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What Is the Best Age Spacing Between Siblings?

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Jul 10, 2018

Question

What in your opinion is the best age spacing between siblings in terms of each child's well being?

Counselor

Answer


Siblings

In this counseling answer:

“Spacing children over 3 years has many advantages such as spending quality time with the child without having to take care of others, the mom’s body is healed from childbirth; costs and needs are lower; and parents may have more quality time to spend with each other to retain that closeness and reduce stress”


As-salamu `Alaikum,

While there is no “best” age spacing, it is basically what you and your spouse prefer as a constellation as a family. However many “obstetricians recommend waiting at least 18 months before conceiving again as best for the new baby’s health” (1).

With that said, spacing children apart by 12-18 months, this will insha’Allah create a bonding between the children, there will be less sibling rivalry and parents can group the children together within a few years span which can cut costs on daycare if needed, or the caretaker commits to staying home with the children until they are of school age.

On the downside, it is a lot of work raising and caring for many children who are spaced so closely, and diapers and other needs can be expensive for multiple children.

Spacing children at two years can give the mothers body a break and time to fully heal. However sibling rivalry is more common when younger, but when the children are older “they are close to each other and still have their own identities and interests” (1).


Check out this counseling video


Spacing children over 3 years has many advantages such as spending quality time with the child without having to take care of others, the mom’s body is healed from child birth; costs and needs are lower, and parents may have more quality time to spend with each other to retain that closeness and reduce stress. However as more children come along later, you will be repeating the same process once again, therefore, you may be in a perpetual state of raising young children!

As far as outcomes for children regarding spacing, Buckles et.al (2) found that the only benefit for greater spacing was for the oldest child regarding academics. They did not find any differences for subsequent children. I would kindly suggest discussing with your spouse the pro’s and con’s of spacing and reaching a decision based on what is best for your family dynamics. Make duaa to Allah for guidance and trust in Allah, Allah knows best.

1-http://www.mom365.com/getting-pregnant/before-you-begin/the-perfect-age-gap-between-kids/

2-https://www3.nd.edu/~kbuckles/spacing_final.pdf

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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