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Kids close together? - Page 2

post #21 of 106
Mine are 15 mos apart, currently almost 4 and young 5. If you sleep in between the children they can't interfere with each other. It's great and I would not want it any other way, or possibly closer in age.
post #22 of 106
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jmmom View Post
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!

I had a ridiculously easy pregnancy, and a really good birth experience which I think helps considerably in thinking about new kids.

Patience with the big things is not something I'm very good at- I want it all planned out in advance! I think I may need to practice it more, though, this year has already been a bit crazier than I'd like (well, the last 2 years I guess). All the big stuff seemed to happen at once!
post #23 of 106
Mine are 14 months apart. My first was planned. My 2nd was an awesome surprise! I'm really glad it turned out this way. I have to admit the transition from 1 child to 2 was really hard....just with him being a baby himself! The first two months were very hard on me. From then on it seemed to get easier. I already had my baby stuff out.

And it's so cute watching my now 21 month old play with my 7 month old. He tried to hold her and baby talks to her. It's awesome. I do want more kids and I won't have a very big age gap. But this close age gap is quite nice. They will be a grade apart when they get in school, so I think that will be helpful.

Just do what you think is best for you and your family!
post #24 of 106
My first 2 are 18 mos apart, the next 2 are 23 mos apart, and these 2 should be about 27 mos apart. This pgcy has been the hardest by far, whether it's from having to chase the other kids or just getting older (I'm a whopping 28 now, lol) I don't know, but it's been hard. I had a really easy pgcy w/ my first and it went downhill from there. I had ptl w/ my 2nd and I'm not positive it's not from not being ready to have another baby physically yet. I was still nursing and did till I was about 3.5 mos pg (he was 13 mos), but I wouldn't change it. They are both the best of friends and worst of enemies, lol! I'm assuming this is what DH and his brother were like as kids, they're 15 mos apart. DH's older sis is 15 mos old than him as well. Now #2 and #3 get along beautifully, but Evan is a much 'younger' 4 than some of his peers so I think that has something to do w/ it. Ilana is the oldest any of my kids will have been when we have a new baby and she's already quite the mommy. It'll be nice to have someone to fetch me diapers, lol! Congrats on the baby and just take it a day at a time. I told DH we weren't having any more before AJ was even born (I had to have a c/s w/ him and it wasn't good) and here we are on #4 (though this one was quite unplanned unlike the rest). It took me a while to want to TTC again, but we had decided 9 mos was a perfect time and af came back right then, we got pg right away and along came Evan 9 mos later.
post #25 of 106
Originally Posted by Astraia View Post
We're thinking of TTC shortly, like when our LO is between 6-9 months old.
Looks like you've got some time to decide. This is good. You'll get a chance to get to know what your LO's "older babe" personality might be like and to see how you are feeling after this initial "newborn high." My best advice is to just ride this out and see how you feel when your babe actually is 6-9 months

I tend to advocate more on the side of not waiting because I had a very painful experience with secondary infertility (not being able to get pregnant after having been pregnant before). Since no one knows how long it will take them to get pregnant, I feel like if you think you might want them closer together, better to start trying *before* you feel you are ready because you will have an unknown amount of time you will be ttc followed by a 9 month pregnancy.

However, this is only if you truly feel like if it did happen right away, you would be ready. Not just you actually (and this includes your body, which needs time to recover and may not even be menstruating yet) but your LO, whose life will be forever changed even just by the mere fact that you are pregnant (for example, I self-weaned from my mom when she got pregnant with my younger brother because the taste of her milk changed which made me very unhappy...I was over a year by that time but you are talking about just a 6, 7, 8, or 9 month 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.
I think you gamble with any spacing because its really more a matter of personalities. I get along the best with my sister who is three years older than me, and pretty badly with my brother who is 18 months younger than me. We got along great, according to my mother, until I was about five. It has been downhill since that time.

Like I said, I think it is about the personalities, and you gamble no matter what. BUT...and this is a big but...when kids are spaced closer together, there are some things that almost certainly will become challenges. My two are eleven months apart. You can bet pretty heavily that:
[list][*]Your younger will not have as much time to be "the baby" as s/he would choose, and will have to grow up in some ways more quickly.[*]You will be juggling a LOT of different needs in a hard core way! Take sleep for example, which may or may not apply to you at any given time. When one of your kids keeps you up for one reason or another until midnight or 1am (the newborn being fussy or the toddler being sick or on a "sleep strike," etc.) and your newborn needs to nurse all night long but your toddler needs to be up at 6am, you will be having to figure out how to survive without the sleep *you* need.[*]Take whatever attention your little one is currently getting and divide it by some number even if not exactly in half (sometimes kids successfully share mommy). You only have so many resources. You only have so many arms, hands, minutes in the day...etc. You will, at times, be torn. There is nothing like the awful experience of figuring out which crying baby to respond to first...and believe me that your oldest will still be something of a baby through the toddler years.[*]The logistics will be difficult. At times, both kids will want to be held at once (believe me, I've even had both in carriers strapped to my body...not something that can be sustained for long periods). Or the two will keep each other awake at night (bedtime here is nutso...just wait until one busts out laughing just as the other is drifting off after a long day...urgh!).

There is more, but I won't go on. There are a lot of wonderful things about my kids being spaced the way they are too, but its not something I am likely to jump to do again. dfd is now almost 3, and we are just starting to talk about having another.

For those of you with kids close together- did you do it on purpose?
Yes and no. When ds was 13 months old, we adopted him (he'd been with us since 1.5 days old as a foster child). A few months later, we started feeling like we could begin what we thought was going to be a long process of getting ready for another foster placement. All we did was start talking to the state again, though, and within a month we got called about a little girl in need of a family, possibly for the long-term. We made the choice, but we had thought it would have been many more months down the road. Before we knew it we had a 17 month old and a 6 month old. And even without the craziness of the newborn period with dfd, it was still a crazy time. Good crazy. But also *hard* and a LOT of work to keep life just sane. I'm talking just sane.

Now they are 2.75 and 3.5. Two has been a really intense age with dfd, and three was great with ds, but three and a half has also been pretty hard, so we're still experiencing some challenges. Whining is a big issue right now, and I think that having them so close in age encourages them to do it more because they clearly, clearly immitate each other. Also, ds really eggs dfd on to do stuff he knows is against the rules, so he won't get in trouble but still gets the joy of something crazy happening (her throwing plates or something while they are supposed to be setting the table). That drives me up the wall. I'm pretty confident if ds was a little older, I'd have an easier time teaching him out of this behavior.

Like I said, there are lots of pluses too. And I don't want to sound all negative because I love parenting my kids. It's just that I want you to be very realistic, and I wouldn't encourage you to rush this. I hear a lot of moms of newborns and young infants have this urge to have more right away that settles down when their babes get a little older.

ETA: Consider also if you want to have more than two and how this might impact later spacing. My dw and I originally envisioned a three year spacing between our kids. But because ds and dfd are so close in age, we've been living for a few years with a lot of intensity. Like I said, a lot of good. But intense hard work too. So now, even though dfd is almost three, it looks like she'll be closer to four before we have the next because dw just needs some more time before we have another babe in the house. I don't think it would be this way at all if ds and dfd were the originally planned three years apart.
post #26 of 106
I think it's a bad idea.
post #27 of 106
I think it's a gamble about whether any 2 kids will "get along," regardless of spacing; I think that your personality type & degree of involvement of your spouse are big things to consider when thinking about spacing.

My girls are 14.5 months apart We did plan the spacing on purpose (we're older & didn't want to waste time), & did have to supplement w/some formula & start solids from 8 months on, as while my milk supply didn't dry up, it did drop quite a bit by my 2nd trimester. I planned to tandem, but DD#1 weaned 3 days before her sister was born. At 1 1/2 & 2 1/2 years, it's getting easier, & there's something to be said for getting the same stages over with all at once (we only planned to have 2 children), but since the infant/early toddler stages are the roughest for us, having 2 kids at there at once has been hard for us. Some families thrive on having babies around, so it's easier for them. Another one of those "it depends" answers
post #28 of 106
My DC#3 and DC#4 (I'm 26 weeks pregnant) will be 15 months apart and we're really happy with how it is working out.....we wanted to have our children close together because we hope it will foster an even closer relationship between them. My husband and his 5 siblings are spaced 18 months between each of them and they are all very close. My M-I-L says that she couldn't imagine having them any other way.
post #29 of 106
I have 3 kids ages 7months, 2y,and 3 1/2 years. Knowing WHO I know now (them) I would do it all over again. But if I had known then WHAT I know now, I would have had them further apart. The first 2 close together wasn't really an issue- but my son's learning disability was not in full swing at that point. It would have been better for him I think if I kept him and his sister 3 years apart. But then maybe she wouldnt be here and she rocks so I'm glad she is.

IDK - it definitely has its benefits having 2 close together, but in all honesty I feel like I would have been a better parent if I had them further apart. So... I'm glad I had them close together because they are all really neat kids... but at the same time, I wish I had more time to devote to each of their "babyhood" and really... at 2 and 3 years old they are still such babies, and I lost sight of that in comparing them to newborns.
post #30 of 106
My brother is 14 months younger than me, not on purpose (trouble conceiving me, then he was a surprise). We swung between friendly and bitter enemies throughout growing up, and now we get along, but are not close. My mom had generally sounded positive about it before, liking being done with something (diapers, or stroller or whatever) when she was done. Now that I've had a baby though I'm hearing a lot of "well, I couldn't X because I was pregnant" comments, and he's not even 3mo yet, so she's thinking of these things even before he's the age I was when she was pregnant.
post #31 of 106
mine are 13 months apart. its been really no big deal. its my older two that cause me stress, just with their daily needs.

ETA: -- NOT planned. It took 23 months to conceive DD3. I never got a period in between having DD3 and getting pregnant with DS. I was EBF on demand a hundred thousand times a day (or so it seemed.) So it can be possible.

I can tell you though, having them close together was VERY hard on my body. And I had to wean DD at 5 months because my milk dried up despite all our best efforts. What's cool is, if you count, mine are exactly one year, one month, one week, and one day apart. Try planning THAT! lol.
post #32 of 106
Some random thoughts from a non-parent:

--I am pretty sure that for the health of the mama, it's good to wait at least a full year before becoming pregnant again. You need time to fully recover and getting pregnant after only six months could be really depleting.

--I think (can't find a source to confirm this) that from an attachment perspective, around 3-4 years separation is ideal.

--Logistically, dealing with two kids in diapers seems like a nightmare, but that's obviously a personal call.

--If possible, I think it's nice to let each LO have a couple of years to be "the baby."

--I think you'll find that sibs close in age get along well/play well together while young but tend to fight more/deal more with competitiveness as they get into adolescence than those with a larger age gap.

In any case, how lovely that you're enjoying your new baby and already wanting another! GL in whatever you decide.
post #33 of 106
Thread Starter 

Thank you all

Thanks everyone for your very well thought out replies. Having so many opinions from people who have BTDT (or haven't, and are happy with it) is a fabulous resource.

At this point, after reading the replies, I'm not positive that TTC soon is really the best idea. My milk drying up is a big concern of mine, and I do want to enjoy this time with my LO being a baby, and not rush through it or feel sick or exhausted while she's learning to walk, or be unable to get down on the floor and play as much as I'd like to because I'd be too giantly pregnant. While there do seem to be some advantages to having kids closer together, I'm not sure our reasons are reason enough to put my body though it again so soon, and miss out on the early baby-stages of my first child.

This of course isn't a definite decision, but now I have more thoughts to present to DH when we discuss it again... now I just need to convince him to let me stay home in between kids :
post #34 of 106
Mine are 25 months apart. The first 6 months were ROUGH. I imagine it would have been rougher if they were closer in age. However, now that they are 3 and 13 months, it is sometimes easier to have 2 than have just the one. They play together great and just love each other. I would do it again this way if I could turn back time. It was really worth the rough patch to have them as playmates now. It is great, they share and play with the same toys.
post #35 of 106
--If possible, I think it's nice to let each LO have a couple of years to be "the baby."
They can both be the "baby". It is very possible to babywear two children, and breastfeed two children at the same time. Cosleeping together, etc. was no problem.
post #36 of 106
Our first two are 18 months apart. We planned it that way. It has been awesome, and I am so thankful that we did. The first year (especially the first 6 months) was a ton of work, but it looks more rough looking back than I actually felt when going through it. I tandem nursed, and I feel strongly that is one of the things that made that transition easier for ds1. We spent most of our days lounging around and nursing the first year or so. We coslept with both. I just always made sure I was between the boys. I also found with tandem nursing that letting them each have their own 'side' worked well. They slept on the side of me that was theirs. We chose to start TTC when ds1 was 8 months since I felt like if I did have a decrease in supply, he could be making up for it with solids. It was not an issue until 22 weeks, and even then it did not slow down the amount he wanted to nurse. I also do not feel like their spacing made a difference in CLW. Ds1 weaned just past his 4th birthday, as did ds2. Good luck with your decision!
post #37 of 106
We have four within five years. It's been easy, I think. With our fourth I fell behind majorly with house cleaning and whatnot and am still catching up, but for the kids and dh and I emotionally I think its been pretty easy... They play well together, love to help me with the baby (the toher 3 are in the stage of wanting to help me wtih everything!) and it seems that they're so close in age, that we never "finish" one stage of anything but just move right into it with the next baby. Like diapers... We've never had one child out of diapers completely be fore the next arrived, so there was no "remembering" how to diaper or get back into the swing of things (we use cloth) with washing and whatnot.
post #38 of 106
Ours are 16 months apart, both were surprises, and we LOVE it! I never found it hard, I thought it was actually easier because you're just doing the same things more often - more feedings, more changings, etc. My DD was really self-sufficient and she adored her baby brother (never had any jealousy problems) so that made it a lot easier too. She was a helper from day one.

Originally Posted by amylcd
They can both be the "baby". It is very possible to babywear two children, and breastfeed two children at the same time. Cosleeping together, etc. was no problem.
I agree. Plus, they're both the babies, LOL. When they're that close, it doesn't really make any difference (imo). I mean, how can a 16 mo old not be the baby (even though there's another LO)??? We've never held DD more accountable or had different rules or expectations just because she's only a year older. Just like we've never babied DS more or been more lenient. Heck, they know they're both still my babies.
post #39 of 106
OH! I just thought of a drawback. I miss my babies because it went so fast.

When you space them out, you get to enjoy your first as a "baby" for about 3 years, then you have another and they're a "baby" for 3 years. So, you get a whole 6 years of having a "baby". When you have them close, their baby years over lap so you only get maybe 4 baby years. I hope I'm explaining this in an understandable way that makes sense. Especially since those are my only 2 and we're not having more, it feels as though it flew by even quicker than it would have if they would have been further apart.
post #40 of 106
My DD and twin DSes are 17 months apart.

We wanted close spacing. We did NOT anticipate MZ twins.

My daughter nursed throughout my pregnancy, she did not say the milk was gone until right around the 3rd trimester. We coslept.

I did have to commit the sin of using a stroller, but the nice thing about being sleep deprived is that at least for me it helped me get over what other people thought of me.

My kids are really close. The first 2 years were extremely brutal to me, though. I have never experienced the depths of despair due to absolute exhaustion and touched outness before. After that though, it's been pretty fun.

And BTW, we cloth diapered all three, and all three of the kids self-weaned to table food.

I had a few things in my favor though. My Dh works from home (and was really essentially able to cut things down to part time or less for a year). I am an ample producer of milk and all 3 children were excellent right out of the vagina nursers. My MIL was able to come live with us for 8 weeks after the boys' births. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, all 3 of my kids were extremely easy going personalities as babies. I really dont' know what I would have done if one or more had been high needs.

So I think your experience is less about how awesome an APer/mother you are and more of a crapshoot.

The main disadvantage that I see is that I was just totally exhausted. I don't know if I suffered brain damage or what, but seriously--I'm even a different person than I was pre-twins. But for all that I know it has nothing to do with that. You also may have little dreams and fanasies stripped away from you one by one--but most of the time they'll be replaced with other ones.

I enjoyed not having to do 6 or 8 years of diapers. It was nice not having to worry so much about the older child's teeny toys because everyone kind of evolved out of the mouth phase at once (another crapshoot, since they all got done early!). It was nice that they could enjoy a lot of the same toys/activities for a long period of time.

But really, those kind of concerns really only apply to a very short period of time. I'm thankful that their personalities and inclinations seem to be realy complimentary and that they enjoy each other but I really don't think that has anything to do with me or the spacing.

I will say though that I have met A LOT of moms of multiples who conceived their MZ twins while exclusively nursing a young baby, like me. Or right after a miscarriage (like me). So just saying, you may get more than you bargained for and it sometimes can be VERY VERY hard on you in the short term.

So I would pick when *you're* prepared. Not based on what you want to happen with things beyond your control (like whether they'll be close).
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