PARENTS

When Is The Right Time For A Second Baby?

17/12/2009 08:00 | Updated 22 May 2015

So, you've popped out your first sprog, and are wondering where all the time in the day goes and how you will ever get any sleep again.

Then at some point you start cooing over newborns and the thought pops into your head: "Wouldn't it be nice to have another one of those?"

For some people this seems to happen more or less straight away. I know siblings who are so close together in age that they're in the same school year.

That seems excessively keen. I'm not sure it's even physically possible, although I accept the evidence suggests it must be.

Some parents have the attitude that you get the 'baby bit' over and done with as quickly as possible – pop out two or three in quick succession, and then go back to work, or resume some sort of social life.

Others seem to take their time over it, waiting for the first child to start nursery or school before embarking on the next round of nappies and night feeds.

There are differing views on what is the 'ideal' age gap – some say two years is perfect, others say it's the worst gap to have because the first child will be very jealous.

The decision must depend partly on what your first baby is like. If he or she is an easy baby who sleeps through the night and is content to sit and play for long stretches, it must be more tempting to have another quickly. Although there's no guarantee the next one would be the same!

If my daughter was a better sleeper, I'd be tempted to crack on and have another one now. I can feel the broodiness creeping up already. But I just can't face being pregnant and getting up several times in the night.

So, I've decided to give myself a year off – a year when I'm not breastfeeding and not pregnant, so I can try to catch up with some of my friends and have a bit of breathing space before I start again.

That will mean my daughter will probably be nearly three by the time we provide her with a little brother or sister.

What are the age gaps between your children? Do you think some gaps 'work' better than others?

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