Nope. That is the candid truth. Big and small sibling age gaps have their own advantages and challenges. It’s up to you, as a parent to work out what age gap suits your family best. Friends and family might be asking you when you plan to have another baby. It has become a common conversation topic in Singapore. Do not feel stressed by such conversation or probing. These folks most likely were trying to find a random topic to have a causal chat with you.
Here I am going to list out the pros and cons of each birth spacing.
1 to 2 years apart
Goes to the same school, share toys and friends
|Sleep deprive. Too many babies to handle at one time.|
|If you are a working mom, you will be on maternity leave after second child birth. During that period, your first child is still between 1-2 year-old which there are important milestones which you would not want to miss out.||Looking after your first child can be very tiring when you are pregnant.|
|Financially easier because baby care products and items are shared between two toddlers. Hand down clothing, baby equipment and toys.||In the later stage, there will be double the school/university fees within the short age gap.|
|Your first child is more likely to accept his sibling as he is too young to understand personal possessions or jealously.||You may not have as much time to enjoy your babies as you’d like. Your daily routine will be too hectic to enjoy observing your two babies new milestones or lovely expression.
2 to 3 years apart
|You are more likely able to enjoy your newborn/first child moments before starting the same cycle again.||There will be times during your second pregnancy when you need to carry your toddler and that will cause stress on your body.|
|Your first child is more independent now. Less tiring for you to watch over the newborn and first child at the same time.||At the age of two, children are still learning how to control their emotions when things do not go their way and being the first child previously, they have always been the only attention in the house. Therefore, jealousy acts from first child might occur.|
|While your first child is at playgroup or nursery, you’ll be able to enjoy individual time with your newborn.||You will face the double pressure of a toddler (running/throwing tantrums) and impatient newborn (crying for milk). “No!” is one of a toddler’s favorite word..|
|You’ll remember how to care for a newborn since you just went through your older child first year journey not long ago.||The newborn has to fit in to the older child social life and schedule. Older child needs to go playgroup or nursery, you may bring baby along if you have no one else to look after your baby at home. This may cause disruptive feeds and sleep for baby.|
3 years and older
|Reduces the chances of sibling rivalry as the older child is more mature and independent now.||Siblings with wide age gap might not play well together in the early years.|
|Mother’s body is fully recovered from the previous pregnancy and birth of the first child.||With wide age gap siblings, their needs will be different. Thus, bringing them out and catering to both their needs might be a challenge. You and your husband might focus on one child individually.|
|A wider age gap gives parents more individual and dedicated time to teach and care for first child.||You may need to refresh your knowledge for newborn.|
|When your older child is at school, you will have time with your newborn and rest time for yourself.|
There’s no perfect age gap that suits everyone. Both the husband and wife would need to feel right to make it work. Having another child means higher level of commitment – time, patience, financial or emotions. Be honest with your partner and let him/her know if you are ready for a second child.