What are the pros and cons of planning babies in a quick succession and then stopping it altogether. e.g: planing one baby per year and then stopping at number three.

Thus Is it a wise thing to get babies quickly without leaving much gaps? The reason I ask this is that the first year of the infant requires constant attention which means all time goes in the infant grooming which makes us to think to utilize this time for another pregnancy thus parallely saving precious time?

  • 1
    Related: parenting.stackexchange.com/q/1908/420
    – user420
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 15:00
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    Close pregnancies may also pose risks to the health of the mother and second child (see, e.g., here).
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 19:02
  • Don't do it! I just gave my bestest best friend this advice, and she didn't listen, and she calls me almost everyday to tell me how sorry she is that she didn't.
    – Jax
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 2:05
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    One more thing- pregnancy isn't "doing nothing." I got the impression from your question that it's merely a 9 month wait until the work begins. Pregnancy IS work too my friend. Ask any woman who's trying to do it, plus something else.
    – Jax
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 2:09
  • Yes for people who cannot work while being preganant like having hypermesis in pregnancy? Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 6:28

3 Answers 3


Beofett linked to a great answer above. Let me add a few observations of my own:

First of all, what you plan is different from what you get. Many biological reasons can cause it to take a long time, even years, for the first baby to arrive. And there's no guarantee against such difficulties for the following babies, either. Or you might get two or three all at once! So whatever your plans are, be aware that Nature might have a very different idea of things.

One obvious "pro" about quick succession to me is to get those dirty, noisy baby years behind you as quickly as possible. But that also means that this precious, special time will pass very soon.

When kids are spaced a couple of years apart, the younger can inherit things which the older no longer uses - toys, clothing, even furniture! This saves money but may require some storage space. It might also cause some unhappiness in the younger child that never gets anything new. If they're spaced close together, there is bound to be some overlap in age groups that prevent this inheritance scheme.

Quick succession gives you less time for each child in the early years. As you mention, babies require more attention, and it's much easier to attend to a 1yo when the elder sibling is 4 rather than 2.

Quick succession is a mental and physical and financial strain on you because so much happens at once. Spreading it out more distributes the load and the stress. But you'd then have to deal with it longer.

Quick succession may make holiday planning easier because the kids will be in the same schools longer, so there are fewer external organizations to coordinate.

Quick succession lets the children have a closer relationship because they have more in common, but their relative age difference evens out after 10-15 years anyway, unless they're many years apart.

  • A couple of extra points: our eldest two are 2 years apart, so are very competitive, which has stood them in good stead in lots of sports; we then had a 4 year gap to our 3rd, so childcare with 3 was much easier than if we had had her closer, as our eldest helps out by making lunches for school, looking after the other two, and now a few years along, walks them both home from school.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 23:49
  • This answer mostly sums it up. I'll add that my pregnancy with my third, which was conceived when my 2nd was only 13 months, was a tiresome, stressful, and less healthy (I had an almost constant cold and wicked back pain) than my others. I "missed" my 2nd child's toddler years bc I was pregnant and then caring for a newborn. Mine are 2 and 4 and we're just starting to breathe easier. I didn't sleep though the night for over 5 years. I wouldn't advise anyone, except in some rare unknown to be at this moment circumstance, to space their kids less than 2 years apart (birth to conception).
    – Jax
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 1:58
  • So what I'm saying is, it's physically and mentally draining on mom. Also, my two are in the same size right now, so, they are sharing my oldest's hand me downs and there's not enough to go around. When I had them both in cloth diapers-I had to wash them everyday, and I had to stock close to 100 diapers and a dozen covers-disposables were unaffordable for us.
    – Jax
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 2:03
  • ... and not just on mom, provided dad does his fair share of duties when he gets home from work. Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 7:39
  • Of course! Dad's don't escape the exhaustion, stress, and toil of life with multiple infants either! I meant no insult to the dads of the world who are doing their part.
    – Jax
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 20:02

Recovery from the first birth

Having back to back babies can take a hard toll on the mom's body. A few months post-partum her body has not had time to fully physically recover:

“Studies show that there is a higher incidence of low birth-weight and premature birth when conception takes places within six months of a previous delivery,” Dr. Debra Wickman, OB/GYN and a doctor with SHE, Sexual Health Experts in Arizona told SheKnows.

“This is likely due to depletion of nutrients and vitamins that have not had time to become replenished and full physical and psychological recovery may not have occurred by six months postpartum,” (1)

Effects on Breastfeeding

Another aspect to consider is how long the mother would like to breastfeed. Babies can benefit from extended breastfeeding up to 2+ years.

Breastmilk still contains immunologic factors that help protect the child even if he is 2 or older. In fact, some immune factors in breastmilk that protect the baby against infection are present in greater amounts in the second year of life than in the first. (2)

Many women find when they get pregnant that their nipples become very sensitive and breastfeeding may be painful or uncomfortable. Some women also find their milk supply dries up or is severely reduced by pregnancy. So, very closely spaced children has the potential to interfere with other goals like breastfeeding until 1 or 2 years.

Another thing to consider, relating to breastfeeding, is that frequent breastfeeding throughout the day and night can cause a delay to the return to fertility. Many women do not start having regular cycles until they night-wean or wean entirely. Certainly, there are exceptions, but it's something to keep in mind.


We had our two children four years apart, and that has proven ideal for us, though each was much later what we originally wanted. They are separated enough to not compete, but close enough to be best friends (now 15 and 19).

Plan to be flexible. Many people plan on having children at a particular time, and it just doesn't work out. Sometimes it just takes longer, sometimes it takes medical intervention, sometimes it takes adoption. This can have consequences for a relationship. I'm not saying don't have a plan, I'm saying leave room in your plans and your relationship for the unexpected.

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