Planning to space childbirths may be a good idea for some

PARENT Q & A

September 17, 2000|By T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., | T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.,,NEW YORK TIMES SPECIAL FEATURES

Q. I just read the letter from the father who is thinking about having another child before his daughter Karina's second birthday and was wondering if he should wait.

When our first child was 11 months old, I became unexpectedly pregnant with his little brother. It was very difficult to have two babies in less than two years, but I can see God's perfect timing and wisdom now that the boys are 9 and 10 years old. They are good buddies, and each has a built-in playmate. The first year was the hardest, but now I am glad that we didn't "plan" our children and their spacing.

We also have a 4-year-old daughter (another surprise), and I would have loved to have had another baby shortly after she was born, because my daughter does not enjoy the close relationship that her brothers do.

So tell Karina's dad to stop thinking so much and see what happens.

A. Thanks for your letter. I enjoyed hearing about your adjustments and about your passion for your children. Things clearly worked out well for you, but for some parents -- such as the father who wrote to me -- it can be better to be a planner. Parents who feel a need to plan the spacing between their children should do so. Then they can be passionate about the new child when he or she arrives.

Some parents are so overwhelmed by two babies that they can't give either one the attention and adoration they deserve.

Address questions to Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, care of the New York Times Syndication Sales Corp., 122 E. 42nd St., New York, N.Y. 10168. Questions of general interest will be answered in this column; unpublished letters cannot be answered individually.

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