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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One Year Apart - Why It's Tough

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a Sally Farhat Kassab on Aug 1, 2011 at 4:13PM

It isn't the healthiest option. Having two kids close together could increase you second child's chance for autism, a recent study has suggested. Researchers from Columbia University found that if a second child was conceived less than two years after its siblings, it was nearly twice as likely to develop autism. Babies conceived less than a year after the first child were three times as likely to become autistic. Also, moms who didn't wait 18 months after delivery to conceive again were more likely to have a premature or low-birth-weight baby, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association. (Wait less than six months and the chance of these outcomes jumps as high as 40 to 60 percent!)

Your body (and wallet) may be drained.
Can you say, "long-term sleep deprivation"? Claudine Miller, mom of toddlers 18 months apart, can. "Both boys are still so little and totally dependent on us for everything, so we feel like we're running ragged most of the time," she says. And need we say, having two kids in disposable diapers is expensive!

You'll have less time to enjoy each child as an individual.
Forget about your first kid's baby book -- or even noticing every new milestone. "I missed out on a lot of my first child's tender, cute moments because I was overwhelmed with the demands of two babies," says Suzanne Nukho, mom of kids exactly one year apart.


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