Risks and Benefits of ‘Baby Bunching’

baby bunching
Image via Mindi Stavish

Are you a mom with two kids under two or will you soon be?

The term ‘baby bunching’ refers to the family planning method of having two children under the age of two. The phrase was coined by bloggers Cara Fox and Linda Kerr of Baby Bunching, in August 2008. My two boys are 26 months apart so I technically don't qualify as a baby buncher, but life certainly was crazy that first year my second son was born. I must have forgotten how crazy it was, because I'm about to do it all over again very soon. In June, our family will consist of a 4 year old, 2 year old and newborn. Life is loud and chaotic now, but about to get even messier.

I couldn't be more excited.

As exciting as life can be with 2 kids under two, there are some risks to think about when it comes to having children in this way. 

Risks of Baby Bunching

1. Chances for carrying a second baby to term are best when there is at least 12 months between pregnancies, according to a study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The risk of preterm birth when there is less than six months between pregnancies is 41%, and lower between six and 12 months.

2. In general, your body needs 12 months to recover from the previous pregnancy and birth.  Specifically, your pelvic floor remains weak right after birth.  There is an increased risk for female organ prolapse, where the uterus, bladder and/or rectum herniate or bulge into the vaginal canal, if there is not enough time between pregnancies for your body to completely heal. 

{ MORE: Grab the Tissues and Watch This 10-Year-Old Help Deliver Her Baby Sister }

3. Raising two children under the age of two can be very stressful. Woman who suffered from postpartum depression after the first child is much more likely to experience it after the second child.

There is a lot to love and look forward to as a family with two children under the age of two, as well.

Benefits of Baby Bunching

1. Your children will become the best of friends (you hope!).  At least they will always have someone to entertain them. Siblings that are close in age learn how to play with each other, as well as protect each other as they grow up.

2. With children that are close together in age, there is always plenty of toys to be found everywhere! The range of toys in our playroom varies from push toys, wooden blocks, and balls to Transformers, cars, and trucks.  Before my oldest has a chance to outgrow a toy my youngest will discover his passion for it.

3. Since there will never be enough of mom or dad to go around, often the older child will teach the younger one life skills. From throwing a ball to putting on his shoes, my youngest son has learned so much from his big brother. I can only hope his desire to follow in the footsteps of the oldest will transfer to potty training.

4. For the first few years, your children can participate in the same activities and interests.  Also, when they get older they will be in the same school for several years, making classroom volunteering, PTA and after school car pooling easier for you.

ADVERTISEMENT

With more and more woman delaying starting a family due to careers and finances, baby bunching continues to be popular. Sure the first few years can be a bit of a blur with endless sleepless nights, diapers, and teething, but then it's over for good.

{ MORE: Ever Wonder Why Parenting Is Just So Hard? }

What is your idea of the perfect age gap between children?  Would you consider baby bunching?

What do you think?

Risks and Benefits of ‘Baby Bunching’

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

Tell us what you think!

37 comments

  1. Tassai says:

    I suppose I “baby bunched” as well. My son was born 3 days before my daughter’s second birthday. It was very difficult for me the first couple of months but now they can’t stand to be separated.

  2. Jenny says:

    My oldest has just turned three last month, and my second child just turned two this month. This all occurred according to plan. The plan was to adopt a little girl from Africa when my oldest hit five, However life had a different plan for us. When my youngest was 8 months old I found out I was pregnant with baby number 3. Apparently missing just two days worth of pills will do that to you. At first I was stressed and freaked out (I had just started my master’s program 5 months before) and was looking at practicums, but after four months of pregnancy and speaking to my professors about reducing my course load. I am really beginning to look forward to meeting my little girl! I am glad I found out the sex of the baby this time, it has really helped me to accept that life will be okay even without following “the plan.” My two boys are great together and the oldest (although he is a very active handful) is an awesome big brother, the two are really the best of friends. I think both will take great care of their little sister, and I can not wait to meet her!

  3. Jenna says:

    Well, for one, we didn’t do it on purpose; sometimes things just happen. Our oldest two are 17 months apart and they are buddies (now 12 and almost 11). After those two, come our two that are 14 months apart, a boy and a girl (now 8 and 7). They are pretty darn close too. It’s so fun to watch them play. The next two are exactly two years apart, though I did have a pregnancy in between them that didn’t make it. They are now 4 and 2. Our seventh is coming three years after our last one (and this 7th was not planned, very much a surprise that I am still getting used to–I was done with babies!). But my pregnancies were all pretty healthy and it’s nice having them pretty close in age, for the most part.

  4. Heide says:

    We aren’t exactly baby bunching, since the due date for the new baby is on my son’s 3rd birthday, but my sister and I were 18 months apart, and it worked out great for us. There was a three year gap between her and my youngest sister, and they get along very well too. Although not always when we were kids! We fought just like other siblings, but I think we had a better understanding of each other than if we’d been further apart in age. My mother and her sister are 11 years apart and hardly have anything in common.

  5. Florence says:

    I have an eight month old little princess that will be 1 this October. Due to the fact that currently non of my food stays down. We do believe we’re going to be “baby bunching”.

  6. Samantha says:

    My children are 364 days apart! I constantly ask myself, “what was I thinking?!” But, I couldn’t be more proud of my children, and they’re best friends! <3 I'm proud of how my son is protecting and teaching his little sister.

  7. Melissa says:

    I “baby bunched” with my sons. My son’s are 14 months apart and now I’m doing it again! I just had a baby last year and I’m due in 6 weeks. They will be 14 months apart as well. So now I have a 15, 8, 7, 1 year and newborn! My house is going to get crazier but I can handle it! My son’s are very close to eachother and I hope that these two babies will be as close! My oldest and only girl is not as close with her brothers but they maintain a good relationship. Everyone fights but they have a special bond that I feel that only comes from being so close in age.

  8. Emeline says:

    I wanted my kids close in age due to some of these benefits, now I have 4 kids under 2.

    • 4 kids under 2!!?? Wowza! How in the world did you do that? I’m currently having fertitlity issues and it took almost all of our options to start out with my first who is almost 1 now.

  9. Jacob says:

    Hubster and I tried for two years to have our first child. After that, I told him, I just couldn’t bring myself to go back on birth control, and risk going through the same heartache again. I was nursing our son, and one day, J looked at me like I had fed him poison. Apparently, the hormones had changed the taste of my milk!

    Come July, I will have 2 under 2. J will turn 2 in August. I’m tired just thinking about it.

  10. nrasaka says:

    When I had my last child 5.5 months ago, he was the youngest of 4. His twin sister was 11 minutes earlier, my next daughter was 20 months old and my son turned 3, only ten days before my twins were born. I love having them close. It is very busy sometimes and I don’t know what I would be doing without them. All four will be in high school together, it will make vacations easier to plan since they will be in the same developmental interest groups, they will be able to teach each other also making it easier to be taught together (both my older two are potty training together now). Lots of benefits. Plus by the time I am 50 they will all be adults. Yay for us!

  11. MadXanSi says:

    I have 3 kids. When the youngest was born we had a 3 year old, 1 and a half year old and a newborn! It was stressful, but two years later they are best friends.

  12. Kupolaf says:

    We have a 13 month old and we’re trying for the second. Wish us luck!

  13. mommy nhoj says:

    We are considering it. But right now, we’re waiting for doctor’s go signal!

  14. Amber says:

    We definitely baby bunched! Our boys were born exactly a year apart to the day! They share the same birthday! It was really hard at first having a one year old and a newborn, but got easier as they grew. Our Irish twins will be 3 and 2 this next month!

  15. andrea says:

    I have a 14 month old and just recently found out I’m five weeks pregnant with my second. So well be baby bunchers. Its fine if u can handle it. My sister did the same with her boys they’re twenty months apart.

  16. wanda says:

    My friend baby bunched with her two sons and had to send the youngest to live with his grandma because the older one wasn’t ready to share mom. I didnt really understand why a sibling could react this way seeing that mom introduces new baby to the kids once her pregnancy starts. I learned quite a bit from this and got a understanding.of this.

    • That’s interesting. It seems like you would send the older one to grandma’s because the first few months of a baby’s life is the most precious and you don’t want to miss a single minute of it. Not saying all other times in life are not enjoyable but if he wanted to learn how to share mom maybe living without her for a little bit might help. Just my opinion.

  17. I have four girls four and under! They are 4, 3, and 8 month old twins! Life can get pretty crazy around here but it’s all good!

  18. Cambria says:

    Our daughter just turned 1 and we plan on trying for our second in the next few months so they will be right about 2 years apart, my brother and I are 19m apart and really close. My husband and his sister are 11m apart and not as close as my brother and I. I think baby bunching is fine.

  19. TheMrsMac06 says:

    My boys will be 19 months apart! Only a day and a wake up before baby #2 arrives! Good luck with yours!!! 🙂

  20. TheMrsMac06 says:

    My two boys will be 19 months apart also…. it makes me happy to know that yours have/had such a great relationship growing up so far. I have 3 older brothers, two of them that are only about 14 moths apart and they had a great relationship growing up. I’m hoping the same for my boys.

  21. TheMrsMac06 says:

    After 5 years and a miscarriage, my husband and I finally welcomed our baby boy, John Michael into the world. 10 months later while I was planning his first birthday party I found out I was pregnant again. Our second baby (another boy) is being welcomed by c-section into the world on Monday (I’m nervous and anxious!). The second pregnancy completely took us by surprise since we’d had to use UIU and fertility drugs with the first pregnancy. I guess they’re right when they say that after you have the first that subsequent pregnancies become easier….at least for us anyway. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with "baby bunching", if you can handle it then you can handle it. I think it’s a little scary to have 2 under the age of 2, but with help and support you can get through anything! 🙂 I can’t wait to have my two boys in the house 😉

  22. Talia says:

    We baby bunched. My first two are 10m 5d apart, my second two are 17m 5d apart… And I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

  23. Nicki says:

    Our "baby bunching" is/was a complete surprise… we adopted a beautiful baby girl in Dec. 2011 and I’m expecting our 1st biological child this Sept. Our kiddos will be 22mos apart when the new one arrives. :o)

  24. Amanda says:

    I did it! My first two are 14 months apart….and it was hard!! I decided that a two year age gape was perfect and my last two are almost (20months) two years apart. They are currently 7,5,4, and 2. They are already really close and always have someone to play with. So yes I would recommend it. For me it was the idea that if I got out of the diaper stage, I would not want to go back, so I didn’t! We planned it this way and so far, so good! 🙂

  25. Christine says:

    We "baby bunched" three times! When my youngest was born we had 3 under the age of 3. Our first two were 15 months apart and our 2nd two were 19 months apart. And we planned it that way! Most people thought we were crazy, but we absolutely love it this way! Of course, there are challenges, but there are just as many challenges with any type of spacing between multiple kids 🙂 I will say that it was definitely hard on my body. My third pregnancy in particular was very difficult and I often wonder if I would have had less problems if I’d waited longer between pregnancies. That aside, I would not have it any other way!

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend