Risks and Benefits of ‘Baby Bunching’
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.
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.
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.
What is your idea of the perfect age gap between children? Would you consider baby bunching?