With the decision of whether to have just one more baby hovering in my mind, my thoughts have turned to the “ideal” space between children.
My older two are three and a half years apart, this wasn’t the original plan. I’d originally aimed for closer to two years apart. One month after miss Aînée turned 2 I was pregnant with twins, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be as one was ectopic and the other miscarried. It was a traumatic time both physically and emotionally. I didn’t expect to have more babies after that. So when I was pregnant again within a year it was a wonderful surprise even if it did mean a larger gap than I had planned.
My preference for a closer gap (and a strong vote in the pro column for having another) is due to the five year gap that was between my brother and I, which was hard for me growing up, being the unwanted annoying little sister. That bring said as a parent the huge gap between my first two and Eve has been a blessing as the older two can be very helpful when they want to be.
I do also feel that too close a gap gives the potential for too great a toll on me physically and a potential competitiveness between the children. For me personally (this has no bearing on what is true or right for other families) anything under two years apart is too close, and not particularly likely given we aren’t trying yet. I’ve also seen research that says a minimum gap of 26-27 months is ideal for the benefit of the older child. This would mean for us beginning trying early next year, possibly earlier to factor in removing our current contraceptive choice.
There are just so many factors in the decision though that the ideal might change.
I’d love to hear from others on their experiences as a parent, as a sibling, or as an only child or someone choosing to not have more children. It’s such a complex subject and I truly feel that shared experience really helps us to navigate these things.