The perfect age gap

age gap

When is the best time to have a second child?  Is there a perfect age gap that will ensure limited sibling rivalry and less stress all round?

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average interval between births in the UK is two years and nine months However, if you’re currently worrying about when to start on baby number two, it’s worth knowing that there is no right time for a second child – but there are some  things that you can consider.

It’s important not to get too hung up on it, though, as this can put pressure on you to conceive during a certain time frame and being worried about it and the stress this can cause can actually stop you getting pregnant. Every age gap brings its own benefits and drawbacks and only you can decide what’s best for you and your family based on a multitude of factors.

A new baby at 12 to 18 months

Sibling rivalry is less intense when the age difference between your first and second child is 18 months or less, say the experts, mainly because by the time your second child arrives, your eldest won’t yet have a fully developed sense of identity and so is less likely to be jealous. Other good news is that a shorter gap can help you get your childcare costs and the care of very young children over and done with in a shorter space of time.
Mum of two children Sian, 28, says “What is hard is the stress of having two babies still in nappies and not sleeping through the night. Mind you, it’s easier now they’re older as my girls happily play together as they are only 14 months apart.”

A new baby at two years old

Research shows that conceiving again 18 months after giving birth is best for the new baby’s health. However, sibling rivalry tends to be at its strongest when the age gap between children is around two years, which has much to do with child development issues.
At the age of two children become frustrated easily when they cannot control their environment. This means they are more prone to tantrums and jealousy. What works in your favour is that the age gap is not too large - so as they get older your kids will start to play together and enjoy being with each other.

Three years and above

After three years, the chances of sibling rivalry lessen.  This gap is good for your eldest child's self esteem - they are more secure and more independent as they have had your attention for three years. Plus, giving your body a rest of over two years between pregnancies allows you to fully recover from the challenges of childbirth.
A larger age gap also allows you time back at work in between and the opportunity to spend time with each child, when one is at preschool/school. On the downside, the age gap can be too wide for your children to play together or be close, though the differences may get smaller as they both get older. You will also have to effectively start over again with nappies, sleepless nights and caring for a tiny baby just when you’ve put all that behind you.

How to decide when to have baby number two:

•    How are you feeling? Are you tired, stressed, stretched to the end of your tether with work and/or childcare? If so, do you really have the time and energy for a new baby?

•    Can you afford it? Can you afford childcare for another five years or to take leave from work? Be realistic.

•    How old are you? If you’re in your early 30s you have time to plan another pregnancy Sfter 35 years your fertility decreases, so you have a smaller window of opportunity to get pregnant in.

•    Do you and your partner agree on the best time for another baby? This is a vital component of whether or not it’s the best time to try again.

•    What’s coming up for your only child? Does the next year hold potty training, weaning, or a big life change of some sort? If so, will having another child give you time for both your current child or children and yourself?


Only Child

MrsECampbell - I couldn't agree with you more, I too am an only child and I never felt that I missed out at all. I always had great relationships with my friends and my cousins but was also very happy in my own company.

just a comment- I am an only

just a comment- I am an only child and an only child is not a lonely child! I had a great childhood, probably helps the fact I enjoy my own company, which as an only child you learn to enjoy, helps you for your lifetime as cant always rely on other people you learn to be independent and stand on your own two feet. I enjoyed reading, drawing, writing, I think as an only child you have an opportunity to be more creative. I had plenty of friends and still do, and I don't feel I missed out whatsoever. my husband is one of 4 and we have a 15 month old and have just decided to start ttc no 2, as our little one is so loving and would love a brother/sister to love. so everyone please don't think an only child is a bad thing, as I loved it! and no I wasn't spoilt lol. x

just a comment- I am an only

just a comment- I am an only child and an only child is not a lonely child! I had a great childhood, probably helps the fact I enjoy my own company, which as an only child you learn to enjoy, helps you for your lifetime as cant always rely on other people you learn to be independent and stand on your own two feet. I enjoyed reading, drawing, writing, I think as an only child you have an opportunity to be more creative. I had plenty of friends and still do, and I don't feel I missed out whatsoever. my husband is one of 4 and we have a 15 month old and have just decided to start ttc no 2, as our little one is so loving and would love a brother/sister to love. so everyone please don't think an only child is a bad thing, as I loved it! and no I wasn't spoilt lol. x

am I ready for baby number 2

Me n partner have a gorgeous little girl who will be 1 in 2weeks, my partner n everybody else including family n friends r asking me when I'm going to be having my next one n it is time that I should be having one don't get me wrong I would love more children but just don't think I'm ready yet plus I think I'd feel guilty on my little girl n feel like she mite get pushed out plus she's still in nappies n a bedtime bottle n not sleeping properly plus in our bed she has got a cotbed but just doesn't sleep in it I'm so scared of having another one please help

pregnant at 49

I'm with my partner who is five years younger than me and we want to have children twins runs on his side of the family.
We are also an interracial couple I'm black and he is Irish and we love each other very much but we feel that are people who bot only scrutinize our relationship but our ages because we want to start a family please advise

Lydia Green

A only child a lonely child?

Hi everyone I have a daughter who turned 3 in june she is our only child, I do want another however i don't know if I would regret it I know that sounds awful but having one child is so much easier well so it seems. I feel guilty as my daughter is very bored and constantley wants to be with people who have lots of children, she keeps saying she wants a brother or sister, anyway my question is is it ok to have an only child and no more or is a only child a lonely child??? Please could people comment back

Age gap!

Dear Munni21, please don't worry about the age gap (easy for me to say I know) I have two children age 19 & 12 (boy & girl), I too was concerned about the seven years but they have always got on, obviously there has been the odd spat but nothing major. My son never felt left out when our little girl arrived and loved helping out! Nowadays they get on great... age gaps are what you make of them, we just didn't let it phase us in the end and I think that was for the best. As it now stands, I have just found out that I'm pregnant again (one hell of a shock - I'm 41) Our children will be 20 & 13 when the little one arrives (if all goes well)... now that is one heck of an age gap but hey, ho, I have always said everything happens for a reason & it's best to just get on with it :)

not sure of having a baby no.2 and confused

I have a lovely son(only child) who will be 6 in august. Me and my husband wanted to have only one child and even until now my son was okay, but he gets upset also when he's got playdates and when his friends goes away, he wants either to go with them or gets upset for few hours. I feel I should have no.2 but by the time I will have it next yr, my son will be 7 and it will be like a seven years gap.

My concern is the age gap and because of that, it won't be a company to my son atleast for 3 years to play and by that time my son will be too old to play with the sibling. Also when I ask my son that do u want a sibling, he will say yes "I want a brother". Also me and my husband (not being selfish) we like our own time and now as my son is 6, I will have to start all over it again. Everytime I think of no.2 it makes me feel scared and confused, as we both don't have any family support.

Please help/advice on the age gap and also am I thinking right that the ONLY child is a lonely child ? What difference it will make/or not make to have a second child ?


baby number 3

I have a beautiful daughter of 10 and gorgeous boy of 4 and we are now trying for number 3, I love my age gap between my 2 as I have had lots of special bonding time with them both and they really get along with each other, I know a lot of people will think its 2 big an age gap but it has worked out great for us, just hope number 3 doesn't take 2 long lol x

want another

i had my first baby a month ago by c-section, me and my hubby have said we want another and would like about a years age gap, has anyone fallen pregnant so quickly after a c-section and had a healthy pregnancy and baby turned out fine?

how i got my lover back

I honestly thought that my marriage was healthy. i loved my husband with all my heart. we was married 8 years and have a 3 yr old son. we bought a house 2 months ago. i told him i was pregnant…then he starting acting strange. he didn't want me to keep the baby. one day i decided to tell him i could not go through with not having the baby (about 2 months pregnant), then he tells me he doesn't love me anymore. 2 days later he tells me he cheated on me and wants a divorce. he has since (2 weeks) been really cruel, cussed at me, told me he was going to file kidnapping on me, and has generally acted like i am a doormat. the other woman even contacted me and told me she is going to be my children's stepmother. i know that the affair was not very long because he met her 3 months ago. i don't know what has happened to my husband. i cannot eat or sleep and only have a sister with minimal finances. i completely alone and scared. i needed help because i don't know what to do. he filed for a divorce with a lawyer. so 3 days later a friend told me about a spell caster dr.marnish@yahoo.com, i contacted him and told him my problem and what i wanted and after 3 days he brought my husband back and made my husband a changed man, he is now a good man.
Shannon Monique from Texas

My little boy is 31months old

My little boy is 31months old and after alot of head vs heart arguemnts with myself ive decided to go ahead and try for no2. Im such a worrier though and keep thinking that my son will feel left out or angry. He is very much a mummys boy and we are very close. Any advice will help x

Second Baby

My daughter is coming up for a year old later this month and my fiance and I have decided to start trying for our second. We discussed it and he is quite close with his big brother as there is only 22 months between them. I'm still unsure as to whether a smaller age gap would help. I am hoping so as myself and my brother are 27 months apart and until now we fought constantly and it has taken 20 years for us to start getting along. But reading these posts puts my mind at ease.

Want to get pregant but still breastfeeding my son

My son is 17 months and has been solely breastfed. He is fine drinking water throughout the day but still wants his breastmilk 3 - 4 times a day, sometimes more. He is a really bad sleeper and when he wakes in the night 50% of the time he won't go back down without breastmilk. I think I have just ovulated so we tried to get pregnant but I don't hold out much hope. Any help much appreciated.


hiya im 36 and have 2 children aged 16 & 18 to a previous partner,i have been with my current partner for 8 years and have been tryin for th last year , weve had tests done but have been told everythin fine ,has any1 got any advice for me as i feel like givin up now....

10yrs and 23months gap

i have a 9yr old girl who is very helpfull, "mini-mum" to my 16months old son. I'm now expecting and so excited but a bit worried i will not give my son all attention he needs wen i have this one. Their age diff will be 10yrs with my daughter and 23months with my son.

We are planning

Me and my partner have decided to try for another baby I already have 3yr old twin girls and he has two children from previous relationships I'm getting. My implant out next week and am so excited but does any one know how long it takes to become fertile after having it out

Trying for our second

my husband and i have a two year old boy who is very independent and we have just started trying for our second, two obsticles first my son still isn't potty trained yet, as he isn't ready and the other is getting him settled at school, i think we have started trying at the right time to get both accomplished first. excited and scared at the same time as i know whats to come also since having my son i have developed hypothyroidism so means lots more blood tests this time around. Good luck to everyone that is trying at the moment x

Baby no 2??

I have a daughter who is nearly 14 months, me and my partner would like to have another baby but theres 2 things that worry me... when is the best age gap to start trying and the second is that im scared that the special bond that me and my daughter have will be broken when a new baby is here... am i just being silly? me and my daughter are so close i just dont like the thought of that changing :( if anyone has some advise i would love to hear it to ease my mind! :)


I have a 16 month old son. We are going to start trying for baby no.2 next week sooooo excited!!!

I have a 18month daughter now

I have a 18month daughter now im trying again for my 2nd baby cant wait after reading all these posts.

I have a 18month girl and im

I have a 18month girl and im trying for my 2nd one,after reading all posts feel better now,because thought i should wait let my daughter get a little older,cant wait to get pregnant again.

my son is 2 months old really

my son is 2 months old really wont to have another baby its the best thing i have ever done so were trying for baby number 2 next month after my bday i was glad to see people have done a similar thing

age gap

Brilliant have them together, my first two were a year apart and are inseparable. My 3rd with a 6yr gap in between is now nine month and I am now 12weeks pregnant with the 4th, I always wanted 2 and then 2 together, so overjoyed. No room for brats they grow up together and your used to nappies, teehing etc so double the work, but over with together. Plus they have each other for company and entertainment. Good luck all. Hard work but worth every minute.

age gap

there is eleven months between my two childeren as i got pregnant with my son when my daughter was 3WEEKS OLD very hard work but loved evry moment my children are extremly close and have a lovely bond

Me and my husband have just

Me and my husband have just got married 2 weeks ago and we have a daughter who is 2 si we have decided to start trying again i cant wait :) i just want to hurry up and get pregnant we have been trying for 3 moths now and nothing yet :( i got pregnant with our daughter the first month of trying so im startung to worry something my be wrong

I'm trying

I have one child who is 13, I am trying for our second child but no lck as of yet, tried an ovulation kit this time so here's hoping

I'm trying

I have one child who is 13, I am trying for our second child but no lck as of yet, tried an ovulation kit this time so here's hoping

My son hell be 18 months in a

My son hell be 18 months in a little less than two weeks. I've been trying to get pregnant again since I had him and its been a fail. I wanted my kids to all be as close as possible but so far its not working in my favor :(

want to try for a boy

I have 3 girls oldest will be 8 years in april and middle one is 5 years and youngest is 13 months and i really want to try for a boy but i was worried about the age gap but since i've read other peoples post's i do feel better about it so i can't wait to be pregnent again and fingers crossed its a boy :)

After reading this article i

After reading this article i feel better, my little girl is 4years and 3 months so will be almost 5 when i have flump. I wanted to leave it so my little girl was out of every awkward stage before having another so feels she is at the perfect age :)

been told to give sister

My 6 year old son is hounding me for a baby sister, me and my fiance had a midnight discussion and have decided that we will start trying in April, as are wedding is in July so i won't be so big on the big day, My son has already asked for a shopping list on what we need to get his sister, and after reading this article, i now feel better that they will get on

trying for a baby no three

hi we are trying for baby no three i am 41 in aug and my panter is 36 in dec we have two children 1 is 4 april and one is 2 in nov so the
ago gap is about 18 mth ish

Second baby

We have a beautiful 8 months old little boy and I am pregnant again with poppet number two! Due at the end of may. I became pregnant when our little one was 4 months old. The next couple of years should be fun... The age gap between the two will be 13 months so hopefully they should grow very close!

considering pregnancy??.. have a child of 14 months?comments?

I have a daughter of 14months and considering getting pregnany again? any comments or advice?

pregnant with number two

my little boy was three in july i am now pregnant with my second who will also be born july so there will be four years age gap. :)

timing baby no2 right...

I have a 6 year old daughter and my partner and I are planning our wedding for August, we plan on trying for baby no2 pretty much straight away even planning to stop taking contraception the month of the wedding. As all this planning has been about my partner and I, we are worried that our daughter might feel slightly left out ( we are ensuring we involve her as much as possible in the wedding plans making her the "special" bridesmaid). In most ways though i think she will be at a age where she will be a fantastic help with a new baby. Any thoughts on including her in the process?

we are trying

We already have a 9 year old, I am 34 and hubby 41. I was worried about the age gap but on the other hand the months and years are flying by so fast we realised its possibly only going to get harder to conceive. I feel that there are pros and cons to all age gaps so I have given up worrying about it as we are a loving family with more love to give.

convincing my partner

how do i convince my partner that it's a good idea to have another baby?! Our son is now 8 months old, and i've always wanted my children to be as close as me and my sister, we're best friends. But how do i convince my husband????

trying for baby no2

i have just come off the pill, our daughter is 9/10months old now, so when the next baby arrives she will be 18+months depending on how quick it happens.
we have also been worrying about if she will feel left out or jealous, but keep reminding myself of friends with kids with similar age gap and how much they get on and how much the elder loved the new baby soo much.
also this article has really helped put my mind at rest about it all and can look forward to hopefully falling pregnant again soon :)

second child.

hey all im expecting my second child and feel a little worried that my 1st boy of 5years will feel left out! i abosulutly love him dearly and ive got enough love to go around..the only thing im really worried about is the routine will be turned upside down as some of my time after my son fineshes school goes on helping him with hes homework.Im not complaining though id just hope i have time for both not just the one.

Trying for baby

We are trying for our second child, our son is 5 years old and we have been together for 11 years i am 24 and my partner is 29, my partner only ever wanted one child i have always wanted two i am over the moon when he came out with he would love to have another because he does not want to be too old before having another i think him being 30 next april has hit him hard lol but im scared of the age gap if we ever fall pregnant?? has anyone got any view they would like to share please?? xx

We are planning on trying

We are planning on trying again next year. We already have 2 with an age gap of 16 months and I love having them so close. When we do concieve pretty much straight away the smallest age gap will be 4 years and I am a bit worried about it being too big and for the new arrival to be "the baby" forever.. And we "can't" start now as my husband is due to go away for 7 months.. I'm really torn as I don't want a too big age gap :|

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