Is there a ‘Best’ Age Gap between Kids?

When it comes to having kids, even our best laid plans are subject to the whims of nature; so attempting to create the ‘perfect’ spacing between siblings is hardly a straightforward process. The concept of an ideal gap is also not a hard science, either, although numerous studies do pinpoint one specific timeframe as the most beneficial.

Young siblings

Analysing data from over 11 million pregnancies globally, the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that the so-called ‘perfect’ gap between pregnancies is 18 to 59 months. This gap allows for maternal recovery and replacement of nutrients lost during labour (and breastfeeding), thus contributing to more favourable conditions for conceiving. The International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that “women who conceive less than 11 months after giving birth have a higher chance of going into labour or being medically induced before 37 weeks of gestation. In addition, the odds of a premature birth are also increased for those who wait three years to have another baby”.

Professor Sybil Hart believes a two to three year age gap to be best in terms of family dynamics.  “Families are more cohesive if everyone can participate in the same activities,” says Hart. “Children can go to the same school, watch the same films and holiday at the same time.  Siblings are more likely to be companions and parents can compress the number of years they devote to childrearing.”

But a small age gap isn’t necessary smooth sailing. It means the torture of sleep deprivation is extended without reprieve, and of course, both newborns and toddlers are hardly known for their few demands. And then there’s the physical–and emotional–toll of going through pregnancy and the birth process all over again, so soon.

Despite researchers’ findings, the blueprint for your future family of course remains subjective–although the biological facts are good to know when planning (as far as you can actually plan) what will work best for you and yours.

Via babylondon