Reader Poll: “Based on your experience, what do you think is the ideal time spacing before bringing the next child into your family?”

In Families, Marriage, Parenting, Polls on January 14, 2012 at 10:27 am

We asked UFI Readers this question:

“Based on your experience, what do you think is the ideal time spacing before bringing the next child into your family?”

This is how they responded:

14 Percent           9-18 months      

58 Percent           2 years

10 Percent           2 ½ years

13 Percent           3 years

3 Percent             4 years

2 Percent             5 years

This wasn’t the question that we really wanted to ask, but the results are interesting and helpful.  One always likes to see the collective wisdom of people.  A spacing of two years between children is the overwhelming winner.  A nationally representative survey on this question, we suspect, would yield a different result.

As for the question we wanted to ask, but felt it was probably too personal:  “What do you think is the ideal number of children?”   That question arose as we read the various news reports on “How parenthood makes life meaningful and marriage makes parenthood bearable.”  One striking finding of this research was that the happiest married couples either have no children or four or more children.  Another finding:  Most individuals still want to have two or more children.

This is not an anti-family report, but it has been used as such in the media.  We suggest you read through the report and some of the articles surrounding these findings:

How to Keep Parenthood From Making Your Marriage Miserable

The Five Secrets of Happily Married Parents


  1. I have to chuckle when I think of this, I remember when I was in high school my home ec (or FACS) teacher said if we didn’t have at least 4 years between children they would beat each other up (of all the ridiculous tatics to get us to have less children–fear of children fighting is one of the silliest ones I’ve heard). I was a little confused if you meant X amount of months between children total, or X amount before a couple starts trying for one again. I was surprised (and a little disappointed) that there was no option for “there is no ideal spacing” as not everyone believes in birth control.

  2. Meagan,
    You are right that perhaps we should have offered your suggestion as an option “there is no ideal spacing.” Seems we at UFI always think of better options for responses AFTER the fact.

    But, you can still have an opinion as to what the ideal spacing of children is – even if you do not plan to do anything to impact that spacing. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Oops, forgot to address the other question. Our intent was to address the number of months/years between the birth of one child and the birth of another.

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