1 year old
Mom’s Health + Well-Being
Saying goodbye to infancy
- As monumental and celebratory as your baby’s first birthday is (you survived the sleep deprivation and rookie mistakes of infancy!), it can also be time of sadness and even depression.
- It can be hard to watch your baby discover a sense of independence as he or she teeters down the hallway; it can be heartbreaking that your baby no longer needs your body for nourishment.
- Of course many parents are eager and excited to experience the next developments and milestones – and there are plenty of reasons to be excited – but know that it’s normal to feel sad.
- You might also feel depressed if you recently weaned from breastfeeding, as you can experience a hormonal upheaval similar to pregnancy and the return of your menstrual period.
- If you’re feeling sad, depressed and/or anxious, it’s important to talk to a professional.
Are you ready for baby number two?
Perhaps you always thought you’d have your kids two years apart, but that would mean you’d need to get pregnant within the next few months. Some parents are determined to have children close in age, while others simply aren’t ready for another round of sleepless nights and around-the-clock feedings.
We wish we could give you a definitive answer on when to have baby number two, but there really isn’t any conclusive evidence to show that a particular spacing is ideal. Just because you have two kids back to back doesn’t mean they’ll be best friends, and just because you space them out five years apart doesn’t mean they’ll be disconnected. And, of course, just because you decide to stop at one doesn’t mean your child will be antisocial, lonely or spoiled. The decision is up to you.
Regardless, here are some facts to consider:
- The average American family waits 30 months between baby number one and baby number two, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.
- According to the National Center for Health Statistics, single-child families have almost doubled since the early ’60s.
- Many studies have concluded that pregnancies less than 18 months or more than five years apart can put your second baby at risk for prematurity or low birth weight.
- Pros for having babies close in age: Your kids will most likely be playmates, and you can continue with the “baby stage” while you’re still in infant mode.
- Pros for having babies further apart: There might be less sibling rivalry if your babies aren’t competing for attention, and your oldest baby can better emotionally and mentally accept a new baby. Plus, an older baby can feel part of the process by being able to help.
- If you’re planning on trying for another baby, read our conception advice.
Still undecided? Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding on baby number two:
- Is my body physically ready for another pregnancy? Most experts agree that it’s best to give your body a full year to recuperate before your next pregnancy. Do you feel like you need a break from pregnancy and breastfeeding?
- Can I handle the high demands of two babies close in age right now? You’ll have double the diaper changes, sleeplessness and tantrums. If you’re a working mom, double the daycare costs might be an issue.
- How well can I handle chaos and clutter? If the answer is “not well,” you might want to space your children out a little more.
- What kind of family do I envision having? If you had a big family with siblings close in age, you might want to recreate that tight-knit dynamic. On the other hand, if your close-in-age sister was always a perpetual enemy, you might want a little more spacing.
- Are we financially ready for another baby? Now that you’ve gotten through the first year of diapers, solid foods, formula, baby gear and childcare, you know how fast the costs add up. Should you build up more of a savings cushion before baby number two?
- Do I really want to get out of the baby phase and then go back into it? Many parents find it easier to get it done in one shot, while others prefer to have one child potty trained before the second baby comes along.
- Do I have the energy and time that a newborn requires?
- How old am I? Unfortunately moms in their late 30s who want a big family don’t have the luxury of waiting four or five years between kids. You also might want to think about how old you want to be when you’re finished having children.
- Do I really want another? You can list out pros and cons for days, but you can’t calculate the love that comes with a brand new baby. Do you feel like your family is complete, or are you missing a family member? At the same time, make sure that you’re having another baby because you and your partner want to, not because you’re “supposed” to have babies two years apart or because you want to give your first born a playmate. Follow your heart.