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Your Age Gap With Your Sibling Probably Influenced Your Test Scores As Kids

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For some families, deciding whether to have more children is an easy decision, many choose to have all their kids one after another so that they grow up together.

They see it as already being in the flow of things, so why not just dedicate a few years of life to raising kids before having a sense of freedom once again.

Others choose to wait a good few years to mentally, physically and emotionally recover from childbirth and getting to grips with parenthood.

A lot of parents have concerns about the perfect age-gap, some choose to have kids close in age as they feel they will be closer to each other. Others choose to wait so that the older kids are able to understand the changes that are occurring.

But scientifically, is there even an ideal age-gap? I myself have a young toddler and hope to have more children, but the question often weighs up on my mind on whether I want to go through pregnancy, the newborn stage and current toddler stage again so soon.

I’m tied between a small age gap to ensure my children can relate to each other, or slightly larger age gap so my toddler is somewhat self sufficient before I give the majority of my time to a newborn.

Ideal age gap for parent’s health

If we take a look at the impact on the childbearing parent, studies show the ideal time they should wait in between pregnancies.

Research found an age gap of more than five years was associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia. When the age gap was less than two years between the pregnancies you are at risk of labor dystocia (delayed or slow labor).

Additionally, those with less than 12 months between pregnancies have an increased risk for placental abruption.

A recent study concluded that based on this research the optimal time between pregnancies for the childbearing parent seems to be 18 to 23 months, giving your children a 27 to 32 months age gap.

Ideal age gap for children’s wellbeing

In terms of the age gap and its effects on child development, research finds that older children that are more than two years apart from their younger sibling show a higher test score in maths and reading.

With age gaps of less than 21 months, research shows the younger child scored lower on vocabulary, reading and maths.

According to child psychologist Dr Michele McDowell who spoke to iNews: “One reason for this could be that when parents have children close together they have less time to spend talking, interacting and reading with each child, which could impact on academic outcomes.”

Even with larger age gaps, for example more than five years, research shows children have lower scores when it comes to communication. Those with an age gap of more than 3.5 years also had lower maths scores.

So according to all of this research, the ideal age gap seems to be between two to three years!



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