There are three big reasons I waited three years between pregnancies. In this post, I share the details, plus explain a couple of disadvantages to the gap.
While many people congratulated me with the pregnancy news, I did get several “it’s about time” comments. And believe me, I got those from my parents and in-laws too. But Mike and I intentionally tried to space our children 3 years apart, and here I’ll explain why.
Let’s me start off by saying that creating life is a gift and a mystery and we only have so much say in it. It’s like that Woody Allen saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Also, I don’t want to sound like I’m judging here. Whatever spacing you do is up you, your partner, and God.
With that said, Mike and I intentionally tried to space our children out 3 years apart, and we did so for three reasons.
1. My body
Creating life is a huge undertaking for the mother’s body and it takes time to rebuild the nutritional stores… from your fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, not to mention the ever-important vitamins A & D.
I also wanted to nurse Griffin for 2 full years as this is what the studies say result in peak health benefits for child and mother. I didn’t want to get pregnant and nurse as I knew that many women struggled with diminished milk supply caused by pregnancy hormones. Plus, nursing can cause uterine contractions which can be a slight risk in the early months of pregnancy. Finally, nursing does deplete us a little and I didn’t want to add that to a pregnancy.
2. Weston A Price
He was a dentist that travelled in the early 1900’s visited the cultures with the highest longevity rates. He found that these cultures almost had a taboo of having another child until at least 3 years since their last. They knew instinctively that it takes time to rebuild the woman’s body and that 3 years significantly reduced complications with baby. This wisdom is validated with studies that show children born fewer than 18 months from the previous child are more likely to struggle with low birth weight, autism, and other health conditions.
3. My friends
I had several friends that had babies exactly 2 years apart and they said it was extremely hard. The 2 year old still depended on them for so much… from diaper changes to feeding to dressing. The moms were just overwhelmed. There was also a lot of sibling rivalry. By waiting till Griffin is 3, he is weaned, can feed himself, mostly dress himself and is potty trained. Three year olds also tend to be more independent and can even help out with the baby. Griffin will also probably go to some kind of pre-school a few days a week, which will give me some time with baby alone.
Having said all of this, there are some disadvantages to waiting 3 years.
For one, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to cluster nurse, wake up in the middle of the night, or change a diaper 12 times a day. It will probably be tougher for me to get back into the baby swing of things than someone who has babies closer together. Also, babies closer in age are usually better play mates and friends since they have more in common. It’s also easier to “batch” activities since they will have somewhat similar interests and developmental needs.
You also can’t have as many children when you wait 3 years in between each child. I always wanted 2, but if we wanted a larger family, we would of had to start much earlier.
So, what about YOU? How many years are between your babies? Did you like the age gap? Share with us!
Health and child spacing: