What is the ideal age gap between kids? | Dr Anshu's birthing story
*This is a podcast interview in the series - Regular Moms | Regular Birthing Stories*
In today's episode of Hand that rocks the cradle we talk to Dr Anshu Gupta. She is a dentist by profession and a mother of two daughters who are close in age. She talks about her experience in having two C-sections within 2.5 years. She explains how she coped with this and how she manages with two small babies. If you are wondering what its like to balance a newborn and a toddler you need to hear Dr Anshu's experience!
Watch her entire video interview here :
Dr Anshu explains she always wanted to have two children and how important it is to be mentally prepared for this. Since she has a C-section birth she was asked to wait 3-5 years before a second pregnancy. But as luck would have it, she conceived sooner and has a 2.5 year age gap between her kids which she considers as a miracle. Dr Anshu also explains in great detail what happens during a C-section delivery.
“In 30 mins my baby was in my hands!” she gushes!
However the recovery takes longer and you need to take care during that phase. Dr Anshu also talks about the changes her elder daughter went through on the arrival of the younger one. She shares that its very important to prepare the elder one for the birth of a new baby.
“She stopped eating food, stopped talking to others. When she saw baby feeding, sleeping besides me, she said she also wants to come to me.”, Dr Anshu shares the emotions her elder daughter went through.
Dr Anshu shares what helped her kids bond with each other and how she manages her life as a mother to two little ones who need her attention. This video is a must watch for everyone who is planning on having two children! Is there an ideal age gap between kids?
Read on to know more!
You can also hear it in podcast (audio only) here :
“Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes
Finding the Ideal Age Gap Between Children: Factors to Consider for Growing Families
5 factors to consider when determining the ideal age gap between kids.
Building a family is a deeply personal and exciting journey. One of the decisions that many parents face is determining the ideal age gap between their children. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, considering various factors can help parents make an informed choice.
Sibling Bonding and Companionship: The age gap between children can greatly impact their relationship and bonding. A smaller age gap may result in children being closer in age and potentially developing a stronger bond, sharing common interests, and providing companionship throughout their lives. On the other hand, a larger age gap might allow for older siblings to take on a nurturing role and develop a sense of responsibility towards their younger siblings. This would be lesser as a companion and more of a father/mother figure.
Parental Energy and Resources: Raising children requires time, energy, and resources. Considering the parents' capacity to handle multiple children at different stages of development is crucial. Some parents may prefer a smaller age gap, as it allows them to focus on child-rearing during a concentrated period, while others may prefer a larger age gap to ensure they have ample time and resources for each child. Its crucial to have financial resources and social support sorted as much as possible when adding a new member to your family.
Developmental Milestones and Parenting Experience: Having an understanding of the developmental milestones and the demands that come with each stage of a child's life can help parents decide on the ideal age gap. Parents might prefer to wait until their first child reaches certain milestones, such as starting school or becoming more independent, before expanding their family.
Practical Considerations: Practical considerations, such as financial stability, housing arrangements, and childcare options, should also play a role in determining the ideal age gap. Some parents may choose to wait until they are financially secure or have suitable housing arrangements, while others may take into account the availability of family support or the need to balance work and childcare responsibilities. Its also important to note that raising the child remains the parents duty and its wise to look at your own future goals, retirement planning, higher education plans for children before getting a new life into the world.
Personal Preferences and Family Dynamics: Ultimately, personal preferences and family dynamics play a significant role in determining the ideal age gap. Some parents may have always envisioned having children close in age, while others may prefer a larger age gap based on their own experiences or beliefs. Considering how the age gap will affect the dynamics and harmony within the family is essential.
Possible challenges of having kids close in age:
1. Your body might bear the brunt!
Back to back pregnancy is harder on the body. Research suggests that there is high risk of preterm birth if next baby happens withing a year of previous. Mother can also experience intense baby blues in this regard. Experts suggest keeping a gap of minimum 18 months between pregnancies.
2. Its exhausting!
Dealing with diapers, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, endless crying back to back can take a toll on the mental health of mothers. A strong support system is needed to lessen the burden and give mother a break.
3. Both the kids need attention!
First 5 years are very critical to form the parent-child bond. With two littles demanding attention, it can get challenging to give equal attention to both. Many times mothers feel torn between finding quality time for each child and may feel that one of the kids is feeling neglected.
4. You might have to handle sibling rivalry!
Young kids strive for parents attention, and they want to also be at the center of their attention. So you also might have to deal with your child acting out, having more tantrum than usual, regressing to baby like behaviors like thumb sucking or baby talk to get your attention. These are especially common if your older child is still a toddler.
What does research say? Is there an ideal age gap after all?
Based on a 2018 study, the optimal time between pregnancies is 18-24 months.
Shorter interpregnancy intervals are associated with preterm births and delivery complications.
Cesarean delivery weakens the uterine wall, and with a shortened pregnancy interval, there is incomplete scar healing, and thus increased risk for scar dehiscence/uterine rupture.
When it comes to deciding on the ideal age gap between children, there is no definitive answer. It is a decision that should be based on a combination of factors, including sibling bonding, parental capacity, developmental milestones, practical considerations, and personal preferences. By taking these factors into account, parents can make an informed choice that suits their family's unique circumstances. Remember, every family is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Trust your instincts and make a decision that feels right for you and your growing family.