Is there ever a right time for a second child?

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
12 November 2012

It wasn’t long since we were cooing over newborn pictures of Peaches Geldof’s son Astala, eight months. But already the former wild child turned wife and young mum, 23, has revealed she’s thrilled to be expecting her second.

Three and a half months pregnant Peaches and husband Tom Cohen, 21, announced they’re expecting another boy, to be named Phaedra, and admitted they were momentarily shocked to be adding to their family so soon.

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In an interview with Hello! Magazine, the sometime TV presenter admitted, “I did have a momentary panic and go, 'Oh my God, we're going to have a one-year-old and a one-month-old! How will we cope?'”
But rock singer Tom Cohen, who married Bob Geldof’s daughter in September took the pregnancy in his stride.

“Tom was so supportive and relaxed,” Peaches said. “It banished my doubts and I started imagining the two boys growing up together as the best of friends. There are massive benefits to having two children so close together.”

Can a second baby be too soon?

Of course there’s no right time to have your second child and, unless it’s unexpected, it’s always a big consideration for parents. As Peaches says, having children close in age means they will be at a similar development level, able to play together and share toys. It also cuts down on jealousy as the eldest child won’t remember a time when his or her sibling wasn’t there. 

It can be a pro for mums who want to remain at work, as they can take a shorter career break and also decreases the amount of time women give up their bodies to child bearing.

[Related: Keep your family healthy this winter]

But there are cons too. It’s recommended mums return to their original weight before trying for another baby, to prevent gaining too much during subsequent pregnancies (which can have health consequences for both mum and baby). And earlier this year a study suggested babies conceived soon after their sibling was born are up to three times more likely to develop autism. On a practical level, it can also be hard work for new mums, who may still be breastfeeding, to deal with pregnancy as well as a fast-growing toddler.

Plus though they may be able to play together, siblings with a similar age may argue more and fight over shared toys, leading to a headache for mum. It may also become expensive as they will need one each of the big ticket items such as prams, rather than handing them down.

How far apart were your children born and do you think it was the ideal? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.

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