Ready for Another Baby? What's the Ideal Spacing Between Kids?

Thinking about baby number two? How long should you wait between kids? Read the pros and cons of each spacing scenario. (7 Photos)

Sally Farhat Kassab on Jul 30, 2012 at 4:58PM

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What's the Ideal Spacing Between Kids?

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a Sally Farhat Kassab on Aug 1, 2011 at 4:10PM

You already know you want another baby -- you're just not sure about the timing. Can you handle two little ones in diapers? Or would it be better to wait a few years in between births? The honest answer is: It depends. Each spacing has advantages and drawbacks, and only you and your hubby can decide what's right for your family. But keep reading to get the pros and cons of the various spacing possibilities:

One Year Apart – What's to Love

You get the tough stuff out of the way. If you're only having two, you get the tough early baby years over with quickly. You're still in the diaper mindset, the baby proofing is done and you've got the gear all set up. "You can’t sleep much anyway, so just be sleep deprived once," says Michele Borba, Ed.D, a child development expert and the author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. And while it's certainly tough in the beginning, you'll get over the everyone's-completely-dependent-on-Mommy state faster, notes Alanna Levine, MD, a pediatrician in New York City and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Your kids might be best friends.
Close-in-age kids have a built-in playmate. "My boy and girl are just 14 months apart and they grew up best friends and playmates," says dad Chris Baron. And early on, sibling rivalry and jealousy most likely won't be major issues, since your older child won't be as aware of being "replaced."

Faster potty training for number two.
When you've got two little ones close in age, some things are just easier. Example: Potty training can be faster with your younger child. "Leanne watched Alvin get potty trained and it was only about six months later that she wanted to be potty trained, too," says alvinsmom2004, mom to kids 16 months apart. Ben Siegel, M.D., FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, says this is universally true, since potty-training is part role-modeling.


Next Up: 19 Ways to Tell (and Guess!) If You're Having a Boy or Girl
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