Once babies hit toddler years, many parents start thinking the pros and cons of having another baby. For others, it’s not a question of whether to have or not to have another baby, but when, which is a question that has no straightforward answer.
There is no ‘right time,’ nor ‘wrong time’ to have a second baby. Having babies closely together has its difficulties and rewards. Having two children under two years old is hard work for the main carer. Newborns tend to have frequent feeds at night, which means interrupted sleep. But having a toddler means staying alert and energetic during the day to keep up with your toddler. Not to mention the fact, that having babies closely together, means that the mother’s body isn’t given a chance to recover from her previous pregnancy.
Physical toll isn’t the only challenge parents have to deal with. Having children closely together is also a financially challenging. You have to buy lots of nappies, two car seats (because you need one, before the older baby outgrows his) and new buggies. Additionally, there’s a question whether your house can accommodate a new baby. You are not only talking about having a separate room for each child, but you also have to think where you are going to park your double buggy, as you will definitely need one that can carry both baby and toddler, or else going out and about will be a nightmare. Is the boot of your car big enough to carry the big buggy? Is your kitchen big enough to accommodate two high chairs?
Will having a second baby means moving to a bigger house. Can you afford the move? Or are you willing to move to different part of the country so you can afford a bigger accommodation?
On the plus side, you get the stress of baby and toddler years out of the way quicker. Having children far apart will give you some rest from sleepless night. But getting used to good night sleeps, just to be reintroduced to it all over again, may not be a good thing.
Some parents choose to have children closer so that they can play together and develop a closer relationship as they grow older. But, on the downside, children who are closely spaced are likely to squabble more over a toy, or fight over their parent’s attention.
The decision to have another baby is indeed fraught with questions. But the main question you must answer is ‘Do you really want a second baby?’ If your answer to this is anything other than a resounding yes, then it’s probably best not to have one