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Kids close together?

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm not sure if this is in the right place (I've spent a while debating, ha) but feel free to move it if it's not.

My husband and I are the proud parents of a 6 week old baby girl. She was a bit of a surprise (a BIG surprise, actually) and while thrilled we're now trying to plan what we want to do as far as subsequent kids go.

We're thinking of TTC shortly, like when our LO is between 6-9 months old.

I've mentioned this to a few other moms the other day and was met with varying reactions of horror. I know 15-18 months can be the hardest, and that's when I'm thinking of introducing #2, but my sister and I were 15 months apart and mom says it was almost easier that way.

Our reasons from TTC range from great (we're so in love with our LO we want more!) to pretty good (we want our kids close together because we believe it makes for stronger relationships- my sis and I are really close, and DH and his brother are not, and they're 4 years apart) to selfish (I want to start school when we're done having kids) to REALLY bad (I want another kid soon so I can put off going back to work longer- I don't think I NEED to go back to work, but DH wants me to).

For those of you with kids close together- did you do it on purpose? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?
To those who waited longer between kids- I guess same questions? For comparison purposes.
post #2 of 106
My oldest two are 15 months apart, and it was never difficult. We did not do it on purpose, but I'm glad it worked out this way.
post #3 of 106
Mine are 2.5 years apart, and I loved that spacing. My brother and I were 18 months and my mom said it was really hard. The closeness is nice growing up, though.
post #4 of 106
My kids are 13 months apart. Both planned and unplanned at the same time. It took us 2 years to get pregnant with my son so we opted to not prevent the next pregnancy in case it took that long again. We were certainly surprised I got pregnant so quickly, but very happy.

I love the age difference. Mentally it was good for me, because I was doing all the "baby" stuff at the same time and now I am doing the "toddler" stuff with both of them. They play so well together and it is so cute to see them interact. Since I only have two, I do feel I have lots of time with them one on one.

I did have many days where it got really hairy. Neither of my kids were/are great sleepers, so as soon as one would go back to sleep (from a night waking), the other one would wake up. Or having them both screaming at the same time, but I can only take care of one at a time. They rarely napped at the same time. I have a wonderful, helpful DH and that makes my job a lot easier!

My sister's kids are 4 years apart. She likes the age difference. Her oldest is now in school so she has lots of one on one with the younger one. She preferred to only have 1 in diapers at a time. They are 6 and 2 so they are just starting to play together a bit. But, my older nephew gets upset when the toddler destroys his more complicated projects. Or when he can't play with a toy because it isn't safe for his younger brother.

Obviously there is no right or wrong answer. I had no desire for a large age gap, my sister had no desire for a small one. But, our individual families seem to work out just fine.
post #5 of 106
I personally think closeness in relationships has more to do with personality than age difference. My college roommate is best friends with her sister, who's 3.5 years younger. The three kids I nanny: A is 18mos older than B and B is 28 mos older than C...the two who are 28mos apart get along much better than the two who are 18mos apart. At the same time, another family I nannied for had two kids 19 mos apart (G/G) and another had kids 13 mos apart (B/G), and they got along wonderfully. (The 13 mos family also had a girl 4 years older than the next oldest, and, really, they all got along great)

Yes, I think if there's a huge age difference (like 5+ years), chances are that as kids, they may not be as close, but, even when there is a large difference, I've noticed that many adults are closer with their "further" siblings than their "closer" siblings.

My sister and I are 30 mos apart (but 2 years in school, if that makes sense), and we did NOT (and do not, still) get along...just different personalities and interests, but, when we were in school, a lot of competition between us (academically, socially, physically, etc).

If you have another in 15 mos, they might hate each other. But, that could happen if you wait 4 years. If you have another in 15 mos, they might adore each other. But, that might also happen if you wait four years. I suspect the answers you get will be as varied as the parents' and children's personalities, and there's no way to know in advance how your next child will fit into that dynamic...
post #6 of 106
Mine are 10 months apart. They should have been one year exactly (had the same due dates, even), but the younger girlie was born early. They're adopted, so I didn't have any say over the timing.

It was hard when they were little. Both had sleep issues, so we were exhausted for a long time. It was hard to spend a decent amount of time one-on-one when they were so small, because both had immediate needs (as in, oldest wasn't really old enough to wait for food while I fed youngest).

It was a lot of fun, though. By the time they were a couple of years old, they could play together, share clothes, and sleep together. If I were able to plan, I probably wouldn't do it *that close* together, but overall it has worked out well. They're 10 and 11 now and are able to be more independent of me because they are their own little buddy system.
post #7 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
If you have another in 15 mos, they might hate each other. But, that could happen if you wait 4 years. If you have another in 15 mos, they might adore each other. But, that might also happen if you wait four years. I suspect the answers you get will be as varied as the parents' and children's personalities, and there's no way to know in advance how your next child will fit into that dynamic...
These are both great points. For some reason, in my many years of thinking about kids, it never occurred to me that personality may play a factor in how well your kids get along. I am seeing in my family all four of us kids get along great and we're fairly close in age. My SIL's three kids, with 2.5 years between them, aren't terribly close though they're also very young.

I am definitely OK with varied answers. When I mentioned it to other moms in my playgroup, and to some moms I know online, the only response I got was a horribly shocked expressions, silence, and then... "you're INSANE!"

Honestly, my biggest worry with 2 kids close together is how it will affect my breastfeeding relationship with our current LO, although parenting is a close second as far as the worry goes.
post #8 of 106
Mine are 13mos apart exactly! They were both planned and it was the greatest decision i had ever made.
Tandem nursing was difficult but do-able.
I had to have a schedule because i needed to time out naps soo at least one was together so i could get a little break.
Some days were hard but most were great! My eldest was a very quiet sweet child, so when the baby was sleeping in the cuddly wrap i could sit an hour and read to the eldest.
i tried to co-sleep with both but DD1 rolled onto the baby, so we had to put an end to co-sleeping.
My youngest was a miracle and slept through the night very early, like 2-3 mos.
I love that i had two babies than two toddlers. I'm planning on homeschooling and i think the close spacing is terrific! one curriculum for both girls.
I ec'd both girls and that was a lot of extra work but very doable, great results for ec too when the oldest was a role model, then when the youngest was a role model.
I guess the hardest thing was getting to the car, carrying one child and holding onto the hand of a very unsteady toddler.
Most days they get along and some days they are yelling and fighting over toys, since they like the same stuff.
After having them close i just couldn't imagine putting more space between.
Good luck on your decision.
post #9 of 106
You might change your mind once you get closer to 6 months. I was already planning #2 a couple of days after I had DD, but honestly, she has turned out to be very high needs and because of that, we are putting off TTC for a while. We will probably start TTC when she is over a year old. I don't want to risk my milk drying up, especially because it turns out that DD has many food intolerances, so she really needs the milk.

That being said, I'm the oldest of 9 kids, and we vary in spacing from 17 months to 3 years apart. The closest sets of siblings aren't all close in age, though some are.
post #10 of 106
My girls are almost 3 years apart, which is more than I had wanted. I would say the advantages, practically, were that my older girl had some independence when the baby was born, and I never felt like I had too few arms. She was also happy to spend a few nights at Grandma's, when I had to stay in the hospital for a while.

I find that she really enjoys the baby, and they play together, even though I wouldn't have expected it from a 1 and 4 year old. She is pretty understanding when she has to wait for me too deal with the baby's needs.

My neighbour has 3 kids, with 2 years between each. She liked that with the first two, but wished she'd had a slightly longer spacing for the third.
post #11 of 106
Oh, I nannied for a family with 4 girls right before I had DD, the 2 oldest were 15 months apart and 8 and 7 years old, the 2 youngest were 18 months apart (she had a miscarriage in between them, they would have been 15 months apart too). It was REALLY tough with the newborn and 18 month old in the beginning but it was great when they were older (when the baby was a year old or so) because they played together.
post #12 of 106
I have not read the other responses yet, but are you sure it is even possible? I mean i know it is possible for some, but i did not ovulate until ds was 15 months old, followed by the meanest of all AFs ever (lol). for me, even if i wanted to get preggo before then, it would not have worked due to my son nursing so often. He did not really even start ingesting solids until 14 months and now is eating about fifty percent solids, fifty percent breastmilk (in terms of calories).

Anyway, my own personal bias is to wait until the child is at least 2 so that you don't have to worry about milk drying up when they absolutely need it the most. Not to say older chlildren don't need it (they do, just not for caloric reasons).
post #13 of 106
Quote:
have not read the other responses yet, but are you sure it is even possible?
It was definitely possible for me, I got my period back 6-8 weeks after giving birth everytime. I wish I could have been so lucky as to keep it away. Nursing did nothing to help with that
post #14 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
I have not read the other responses yet, but are you sure it is even possible? I mean i know it is possible for some, but i did not ovulate until ds was 15 months old, followed by the meanest of all AFs ever (lol).

Anyway, my own personal bias is to wait until the child is at least 2 so that you don't have to worry about milk drying up when they absolutely need it the most.
The first- not sure. I keep thinking I'm getting my period already but I haven't figured it out yet. My PP basically stopped, and now I'm onto bright red bleeding but i"m not sure if it's cuz I'm doing a lot more now that DH is back at work, or if it's my period? No idea. DD is already sleeping well, and I'd read that you need to nurse every 3-4 hours to prevent AF but she'll often go 5-6 without a problem, so I'm not sure.

Second- that's my concern, too. Part of me wants to wait until at least 1 year just in case the milk goes the way of the do do bird, but I'm undecided.


And to the PP who mentioned that DD is still really young- so far she seems like an easy baby, but I'm not sure how much if that is because she's the first and still newborn. She sleeps well at night, but the rest of the time won't sleep usually unless she's being held. This could all change a bit later on, and I don't want to tell DH "okay, plan to start TTC in 5 months!" in case she suddenly stops being an easy baby and becomes very high-needs. So far she really is so mellow and relaxed and it takes a lot to get her worked up, but maybe she's just adjusting and when she can start to focus on things and realize mom left the room, etc, it'll get a bit crazy.
post #15 of 106
Your fertility might or might not have returned by then, as a pp suggested. My husband and I both come from families where 4 kids are spaced about 1.5 yrs apart each, even less in dh's case, and he is not close at all to his siblings, while I am - personality plays a huge, huge role. We thought, before we had kids, that we would also space them very close together, but now our kids will definitely be more like 3 yrs apart, to give them each plenty of time to have a strong nursing and co-sleeping relationship. I think that ap parents can of course make any spacing work, but I would worry about deliberately sacrificing nursing and co-sleeping - i.e., by nightweaning to get your fertility back, or by having your milk dry up when pregnant - in order to have another child. I guess I feel pretty strongly about that.
post #16 of 106
Mine are all 23-25 months apart and for us, it has been a good spacing. I have a hard time imagining a smaller gap, to be honest, but obvioulsy it works well for many other families. I was comfortable with TTC once the youngest turned a year, each time.

My dad and his bro are 11 months apart and while I don't know if it was difficult for my grandma, they are super close to this day. But, chances are they would be even if they had been 2-3 yrs apart, too.

I think you have valid reasons for wanting a close spacing but you may very well feel differently 6 months for now. Also, if nursing for 2 yrs is important to you, you may want to hold off since there is no way to know how your supply will hold up thru pregnancy.
post #17 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
It was definitely possible for me, I got my period back 6-8 weeks after giving birth everytime. I wish I could have been so lucky as to keep it away. Nursing did nothing to help with that
Your kids are beautiful!
post #18 of 106
Mine are 2.5 years apart, and I even think that spacing, for us, was too close to be ideal. There are many. many times when I can't meet both of their needs. I would never space them closer than two years. I think they would both have to share Mama too much. Also, our bodies need time to recover between pregnancies.

I agree with others who said that personalities have more to do with sibling relationships than age differences. Two boys I knew growing up were five years apart, had very little conflict as kids, and are best friends as adults. My neighbor's kids are 17 months apart and fight CONSTANTLY.
post #19 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmom View Post
.e., by nightweaning to get your fertility back, or by having your milk dry up when pregnant - in order to have another child. I guess I feel pretty strongly about that.
if AF isn't back by the time I want to TTC, then I would consider it "not meant to be" and leave it at that- if BFing was still going well and mutually enjoyable, I wouldn't nightwean just to have another baby. It feels like I'd be messing with fate or something.

Milk- yeah, it's a big concern of mine, I had it in my head i'd do CLW and/ or tandem nursing, but what I want often isn't what I get.



Jmmom- the co sleeping... yeah, hadn't thought of that either.

Hmmm! <stumped>


Thank you all for your great responses, though, I've got more to think about and feel less like a freak for considering it!
post #20 of 106
I will also say that, while when ds was a newborn I couldn't even begin to think about ever, ever having another baby - and so wasn't in your position - now that he's almost 2, I've been really, really starting to want another one, and it's a little bit hard that he's still so attached to nursing that I feel like he isn't ready yet. So I can kind of understand your dilemma! For me, the realization that we wanted, for our children, to space them, has made me be really, really patient, and try to learn to take my time with the big things in life. Good luck with your decision, as it draws closer to the time when you'll make it!
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