Is there a perfect age gap between children? We look at whether there is an ideal number of years you should wait before trying for another baby.
After you've had your first baby you may start thinking about when to start trying for your second, if you have plans in mind for a growing family. Many new mums wonder what the ideal gap between babies is, but ultimately this will come down to what is right for you.
How long will it take me to recover from my first pregnancy?
Naturally if you want to conceive again soon after having your first child, it's best to wait until you have recovered completely from the pregnancy and birth. The time it takes to recover is different for everyone, and only you know when you'll be ready to embark on the road to pregnancy again.
As a ballpark figure it's a good idea to wait around 18 months after giving birth to start trying to conceive again. This will give your body enough time to regain its strength and recover resources ready for the new birth, and means you are more likely to have a trouble-free, healthy pregnancy, giving your baby the best possible start in life.
When will I feel ready?
Of course, there are other things to consider too. It's important that you feel ready for the new baby both emotionally and financially as well as physically. Your first baby may have taken more out of you than you realise, so it's really worth making sure you feel ready for another arrival in the household before you start trying to conceive again.
Only you can know when you feel ready to have another baby, so it's important to make the decision on when you want to conceive again after paying close attention to how you feel both emotionally and physically. Your finances are also an important factor to consider.
What about the age gap between my children?
You might wonder about how your children will get on depending on whether there's a small or larger age gap between them. Though there are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios, there's no perfect gap between children and it's often down to your own point of view. For example, babies born close together may grow up to be close - but equally, children close in age could take to squabbling.
Likewise, if children are born with a larger age gap between them, they may be distant from each other as they grow up or you may concerned that your older child might not take kindly to the arrival of a new sibling. But in many such circumstances parents find that children born further apart get on perfectly well and your older child may enjoy the excitement of having a new little brother or sister to play with.
What else should I consider?
It's also worth remembering that falling pregnant is not something you can time with any real degree of accuracy, and even if you planned the ideal point for you to have another child, it may take you several months to conceive.
As with many other things in life choosing when to have your second child is really a matter of personal choice and only you can say when you feel ready to go ahead with another pregnancy. There's no set 'ideal' gap that you should leave between babies and no right or wrong amount of time to wait. The important thing is to do what feels right for you, independently from any pressure you might feel from your partner, friends, or family to conceive again.
If you have a question about this article or something else, visit our friendly forums & ask the AskBaby community.
||Chat about what's the ideal gap between babies? with our friendly community...