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Preparing for Another Baby: How Soon to Wait Before Having a Second Child?

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Three of my mama-friends all got pregnant with babies number two this year. That’s half my circle. And though all three sadly suffered miscarriages, two are already expecting again. Each pregnancy has inspired lots of twittering (not the Internet kind), mostly about how insane it’ll be to have two kids when one is already so much to handle. I’ll be honest: I think two kids under two (or even two under three) sounds wholly unappealing. My relationship with my older brother, seven years my senior, has always been far smoother than that with my younger brother, who was born two months before I turned two. (Maybe because his arrival stole my “funder,” as Coraline would say?)

Balancing the needs of a newborn and a boundaries-testing, tantrum-throwing, “I do it myself”-stating, still-needy toddler while maintaining any semblance of sanity seems near impossible. But I hear a lot of strong arguments for it, mostly having to do with getting all the diapers and breastfeeding and sleeplessness over with (and having two kids close in age who will — fingers crossed — grow up friends). People do it all the time.

This recent article from Parenting (“Ready for Another Child?”) outlines the pros and cons of various age gaps from a developmental and psychological standpoint (two-to-three years is developmentally ideal, although more than three is likely easiest for the older sibling), as well as all the ducks you should have in a row before diving into another pregnancy. But it seems that the decision is more emotional then practical, if my little control group says anything. While my newly pregnant friends may not have had all the space, money, or time they wish they did, they were ready to expand their family and made it happen. And they’re excited it’s happening, logistical nightmares and all. Selfishly, I’m excited too: to live vicariously through them and get in all the newborn snuggles I can.

How far apart in age are your kids? Pros and cons? Anyone else embracing their only child?

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