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Thoughts/advice on child spacing

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi,

We have a beautiful 8 month old dd.  I love her to pieces.  Lately we're thinking about having #2, but there are some questions/concerns I have that I would like some input on to help me decide the right time to try for #2.

 1. We co-sleep with dd.  Based on her needs, I would be surprised if this was resolved by the time a newborn came around, plus I would feel weird having her all alone in a room and dh, me and baby in our room.  If you co-sleep, and you did with two babes, how do you do it?  I would worry about dd rolling over/hurting the newborn....

2.  I am still nursing dd, and would like to nurse her until she's 2ish.  Have you nursed through a pregnancy?  How did that go?  I'm not really up to tandem nursing - sounds like a lot of work....  Any thoughts with that?

3.  What is the spacing of your children?  Any mamas that "baby bunched" - do you recommend it?

4. Is having a second babe closer to their sibling super hard on your body?  Anyone noticed something like that?  Also, is nursing and being pregnant simultaneously really hard on your body?  Just wondering....

 

I'm almost 32, and the thought of having kids close together appeals to me.  I know I had dd1 a bit older, and we would like at least one, possibly 2 more, so I kinda want to  "get on with it". Also, my sister was 3 years older and seemed to resent me, and honestly still kinda does.  Not sure if she had too much time with mom alone and then felt ousted when I came or what, but that's kinda my theory.  I would like our kids to get along well and I like to think closer spacing might accomplish that (I know parenting affects that too, but I wonder if a kid doesn't have a lot of time with mom and dad's sole attention would more readily accept a sibling).

 

Anyways, any thoughts or advice on child spacing?

post #2 of 10

i think a lot of sibling issues has more to do with the personalities of the parents and kids.  while you might be able to control things from the parents side, some siblings get along better than others.

 

i have a 10yr spacing and love it. but not something i would suggest to someone your age.

 

personally, i'm closest to my sibling with similar personalities, even though they are from 3-12 yrs difference.  the sibling less than 2yrs has such a different personality and opposite gender that things never really clicked.

 

i have 2dsd 15m apart and they have always fought.  part personality and part since they are both girls they were often competing for similar things. (clothes, friends, parents attention, school accomplishments, etc)

post #3 of 10
I wanted my kids to be 2 years apart, but things didn't work out that way. My dd's are 5 years apart, so that's all I know. I was majorly disappointed when things weren't working and so stressed that my girls wouldn't be close. wish I had known then what I know now. They are best friends, and without prompting will often say, "You're the best sister ever." Although my brother and I are 2 years apart, and I wouldn't say we are terribly close now. We fought a lot as kids, and we were competitive-- well, I say he competed with me and I just did my best. It was hard for him, none the less. So what got me through that waiting to see what it's like period was the fact that my adult friends with siblings 5 + years apart were very close. My one friend talks to her younger brother almost every day. But I don't think age has everything to do with how your kids will get along. I think there are more important things like parenting and personality that influence how well they get along more than age.

As for sleeping, I didn't feel right having the baby in my room and making my 5 yo sleep in her room. She was adjusting and needed to be close too, so I put her mattress on my floor. I also ended up with my baby's crib in our room right next to my bed. We had ever-moving sleeping arrangements based on what was or wasn't working at the time.

Good luck with your decision.
post #4 of 10

The child spacing I have is 15 months, 2 years, then 6 years. My two oldest being so close was honestly hard for me, but I was pretty young at the time and dealing with lots of other difficult things. Two years seemed like a breeze! lol. Then I just had our latest surprise this past May and oh my...totally different.

 

I think that what is right depends on each individual family. My three boys are very close in age and don't really remember a time without each other. They fight like cats and dogs all the time, but are incredibly close. This summer my oldest spent two nights at camp and his brothers were seriously missing him.

 

I was worried about sibling issues with our little girl, since my oldest is 9 and my baby (and he very much has been the baby of the family, we thought we were done) is 6. But it's amazing how well they've done with her. We included them in everything from the very beginning, and focused on the *family* having a baby, not just mommy.

 

As far as co-sleeping, I have to admit that I've never had that issue. I always bed shared until they wanted to move, and all three boys wanted their own space pretty early. My oldest wouldn't sleep unless he was in his own room, even if he had his own bed in mine. I do know lots of friends who just put their mattresses on the floor, and pushed them all together, so that they had one big family bed. I would *love* to do this, I don't think DP would be interested, though.

post #5 of 10

My two are 20 months apart and I love it.  It was really hard during my pregnancy with my second and her first year because my first stopped sleeping through the night at 15 months and my youngest was a horrible sleeper.  The other downfall was we did have two in diapers for a short period of time and just recently stopped buying them all together.  Those are the hard parts, but I really love them being so close because they share the same toys and when we go places they are both interested in the same things.  I don't have any advice with the nursing because I had a lot of issues with my first and couldn't nurse very long.  I had my second when I was 30 (on my birthday, actually), and did n't really seem to have any issues with it physically.  I have't lost the weight as easily as the first, but I think that is more just to being busy with two small kids.

 

I think whatever you choose will work with your family. 

post #6 of 10

My first 2 are just under 3 yrs apart, and my middle and third are just over 4 years apart.

 

I liked 3 years apart more.  They seemed more like a cohesive group, while the youngest often seems like an only child (well, not really, but she did not have a built in play mate like the first two did being closer in age)

 

I also felt that I had started to move out of the baby stage when my youngest was born, so that was a bit odd.  It was not major - but I had started to de-babyproof the house, not carry reams of stuff with me, and now i was doing it again.

 

The pro to big spacing was my oldest was 7 when my youngest was born.  That was great!  I literally had someone who could hold or entertain the baby while I showered, etc.  Lovely, lovely, lovely.

post #7 of 10
My kids are 19 months apart and I wouldn't wish it on an emeny. My younger child was a very high need baby and we discovered that my older dd has special needs (she's on the autism spectrum) shortly after the birth of our sevond child. It really was impossible to meet both their needs.

My older dd weaned herself during pregnancy, which is common. The taste of the milk changes. I found it sad at the time because I knew the advantages of extended bf, and knew that she was missing out on that because of the pregnancy. She did go back to nursing a little after the birth of her sister, and I wad grateful to be able to comfort her in that way. She was extremely upset about all the time and attention her sister took. She went from being a happy, easy child to a screaming one, so tandom nursing was a blessing, not a hardship.

We had beds set up in two rooms across a hall, and played musical beds at night. It was exhausting for both my husband and I, and hard on our marage. It would have been easier with an easier baby, but it really is just random. Our first baby was easy, our second baby was high need. Meeting those needs, while also caring for a toddler, was just exhausting.

I was also in my early 30's, which is why we had them so close. I'm now n my late 40's, and I was fertile until I was 46. I could have spaced them out. There wasn't a hurry.

As far as 2 close pregnancies being hard on a body, I found the pregnancy to be the easy part. It was attempting to meet their need afterward that really took a tool on me physically and emotionally.

From watching other families, 2-3 years apart seems far more doable.

We were considering having 3 before we had our second, but the baby stage was such a nightmare after our second, that we waited until things really, truly calmed down I had really hard time to recover to consider it. By then our kids were 8 & 9, and we decided we just didn't want to go back to the baby stage.
post #8 of 10
Double post
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input ladies.  Yes, it's one of those things that can be great, or not so great.  I think so much would depend on the "type" of baby we got for #2.  I don't think a typical baby would be too bad, but  a high needs baby would be tough.  Of course, when is a high needs baby NOT tough? DD1 has a great personality - pretty happy, on the easier side.  She was tough the first 2 months - lots of crying - but has grown out of that nicely.  She is not the greatest with sleep - sometimes quite tricky to get down, but she has to grow out of that eventually, right? smile.gif  We didn't plan on cosleeping, just ended up doing it cause she seemed to need it.  I have no regrets about it though, I kinda love it actually.  I'm not in a hurry to get her into her own space and unless we had a miracle baby for #2 that STTN super early, I plan on cosleeping with #2 as well.

 

It's just funny how different babies are.  My friend's baby is the easiest baby in the world.  They never had to rock/nurse/do jumping jacks to get her to sleep.  Just set her down and she'd nod off. She barely cries, but she's also not super affectionate.  I feel like I have to jump through hoops sometimes to get mine asleep, but she is a cuddlebug.  DD1 doesn't fuss a ton, but seems to be a sensitive little thing.  Oh, these little people.

 

I wish there were a way to figure out how to ensure a good sleeper/ easy kiddo with #2.  I'm pretty much convinced 'you get what you get and you don't throw a fit' when it comes to babies.
 

post #10 of 10

Oooooh, perfect thread for me!  I am 33.  (yikes2.gif)  My sweetness is 10 months old now.  We were thinking of starting to work on another one... but it just didn't feel right!  I wanted to have given birth to all the babies I could ever want by the time I was 35, and I am considering three although we are usually in favor of two.  I think we've decided to wait until summer of next year to start working on getting pregnant again, which will make me 34 at conception and turning or just turned 35 at birth.  My family does have a history of giving birth with no ill effects to perfectly healthy children well past 35, but given the option I would rather not.  I heard twins are more likely past 35, and this is as big a deterrent to me as anything else, haha.  I also worried about the siblings getting along, but I know that's not guaranteed with close spacing either.  I'd like to get diapers over sooner rather than later, but I am already missing the newborn stage.  I look at my girl and get all misty that she's so grown up.  So savoring the prospect of another newborn for longer might do me some good.  In the end, the clincher was just feeling like the one I have just deserves a little more time before another comes along.  I'm not done loving on her and her alone just yet.

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