Ready for More Children? Consider the Pros and Cons First

If you're thinking of adding another baby to your cozy clan, consider the pros and cons before you get busy.
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Just when you thought you were done with the incessant "When are you going to have a baby?" question, along comes the follow-up: "When will you give that precious little one a brother or sister?" Sheesh!

Of course, there's no universally ideal spacing between siblings. There's also nothing wrong with stopping at one bundle if you want. The number of single-child families has nearly doubled, to about 1 in 5, since the '70s, and, despite the stigma, research suggests that onlies are as happy and social as kids with siblings are. "It's about knowing in your gut that the choice you make will allow you to be a great parent," says Susan Stiffelman, a psychotherapist in Malibu, California, and author of Parenting Without Power Struggles: Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids While Staying Cool, Calm and Connected. If you do want to expand your fam, but are unsure of when, we've highlighted the reasons to space your kids out or have them close together.

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