Child spacing is something that a person (or couple) can have a great amount or a small to nil amount, of control over. In our current times, I would say that many do take as much control over this "choice" as they can, & with that option, many choose to have their kids a certain amount of space apart from one another. Of course there are pros and cons to most situations but for me, the 4 year separation mark is close to perfection. Here is why I love it:
At 4 yo a child understands so much more and can handle more of the upsets that can take place with a baby. Along the entire journey the 4 yo will be a 6 yo when the baby is 2-which means the older child will be at a place in brain development where she can cognitively start to grasp the idea of sharing and what it's like for the toddler. (Of course the child is still young but that understanding is SO much better at 6 versus 4).
A 4 yo can follow directions and be really helpful during car rides as well as at home with helping the baby. Sometimes I don't know how I would have made it home in the car without my 4 yo to help my baby cope and she certainly was a true helper with diapers or getting me things while I was breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding. I'm a child led weaning momma so I love the 4 yr spacing for breastfeeding. It allows the older child at least 3.5 years to self wean. Now it could be argued that it's still cutting them off early to have them self wean due to colostrum etc during pregnancy versus waiting for a 6 yr spacing but for me this feels right. Partly because a great proportion of moms I've witnessed self wean had kids that did so in that 3-4 yr range.
My body's recovery. I can feel the nutrients pulled from my body through pregnancy and breastfeeding. I'm one who loses my fat stores that first year of breastfeeding and it takes me at least another year or two to recoup. My body demonstrates this by giving me extended amenorrhea -delaying my fertility. It's my body's way of saying "no way" do you want another baby yet. I like feeling strong and filled back up before creating more life in my body.
Diapers. I enjoy having only one child in diapers at a time and even more so, one that can go to the bathroom mostly on their own. In my personal experience I did have times when the oldest needed me to check her butt or wanted me to wipe after poop when baby needed me laying with a boob in her mouth. I can't imagine if my 4yo was only a 2yo at that time! I would have had no choice but get up and wipe her and wake/disturb the baby.
I like relaxing. When toddlers hang out with one another they require more supervision. With my oldest being 4 yrs older she can play and compromise and do so much which gives me space and time to clean, write, relax, make important phone calls or whatever it is I'm wanting to get done. Now, my oldest still has her free will so it's not entirely a built in babysitter situation but there is much more trust and help and understanding that exists which would not if they were closer in age.
And last but not least for me is Chinese astrology. Every 4 years holds a good compatibility. Along with having fewer child resentments from toddlerhood, their astrological disposition possesses a likelihood of being life long friends. And I wish nothing more than to see my kids share and connect and feel that soul vibe with one another.
And that my friends is why I've always wanted and continue to like having my kiddos be 4 years apart!
and some bonus links for some info to ponder if you're curious about what is right for You ;)