What's The Best Age Gap Between Babies?

family together. Jasper Cole/Getty Images

Sometime around my daughter's first birthday, I started to get baby fever. 

Coming from larger families ourselves (four kids each), my husband and I always knew that we would want to give our children the gift of having siblings close in age. And because I grew up with my younger sisters almost nine years apart from me, I secretly longed to give my daughter the close sister bond that I never really got to experience. (Sharing clothes? Fighting then making up two seconds later? Bring it on!)

And fortunately, I got my wish and my second daughter was born exactly two years after her sister. I love having my girls so close in age and because the "two year" age gap seemed to work out so well, we continued on our baby-making streak, welcoming two more children in the next four years--bringing the grand total to four kids in six years. All of our kids are almost exactly two years apart, a number that seems pretty common for a lot of families. Here are a few reasons the two-year gap seems to work for us:

Works with breastfeeding

I think the two-year age gap makes a lot of sense, especially biologically speaking. Moms who breastfeed tend to have cycles that are delayed and when babies start to naturally wean around 12 months old, the drop in nursing signals her body that it's time to get pregnant again! 

Less sibling rivalry 

Nature's seeming space gapping for kids seems to work--at two years old, toddlers have a lot more independence and seem to take new babies more in stride. We've never had any problems with sibling jealousy, for instance. And on the plus side for us, keeping the babies closer in age means we've stayed in "baby mode." Let me just say once you've left the stage of diaper bags and potty breaks and sleepless nights, it's really hard to go back!

Close sibling bonds

One of my reasons for wanting a big brood close in age was that I hoped to have them all grow up together and be friends for life. There's nothing I treasure more than my own brother and sisters and I would love for my children to have that gift too. 

There are no guarantees, of course, that having siblings close in age means that they will grow up close together. One mother who commented on my Facebook page noted that she had six kids specifically so they would all grow up close together--and now they live all over the world and never speak to each other!

More time for other pursuits

This benefit isn't for everyone, but I have to admit, it's crossed my mind a time or two. In having all of my children at once, at a relatively young age, it might be nice to enjoy more free time later down the road or have time to get my body back. In a lot of ways, I've figured if we want a bunch of kids, why not have them all at once? But then again, part of me thinks it would be really nice to have a break and spoil the heck out of a last baby too. 

I've heard a lot of different advice from a lot of different moms on spacing their children. Some swear that larger age gaps are the way to go, because an older sibling can help with the baby and I could see the benefit to that too. 

For us, I have to say that I am happy with the age spacing between my kids and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. 

What do you think is the ideal spacing between kids?

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