Ready for More Children
If you're thinking about adding another baby to your family, it's important to consider the pros and cons before making your final decision. Deciding whether or not to have another child is about making a choice that will allow you to be a great parent. Laura Kalehoff, Executive Editor of American Baby, weighs those pros and cons of when to have your next baby.
It's amazing how quickly "When are you going to have a baby?" questions turn into "When are you going to have another one?" But remember, it is nothing wrong with stopping at one baby. In fact, the number of single child families has nearly doubled since the 70s and research debunks myths about "lonely onlies" by showing that only children are as happy and social as kids with siblings.
Popular reasons to wait include simply you need a break. The March of Dimes advises moms to wait 18 to 23 months between giving birth and conceiving to recover physically and emotionally. Babies require a lot of attention and having them close in age can be incredibly stressful on your mind and body.
It's often said that money shouldn't stop you from having a baby, but the current economic ups and downs has many parents postponing babies. Having two children close in age is expensive. You will be paying for two of everything at the same time including school tuitions, cribs and car seats.
If you do not have it in you to play referee you may not want to have children close together. Children who are close in age will fight over a toy or fight for your attention and that can be exhausting. Many parents allow siblings to work out their issues but you can't do that when children are closely spaced. You don't have to resolve the conflict, but you need to teach them how to work it out.
There are reasons to have children close together such as limiting your diaper days. There might be some very crazy days when you have children close in age, but many parents prefer that to dragging out the mayhem for a decade or more. The baby and toddler stages are intense but short. The motto in this situation is you're in the thick of it now and the demands will be extreme, but then they'll subside.
There will also be some savings when you have children close in age. If the day to day costs are doable for you now, you may save in the long run. When children are close in age you will have fewer total hours of day care and babysitting and a shorter stint as a stay at home mom if you go that route. Being able to buy diaper wipes and other items in bulk can help. Many child care centers and child focused activities offer sibling discounts.
Siblings that are close in age are often friends. The camaraderie from having a live-in playmate is more apt to happen if the children are closer in age. Yes, they will be prone to bickering and competing, but the rewards can be great.
The major takeaway is that it's not the spacing that dictates how close siblings will be or how challenging it will be for parents, but the temperaments of all the people involved. If the family you have now feels complete, don't feel pressured to change that. If you feel confident in your family's ability to adapt to a new addition, don't give away the Pack N Play just yet.
For more information on choosing the right bottle for your baby and other parenting tips, click here.
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