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How Far Apart Should You Space Your Kids?

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One of the first questions parents deal with (or rather hear about) after having a little one is deciding whether or not to have another.

If they do want another baby, they have to decide how far apart they want to space their children. Today’s episode is about figuring out what would work for your family and circumstances.

This is most certainly an enormous personal decision so I’ll highlight a few factors you may want to consider so you can start off the conversation.

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Your Personal Health and History

Personal health is something you don’t want to gloss over when it comes to how close or far apart you want to have your children. Pregnancy is an enormous physical and mental transformation that affects mothers differently.

According to the Mayo Clinic, that mothers who waited at least 18-24 months before trying for their next child had reduced complications with their pregnancies. However they cautioned that further research is needed.

When I spoke to J about how he and his wife decided when to try for their second child, he mentioned that considering how long it took with their son, they wanted to go for sooner rather than later.

Fortunately things worked out quit well and their second son arrived last spring.

Finally, you may want to set up an appointment with a trusted health care provider to discuss your specific circumstances and possible risks.

Impact of Children on Your Finances and Careers

Since this is the Couple Money Podcast, I’m going to bring up some financial impacts of having more than one child, such as:

  • one partner may have to leave the work force for a while if daycare costs are prohibitive
  • long term costs of one spouse taking off time from their career to deal with the children
  • once children are old enough you have to look at extracurricular activities
  • if you two agree to pay for college, having children fairly close together can be an huge expense

For some families, the best solution is having them sooner while other may want to space them out and stagger some of the costs.

Thoughts on Having Children

Even with careful thought and planning sometimes life has other plans. Keep communicating with one another as you both navigate this huge decision.
If you want to share your family’s stories on how you decided what was best for your family, please leave a comment below or tweet me @CMoneyPod. Until next show, take care!

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