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Child Spacing

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
What do you think the best age spacing is for children? I want to TTC #2 with a good difference between the 2. I always thought it was better for them to be closer in age than not, because I am 5 1/2 years older than my next oldest sibling, then 7 and 12 1/2 years. I was never close to any of them until they were teenagers (not yet, even, with my 13 yo little brother).

I was thinking 2 years or less is a good difference. But I would like some input from Mommies who have 2+ kids.
post #2 of 35
Mine are 21 months apart and to be honest it has been pretty hard since my second was born and she's 15 months old now. I keep waiting for it to get easier, and in some ways it has (not tandem nursing anymore) but it's still really tough a lot of days.

While DS wasn't really aware of DD when she was born, he started getting jealous when she was about 8 mo. old. He started acting out against her and let me tell you, I was not a good parent there for a while. It's hard to maintain patience and kindness when you have two needing you, then one starts hitting the other one... craziness!!

Anyway, I have heard that they will play well together when they get older, and I'm sure they will, but I can still see a lot of possible rivalry and bickering in our future. My bro and I are 2 years apart and we fought a lot growing up and are not close at all now. I do hope that my two will fare better than that, but who knows.

We will have a third but I think I'll shoot for 3 years apart. I can see how that would be easier.
post #3 of 35
I just wanted to share my experience. My two are four years apart and it's been wonderful. They are now 6 and 2 and it is so much fun to see their relationship grow each day. My daughter was very high needs and sensitive (still is) and I really think having a sibling any closer would have been horrible for us all. By 4, Carrie was weaned and was really excited about having a baby. She could understand what was happening and was just so sweet about it. We've had very little sibling jealousy, and Carrie has always been able to verbalize her feelings so we could discuss it.
I think siblings are close or distant for a variety of reasons, and age really has very little to do with it, especially among adults.
Good luck with whatever your TTC journey brings.
post #4 of 35
I've read that from a health point of view for both the children and the mother (according to WHO and some other organization that did a massive study), 3-5 years apart is the ideal spacing. Also, my sister and I are three years apart, and are best friends to this day. Accordingly, I left my IUD in until my firstborn was a little over two. We have kids who are a little over three years apart, and it's worked really well for us. One of the great things about it is that I had over two years to focus on just learning to be a parent and getting to know my oldest. On the other hand, my kids are close enough developmentally that they play together really well.

Another fringe benefit is that I didn't have an awful lot of time handling two kids in diapers at once. My older one potty-trained himself shortly after his sister was born. If I had had them closer together (as I was tempted to do, but I made myself wait), I would have had a lot more diaper action all at once.

I won't say adjusting to having two was easy for us. It was tough. However, unlike the previous poster who said it's taking a long time to get easier, I've gotta say it's been comparatively easy since my little one learned to walk! (Sorry to those who are still having a rough time )

Good luck deciding!

Tandem-nursing VBAC mama to Thales, 4 1/2, and Lydia, 1 1/2
post #5 of 35
Hi! I'm obsessed with child spacing too- here's my 2cents- Mine are exactly 2 years apart boy then girl. It is a little close for my ability/patience level. We have talked about 3 being a good number for us and as Im 36 now, we wanted to get them all in pretty soon (I know not everyone feels this pressure, but I did and do) anyway he ignored her at first which was fine, he was still sweet, but it wasnt a big deal. now that shes walking it is so sweet to see them together, they are very attached to each other, I love it. But they are a handful, and I definitely have been stretched beyond my ability to be the mother I would like to be. The second did sort of end the love affair I was having with my first, and Im not sure if his behavior would have started to change because he had just turned 2, or if the splitting of my attention caused it. or both. And she has definitely not received a fraction of the attention he did for his first year and a half, So I feel guilty about that too. On the other hand, July just passed and with it my chance to have another exactly 2 year spacing and I was very anxious about it. when I see the 2 of them sitting side by side on the steps eating their popcicles so bonded and sweet, I think it is great spacing and I worry if theres another one too much later he/she will be too young to be it this sweet little group. SO....drumroll, I vote for 2 1/2 years. Every month makes a difference at this point, and I think for me 3 might be a little too far apart. For what its worth.
post #6 of 35
I would not be comfortable ttc when the baby is under two. I personally feel that it's a child's birth right to have full access to breastmilk for two full years. I could not risk that.

post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I would not be comfortable ttc when the baby is under two. I personally feel that it's a child's birth right to have full access to breastmilk for two full years. I could not risk that.

Yes, that is a major factor in the decision making as well. DS is on;ly 3 months now, I def don't feel like I should get pregnant again right away, physically. I was just wondering when would be a good time to start trying (or not preventing) again.
post #8 of 35
My oldest and middle children are 15 months apart. I really wish I'd had more time between them. If I had spaced them more, I could have had more time with my oldest, and then when #2 came along, I wouldn't have had another baby to take care of. I feel guilty sometimes that I couldn't give them the kind of attention I really feel they deserved.

Now, my baby is almost exactly 2 years younger than #2 and that is so much nicer. I get to enjoy the baby, and the older two are old enough to understand what it's all about. Don't get me wrong, E and J are extremely close. They share everything. But, they fight a lot, too. Oh, and together they think of new and improved ways to get into things. I swear, they put their heads together and there is nothing that is going to stop them from doing what they want to do. I think people with twins probably understands exactly what I'm talking about.
post #9 of 35
I think 3 years minimum is ideal, for the reasons of nursing and for mom's nutrition status. We were planning on 3 years initially, but our situation just didn't favor TTC on that timeline, so we put it off, and man did that ever work out for the best. We went through some VERY challenging behavior and food issues and major night-time disturbances from about 3 to 3-1/2. I just don't know how we would have coped if we'd also had a newborn, DH and I both were just losing our minds. We just hung in there and were very very grateful that we were able to completely focus on figuring out what was troubling DS.

We're TTC now, if it happens soon the spacing would be about 4.75 years. Longer than I would have thought ideal, but it is what it is.

I guess now I think "ideal" is whatever works out best for your own family in juggling your priorities with finances/income/schooling/health etc.

FWIW my niece and nephew are 18 months apart and fought BRUTALLY with each other for several years as toddlers/preschoolers, it was horrible. I mean they honestly could barely be taken out in public because of the scenes they caused. They're not as aggressive anymore (ages 7 & 5 now) but still don't play together or really interact with each other much from what I can tell. So you really can't assume close spacing will mean good playmates.
post #10 of 35
I did get pregnant when dd was only 8mo unexpectedly. I ended up miscarrying. I am greatful for how things have turned out because my dd is now 14mo and our breastfeeding relationship is still going strong and I think being pregnant would have compromised that. Even though I longed for that baby, I know that there is another babe for us when the timing is right and right now I am thinking 3yr spacing would be great! That gives me at least another year to focus on my precious dd and continue to bf. Oh, and it gives DH some more time to adjust and get used to the idea of another babe in the house
post #11 of 35
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I would not be comfortable ttc when the baby is under two. I personally feel that it's a child's birth right to have full access to breastmilk for two full years. I could not risk that.

I agree. I know some people can successfully nurse through pregnancy but I do think nature is telling us something. A couple of recent studies indicate that waiting less than 18-24 months can be a risk both the the mother and the new baby, there are often problems with birth weight and prematurity. As the mum of a 29wk preemie (who is now 2 yrs) I would take any kind of warning seriously. It isn't something you want to go through.

If it helps my sister and I are 4 yrs apart and really close. I don't know that there is an ideal but giving your child room to develop and grow over the first 2/3 yrs is, IMHO really crucial.

Good luck!
post #12 of 35
My girls are 14.5 months apart, and I'm pregnant with #3 who will be 21 months younger than my youngest - and due just before DD#1 turns three. My daughters play very well together (so far!), and although it's very challenging in terms of meeting their needs (while also feeling run down from the pregnancy and working), I wouldn't change it at all.
post #13 of 35
i wish my children were about seven years apart. then i think my oldest would be into it, instead of seeing him as some irritating PITA.

they're 11 months apart and she doesn't like him at all. i always thought she would just sort of take him for granted, but it is SO very not the case.

and having them that close is bad for 8000 other reasons as well. my life is a good example of what NOT to do, in regards to child-spacing.
post #14 of 35
Mine are 22 months apart. I love it! Sure, it's hard at times, but now they are at the point where they play together and are very close. My dd is very protective of her little brother, and he loves trying to imitate her. They like playing with a lot of the same toys, going to the same parks, reading the same stories (although my ds skips out on some of the longer ones dd likes).

I wouldn't opt to space mine any closer, but I've really liked our situation. I should add that my dd is a pretty easygoing and independent kid, and has been since she was much younger. This did factor into our decision to try for ds so soon.
post #15 of 35
I realize my situation is unique ... but my girls are spaced 11 years apart! I had DD#1 with my XH, and didn't think I would have any more. Lo and behold, while dating my (now) DH, I woke up one day, and said, "OH! I'm pregnant!":
Rachel is 16 months old, and we're discussing TTC.What this means, is that I'm not doing anything to prevent a pregnancy, and I'm loosely following my temps/mucus, etc. I was actually disappointed when AF came Sunday. I'm 34, and DH is 41, so we don't have a lot of time to waste, in my opinion.
post #16 of 35
My first two are 14 months apart, and the baby came along 25 months later.

It's difficult at times, but I think it's worth it.
post #17 of 35
Both of my gaps are 2 yr 8 mo. Sometimes, I wish they were farther apart, rarely wished they were closer together, but most often I think it's perfect. There are certainly a lot of factors that go into making the decision -- ours was mostly patience. I also did not want two in diapers at the same time and did not want them too close in school. Our gap might have been a little more if we had started younger and wanted fewer children. I think each family has it's own situation.
post #18 of 35
Mine are all 2 years apart. I was very sad that DS #2 weaned at 18 months when my milk ran out due to pregnancy. DS #1 was happy to nurse all through my pregnancy, and picked up right where he left off when the milk came back, but I feel I cheated DS #2 because he refused to nurse after I had DD. Now I have to sneak pumped milk into his drinks...
post #19 of 35
I'm also of the 2 years of BM before getting pg mindset. My DD's are 3y and 10m apart and I wouldn't change a thing. After DD2 reaches 2y of age, it's fine if I get pg, although I would prefer a farther spacing. My sister and I are exactly 2y apart and we have never been close so I never have bought into "certain spacing=closer siblings", it's just depends on each child and their personalities.

DD2 is 10m, and I am starting to feel antsy, I think because I feel there is a child waiting on me. This is a new feeling to me, I didn't feel like this last time until we were very actively TTC DD2. Sigh, that child just needs to learn some patience, because it's going to be a few more years.
post #20 of 35
We're hoping for 2ish years apart. My brother and I were about 2.5 years apart in age and were extremely close. DH is 4 years apart from his middle brother, 8 from the oldest. Not a big fan of that spacing.
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