Anyone have kids 5 or more years apart? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-02-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but I wanted mention that throughout most of history and in most cultures, the average time between births has been 4-5 years.
There may be cultural and historical demographics you're including that I am unaware of, but this is SO not the case in my family's history. I am the family's unofficial genealogist, and have lists upon lists of nearly every family branch of mine dating back 120-150 years. Before WOHMs, birth control and formula feeding became widespread, *every* branch on both sides of the family had between 4-10 kids, ranging from as little as 10 months apart to no more than 3.5 years, almost without fail. Where larger gaps did occur, there was almost certainly a baby's death or miscarriage throwing off the timeline between the living. Breastfeeding didn't seem to hold the seed of lusty husbands at bay for too long! I can't imagine any woman wanting to have sex (much less being fertile while exclusively nursing!) a month or two after just having had a newborn, so guess who was making *those* decisions back in the day...

That being said, my DD is 3.5, and I was so hoping to have our second around her 4th birthday, but I miscarried in December. So it sure looks like there will be a 5 year age gap minimum whenever #2 does come along. I'm just glad to hear it has worked out really well for most.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:05 AM
 
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Mine are 2yrs apart, then 4yrs, so my oldest is 6yrs older than the baby.

The hard part is having one in grade school, one in preschool all with different pick up and drop off times, then a baby. Getting the baby in and out the car so many times a day is killing me.

Both kids are good with the baby, but particularly the 6yr old, even if he's not actually playing with her, I can trust him for a few minutes to be the supervisor.

This is a lot harder than 2 and newborn was, but it would be less hard if I only had one older child and one schedule.

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Old 02-02-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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There may be cultural and historical demographics you're including that I am unaware of, but this is SO not the case in my family's history. I am the family's unofficial genealogist, and have lists upon lists of nearly every family branch of mine dating back 120-150 years.
Info from this book: http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Biology-C...5119308&sr=1-2

And she's talking about across all cultures AND, most importantly, across the 2-3 million years of humanity (meaning all homo species). We're talking biology here, not culture.

There are a number of cultures that consider it totally taboo to 'mate' before a previous child is 2 years old. Add that to ecological breastfeeding, and it would be nearly impossible to have spacing much less than 3 years (not sure what took it to 4-5). As for the man's desires, I really believe we were (biologically) meant for polygyny (well, not even marriage, just multiple mating partners for maximum procreation). Though our culture has changed a good bit since then, I'm not sure our biology has adapted quite so quickly.

The book also has a whole discussion of how apes are still spacing 5 years due to necessity, they can't care for their little ones and have another more quickly than that. The anthropological theory put forth (in Small's book) for our closer spacing (4 years) is that we developed a "childhood" somewhere way back in history that made us able to have independent (not nursing, not worn by mom) 'kids' (ages 2-7) that could be cared for by older children in the family/village while the mom could get pregnant again and care for the newborn. The apes don't/can't do this and care for their young (dependently/nursing) until later, therefore cannot handle another baby. This supports the idea that humans are more successful evolutionarily speaking. Its an interesting discussion.

I don't mean to spark debate in here, please just take or leave this stuff as you will and continue the discussion on larger child spacing in your families! I do recommend the book, though! I loved "Our Babies, Ourselves" and this is the follow-up.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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holiztic thanks for this info I find it very interesting.

my kids are 5 years and 7 years apart--13 yo, 8 yo, and 16 months. love it. would not plan another until the baby is at least 4. though my h probably doesn't want another. i do. i want one more biologically if we can squeeze it in bio clock wise (i'm 32--i'll be 36 by the time I'd be ready again..) and i'd like one or more through older child adoption. h is more open to that--outwardly bc of population concerns and also I think because secretly he is soooo afraid that a fetus might not make it thru a pregnancy, bc miscarrying is common, whereas a child joining the family over age five is out of the "under 5" vulnerable stage re: childhood illness, etc.

my 13 year old (late aged adoption at 5 yrs) recently independently suggested we adopt a large sib group. he found a photolisting of a group of 6sibs. i can't even imagine what that would look like in function. i broke it to him gently.

in any case i do think wide spacing is great, particularly if you (like me) aren't like the *best* at housekeeping, cooking, household organizing, etc, with a baby/toddler...at least with one at a time there are never two who need a diaper changed or whatnot at the same time.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Mine are a little over 5 years apart and it's great
They play a bit together now and DS can be a great help to me too with helping with his younger sis
Plus when they are adults there won't be an age difference per se. Now they have different needs and likes and dislikes, but when adults there won't be. Since DS is independent I can do a lot of stuff with DD that I feel I couldn't if he were much younger and I was chasing after the both of them! In turn, I can do activities that he enjoys one-on-one while DH is playing with DD, or while she's in bed or napping. I also like the fact that I had one-on-one time with DS for almost 5 years, so learned a lot about ages and stages so this time around it's easier. Go for it!

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Old 02-02-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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There are 9 years between my two DD's, and so far it's absolutely fantastic. DD1 is very independent, and also has a strong "mother hen" complex, so she loves taking care of her sister by herself-- diaper changes, dressing her, pushing her in the stroller, etc. Of course, we're only 2 months into our sibling adventure, so she may still grow weary of having a baby around.

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Old 02-03-2010, 01:47 AM
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Mine are almost 6 years apart. I love the age gap. My DS1 loves being a big brother. And I really get to enjoy all the wonderful baby moments!

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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I will have two sets with a 5 year span..

Oldest is 11, next is 6.. then my youngest will be 5 in a couple of days, and my new baby isn't due until June..

The good things I have noticed so far- my 11yo takes his education very seriously, and it gets my younger kids talking about what to expect with it.. they are already discussing what instruments to study in 6th grade because they see how their older brother loves and cares for his trumpet.. they are considering sports options since they see how their older brother looks forward to ski season..

My youngest (almost 5) is really excited about the baby.. yesterday he was singing "candy girl" to her.. I am waiting to see if this adoration of his will continue once the baby is born, and cries, and poops.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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Not by choice here -- had to do IVF. There are pluses and minuses, but I'd do it again for a chance to have dd.

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Old 02-03-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by snguyen View Post
There may be cultural and historical demographics you're including that I am unaware of, but this is SO not the case in my family's history. I am the family's unofficial genealogist, and have lists upon lists of nearly every family branch of mine dating back 120-150 years. Before WOHMs, birth control and formula feeding became widespread, *every* branch on both sides of the family had between 4-10 kids, ranging from as little as 10 months apart to no more than 3.5 years, almost without fail. Where larger gaps did occur, there was almost certainly a baby's death or miscarriage throwing off the timeline between the living. Breastfeeding didn't seem to hold the seed of lusty husbands at bay for too long! I can't imagine any woman wanting to have sex (much less being fertile while exclusively nursing!) a month or two after just having had a newborn, so guess who was making *those* decisions back in the day...
.
There may have been wet nurses or homemade formula though, especially if they were either poor (working moms go way back among the lower classes) or rich (read the old Mary Poppins series for a look at how the British upper middle classes handed off the newborn to the nanny immediately around 1900 or so).

Jen 47 DS C 2/03  angel.gif04/29/08/ DD S 10/28/09 DH Bill '97.

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Old 02-04-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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There may have been wet nurses or homemade formula though, especially if they were either poor (working moms go way back among the lower classes) or rich (read the old Mary Poppins series for a look at how the British upper middle classes handed off the newborn to the nanny immediately around 1900 or so).
I doubt there were either in my case, I don't think too many German and Swedish farmers (especially in MN farm country) had servants or formula, although I have heard stories of women my mother's age getting Karo syrup as formula as nursing rates declined with "modernization." From census info going back to 1865, the wives' occupations were always listed as "housewife" or "none." Actually it was more common for the women to start working outside their own home only as teenagers at the farm next door or as a housekeeper if they needed retirement-age income, with no more children at home. Again, I know this is just my little piece of all humanity I'm talking about, but I know my situation is not unique.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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After what has been a month of seemingly endless reports of my friends who already have one child in the 2.5 yr old range telling me they are due w/#2, and me feeling completely inadequate (for lack of a better word) that I was not anywhere near ready for #2 yet (if at all), the posts on here have really made my day. I've always thought that *if* we have a second, I'd like him/her to be almost 5 yrs apart from DD (largely for the reasons people have stated). But among my peers, I seem to be in the vast minority with most having kids 2-3 yrs apart, or less. It was making me feel like I was doing something wrong by not being ready yet (I know I need to work on not worrying about what others are doing...but sometimes you can't help it!)

Anyway, not to hijack, just wanted to say thanks for everyone's input to the OP. It has changed my perception of what's beyond my worldview of what I thought was "normal".
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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After what has been a month of seemingly endless reports of my friends who already have one child in the 2.5 yr old range telling me they are due w/#2, and me feeling completely inadequate (for lack of a better word) that I was not anywhere near ready for #2 yet (if at all), the posts on here have really made my day. I've always thought that *if* we have a second, I'd like him/her to be almost 5 yrs apart from DD (largely for the reasons people have stated). But among my peers, I seem to be in the vast minority with most having kids 2-3 yrs apart, or less. It was making me feel like I was doing something wrong by not being ready yet (I know I need to work on not worrying about what others are doing...but sometimes you can't help it!)

Anyway, not to hijack, just wanted to say thanks for everyone's input to the OP. It has changed my perception of what's beyond my worldview of what I thought was "normal".
My best friend and I met in birth class when we were pregnant with our firsts. When they were barely past 1 (14 months, I think) I was at her house and she said "I have news!" and I said (totally, 100% joking) "you're pregnant" and she said "well, yeah!" I was 100% (literally) joking because it didn't even seem possible to me. I was a bit rude in proceeding months treating her like she was doing something totally unimaginable (oopps! I do wish I'd been more sensitive!), but I really didn't even see how it was possible. I mean, I was nursing around the clock (every 2 hours at least), had no signs of menstruation, my son was just starting to talk, still in diapers, still waking all night. I was amazed that she was pregnant!


I am still so pleased imaging myself with a baby and a big boy. Seems so right to me! DS is not quite 3 and is very verbal, totally potty-trained (even at night), and acts in so many ways like a "big boy". I'm not sure if he'd be like that with a baby around this early.

The only thing I think about with the spacing is that I wish I'd been able to start earlier. When I mentioned the historical interbirth interval of 4-5 years, I neglected (what I assume to be) the historical age of first birth probably in the teens. I wish it would have been feasible for me to have kids at 20, 25, 30, 35. Instead, it's likely going to be 28, 32, 36. Yes, I'd like 4, but we'll have 3 at most, I think, due only in part to age.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:05 AM
 
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I didnt read all the reply's, here's our family 15yo, 10yo, 5yp, 1yo. Would i do it that way again....NONONONOOOOOOOOO
Not one of them can play together, my 10yo and 5yo play sometimes, but not often. I liked it when they were babies cause one would go off to school while i was home with the baby. But my 5yo is still at home and the 1yo and him dont play at all. God gave me all my children when he knew i was ready, so i have to thank him. But if i could do it over, i would have them closer.

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Old 02-05-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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My girls are six years apart and I LOVE it. The baby is just a baby but they already play together. We homeschool so maybe that helps. And the first grader is a total help. I mean that she actually helps me watch the baby, feed the baby, change the baby, dress the baby...she's really, really reliable and in love with her sister.
One of my favorite moms has a sibling six years younger and another nine years younger. She is close to both and has wonderful memories of her mom nursing and cosleeping. She has tons of tips and I have no doubt dd1 will grow up to be a nursing mama. (She nurses her dolls at LLL meetings.)
It's also fun to have her around other moms with babies and toddlers. Again and again parents tell me how helpful she is.
And the baby adores her sister. She calls out, "YA YA. YA YA [her name for her sister]!" And just this week they started to play together in dd1's play kitchen.
It's just perfect for our family.

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Old 02-06-2010, 04:06 AM
 
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I think 3 years is a good space, but we are stuck with nearly seven so we will make it work.
I am sure some women are fertile enough to get pregnant again soon, but it doesn't mean they should.
Farm women probably did breastfeed, but that doesn't mean that they breast fed excusively for a long period of time or delayed solids, and I do know of women who were breastfeeding full time and still got pregnant before one year.

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Old 02-06-2010, 04:35 AM
 
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I'm so glad to find this thread. I wanted 2.5 years apart, even had that pg, but it did not make it. Now we are looking at at least 5.5. It is so reassuring to hear all the positive stories. I really am glad that ds has gotten so much of our attention in these years.

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Old 02-06-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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my dc are 4 years and 7 mo apart and so far it has been great. No jealousy from ds, he loves his sister to pieces, I can barely stop him from kissing and hugging her all the time. I like the fact that he is able to get himself a glass of water or use the restroom without any help, when I'm busy with the baby. When I was pregnant and very sick, I could take a nap while he was playing or watching TV.

Now he attends kindergarten, which leaves me a little bit of time alone with the baby.

Having a larger gap worked great for us.

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Old 02-06-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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Dd1 was 6 1/2 when dd2 came along and I love it. We didn't plan it this way, I was ready for another baby when dd1 was about 3 but dh was deployed twice in a row so it took a while. I'm pretty happy with the spacing though, very little jealousy and dd1 loves being helpful with dd2.
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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What a comforting thread. We are currently TTC and our child is a little over 4.5 now.

Grace-based wife & mama to 2 unschoolers! One & . We live simply & mindfully. Expecting another blessing Feb 2015 Praying for another
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