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Second Child Decision and Age Gap

Second Child Decision and Age Gap

With the busy lifestyle today having a single baby itself looks like a tough decision and needs more thinking than it required in earlier times. However, a few women wish to have a second child. Either to give the first born a companion or expand the family, the reasons could be abundant, but the main dilemma arises when women have to take the decision for the second child. There are a number of factors that you need to look at when considering a second pregnancy.

Your financial situation –
With the cost of living rocketing each day, maintenance of another baby could pose a problem. It is true that you may not have to go on a shopping spree to prepare for the new member of the family; the little one could come with specific needs of its own. A second child also means that you will have to take a break from working again. This will affect you financial situation. Thus you need to make sure that you have enough savings to support the entire pregnancy period and your family after that.

Your age –
Consider your age before you plan a second baby. Every woman today plans to make a career first and then get married. This leads to women getting married at a much later age. Your age and fertility are inversely related i.e. the more you age the less fertile you get. After the age of 35, women’s fertility rates fall significantly. So, if you have crossed the age of 35 and are planning for a second pregnancy, remember that getting pregnant this time may not be so easy.

Your health –
To conceive a second baby you need to consider your health conditions as well. The entire term of pregnancy and delivery take a toll on your body making it weak. It is important you recover completely before your body prepares to hold your second baby. This is important for you, your baby and family as well. As per a study, there is significantly higher risk of prematurity, low birth weight, and being small for gestational age in babies conceived within six months as compared to babies conceived within 18 to 23 months, of a previous birth. So in case you wish to have a second child, consider a gap of 18-23 months between the two pregnancies to recover your energies.

Age Gap
One of the most important things to contemplate on before you plan to have a second child is the age gap between the siblings. There is no ‘right’ gap that you need to adhere to while planning a second baby. Also there could be other reasons that make you wait before you have a second baby like your fertility or in case you had complications in conceiving the first time or if you plan pregnancy after 35.

Any kind of gap you consider to have between our babies small or big, each comes with its pros and cons.

The closer the age gap of your children the more hard work you need to do in the early years. Life can get very tough when handling two babies and basic things like getting out of the house, travelling and getting a good night’s sleep can look difficult to achieve.
When you look on the brighter side, having a small gap means that the first child doesn’t remember being without a sibling, this reduces sibling rivalry. Many mothers also wish to get rid of the “nappy years” all at once. Also watching the kids grow together is a beautiful experience.

Also small gaps lead to getting done with the various phases of child growth once and for all. It is much easier to handle the kids during school days like helping them out with their studies, school activities and planning eventful summer vacations.

But having a small age gap between kids can be difficult on you financially. You may have to take up major expenses especially in the education front. Also further ahead you will have to pay higher education costs in a short duration of time.

Having a bigger gap like three years or more between your kids means that you come back to taking care of babies after a long break. Some women like it as they love to take care of small babies and doing it after a long break gives them renewed energy. Also you have more time for the new little one. Moreover, it is easy to cope with your first born as you can explain things to them easily and mostly count on them for small help.

Many a time women also wish to regain their health back to have better energy to go through childbearing again. This involves getting back in shape as well. Taking a bigger break helps you to concentrate on your health and take efforts like having a healthy diet, get proper sleep, exercising etc.

At the end of the day deciding when to have a second child is completely your decision. But taking this decision cautiously will help you greatly in the long run.