"This can't be right," I said as I stared at the pregnancy test with a positive reading, the third test with these results. A surreal feeling came over me as my eyes went from my six month old son to the pregnancy test, and back to my baby. Realizing that I would have another one of these small humans in nine months was a sobering moment, and for the first few hazy days, I couldn't seem to understand the benefits to having two kids close in age.
After about a week, the fog lifted and I started to see how great life could be — for me and the kids — to have siblings that are only 15 months apart. Sure, the day-to-day was going to be challenging for a while, but there's always an adjustment period when family dynamics change. The best part though was realizing my first son would be young enough that he would never remember life without his bro, and I thought that was a pretty awesome thing for my kids to experience.
Deciding how much space to put between your kids is a personal choice, and everyone has a different formula. Having two kids close in age worked for me because of these nine things that made family life even sweeter.
1. They Have Similar Sleep Schedules
Having kids close in age means both will be napping and going to bed around the same time. Syncing up their sleep schedules is heaven for parents, because it means you won't be juggling multiple nap and bed times. You also won't have to worry about keeping one child quiet while the other sleeps. But the biggest bonus is: quiet time for you. With both of them sleeping, you can take advantage of some well deserved relaxation.
2. They Potty Train Together
With two boys so close in age, potty training happened very close together in our house. According to Mayo Clinic, you should start potty training when kids show signs of interest, and not at a particular age. My little one was used to seeing big brother out of diapers and wanted to do the same. It made the process go fast and easy and our house was quickly diaper free.
3. They Have Shared Interests
Being close in age, my kid liked the same toys, activities, and TV shows. And that means less arguing over what to play, where to go, and what to watch in the afternoon. Even though their personalities are very different, since they are only 15 months apart, they tend to share common interests.
4. They Make The Perfect Roommate
As family therapist Patricia Dalton told Parents magazine, "children who share a room learn a lot about give-and-take and tend to work things out on their own when given the chance." My boys began sharing a room when the youngest started jailbreaking from his crib at 13 months, and crawling into his big brother's room to sleep on the floor. They loved being roommates until last year, when they decided to sleep in separate rooms.
5. They Roll With The Same Homies
Play time is inclusive for my kids because they run in the same circles. Since they are so close in age (and only one grade apart in school), most of their friends are mutual. This means no one is ever odd man out when we have playdates at our house.
6. You Get More Sleep
Sleep deprivation for moms is a common and dangerous reality, according to the PBS website. A good night's sleep is a hot commodity for parents, and having kids close together means you can put those years of multiple nightly interruptions behind you faster.
7. They Become School Buddies
When your kids are close in age, the are able to be at the same schools together for a longer period of time. This helps parents focus their energies, support, and resources into one school, according to and article on the University of Minnesota's website. Plus, they are able to see a family member in passing throughout the day, which provides comfort.
8. You Don't Have To Hold Onto Excess Baby Items
Clearing out the clutter gets a lot easier when you don't need to hang on to all that baby gear. When both children are close in age, they will start to phase out of strollers, swings, and carseats around the same time, which means you can clean out all those items you put to good use and move on to the next chapter.
9. They Have A Built In Bestie
My kids fight often, but they always end up snuggling on the couch at the end of the day. Their love is fierce and, because they are so close in age, they spend a lot of time together. They are each other's best friend and have one another's back like nobody's business.