Raising one child is much easier than raising two. You can easily tote one child around the stores with you. When you add another one makes it far more difficult to complete your tasks. If you plan your additional child/children well, you can avoid some of the pitfalls of having children too close together. You may not want to wait too long between children though. It is nice when brothers and sisters grow up together.
Here are some tips to help you make the decision a little more clear:
Diapers and Formula
These two baby essentials cost a lot of money. If your current child/children are still on formula and not potty trained, you may want to consider holding off. If you have another child at this time, you will double your bill for both items. That doesn’t even address that fact that you will have to change two diapers instead of one. For many people, this would be a major drawback.
It may be desirable to have your first little one in school before you have another baby. This allows you to spend more time with the new baby without your older child feeling left out. This avoids a lot of the jealousy that can occur when a new baby enters the picture. In the end, sibling rivalry will stay at a minimum.
Mother’s Little Helper
If waiting until your first child is of school age isn’t an option, the next best thing is to wait until the first “baby” is old enough to help you. If they feel as though they are a part of helping with the baby and around the house, they will feel less intimidated by this new “attention stealer” who has invaded their home.
How Much Can You Handle
Ultimately, this is the most important question. Having a toddler and a newborn is quite a bit to handle. You will have two children that each demands your full attention. At age two, a child will usually need much more help in doing things. This includes getting into their car seat and other such tasks. At age three, they are much more independent. They have even made friends. By age four, they are ready to greet the world. They will be much better helpers and they will be starting a pre-school program. This should be a major consideration when you are deciding to have more children.
Waiting Far Too Long
Although waiting for a little while is a good idea, you may not want to wait too long. Once your first child hits middle school age, you might find that having some of your freedom back is nice. When they get to that age, they are no longer dependent on your every move. They can do nearly everything without your help. You no longer need a sitter and they willingly leave the house to hang out with friends.
The other drawback to waiting too long is the children don’t grow up together. They are so far apart in age that one will be out of the house long before the other is ready to fly the coup. It’s nice when they have a playmate all the time. It comes in extra handy on rainy days.
Parenthood is a very rewarding career. With the right planning in place, you can have your children far enough apart that it’s good for you and the children but not so far that they can’t possibly forge the same kind of relationship together. The choice in deciding the ideal number of years between two children all depends on how much you can handle at one time.