There is no ideal gap between two children and every couple’s situation is different from others. While deciding if it is the right time to have another child, here are some things that need to be considered:
- Do you want the children to be close in age so that they can be playmates with each other, or do you want one to be older and relatively self-sufficient before you have the second one?
- If working, can you continue working after the second baby is born?
- Having a second child is a financial consideration too. Finances to take care of the needs of the second child needs to be planned out in advance. If the gap between the first and second child is less, then the second baby will be able to use some of the clothes, toys etc. of the first child. If the gap is longer then this may not be the case.
- Having a second baby means a lot more work for the care giver. It is more difficult to have two babies or a toddler and a baby together to take care of. If the gap between two children is three years or more than that, the older child is able to help and is also self-sufficient in some ways. This is another point to keep in mind when planning for the second baby.
- The most important factor however is the health of the mother. After a baby is born the mother’s body takes some time to recover from the birth and be ready to bear another one. This is different for everyone but it is usually recommended to wait for about eighteen months before the second baby.
In case the first child is a special needs baby then the older child will typically have more needs in terms of time, energy and even money. A special needs child will take longer to attain self-sufficiency, if at all, so a second child too early may prove too exhausting for the care giver, even with extra help. When all the needs of the first born can be taken care of and the welfare of a second child born is assured, only then the next child should be planned.