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Spacing Between Kids - Your thoughts? - Page 2

post #21 of 46
The spacing between my kids is 17 months and 23 months. Our third just turned two and we plan to try for our fourth child soon; if it works, we will have around 3 years between the third and fourth.

I feel that the benefits of close spacing (around 2-3 years) outweigh the benefits of wider spacing. My kids may not get along all the time, but they truly are best friends.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckiestgirl View Post
The spacing between my kids is 17 months and 23 months. Our third just turned two and we plan to try for our fourth child soon; if it works, we will have around 3 years between the third and fourth.

I feel that the benefits of close spacing (around 2-3 years) outweigh the benefits of wider spacing. My kids may not get along all the time, but they truly are best friends.
You know...I really think it all depends. My sister and I were best friends, in every sense of the word, as children. My mom doesn't remember us ever even squabbling or bickering, let alone any full-out fights. We barely get alone now. We're 18 months apart, but our worldviews, priorities, ethics, values, etc. are just too different for us to be close.
post #23 of 46

A Help Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
You know...I really think it all depends. My sister and I were best friends, in every sense of the word, as children. My mom doesn't remember us ever even squabbling or bickering, let alone any full-out fights. We barely get alone now. We're 18 months apart, but our worldviews, priorities, ethics, values, etc. are just too different for us to be close.
Yes, but even if your kids aren't best friends when they get older, it can make things a lot easier if they're playmates when they're young. We moved about a year ago now, and our kids provided so much companionship for each when we didn't know any other families. Even if they aren't friends when they grow up, it's a significant part of their childhood and a huge help to me right now.
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChetMC View Post
Yes, but even if your kids aren't best friends when they get older, it can make things a lot easier if they're playmates when they're young. We moved about a year ago now, and our kids provided so much companionship for each when we didn't know any other families. Even if they aren't friends when they grow up, it's a significant part of their childhood and a huge help to me right now.
That's true. My friendship with my sister added a lot to my childhood. Of course, it also took away from my adulthood, because I had her to pave my way as a child, and never learned squat about how to meet people and stuff...
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by karika View Post
I believe in ecological spacing of 5ish-6 years. so when a child is 4, you can start TTC.
How is that even remotely close to ecological spacing? Most kids if left to CLW, will drastically slow down on the number and length of nursing sessions by the time they're 2 or 3, equaling about a 3-4 year age gap or so. The vast majority of people without fertility issues would easily get pregnant by the time their youngest is 4. Then there's also the "lucky" ones who gets their period back at 7-8weeks post partum despite breastfeeding on demand, plus extra pumping from an overabundance of milk, then charts but still ends up with 2 kids 16 months apart. It's really not all that unheard of. If it weren't for birth control, I'd probably have a 3rd about 8-12 months old and be pregnant with my 4th.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
You know...I really think it all depends. My sister and I were best friends, in every sense of the word, as children. My mom doesn't remember us ever even squabbling or bickering, let alone any full-out fights. We barely get alone now. We're 18 months apart, but our worldviews, priorities, ethics, values, etc. are just too different for us to be close.
I agree. Without a doubt, personalities matter so much more than gender or spacing. My sister and I are 16 months apart and were frenemies growing up. We get along now and are polite, but we're not best buds. She tied with dh know me better than anyone else, but that doesn't mean a whole lot. It just means that we know each other well and can read each other like a book, but we're not close. Maybe it'll change when we're in the same place in life, who knows. I'm a SAHM and have two kids while she's single, finishing up college, working, and enjoying her packed social life.

Dh is the oldest of 3. He and his brother are 7 years apart. His sister is 9 years younger than him. No way did anyone expect he and his sister to be the closest. They expected dh to be an only child for all intents and purposes, and his brother and sister to either be really close or cordial. Neither dh nor his sister really get along with their brother, he's pretty much the black sheep of the family. They don't initiate calling, emailing, etc, and neither does he.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
karika - I'm curious why you say that 5-6 is what would happen naturally? I know a few women with babies close together who were exclusively breastfeeding on demand when they conceived.
EBF and/ or ecological breastfeeding is not the only factor in ecological childrearing. there are many factors to consider. There are really no human indigenous cultures left to look at that I can find at this moment. most of the humans on the planet have now been reached with western influence, which has changed their whole dynamic. the last ones I knew of were in South America, but I was unable to find any data on them to refer to, although I remember from the book, the continuum concept (printed in the '70s) that the tribe the author lived with experienced this type of spacing. so I refer to the closest relative that still lives in and with nature, the bonobo.

http://www.awf.org/content/wildlife/detail/bonobo

http://songweaver.com/info/bonobos.html


I write this in answer to the poster that requested this info. Also, in my original post I was writing to answer which is best for the reproducing pair (IMO), the female body, and the health of the children, not necessarily what would please the offspring the most, or create the best friendships within.
post #27 of 46
If such spacing is "ecological" (only in quotes, because I'm unfamiliar with this concept) and best for the mother's body, why does fertility return so much more quickly? I was getting periods when dd was four months old, and exclusively breastfed! My mom got pregnant with my sister when I was 9 months old, and exclusively breastfed. If this is so bad for our bodies, why does fertility even return that quickly? That seems very counter intuitive to me.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post
How is that even remotely close to ecological spacing? Most kids if left to CLW, will drastically slow down on the number and length of nursing sessions by the time they're 2 or 3, equaling about a 3-4 year age gap or so. The vast majority of people without fertility issues would easily get pregnant by the time their youngest is 4. Then there's also the "lucky" ones who gets their period back at 7-8weeks post partum despite breastfeeding on demand, plus extra pumping from an overabundance of milk, then charts but still ends up with 2 kids 16 months apart. It's really not all that unheard of. If it weren't for birth control, I'd probably have a 3rd about 8-12 months old and be pregnant with my 4th.
I agree in our society, ecological child spacing rarely occurs. This is for many reasons, the main one being the diet of western society (our diet does not consist of pure foods found in the wild). Humans here eat food that changes how our bodies operate. There are additives in the foods themselves that changes our body chemistry. CLW does not equal ecological childrearing either. To be with the child 24/7 with very few separations of a few minutes and an isolated incidence or two of an hour or so is part of ecological childrearing (even trips in the car while the dc is in a car seat is physical separation, though necessary if you travel by car). Sleeping or laying with the child (or holding it or sitting with at the least) when dc sleeps is part of it, no nipple but your nipple is part of it, certainly breastfeeding on demand is part of it, not using devices such as bouncy chairs or swings, delayed solids, and i believe pumping would undermine (oversupply will regulate if given time on its own IMO), not strengthen this correlation. This is all a cerebral overview as I agree in our society it does not happen this way at this time, so plotting your chart to avoid would be necessary if you were to attempt this spacing, since most of us get our period back at 12-16 months after a baby. I use a bouncy chair for a few minutes at a time to be able to use both hands when doing something that is easier without a baby in arms or sling. and even though I am very lean, with a body fat index almost equal to a males (or was most of my life) my period returned at 14 months after dd1, but I had returned to work full time (I did it for 6 months while her father was a sahd), even though I was pumping, somehow your body knows it is not the child. Also the separation.... so yes, 4-5 years is about the closest we come to this spacing if we were to try to do all the ecological childrearing techniques (I am sure I forgot a few) in this society, I believe the year or two of difference is attributable to the higher body fat index of our society as a whole, caused by the types of foods we eat, the additives in the food that we dont know about or cannot control, and the 'medicines' we have been exposed to throughout our time on the earth.
post #29 of 46
I agree that a lot depends on the family and childrens personalities.
Im 4 years younger (almost 5 years) than one of my brothers and 22 months younger than the other. Im close to the middle brother but don't talk to the older one (lot of reasons, not just age).
My girls are 26 months and 4 months, so 22 months between them just about. So far they are great together. DD1 was quite independent in a lot of ways when I had DD2. She was able to get into her own carseat and buckle the harness latch so all I had to do is buckle the lower one before I got in, she got her own snacks out of the fridge, got her own books for me to read to her, etc. The two girls adore each other. The baby smiles so huge when she sees her sister and DD1 wants to play and kiss the baby all day long. As for breastfeeding, I breastfed throughout my pregnancy and now Im tandum nursing the two girls. Its difficult at times, there are days I just don't want to nurse again, but I do it. We still co-sleep with both as well.
Im blessed with a very happy set of kids though. Sure they have their times where they are fussy. The 2 year old has her meltdown and fits, her favorite word is still no, but overall shes pretty well behaved for a 2 year old. The baby is slightly colicy (she cries several hours a day most days) and doesn't sleep much still but overall shes pretty easy to take care of.
Another factor you have to think about is the parents temperment. I love babies and children. I use to volunteer at the church nursery (it was me and my husband taking care of it) taking care of 20-30 1 1/2-3 year olds and I loved it. I would do it again in a heartbeat, being around kids revitizlies me. However, some people don't much care of babies and do better with older kids. If you don't really do well with babies having two in the house at the same time might not be the best thing.
DH and I have already talked about another baby. We want to wait until DD2 is 18 months and we are back in the States to TTC our third. I can't imagine trying to do an international move pregnant.
post #30 of 46
My daughter and son are almost exactly 3 years apart. It's a bit early to say for sure, but so far I think this spacing has been less than ideal. I have it in my head that 4 years would have been perfect. I think my daughter could have used another year as an only. Also, I think things would have been easier for me if she had been a little older and slightly more independent. She loves her baby brother though, and there hasn't really been any rivalry or resentment that I am aware of so far. I dunno. Maybe I'll get back with you on this in a year or two.
post #31 of 46
Well, I love the 2 year gap. My kids are having a lot of fun right now and they are very caring about each other. They are each others best friends, truly. They sometimes talk about having another baby and are so happy and enthusiastic about the idea it's really quite astonishing. (They don't know I'm pg yet)

That said, like Drummer's Wife, I now have a 2.5 yo with no younger sibling (for the moment!) and it has be delicious to be able to focus on him and enjoy him the way I have.

I do think people love what they have.

I wanted my kids close together because I came from a big happy tribe and loved my childhood. I didn't think we'd be able to have more than 2 or 3 (I'm 42 now and started having children in my mid-30s) but I thought that if my kids were close in age that would at least approximate the feeling of being in a large family.

They are really so fun and engaged with each other, and with DH and me. We've traveled and lived in many places, so I think that is why the friendships are so strong. It really is wonderful to be able to move when your best friend moves, and bring him/her/them along on vacations!
post #32 of 46
I think 4 years would be the best spacing.

Closeness is totally personality dependent, and a baby needs a lot of attention to develop to their best, so I'd be upset if I'd had to skimp on care and attention for a baby because the other child was also a baby. And three year olds are so difficult I wouldn't want one with a baby.

Ours are 2.5 years apart (intentionally), and it's confirmed my opinion that 4 is the best spacing.

As for what's natural, evolution doesn't want what's best for our kids, it gets what gets most if them to breeding age alive and healthy. Also, we evolved in a feast-or-famine situation, where a well nourished mother should maximise the number of offspring she has while the going's good, and have fewer when the going's tough. What's natural has no bearing or relevance to what's psychologically easiest or best for mother or children.
post #33 of 46
Between Janelle and Kincaid there is 18 months
Between Janelle and Travis there is 5 years
Between Janelle and River there will be 6 1/2 years
Between Kincaid and Travis there is 3 1/2 years
Between Kincaid and River there will be 5 years
Between Travis and River there will be 21 months

So...
Between #1 and #2 18 months
Between #2 and #3 3 1/2 years
Between #3 and #4 21 months.

I think 3 1/2 years was too big of a gap, Travis I think would forever be left out if we didn't have River, cause Janelle and Kincaid are so close and do so much together. If it wasn't for Kincaid's pregnancy being really difficult and then Kincaid himself having so many issues medical and developmental we would never of waited so long.

I loved the 18 month age gap, we tried for that with Travis and River, but didn't get pregnant as fast with River as we had in the past, and that's fine, I'm sure 21 months will be just as good...plus, Travis is not as advanced or as mature as (or as big, which is pretty shocking considering Janelle wasn't even on the growth charts) Janelle was at 18 months, so the few extra months may even help.
post #34 of 46
Mine are 21 months apart. I had been thinking 2.5yrs would be ideal, but DH pushed to have them closer together as he's no spring chicken. The first year was hard, even with a lot of help, but I really like it now. From about the time DS was 18 months, the two of them started playing together, and now, while they do have their disagreements and I sometimes have to play referee, they play very well together and it's wonderful. We were the first of our group to have a 2nd child. . . there are two families who just had their second (around 4yrs apart) and they are struggling because the moms are older now and have less energy.

Interesting reading about ecological spacing. I took several anthro and family management courses in university where we studied family life in primitive tribes but this was either not mentioned, or I've forgotten it entirely. What you are doing sounds a lot like attachment parenting, which is what most people on this site practice, so it seems to me the difference between you and other mamas on this site would be the philosophy of spacing children 5 years apart. The difference would be that you are purposely creating the gap with knowledge of ways our lifestyle has changed our fertility, while others are perhaps letting it happen more naturally.

FWIW, I weaned DD at 12 months, but was nursing only once through the night from about 6 months, and my period returned at 9 months post partum. I then got pg with DS when DD was 12 months, hence the 21 month spacing. With DS, though, I was nursing on demand, throughout the night and day until about 2yrs, and my period returned at 19 months.
post #35 of 46
Right now we have 2 daughters, and they are 2 1/2 years apart. I really loved that spacing. dd1 was a great help with dd2, she was old enough to understand what was going on, she was becoming more independant, not so dependant on us. They are also close enough together to be great playmates to one another. We're thinking of having another one soon, and this one will be at the least 3 years younger than dd2.
post #36 of 46
My first two are 6.5 years apart in age and my last two will be 7 years apart in age. We didn't really plan it this way this time around, actually thought we were done. But it will work out great because there's no way I could do it with several little ones in the house and a newborn. I'm just not that type of mom. And I'm just being honest.
post #37 of 46
As with practically anything, there are pros and cons with any spacing.

Mine are nearly 6 years apart (we were shooting for a five year gap and it took longer than expected ) and we loooooooove it. My older was very independant when the babe was born (able to make his own sandwiches, pour drinks, shower, brush teeth, clean his room, read etc etc) and was very understanding that the baby needed a lot of things. We never experienced a regression (although we were prepared for one) and there really wasn't much of an adjustment period in comparison to our friends who had closer spacing. My boys adore each other (thus far) and I expect they will continue to (to a certain degree).

My closest sister and I are five years apart (I have two younger than her) and we are best friends. We've always been pretty close.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ani'smommy View Post
Our kids are 2 yrs 9 months apart. It was a pretty rough first year after DS was born, but for a lot of reasons.

We started ttc when DD turned 2 and got pregnant right away. The spacing has been great. They love each other to death and are getting to the point now that they are playing together.
My daughters and Ani'smommy kids are born almost at the same time-- 2 years, 9 months apart. (DD1 is Dec. 20, 04. DD2 is 9-9 07.) I also agree-- the spacing has been great. DD1 & DD2 play pretty well together and share interests. DD1 is old enough to be a bit maternal about DD2, and she tries to teach her things and tries to protect her. She'll call my in a NY second if she things DD2 is doing something wrong. DD2 follows her big sis everywhere and mimics her. I think this is probably the minimum amount of space I'd be happy with. I'm an older mom, so if my kids were closer together, I'd probably feel a bit overburdened. By the amount of infant & toddler level care both kids needed.

xoe
post #39 of 46
ds1 is 4 and ds2 is almost 22 months-- they are 30 months apart. i did not intend on getting pregnant so quickly, and i would not willingly do it that way again. i had to wean ds1 halfway through my pregnancy, which was hard for both of us, and the first year was challenging. it took months before i figured out how to get the three of us out of the house in under two hours, for example! anyway, the two of them are good friends for now, and i intend on doing what i can to cultivate that. but if i had my druthers, i'd've waited a minimum of another six months, and i'm doing what i can ensure that with (eventual) kid3. i figure, it's really kind of a craps-shoot what kind of relationship dynamics your kids are going to have with each other, so you may as well space them in the way that you hope will be easiest for *you*.

christina
post #40 of 46
Mine are 20 months apart.

If we have any more, we'll space them further apart. I definitely don't want to be pregnant again until my youngest weans, which I wouldn't expect till around at least 3.
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