Early in your baby's first year, you might have been doubting your decision to ever have children in the first place. After all, there were all of the sleepless nights, the hours of listening to crying, and getting spit up on all of the time. You also likely lost some freedom and the ability to be spontaneous in the things you and your partner wanted to do.
Don't let a few bad experiences with your first child be the only factor that discourages you from having more kids. Just because your first child was a poor sleeper, fussy most of the time, or otherwise "difficult," it doesn't mean that your next one will be too.
Those kinds of thoughts often quickly go away though, and are replaced with feelings of love. That's when you realize how lucky you were to have a baby. And then you start thinking about when you are going to have another one. Should you wait one year? Two? Or more?
Is it better to space kids by several years or have them close together? There are a lot of pros and cons that support both options. What works best will likely depend on your family situation. Here are some factors to consider:
- Having kids close together will mean that you might have more than one infant who needs a lot of care and attention, meaning more diapers to change, more feedings, and more babies to carry around.
- Too much time between babies will mean that you will have to get used to the "baby stuff" all over again.
- An older first child might resent losing out on his "only child" status more if he has longer to get used to being an "only."
- Kids close in age may mean more than one or two kids in day care at the same time.
- Kids spaced far apart will have very different needs, such as an older child needing rides to school and soccer practice while the younger child needs regular naps.
- An older child might be able to entertain and help take care of younger siblings.
As you can see, there are factors that support whatever decision you make. The age at which you and your partner started having kids and how much of a support system you have will be other factors. Talk it over to come up with the situation that's best for everyone in your growing family.