clw, cosleeping and child spacing? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 21 Old 10-17-2005, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone else here delayed ttc because of clw and cosleeping? At 2.5 I'm finding my reasons for not wanting another babe yet are focusing more and more on the fact she still needs both of those a lot, especially the feeding when she's having a rough day. She's pretty full on personality wise, high maintenance rather than easy going. So I imagine another babe like her plus her now and go a bit . I enjoy her because I can take the time to regroup atm, with extra pressure it could all go to hell in a handbasket. I guess I have a very low tolerance for not enjoying myself LOL

I guess I read a lot of AP mums stressed with the demands of a toddler and a babe and the thought of doing that to myself on purpose puts me right off, although I am sure they find the rewards worth it.

I am fairly comfortable with this decision except on one score - feel like closer age siblings will be more fun for each other, and that I'm depriving them of this for selfish reasons. And when I examine this it doesn't stand up because my brothers are close in age but aren't close, and my SIL is 6 years younger than her sister and they are best of friends. They'd be as many stories of the opposite, age gap doesn't mean so much to adult relationships, personality does and you can't order those.

It's probably more that everyone seems to space their kids about 2 years apart and I am feeling if everyone does it, it's for a good reason, even tho in other parenting decisions I don't feel like that! On every other score except that, I feel that having a bigger gap will be better for all of us.

It seems so sensible now I've written it out LOL Anyway, are there others in this forum for whom these decisions have born the most weight on their family spacing? I usually find people with a large gap like 3 or 4 years are usually mums who have returned to outside work for a period.
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#2 of 21 Old 10-17-2005, 10:08 PM
 
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DD is 2.75 years, we started TTC in May with those same concerns, knowing that actually getting pg was going to be a wait due to the fact bfing effects my fertility so much. DD stills bfs and needs me so much, I could not imagine having another before she was 3. At this point we are looking at a 3.5-4 year spacing, and I couldn't imagine it any closer.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#3 of 21 Old 10-17-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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I was actually very upset when I found out I was pregnant again w/ my third for this reason. And it is very hard so far. Not as bad as it could be, but harder than I like it to be! LOL! I liked having 4 years between my first 2 and was planning on doing that again. But I wouldn't trade baby Liam for anything, of course! And it's not too bad, just not what we'd planned. KWIM? I ould even have been happy w/ 3 years, but 2 seems WAY too soon to me. I think people who do that on purpose are crazy. AN dI will and have said that to their face. LOL!
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#4 of 21 Old 10-17-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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I have no idea about this...after all I JUST had #1 and am sooo young and blah blah blah and may be talking out my a** BUT.....
I've read that the ideal for spacing is a 3-4 year difference. This way, #1 has his/her time to nurse and be the baby and understand that someone new and small and needy will be coming soon. Ya know?
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#5 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 09:08 AM
 
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My family: ds1 adn ds2 are 19 months apart, ds2 and dd are 23 months apart, and dd and ds3 are 3 yrs 3 months apart. When ds2 was born, I thought 19 months was the perfect spacing. When dd was born, I thought 23 months was perfect. Now I think that it's so much easier with a 3+ year gap! I look at 19 month olds and think, "How did I do it with a 19 month old and a baby?!?" :LOL

I do have to say that ds1 and ds2 are incredibly close - they are best friends and have an incredibly loving relationship.

It's different for different mamas - and perceptions can change and evolve as you grow in your parenting.

And to answer a question I'm commonly asked re: clw/childspacing - I've been nursing continuously since ds1 was born, have nursed through three pregnancies (tandem nursing through two of the three) and tandem/triandem nursed. I'm currently triandem nursing my 5 yr old, my 3 yr old and my 1 month old. My oldest self-weaned on his fifth birthday and my other children will self-wean as well.

Mama to A (12), Z (11), H (9), C (5), A (3) and 4 angels. 

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#6 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 09:32 AM
 
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I did eco-breastfeeding/ natural child spacing. My periods did not return until ds was 24 months, and I had a few un-ovulating cycles at first, so the closest we could have had them together would have been 3 years apart.

But, when he was 2 I did not feel ready for another at all. He was still nursing LOTS and as he is a highly sensitive & very intense child I felt I needed 100% of my energy and attention for him.

He has turned 3 now and I am beginning to feel ready for another child. We are still co-sleeping & nursing but things have become much easier and he is much more independent now. I am trusting my mama instincts on this. I didn't have any baby fever/ desire for another child for a LONG time. I have just started to feel ready.

Give yourself time and space and don't let yourself feel pressured into something you 'ought' to do. I believe in listening to your intuition.

FWIW, I have 3 younger siblings (1, 3 and 5 years younger) and my youngest brother (5 years younger than me) and I have been best friends from the day he was born.
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#7 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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I totally understand where you are coming from. Before DS was born, I would have said we would space our DCs 2 years apart for "playmate" reasons, like you suggested. But now that it would be time for me to TTC #2 to achieve that spacing, I think that idea is totally nuts. DS is very high needs and it would be a total disservice to him (and DH, and me :LOL ) to have another anytime soon. He still needs too much attention. I think that recognizing that need is instinctual, so if you feel uncomfortable and panicky about TTC, it's probably for an appropriate reason.

I was worried about the companionship thing, too, though. A few nights ago I asked DH how much he played with his younger brother growing up, and he said that they played together all the time. And as teens/college age they were tennis doubles partners, and now they talk on the phone every day and they were each best man at each others' weddings. They are 3 years 8 months apart.

I have five siblings. The two brothers who were closest playmates growing up were 4 years 3 months apart, even though each had a sibling closer in age than they were to each other. I think it's personality more than age gap that determines who gets along well. Sometimes, I think siblings close in age could potentially be too competitive.

There are other similar examples I can think of among my older neices and nephews, too.

So those are the things I've been thinking about to help put me at ease and let me relax about keeping the spacing between DCs longer. I feel so much more relaxed once I decided that it would be OK to wait.

HTH

aran .......... Mr. aran .......... DS1 .......... DS2
BIL Oct. 1961 - Jun. 2009 taken by cancer
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#8 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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I am 7 mos. pregnant with #2, who will be 35 mos. younger than my son. I think 3 yrs. is ideal spacing, but am probably biased! I always thought I wanted kids 2 yrs. apart, but now that sounds like insanity! My son still sleeps with us (and will for a long time, I'm not kicking him out) and nurses a LOT (at least once an hour during the day, and sometimes in the middle of the night) but I don't find those things to be a drain on me, you know? Now if he was still in diapers- that would be awful. But he is totally potty-trained (save for the occasional nighttime accident), talks a lot, can do things for himself like pick out his clothes, fix himself a snack, get in his carseat, etc.
I just cannot imagine having babies 2 yrs. apart. We haven't decided on if/when/how many more kids we want, but the next one will be at least 3 yrs. younger than this babe, maybe even 4 or 5.
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#9 of 21 Old 10-18-2005, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay, thank you for all your responses It's always nice to hear from people in similar circumstances.

I think when all is said and done, any children of mine will be far happier with a happy mum than a closer aged sibling and a cranky mum. Tho I am probably partially doing what I did when pregnant with DD, focus on all the hardwork ahead and not anticipate the pleasure, so all the good stuff came as a lovely suprise LOL
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#10 of 21 Old 10-19-2005, 12:32 AM
 
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I think it's not just the time spacing in between siblings but also the parents attitudes...the fact that you have put so much thought into it, I'm sure it will work out well for you no matter what spacing you decide.

My DS's are 3.2 years apart - my baby just turned 5 mos. DS#1 loves the baby - me, on the other hand, we have had some of the most trying times over the last 5 months. Most of his frustration, anger & sadness, he takes out on me. Which produces even more frustration, anger, sadness & guilt on my part. Some days are tougher than others, but to look at them together now that DS#2 is starting to laugh, move & develop his own personality, it's priceless. I get a lot more joy in being the spectator than I ever thought I would. They even have their own little inside "jokes" already.

I would not change my decision on spacing - no matter how rough it gets. I cherish even second I had with DS#1 - being with him 24/7 since his birth - I'm glad we had those three years.

DS #2 is also the love of my life - I never though I would be in love with more than one person!!! I think that's the hardest thing for us right now - DS#1 knows that I love his little brother & doesn't want to share me. And although DS#2 will always have to share me, he also has his Big Brother, something that DS#1 did not have.

Good Luck - it all works out!

Robin
TN Mommy to Bobby 3/1/2002 and Andy 5/9/2005
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#11 of 21 Old 10-19-2005, 07:50 PM
 
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My kids are almost 4 years apart for this reason. Honestly, I love the spacing, but if I have another baby I would kind of like them closer together. My kids are now 2 and 6, so I guess now is the time to get pregnant. But having an active, nursing, co-sleeping toddler is so much work that we never make time for sex. Oh well. Maybe next year!
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#12 of 21 Old 10-20-2005, 12:28 AM
 
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This is big for us right now. Lil' man is only 15 mo, but dh and I want a baby so bad. However, because he is exclusively nursing- trying to deal with allergy/gut issues this is not even a good idea right now. Also, my fertility had returned and vanished again, so I guess it is not even possible right now.

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#13 of 21 Old 10-20-2005, 01:54 AM
 
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I never TTC. My 2nd DD was a surprise baby and my older two are only 16.5m apart. I'm still not quite sure how I survived their babyhoods!

Now, they're sort of close, but they get on each other's nerves all the time. They have a lot of friends in common- which often means that either DD2 is mad at being left out, or DD1 is mad that DD2 "tags along" on her playdates. They don't always want to play together, or play the same things. Their being close in age has some advantages, but it has some special challenges as well- don't feel like you're denying your children something by not having them close together.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#14 of 21 Old 10-20-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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you gotta do what works for you and your family. If you aren't ready for another baby, you don't need a reason or come up with an excuse.
my girls are almost exactly 2.5 years apart. That's just how it worked out for us. We started TTC at 15 months, as soon as my cycles returned, knowing that it wasn't very likely that I'd get pregnant due to other issues. I wasn't going to wean my child to get my fertility back or anything like that, which my doc was suggesting. But that is what was right for us, given our situation. There is no magic perfect age difference between children. I know some people say that four years is best, because of college expenses :LOL I think they are being a bit optimistic thinking their kids will actually finish college in four years...
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#15 of 21 Old 10-20-2005, 12:38 PM
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azyure, i could have written the same post!
our dd is 2.5 now as well. and i too am wondering what will be best for our family. i am often lacking in patience as it is and adding a newborn to our family would be a disaster for us at this point.
my other concern is that i will be 40 this year, so time is not on my side for much longer. still waiting is best for us andgoddess willing, we will have another later.
it was great to hear from all the other momas too.
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#16 of 21 Old 10-21-2005, 12:23 AM
 
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Azyre, I could have written your post too. Actually, everything you said rings true for me. I have a high maintenance 2.5 yo that I would like to CLW (though it remains to be seen), and who still co-sleeps and night nurses. Even thinking about adding a newborn into this stresses me out. But, these past few months, baby fever seems to have come and isn't leaving this time (I've had it before but not like this).

Still, I really like the idea of letting DD have her turn at being a baby and at age 2.5, she really is still baby (and a needy one at that - have I mentioned that yet?). I do see her maturing and being able to wait for longer and longer periods before her needs are met, but it seems like another year will put her in an even better position to accept a sibling. Right now, my ideal spacing is 4 years, but I think 5 would be fine too. Heck, I could handle having a kindergartner and a baby - that would be 5 mornings a week I'd be guaranteed to have only one underfoot - woohoo! Besides that, I remember begging my mom to have another baby when I was a little girl. I wanted to be the kid who had a baby sister or brother to bring to show and tell!

I worry about whether my kids will have a shot at companionship and friendship if they are far apart, but I think as others have said, that's more related to personality than age and age can backfire too. It can set up competition (between sibs at school, for parents' affection, etc.) whereas distance could help create more of a caretaker role (I had siblings close in age so felt the competition firsthand).

It *is* hard for me to watch everyone around me striving for (and achieving) that cultural ideal of 18-24 months apart, but like you, I don't strive to parent the way the mainstream does in any other area, so why would this bother me? Truthfully I don't know...

Anyway, right there with ya. Go with your instinct - you know yourself and your needs better than anyone!
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#17 of 21 Old 10-21-2005, 02:57 AM
 
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This is exactly why we are still waiting to TTC. DD is 21 months old and pretty high maintenance, nurses a lot at night, and during a day. She is still such a baby that needs mommy a lot. I can't imagine depriving her of some of that as when a younger sibbling enters the stage it would be inavoidable, I think. I ask myself some practical questions, how will I go to the toilet to pee in the night if my dd stays curled up in my armpit and when I move she wakes. I remember that during first pregnancy I had to pee pretty often at night. How will I do all what seems normal to me now with two of them, will I handle it and how?
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#18 of 21 Old 10-21-2005, 09:36 PM
 
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The right spacing of children is whatever is right for you and your dh. There is no magic age that works for all families. Lots of people have babies two years apart because Dr. Spock said in the 50s that two years was the right spacing and it's become folk wisdome ever since. My girls are 3 1/2 years apart. I would have had them closer, but I had two miscarriages between the pregnancies. You never know what's going to happen with each pregnancy. Just do what feels right for your family, and don't listen to the critics. They don't have to live with you!!
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#19 of 21 Old 10-23-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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Do what feels right for you. My dd and ds are exactly 2.5 years, to the day, apart. At first it was very difficult because my dd wanted the attention she was used to and I was drained. Also, I dislike nursing them togeter, I like to take turns. This still doesn't always work now that they're 3.3 years and 9 months. On the other hand I wouldn't trade the times they splash each other in the tub or share a giggle over something. And, my Olivia seems so much older than Owen sometimes when she's going into her preschool class or telling me a complicated story. There are advantages and disadvantages either way. Just remember that you can't tell what will happen. I have a friend with 2 children, who had hoped to space them farther apart, (they're only 18 months apart). Her and her dh were a little upset. However, before there ds #2 was even born her dh was diagnosed and began chemo for cancer. Now they're thankful to have both boys as they don't know if they will be able to conceive again. Thankfully he is now in remission and they plan to adopt in the future and/or have more children. Good Luck!
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#20 of 21 Old 10-24-2005, 04:08 AM
 
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I put off TTC #3 because I wanted DS#2 to get the full benefit of self-weaning. My first 2 boys are 7-1/2 years apart, and I just personally could not even fathom the idea of a 2-year spacing - I just couldn't handle it. I like allowing each child ample time to be the "baby." The time just finally seems right for us to TTC, DS#2 will be 4 in January.
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#21 of 21 Old 11-03-2005, 06:02 PM
 
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I think you are very wise. After having two closely spaced, I began thinking that at least a 3-year spacing was probably ideal. My body didn't cooperate, however, and I ended up with another set of "two under two" 2-1/2 years after the first set. So I can speak from experience about what it is like having closely spaced babies. It is extremely intense, and especially because of attachment parenting. It's unbelievably taxing and tremendously challenging. I have thought more times than I can count about how "easy" my life might have been with kids spaced further apart. It's true, my kids have built-in same-age playmates, but within our homeschool group they have friends of all ages and I don't think age is a necessary ticket when it comes to sibling friendships.

I have enjoyed being a mom, but it's been a huge self-sacrifice simply because I've had a baby, or a toddler, or both, for 7-1/2 years straight. I am so ready for a break, and we're done having kids now mostly because I'm burnt out on babies and toddlers. I think you are smart to plan your child spacing. I imagine it would be far less crazy with a greater space between babies.

Just my 2c.

My friend just had her second child nine years after her first. She thinks that spacing rocks.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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