The decision to have a second child... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How did you make it?? I've always wanted two children and now is the time because I want to TTC in September-October for a summer baby, but our life is just so wonderful now. DS is 17 mo, he's STTN, eating well and is just fun to be with. It's just hard to fathom going back to the 1st year and the round the clock feedings and to top it all off having to care for DS as well. Not only that, we don't know yet if I'll have to work or if I'll be able to stay home once the 2nd baby is born.

I also dread trying to go out with 2 children, I see other parents going out and doing nothing but watching a child. At least now we can pass Andrew between us and relax for part of the time we're out.

Give me your stories, good and bad. I want to hear your experiences!!

Julie, proud graduate of the AOW 3 year program in the study of boobology . Me : + DH : = Super Bubba !
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#2 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

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#3 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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that's a hard decision. we just had #2 when ds was 3y2mo. i like the distance. age three is definately easier in many ways than any ages/stages before it....so it makes having two pretty easy, i think.

remember that it's nine months before #2 comes --sounds silly but about three months into my pg, i felt really ready for #2 to be here already! ds1 was changing to fast and getting easier every day.

#2 is easier in general b/c you've been through it all before. i feel so laid back this time and am surprised with how easy things have been with the adjustment of handling two kids.

mama  to 3 farmboys (, & ) and 1 farmgirl ()
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#4 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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Two years apart is so hard on the toddler, and the mom who feels torn between her two babies, and on the baby who might be minorly neglected because mom is busy with the older baby - It's hard on dad too because mom is stressed and overworked and not feeling able to be a loving partner to him.

My best advice is to wait another year, at least. I've had 3 that were 2 years apart and then waited 6 years and then waited 5 years and let me tell you that it was SO nice to have an older child who could go potty by themselves, fix a bowl of cereal, turn on the TV - I didn't have to do everything for everyone and it made a big difference on how I felt about mothering and caring for my children - I actually got to enjoy my baby!

Luckily, my DH works from home and has a very flexible schedule so he's here to co-parent almost completely. That's why we decided to have another one just 2 years after our last baby, but I wouldn't recommend it for most moms who are doing the bulk of parenting all on their own all day long and into most evenings - it's just too hard.

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Mama to Scott (USAF), Katie (18), Karlie (16), Kimmy (9), Klara (4.5), and Baby Khloe (2.5)
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#5 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 04:24 PM
 
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Wow. I could have written your post verbatim!
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#6 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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We have recently decided to go for #2, as we felt that a 3 year age difference was good, and we want her to have a sibling, and its kinda now or never for me as I'm 43 YO :

: for a this month!
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#7 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I'm pregnant with #2. They'll be 21 months apart. We wanted them close together for all the typical reasons -- e.g., they'll share interests/modes of entertainment as they grow up in our home, they'll have more in common at more stages of development, etc. I know that does not guarantee a close emotional relationship later in life, as posters in these types of threads often point out.

Contrary to alllyssa's post, I do not feel at all like I am going to be doing my DS a disservice by giving him a sibling close in age. I also don't think I'll be neglecting my new baby. (ETA: You know, I haven't BTDT, and she has. I just want to acknowledge that. Nevertheless, I am quite comfortable with our decision, and I'm sure there are tons of MDC moms who have close spacings and are ok with it too. )

I know the first bit is going to be challenging, but I'm ready for it (as ready as I can be). It won't last that long.

I think every spacing has its advantages and disadvantages. That's why it is often regarded as a hard decision.

coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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#8 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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my boys are 20 months apart, and although it can be stressful at times, I wouldnt give it up for the world!!!!! I also have another one due in feb which is gonna make the younger 2 exactly 12 months apart : : : I'll be going nuts but it will be worth it. I love the fact that they will be so close. I say if it is something you really want then go for it!!!!!!! Dominick has always been a huge help with the baby. Ashton just adores his big bro!
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#9 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 05:32 PM
 
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Personally, I just knew I wanted at least 3 years between kids. I had a rough pregnancy, and I know I will have gestational diabetes with the next pregnancy, and I just wasn't ready to go through it all again so soon. I also knew that dh and I couldn't handle another so soon without losing our minds. We don't have any family nearby to help out, and it's hard. One toddler in the house is hard enough on a relationship; I didn't want to add a new baby to the mix quite yet. I don't really care so much about providing a "close" sibling for ds, because it seems like there's no rhyme or reason to whether siblings end up having a close relationship. If they're friends, great; if not, oh well. Dh and I are both 6-8 years apart from our siblings, so we never knew what we missed. We're ttc now, hoping for about 3 years between ds and a new baby.

lady.gif mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11

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#10 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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We wanted 3 years minimum inbetween siblings but we had an oops and they'll only be 2.5 yrs apart. Our reasoning for 3 or more was that I was hoping ds would be in preschool a couple mornings a week before we had a newborn-mostly to give me and the baby a little alone bonding time. We were also thinking ds would be on his way toward potty training by 3 and might be sleeping better in his bed than he is now. As for the going out with 2 kids, I am a little worried about handling that-especially when its just me running errands!

Lisa, mama to A (3/05) and R (11/07) and L (8/10)
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#11 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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I'm interested in what people have to say, too. I used to think I wanted mine a year or so apart, but now I feel like waiting until C is 3 before trying. Partly because she is SUCH a handful right now, partly because I don't feel ready to divide my attention with another baby just yet, and partly because I want to nurse her for another year (and sorry, but, no way no how am I gonna try tandem nursing! Too much for me I think.)

I read something like 3-5 years is the ideal spacing, biologically speaking. That's just one perspective you might want to take into consideration.http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...30/ai_95105825

Personally I'm going to wait until I feel like she's less dependent on me, or when I just get that feeling that IT'S TIME... LOL
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#12 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NicaG View Post
Personally, I just knew I wanted at least 3 years between kids. I had a rough pregnancy, and I know I will have gestational diabetes with the next pregnancy, and I just wasn't ready to go through it all again so soon.
Ditto here
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#13 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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I have just one kid who is about 2.5 yo. Honestly, I see moms with toddlers and babies and just don't know how they do it. It looks SO tiring to me!

We will probably wait till ds is about 4-5 to have another one. This gives us both time to finish school (I'm a grad student, dh is an undergrad), and hopefully we will be in a position where I can take the first year off work to care for the child.

Ds will be fully potty trained, hopefully be sleeping in his own bed all night (this is important to me because I love co-sleeping but do NOT want to do it with TWO kids), and will be old enough to amuse himself at times and possibly even amuse his younger sibling. He will also be old enough to understand that he needs to be gentle with the baby (a friend has two that are not quite 2 years apart and she says the older one will try to hurt the younger one when he is tired and it's really hard on her because she wants to protect her baby, but the older one is her baby too : ).

Further, down the line....there will be a LARGE gap between when they can drive and go to college. This is important to me because I want to get my kids a car, but I don't think we could afford to have FOUR cars! Also, I would prefer to have just one kid in college at one time. I know that our money situation could change, but realistically, I don't think we'll ever be having tea with Mr. Monopoly and I want to retire with dignity and I ALSO want to be able to do the things for my kids that my parents didn't do for me, so thinking that far ahead helps me to be rational when I look at ds' itty bitty baby clothes (had to get them out for a friend).

I also have age on my side. I'm 27 now, so I will be about 30 when my next is born. If I were 37 now, I would be TTC right now. Further, because I'm only 27, even though I think I want just 2 kids, if I do decide I want a third I have time to do that.

Finally, I'm selfish. I really LOVE being able to go to yoga class, to occasionally go to movies, get a pizza, read a book, etc....all the things that require time and money. We don't have a ton of money right now, but we are able to do things like buy new running shoes or see Harry Potter because we only have one child. In our situation, if we had a second, we would literally not be able to do anything but care for those kids. Oh, and that reminds me that d/c is expensive, too, and having two kids in d/c at once is REALLY expensive but I want to WOH.

Just my .02!

Good luck with your decision!

Oh yeah: I adore this time with ds. I don't want to have to split my time between him and another dc. Although I haven't BTDT, I agree with the PP who said that it's hard on EVERYBODY to have kids so close together. I don't want my ds to have to wait for me to finish with his sibling for my attention. Not that if you choose to have two together you are a bad parent or anything....I think this comes back to my selfishness again. I want ds snuggles all to myself!
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#14 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Our DC are 2.5 years apart exactly. Before we started TTC #2, I had reservations about "messing up what we had as a family of three." We finally decided we really wanted DS to have a sibling. Once we made the decision, it just felt right.

It's different for everyone, but I've found having two children very rewarding. It is a bit more challenging getting out with two, but it isn't impossible.
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#15 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalulu View Post
We wanted 3 years minimum inbetween siblings but we had an oops and they'll only be 2.5 yrs apart. Our reasoning for 3 or more was that I was hoping ds would be in preschool a couple mornings a week before we had a newborn-mostly to give me and the baby a little alone bonding time. We were also thinking ds would be on his way toward potty training by 3 and might be sleeping better in his bed than he is now. As for the going out with 2 kids, I am a little worried about handling that-especially when its just me running errands!
:

I already HATE going on errands with ds. I can't even imagine having TWO with me! :
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#16 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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I go back and forth between wanting to conceive now and wanting to wait a few more months. I often feel that really strong hormonal pull to have another baby, and I wonder if by spacing my children further apart I am making it less likely they'll be close. But then I take a good look at ds (20 months), who is still such a baby and needs my full attention (and a full supply of milk) so desperately. I know that lots of children spaced more closely do just fine, but I can't help thinking that if I have the ability to let ds be the baby for a little while longer, why shouldn't I do that? The arrival of a younger sibling on the scene is such a difficult thing for any child, and I just think that he will be a bit more mature and better able to process the situation at 3 than at 2.

This may all be moot, as I'm only on my second pp cycle, and I think I've only ovulated once since ds was born. But it's on my mind, nonetheless.
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#17 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This may all be moot, as I'm only on my second pp cycle, and I think I've only ovulated once since ds was born. But it's on my mind, nonetheless.
This goes for me too, I'm just on my 2nd PP cycle. Why couldn't it have just stayed away so I wouldn't have to make this decision

Julie, proud graduate of the AOW 3 year program in the study of boobology . Me : + DH : = Super Bubba !
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#18 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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There is good and bad no matter what choice you make - (and probably whatever # of child you are having!) I never struggled with the choice of having a second child, but I had most of your same concerns when it came to having a third child.

Ultimately we based our choice on the emotions of the decision, not the practicalities. The money and stuff we'll have to figure out now, but we just had to look deep down at what we wanted our family to be and here we are - third baby coming soon!

Laurie wahm (virtual paralegal) of 3 wonderful boys (11, 9, 5). 1st by c-section for breech, 2 by VBAC (one miscarriage between child #1 and #2).

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#19 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lapoema View Post
no way no how am I gonna try tandem nursing! Too much for me I think.
This is also something to take into consideration. I'm fine with tandeming and we're on our way there already. But even if you're ok with it, something like 25% of kiddos self-wean during pregnancy, and another 25% are mother-led weaned (there can be significant discomfort nursing while pg). So if your DC nursing until X age is your top priority, then you might want to delay TTC.

Those #s are from Adventures in Tandem Nursing, btw.

coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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#20 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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I guess we're sort of lucky (in a way), in that Fate or whatever will end up deciding the issue for us. We've got fertility issues, and have decided that we'll go through 3 infertility treatments like what we had to do to have DD. If it takes, great. If it doesn't, great.

Because of a work assignment that I really, really want to take next spring, we'll start TTC next summer when DD is about 2.25 years old, which is going to put her around 3 if/when the time comes for a sibling. I'm pleased to hear so many here saying that 3 years is a good separation.
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#21 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 08:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by speedknitter View Post
We have recently decided to go for #2, as we felt that a 3 year age difference was good, and we want her to have a sibling, and its kinda now or never for me as I'm 43 YO :

: for a this month!

Good Luck! :

<3 Dena

Wife to M 4.04 and Mama to hopmad.gifJ the activist 5.06, superhero.gifSammy Tsunami 12.09, and stork-girl.gif  coming soon!

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#22 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 08:11 PM
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You will know when you are ready.

DH says it's like a switch in a woman's brain - one day you don't want more yet, and the next you can't wait.

I always thought it would be ideal to have kids close together like me and my sister were simply for the bonding issues. But, even though it seemed like the logical time to do it, we just weren't ready to take on another baby. Don't do it because of logic.

DD will be 3.5 when the new on is born and I can see the advantages of it. We are so much more ready - emotionally, physically, perspecitve-wise etc. DD is more independant, and I think she will handle not being the center of the universe a bit better now. I'm glad it's happening when it is.

As a side note: We "planned" for next-kid way sooner than he/she is coming. Months in the fertility forum is a humbling experience.

g.

Canadian mama to A (C/S May 2004) and R (induced VBAC Dec 2007) expecting #3 in July.  Currently obsessing over permaculture, photography and beekeeping.

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#23 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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I always thought about 2 years apart is perfect. But now I think it has a lot to do with different personalities, of the parents and sibling to be! I have an almost 3 year old dd and a 7mo ds, and it is exhausting. I thought dd would be old enough to kind of want to help and be involved with her little brother, but she hasn't had much to do with him. I constantly feel like there isn't enough of me to go around. I hear though that it's really nice to have them close in age when they are older. I think it's going to be awhile before we think about #3

Jenny
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#24 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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My ds is 19 mos. and I'm not ready at all to have another. I work fulltime outside of the house, and I already feel that I don't see my ds as much as I would like -- so to split that limited time w/another child seems unfair to everyone involved.

Also, in terms of being close w/siblings, I am close with all four of my brothers, including my youngest brother who is 11 years younger than me.
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#25 of 103 Old 07-25-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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My second daughter was born just 15 months after my first. One good thing about a second, more so once the youngest is 4 months or older, is it is so much easier keeping them entertained because they have each other, too!

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#26 of 103 Old 07-26-2007, 12:13 AM
 
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We always knew we wanted 2, then after our dd arrived I contemplated her being an only... which I NEVER thought I would consider. But, as she got older, I knew she needed a sibling, she just LOVES being around other children. We went back and forth over whether we wanted to aim for a 2 or 3 year age gap and couldn't decide. We decided to start TTC and it worked first try, so almost 23 months apart it is.

Our ds is 3 weeks old and I have to say (knock on wood! LOL) that everything is going wonderful! DD has loved babies for awhile, and done great with me holding them, so that helped a lot. And we talked about every detail of him coming into our lives with her while I was pregnant. How he would sleep in bed with us (she wanted/wants him next to her... not quite!), how he would nurse, sit next to her in the van, etc. So, she was really ready. It was very rewarding because my family was convinced she wasn't going to handle any of it, especially the nursing, well since we are very attached and she was still nursing. She even helps undo my bra for him, and gets the other side ready when she decides it's time for him to switch sides. She was down to nursing just at night before bedtime before he arrived, and now it's maybe a couple times a week so far.

One of the first days we were home I was holding ds and dd came up saying "hold". I thought she meant that she wanted me to hold her and was a little jealous... nope, she was asking if she could hold her brother. It just melted my heart.

The tough part is getting ready to get out of the house. Making sure the diaper bag is packed for two, and that both are fed and dry! And our cd pail is filling up rather quick now since dd isn't potty trained yet!
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#27 of 103 Old 07-26-2007, 02:39 AM
 
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Very much an individual choice on deciding when to have #2.

There will be about 27 months difference between my two.

I know that it will be a bit difficult at first but I know that I will get through it and I know that it won't be for long as they grow up really quickly.

My g/f has 4 years between each of her children because she didn't want two babies in nappies at the same time.

She admits that that was one advantage but she also says that the disadvantage for her is that her children don't play together much and also the older one resents the next younger one breaking his/her things.

The way I see it there are pros and cons to each view of having children close in years together or far apart in years together. You just have to do what you think is comfortable for your family
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#28 of 103 Old 07-26-2007, 10:38 AM
 
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I'm about to have 3 children (I'm currently in labor, yay!!) - anyway, my current 2 are about 20 months apart, and the new one will be about 20 months apart, as well. I personally think it's great. In some ways I am saddened that my 20 month old is still such a baby and here I am, having another baby, and while it keeps be incredibly busy and a bit insane at times, in the long run, I think it's well worth it.

Already my girls play together so well, they're so close. It's magical. I also grew up with siblings with about the same spacing and I loved it (except when they were beating me up, of course...
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#29 of 103 Old 07-26-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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My husband always said if we had kids it had to be kids. There would be no only child. Let me just say if we had had the 2nd one first we would never have done it again. The 2nd sent my DH running for the vasectomy.

We decided it was time when our first was 2. When the 2nd arrived DS was 3 years and 4 months old. Old enough to get things for me if needed, old enough to be in his own room by his choice, old enough to play on his own more, no diapers, able to walk through a store holding my hand. For us if our first had been any younger it would have been harder. My sister in law has 3. The oldest and youngest my sons ages and then she has one in the middle, 1.5, 3, 5. Maybe its their family or their personalities but the children have never received the attention they needed.
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#30 of 103 Old 07-26-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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I think that whether or not siblings are close probably has more to do with personality than age. Everyone's situation is different, but in my case, my sister and I are 22 months apart (I'm older), and we have never been close. We have very different personalities and interests. My mom says that when my sister was a baby I would attack her if we were left alone together. She even still has a scar near her eyes from me. I wouldn't worry too much about having babies close in age so they can have a closer relationship, because it doesn't always work that way. There may be other reasons to have them close in age, but that might not be a good reason.
Ds (27 mo) has been taking his time learning to eat, so he still depends on nursing for most of his nutrition. I am waiting until he learns to chew solid foods before I try to get pregnant again so that I don't have to be concerned about milk supply during pregnancy. We were planning for 3-4 years apart anyway, so this is fine with me. We thought 3-4 years would be best for better health (as mentioned in the article linked by a pp), and also so that the older one could become more independent in their own time (instead of having to become more independent because of the new baby, which I think is what happened with me).
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