A second child? What is the ideal gap? When is the right time to go for a second child? It is difficult to ascertain the correct answer. If you have made the decision to go for another child, then go ahead & read what the experts have to say. Unsurprisingly, many parents do not want another child. And this number is only rising by the day. Is it because kids these days are more demanding? Or raising another one is requires much more commitment in terms of time, effort & planning your finances more efficiently. I recollect my friend telling me once – “Are your crazy? I can’t go through this pain all over again. I’m finding it so difficult to manage one kid. I’m done. My husband and I can’t handle another one”. Wonder how our grandparents managed to nurture 10 kids effortlessly with second string amenities & finances.
Having a sibling for your child has a positive bearing on the both kids. Although the elder child is showered with all the love & affection, jealousy & insecurity seeps in the formative years of the child. However, once they grow up, they can be the best of friends. While you become a judge, doing the tough job of deciding who is right and who is wrong (which is more difficult than deciding which stock to invest in. Yes, it is.), you enjoy parenthood as a more confident parent & your children learn to bond well with other children of their age.
The question arises. What is the ideal gap between the two pregnancies. It is a known fact that fertility in women reduces with age. As it reduces drastically after 35 years, it is ideal to plan your pregnancies before you are in your late 30s. Problems of infertility, hormonal imbalance, PCOS & fibroids increases after early 30s. Hence it best to conceive both your children before you hit your mid 30s. Infertility in men decreases at about 50 years. There is a reduction in the sperm quality & quantity.
Pregnancy takes a heavy toll on your body in terms of hormonal & biological changes. Therefore, it is better to space out your pregnancies which gives your body enough time to recover mentally & physically. Research has proven that a gap of about 1.5 to 2 years gives you sufficient time revive your energy & prepare you for your second pregnancy. If the pregnancy is unplanned then there is little you can do about it (unless you don’t want the child).
There is no one-size-fits all rule that holds good in each one’s case. It really depends on how supportive your spouse & family is. However, it can work to your advantage if there is about 2.5 years – 4 years gap between both your children. When the difference in the age is not much, both the siblings play together & grow up together. This gives you more time for leisure activities & for completing the house chores. Ideally by 6-7 years both your kids are in school & share similar schedule which makes life a lot easier. When children have company of their age, they need not be introduced to second source of entertainment such as televisions, games on the cell phone or xbox gaming. They can be encouraged to play scrabble, monopoly, pictionary, snakes & ladders, ludo, uno & every other fantastic game that requires atleast two people. However loving you are, your children eventually enjoy the company of the same age group.
Speaking of the advantages of striking the right balance for an ideal age gap between the children, we should throw light upon the benefits that the mother enjoys in terms of her well-being. Research has proven that the chance of a miscarriage increases as the as woman’s age advances. With advancement in technology, IVF(In vitro fertilization) is becoming increasingly popular. But the hassle & stress of multiple visits & tests causes more tension than happiness. Well, if you have a healthy child, eventually all is well. But in many cases, the truth is otherwise.
Many working women prefer to have a child much later than at-home mommies. The fear of a parenting-break(rather motherhood-break) from their career holds them back to go for a family. Having said that, some women strongly recommend to have less gap between two kids as they want to get back to their office routine as usual. Those couples who are career-oriented are happy with one child. With nuclear families on an ever rising tide, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for the couples to nurture two kids without the support of their family.
A delayed pregnancy also increases the chances of twins. This is caused due to the hormonal imbalance in the body, that the ovary releases two eggs which get fertilized & implanted in the uterus resulting in the birth of twins. Twice the joy also brings twice the responsibility of being cautious about your lifestyle, diet, activities & holistic well-being physically, mentally & biologically. Often, conceiving twins can lead to complications that are either caused due to drastic weight gain or due to sudden gush of hormones that are produced to support two lives instead of one.
Having children & watch them take baby steps is the most beautiful experience ever. Let time take it’s course. Go for another child only when you are prepared, even if it is after a couple of years later than what your family expects. Go for a vacation, join Zumba, enjoy your “Flab to Fab” moments & rejuvenate yourself to welcome your second delight with a healthy beginning. Let the coming of a child be a delight to you and your spouse as much as your first child did. Happy parenting! 🙂