I had never heard of the term “Baby Bunching” before but apparently that is what you call having children closer than two years together. It wasn’t very clear from the piece I read whether 18+ months qualified as “baby bunching” but if so, I qualify a couple different times.
I wanted to explore some pros and cons and get two differing view points. Keeping in mind of course that every feeling is valid when it comes to children and having them!
The Benefits of Baby Bunching and Why I Appreciate Having Kids Closer Together
My first two kids were 18 months apart. My last two kids are also 18 months apart. I will say this – it was a LOT easier with Micah and Adam (#3 and #4) than it was with Evan and Brianna (#1 and #2). I think because I now have the first kids that are a little older and it’s not just me and two littles.
Having said that – I don’t regret having my first two close together. Here are a couple of the benefits I’ve noticed from my inadvertent “Baby Bunching”.
They are best friends. They play well together, they keep eachother entertained, they make up their own stories and games and imaginative adventures together.
They are also on a similar level in learning skills so now that I’m homeschooling I’m actually able to have them both at the same grade level – with minor adjustments for my daughter’s penmanship and a grade higher for my son in Math. Reading and phonics and science and such we are able to do all-together. Saves me time AND money and makes things just that much easier.
But not everyone feels the way I do. I asked my friend Nichole Smith of The Guilty Parent (@Nikki_S) to weigh in on her experiences with Baby Bunching as well, and she had a slightly different point of view.
I had no idea there was a term or even a parenting “movement” called baby bunching. I had heard the term two under 2 before but didn’t know that this was a type of Parenting trend. I have two children that are “baby bunched”. They are 16 months apart and that wasn’t on purpose. If I could do it all over again, I would have definitely spaced them out more. My oldest and 2nd child are 4 years apart and I feel like that’s perfect. It gave me ample time to bond and get to know my baby before having the next one. With my bunched babies, I feel like my daughter, the older bunched baby, got robbed of precious bonding time with me in the toddler years. Her brother was born when she was 16 months old and I really wished for that time to just be with her and enjoy her toddler years without learning the personality and constant care of a newborn.
I’ll be honest, it was a struggle and I think somewhat related to the depression I had after the birth of 3rd child. I don’t regret either of them, just the spacing of them. I felt outnumbered being a SAHM with 2 under 2 and a 5 year old (my oldest didn’t start school until that fall). I was tired, nursing and trying to juggle 3 kids on my own while my husband worked almost non-stop. And honestly the idea of waiting till I was older to have kids and then having them all together was something that never entered my mind. I actually wanted to have kids while I was young because my fear was the older I got, the less energy I’d have!
For me, baby bunching doesn’t make sense – it feels like you’re depriving each child of undivided bonding time that I think every mom and new baby needs.
What about you? Do you have children spaced closely together? Are you enjoying the benefits or wishing things had turned out a little different?