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What’s the ideal age gap between siblings?

By: Natasha Archary

age gap between siblings
Image: Adobe Stock

Siblings as kids, or siblings as adults? That was the discussion on Drive 959 on Thursday, 23 May with listeners sharing which stage of their sibling journey they enjoyed more.

The ideal age gap between siblings is something that is brought up in families during the family planning stage, and many have differing viewpoints on how the age difference between siblings affects their relationships with each other.

Is there an ideal age gap that makes raising children easier and helping the sibling relationship?

Planning a family doesn’t always go according to the expectations you have and there are several factors that come into play that can impact a couple’s decision to either start or expand their family.

According to a 2018 study by Jama Network, a short space between pregnancies increases the risk of illness, death and premature delivery.

Miscarriages and complications are not uncommon, resulting in stillbirths or pre-term deliveries of babies that are underweight and with an array of other fetal and maternal risks.

Based on the study findings, medical experts suggest the optimal time between pregnancies is 18 months, with a range of 12 to 24 months.

That said, many experts still adhere to the recommendation of 18 to 24 months before the next pregnancy.

So, in terms of the medical advisement on how to space your children out, Kecia Gaither, MD, double board certified OB-GYN and maternal-fetal medicine and director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, says “Shorter interpregnancy intervals less than 18 months are associated with increased incidences of preterm births and low birth weight babies.”

Ideal age gap for sibling relationships

Having children that are closer in age means that they have a better chance to bond and form a close sibling relationship. The further apart siblings are in age, the easier it is for parents to give kids that one-on-one attention they crave, easing sibling tension and jealousy.

As for sibling rivalry, the older ones don’t have time to get territorial. They’re also fascinated by the baby and it’s as if they have this life-sized doll to play with.

Listen to the conversation on Drive 959 with Glen Lewis:

Also read: Addiction or bad habit that’s hard to break?

Written by: Natasha



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