudl really give the baby "only child" kind of attention for a big chunk of the day.

I say just do what's right for you, do your best to help them get along, and call it good. All of the planning in the world goes out the door when we become parents anyway!

1 mom found this helpful

I liked having the first 2 very close in age because after the first year it gave them instant playmates. I too want to have a large family (4 or 5) and started a few years later than you. I got prego with #2 when #1 was 7 mos. Because I UNFORTUNATELY ended up with an emergency c-section with #2, I waited the recommended 18 mos (from my OB) to try to get prego with #3 so I can safely do a VBAC. #2 and #3 will be 2.5 years apart. I plan to then wait another 20 mos to try to get prego with #4 as well....we will then see about #5 :) I want to be done by 37- I am currently 32.

It seems hard early on with 2 under 2 but it pays off later :) believe me. (kids are currently 3 yrs 3 mos and turning 2 this Friday). I also do races (triathlons and running races) but I am going to have to skip on the one I love in June because it will be too close to my delivery. I also had to skip one on Sept 11 because it was a longer tri and I found out I was prego Sept 7. I do not believe in doing taxing triathlons while pregnant though I am extremely athletic, active and exercise almost daily.

Best wishes on whatever you decide!

Mine are close together (ranging 16mo-24mo apart), and I LOVE it that way! I can't imagine waiting years in between. My preference is actually about 18-20mo apart.... I did a lot of research and had some deep conversations with drs about their closeness as I was getting a ton of grief from family and friends about them being too close, "it will ruin your body", blah, blah, blah. The consensus from every source was that more than 9 mo in between delivery and the next pregnancy was ideal, but as long as I was in good health, taking care of myself, and recovering well from pregnancies, 6 months was perfectly fine! (though I never did get pregnant that quickly after delivery)

There are some great benefits that we have found in having ours close together, and I wouldn't choose it any other way! It has actually made me a more healthy person to have my kids this close, as I am making extra efforts to ensure that I am healthy enough to carry healthy pregnancies, nurse my babies, and still be in good health and well taken care of myself.
I am now in better shape and healthier than I ever was (became a triathlete after I had baby #7, on my way to marathons post baby 8!), and am loving our crazy kid-filled life!

Just a head's up-I was in race mode before my most recent pregnancy and it took a little longer to get pregnant-I had to drop the milage I was running each week and gain some weight to get pregnant, so it definitely altered our time frame-I too was hoping to get pregnant in July/August, and it didn't end up happening until December. :)

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