How long you wait between having children is a fairly hot topic, and can be one of the things that strangers comment on. But let’s talk without judgement about the pros and cons of having babies close together versus farther apart.


Spacing your children 18 months or less apart:

  • Having your second child while your first is still a baby skips the dreaded “sibling resentment that first children often struggle with when they have conscious memory of having your undivided attention.

  • Having children close together makes it easy for them to play together – and playing together is the foundation for a close relationship when they’re older.

  • Close-spacing reduces the number of years you spend in the baby stage by grouping it all together. (So if you have 5 children in 5 years, by the time the eldest starts school, the youngest is a toddler. On the other hand, if you have 5 children 3 years apart, you’re still taking care of a baby while your eldest is reaching high school.)


Spacing closer to 2+ years apart:

  • Wider spacing gives you time to get a handle on the whole parenting thing and get past the most intensely hands-on stage.

  • Wider spacing gives you a chance to do things like night-wean or potty-train your older child.

  • Wider spacing might be easier on Mom’s body, especially if she had nutritional struggles or complications with her first birth. (Controversial note: pregnancy is much easier before age 25 for a woman in average health, which can be a factor in your decision especially if you want a larger family.)


Extra tips


  • Get to know your cycle and ovulation time, rather than relying only on birth control.

  • Exclusively and night-time breastfeed as long as possible if you want a longer space. Night-waking to breastfeed is one of the biological signals that prevents your cycle from restarting.

  • Don’t add additional changes to your first child’s life around the time your second child is born. Don’t move (if at all possible), don’t start them sleeping in their own room or sleeping through the night or potty training. Having a new sibling is a huge change and stressor for them. Whatever you try to add won’t work out, and you’ll all be miserable because you tried it.

  • If you’re planning on having several children close together, find a way to get an extra pair of hands to help out around the house.

  • You don’t need to justify your choices for family size and spacing to anyone but yourselves.


We hope you have a happy family, whatever size!

Baby Discovery Box Team