Stacey Solomon has revealed what it’s like to have three children aged three and under, and she’s admitted it’s “full on”.
On her Instagram Stories, the 33-year-old replied to some of her follower's questions, including one that asked her how she’s finding life with five children.
Solomon says she gets asked this question “a lot” but that she “can’t believe I’m lucky enough to say I’m a mum-of-five”.
Solomon shares three-year-old Rex, one-year-old Rose, and three-month-old Belle with her husband, Joe Swash.
She is also mum to Leighton, 10, and Zach, 14 from previous relationships. Swash also has a 15-year-old son called Harry.
“I’ll be 100% honest, [having a three-year-old, one-year-old and a newborn] is full on,” the Loose Women presenter said in the video.
“There’s not many ways I can describe it. They obviously constantly need you, all of them, all of the time. It’s so different to when I had the older boys as there are bigger age gaps. So it’s really hard, but at the same time I love that they’re growing up together.”
While Solomon has experienced both close and more distant age gaps between her children, is there really an ideal age gap to have between siblings?
“When it comes to determining the ideal age gap between children, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer,” parenting expert and founder of Devoted to Home, Melissa Agyei, says.
“The most important factor to consider is your personal reason for making that decision. Some families find that a closer age gap works better for them, while others prefer a wider age gap. It ultimately depends on the unique circumstances and seasons you find yourself in.”
If you are lucky enough to be able to plan your pregnancies – as many couples aren’t – and are looking to have two children under two years of age, or three children under three, Agyei says that this can often present challenges in terms of time and resources.
“It's important for parents to carefully consider their physical and emotional readiness, support systems, and ability to meet the needs of multiple young children simultaneously,” she adds.
“Ultimately, the decision should be based on what feels right for the parents and what they believe will create the best environment for their children's growth and well-being.”
Another factor to consider is how long it takes a woman’s body to recover after having a child.
“Generally, it is recommended to allow an appropriate period of 12 to 18 months for physical healing and restoration before considering having another child. This time frame allows the body to heal, regain strength, and restore hormonal balance,” Agyei says.
“Considering the recovery time when thinking about the age gap between children is important because it allows the mother to be in the best possible physical and emotional condition for the next pregnancy and parenting journey.”
Agyei adds that there are several factors to consider when thinking about what age gap you’d like your children to have.
“Parents should consider factors such as their personal circumstances, family dynamics, financial stability, emotional readiness, support systems and individual goals,” she continues.
“It's important to assess their own needs and priorities, and to communicate openly with their partner to make an informed decision that aligns with their vision for their family.”
It’s also important to note that it’s not always possible to plan when you will have kids, especially if you suffer from infertility or secondary infertility.
“Even with careful planning, life can be unpredictable and flexibility is key,” Agyei says.
“Ultimately, whether we are able to fully plan or not, what matters most is creating a loving and supportive environment for our children. With love, care and a willingness to adapt, we can provide a nurturing home that supports their growth, development, and happiness.”
Watch: Stacey Solomon reveals pregnancy of fifth child was a 'surprise'