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Family Planning: Is It Time for Another Child?

Time for some family planning decisions. When's the best time to have a second baby? Should you have your family all at once, spacing your children less than two and a half years apart? Or should you recover from the first before having the second, spacing them at least two and a half years apart? As the following table demonstrates, it all depends on your priorities.

Advantages of Having Children Close Together in Age

A child under two will quickly forget that he was once the only one.

If both you and your partner eventually want to get back to full-time work, you will be able to do so sooner.

If you make it through the first few years, your kids are more likely to have a close relationship, playing and sharing with each other.


Disadvantages of Having Children Close Together in Age

You may be nursing and pregnant at the same time—not always a pleasant combination.

You may suffer from morning sickness during the period when your toddler or pre-toddler becomes very clingy.

You will have two babies at the same time, which means double the diapers and balancing a child on each hip.


Advantages of Putting More Space Between Your Children

It will probably be easier on you both physically and mentally to have some breathing room between babies.

If both you and your partner want or need to work part-time during your children's early years, you'll find it much easier with a preschooler and a baby than with a toddler and a baby.

Your older child will probably be independent by the time the baby arrives, so you will have more time to devote to the new baby.


Disadvantages of Putting More Space Between Your Children

A child who can speak can tell you in no uncertain terms that he wants that thing out of here and he wants it out now!

No matter how close they get, your children will always be three (or four or more) years apart, which will make it harder for them to share and enjoy each other's company—at least during their childhood.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Preschooler and Toddler, Too © 1997 by Keith M. Boyd, M.D., and Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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