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When to have 2nd child. At what age is a toddler most energy demanding?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Hi! Just wondering about child spacing, when to have my second baby. My boy is 16 months now, and I would like him to be at least 2 years before the 2nd arrives. Is this a really bad age to bring in a second? Should I wait until 2 1/2? What months did you find your toddler being the most demanding of your energy? I know it depends on the child but I really would love some stories as I don't know a lot of moms with toddlers.

Thanks for your input and stories!
post #2 of 51
I'm struggling with this decision myself--my girl is nearing 2 (her birthday is in March), and I am waiting, despite my body's desperate desire to conceive again.
No advice, since I haven't BTDT yet, but I will pass on a comment made to me by a friend (and mother of 5) when I was talking it over with her:

"If parents haven't gotten pregnant with #2 by the time their first is 18 months, they tend to wait until their first is closer to 3."

This is, of course, only what she's found in her circle of friends . . . but when we're going through particularly trying moments with DD, her words ring loudly in my ears!
post #3 of 51
My olest are 4 years apart an its been great. DSwas old enough to play by himself for short periods,which gave me time the baby needed, but he was young enough to still enjoy books at quiet time and playing with the baby. As they have grown they have always had a close bond and have never really competed with each other. They are now 17 and 14. If I an talk my wonderful husband inot 1 more I would want a 4 year gap with the baby as well
post #4 of 51
DD is 15 months, and I have ZERO desire to be pregnant again. I am totally surprised that you ladies at 16 months and 2 years, already have a physical desire to conceive again. I am just so far from there right now that I can't imagine my feelings changing that drastically in the next month or even the next 6 months.

That being said, my kids are far apart, so they will never go to school together or relate in the way that siblings closer in age do (not at least until they are both adults likely). And, I had the 2nd at my personal max age. My preference would be to have the next one when DD was 4 or 5. So, I either have to conceive now, and have them closer together than I want, wait and conceive as a much older parent and have them a bit further apart, or not have anymore at all.
post #5 of 51
Three to five saves lives! Google it. That's what I'm going for.
post #6 of 51
I won't risk my milk supply with a pg before my DC are 2y old.

My first two are 3y and 10m apart and I LOVE the spacing. I seriously don't know how we would of survived had DD1 been younger. DD2 had health issues, DD1 was able to understand so much, we didn't have jealousy issues, she was old enough to really be of a help.

Any spacing over 3 years is ok with me. We'll start TTC #3 when DD2 is 2y and 3m, it take me a while to get pg anyway.
post #7 of 51
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post #8 of 51
I think eveyrone's child--and tolerance--is different, but I personally can't imagine trying to be an AP parent w/ less than a 2 yr spread between sibs. I'm pregnant now and my DS will be 3 when the babe is born. 2.5 is SO MUCH EASIER than 2 y/o and under, yet he still is such a baby and needs so much of me. I'm already afraid that even at 3 he will have a lot of times of unmet needs, but I'm 100% positive it would have been much, much worse if there had only been a 2 yr space. Plus, I'm glad I got to enjoy these 3 years just the two of us, y/k? Goodness, sometimes daily life is soooooo frustrating w/ a toddler--can't imagine an infant in the mix! And hopefully I'll have a similar experience because #1 will be old enough to participate in activities away from me, giving me 1-on-1 time w/ #2.
post #9 of 51
My guys are not quite 3 yrs apart. It hasn't been as crazy as I might have thought having 2. The older one was very interested in the baby and could do enough things for himself at 3 when the baby arrived that I could focus on baby when I needed to and could just sling/pouch the baby when we were out and about doing fun things with older ds. Now ds2 is 1 yr old and ds1 is 4 yrs old and they have a lot of fun together already. Ds2 loves watching ds1 and ds1 is usually happy to entertain. I would agree with above poster though that certainly all kids are different. The 3 yr spacing seems to be working well for us. I know I wouldn't want to have them much closer together for my own sanity!
post #10 of 51
I have a 2.75 yo. I just did the math and figured out that I actually started trying for No. 2 when she was 1.5 yo. Unfortunately, it's taking me a lot longer then I expected (think combination of weight and age). Anyhow, I totally knew when it was ok to start. Things just seemed to get easier at home. With that said, I know if I get pregnant anytime in the next couple of months things will be a lot easier for me then when I started 17 months ago. Guess with all that said I would recommend listening to your body, mainly how tired or drained you feel.
post #11 of 51
So my kids are 19 months appart and my second will be 27 months when number three arrives. She is very independent and mature for two though. I have heard best to either have them less than two years apart or more than 3.
post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your stories! I should have mentioned that I am 37 so age is a concern to me, otherwise I think I would be happy to wait until Lucas is at least 2 before getting pregnant. It would be ideal for breast feeding, and probably for sleeping as well. As it is I actually don't feel a physical desire to get pregnant as I am still waking every 2-3 hours all night and struggling to semi-nightwean. I just feel that I "should" start trying in the next few months or so. (when he is 18 months at least). But if having a 2 1/2 year old would be SO much easier than a 2 year old then maybe it would be wise to wait a little longer, and try not to worry about my age.
post #13 of 51
i initially thought i wanted to have my kids close together (although not get pregnant before ds was 2 so he could breastfeed for at least two years) but i recently visited my aunt who had a four year old and she was SO sweet. she asked her mommy when THEY could have a baby and she was sweet and patient with my crazy, freaked out little one. i decided it wouldn't be so bad to have them spaced farther apart. now i only want to ttc when my son (17 mo) is old enough to understand the situation. now, if i said, "mommy can't pick you up right now, the baby needs to nurse" (or whatever) he would not understand and would only insist more. plus, wouldn't it be so nice to have a little one who really wanted to feel your bulging belly, hold your hand while your in labor, and help the new baby get to sleep? these are my current fantasies
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BC mom View Post
Hi! Just wondering about child spacing, when to have my second baby. My boy is 16 months now, and I would like him to be at least 2 years before the 2nd arrives. Is this a really bad age to bring in a second? Should I wait until 2 1/2? What months did you find your toddler being the most demanding of your energy? I know it depends on the child but I really would love some stories as I don't know a lot of moms with toddlers.

Thanks for your input and stories!
I am there with you only my son is 12 months. My body wants to conceive so bad I can hardly stand it! However I know if I got prego now it would be terrible for me because I am already sleep deprived and probably not so good for my son when a new baby arrived. I'd probably pass away for lack of any sleep. Anyway, I plan to wait until I have nursed my son for a year and a half and then if he is sleeping well at night I will TTC. Otherwise, I am thinking we will wait until DS is 2.
post #15 of 51
My girls are eight years apart and I can highly recommend an age difference of five or more years! That being said, I am TTC #3 right now and if I do, my youngest will be three or more years apart. Age is a factor for us (I'm 42), otherwise I'd wait a few more years.

Just want to support what another poster said about AP ideals and having two (or three) LOs at home. I think it's pretty hard. I have a friend who has three under four years old and her life is pretty much survival. There's not a lot of time and energy to really bond with and attach to her kids.
post #16 of 51
This is a question I struggle with every day. We can't decide between 3 and 4 yrs apart. I think in the early years closer together is much harder but in the later years it is easier, but I just don't know.....
post #17 of 51
I like being able to talk to my children about how their lives will change, prepare them...
post #18 of 51
Quote:
I should have mentioned that I am 37 so age is a concern to me
I'm 35 and my dd will be two next month. Everyone I was pregnant with is now on round two and I'm just not ready. Ideally, I'd like to have this one potty trained and sleeping through the night before I start working on another. But in reality, my age is going to play a big part. Esp as I'd really like two more. I expect that we'll start trying sometime next year just because it doesn't make much sense to wait any longer.

Although I do have days where one sounds like just the right number.
post #19 of 51
A factor to consider is how much help (from dh, other relatives, friends, etc.) you will or can have. DS1 was 27 months when ds2 was born. He's still having a hard time with being gentle with his little brother, jealousy, etc, although mostly he's a very loving brother! I don't know if that would have been much different if he were a few months older though. But the thing I was really grateful for was that he was ready to go to sleep a) without nursing, and b) without Mommy. DH took over night parenting with ds1, still does sleep with him. Days that he worked too late to be home in time for bedtimes, my mom was able to come over and fill in. If DH worked different or more hours, that would have been really hard. That was a lifesaver, to have ds1 more "independent" in that regard. Daytime help was also necessary - I had a lot of help (an hour or two on many days when someone came over or took ds1 out for fun outings), and I don't know how I would have managed without that help!
post #20 of 51
I can't imagine having another now (DD is 17.5 mos and likely an only). We co-sleep (well, DH co-sleeps with DD...they're too "active" for me to sleep with...I sleep on the floor - but, that would still leave me sleeping with one of them...ye gads!!!!!) and I doubt she'll give that up anytime soon. She's jealous...of me and DH, of DH and the dog, of me and anything other than her. Yeah, it might be different with different kids, but, I'd have to say 3-4 years is probably good...I was 31mos when my sister was born, and I was old enough to understand sis needed mom, and old enough to amuse myself, and I even went on vacation with grandma shortly after....I can't imagine doing it with an 18-24mos old. We were still close enough to play growing up, but far apart enough to not have so much competition...on a practical side, I'm still pumping for DD, and would like to make it to 24 mos.

Everyone I know with a kid DD's age seems to be having number 2, but, there's no way in heck I could do it...she's finally becoming a "human" as in understanding me, being a separate person, etc. If we were ever to have another, it wouldn't be until DD was *fully* out of baby mode (ie...4-5 years)....

If there were a time limit, that would be diff. to me (my family actually has a HORRIBLE repro. history with medical hysterectomies at 27-39 in the prior three generations, but, we're looking at an only, so not a factor).

I also agree with the help factor....my parents lived with my grandma until I was seven, so, that was a factor. My DH is military, and works 12-15 hour days, so, yeah...it's hard sometimes with just one...I'm sure if we were closer to family, it could make a difference.

Oooh..forgot to add...my DD is in the process of giving up her ONLY nap (half the time, yes, half the time, no)...that has a *big* effect on me.
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