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Easiest time to have #2 while AP/GD

824 Views 17 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Silliest
Trying to figure out when to have #2. We want to do what is easiest to do while living up to our AP/GD ideals. What's your take?

Which is most likely to be easiest (or should I say least difficult)? Here are charts to see the age differences over a few years. Of course other factors are relevant too -- e.g., I'm worried about reduced supply if I get pregnant while Simon is still a heavy nurser; would a 4 year old and a 7+ year old be likely to have a lot in common? We will probably homeschool. Is it usually easiest to have them close together for this? Perhaps, e.g. this way they'd both be able to get a lot out of the same field trips (I have in my mind that we'll become part of a co-op and go on numerous field trips)?





I have no experience with having 2 children and little to no experience with children who are older than Simon's ripe age of 15 months. Help us decide when to TTC. It seems like dh is getting antsy and I know that I could easily get swept into the excitement. But parenting is tough already and I want it to be as relaxed as possible b/c I feel that I have the greatest chances of being the best mom I can be in this way.

We initially thought that we'd wait until Simon is 4. The days are a bit boring now though and in many ways I'm looking forward to moving beyond toddlerhood. We definitely want a second child. Having one sooner rather than later would definitely reduce the boredom and keep me busier (probably too busy!).

How about those who breastfed during pregnancy and/or tandem breastfed? Do you wish you had a different age gap between your children, or does the one you have seem just perfect? Please share!!!
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You're probably going to get every answer imaginable on this one. Every time I see a thread on what the best spacing is, the opinions vary wildly.

We don't have the spacing we'd planned on, but we're happy with the way it is. I'd ttc for about a year with dc#2 but finally got preg 6 mos after dc#1 weaned. dc#3 was conceived 6 mos after dc#2 weaned.

So, there are 3 years between #1 and #2 and 6 years between #2 and #3. The baby I lost would have been 5 years younger than our youngest.

Personally, I can't imagine having two very small children at once--two non-walkers, for instance, or two who still need my help with EVERYTHING. I often was thankful for the age difference when I'd be busy with the baby and the older child need to go to the bathroom, or get a drink or something and I knew that they could handle these things on their own. Also, as they've gotten older, the older ones help with the younger ones. But I've heard from other mothers with children 9 mos or 12 mos or 18 mos apart who love that their kids are so close.

Regardless of the age difference though, I don't think you can count on (or hope for) them to have things in common. I think it's more about personality--my oldest and youngest have some things in common, as do my older two. My middle child thing in common with the youngest. But they all also have their interests that are entirely different.

We go on fieldtrips and such. I've found that some explanations need to be made more simple for the youngest, but for the most part, he grasps what he's able from what the older kids are talking about. The groups we belong to have a large range of ages so there's always someone for the kids to hang out with, regardless of age. Also the age division within hs groups isn't as striking as with some other groups. I often see a group of 4--8 yr olds playing and a group of 8--14 yr olds playing with another group of 10-16 yr olds nearby, etc. The hs kids I know don't tend to stick with just kids their own ages.

Only recently, (like in the past year) there have been some activities we've planned that the oldest hasn't been interested in. But, since he's 14, I figure that's to be expected at this point, yk? On the plus side, he doesn't need a babysitter when he opts out of something.

Good luck with your decision.
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Dal, I could have written your post. I'm having all the same thoughts and considerations. My vote for now (not based on personal experience, but casual interviews and conversations as well as personal observations) is:


It seems to me ds #1 would be more independent and maybe already weaned. If not weaned, at least a lot less than now
Also, I would feel better about having one-on-one time with him first.

My son is 21 months (22 months on July 2) and if dh and I are going to try, we have to agree before "the window" is closed. I'm already planning on TTC next year in June, then August, then March 2007. I try to put a lot of thought into this and I don't have any experience except with my now only child.

Good luck!

Let me know what you've decided and why. I'm gathering as much information as I can.

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We are experiencing the same issues right now, including hs issues.

After some negotiating, we decided to start trying soon, so that DS will make DS minimum 3.2 at birth of #2.

DH wanted closer to DS to be closer to age 4. I was concerned about hs. I was thinking closer to age 3. We negotiated to 3.5, and pushed it earlier a few months, knowing it might take at least a couple of months to ttc.

I am happy we are waiting until at least 3.2:

DS still loves to nurse, but is already showing signs of not being as desperate. I can see either nursing through pregnancy, or if necessary because of how I feel, weaning.

DS has just begun to sleep through the night (until 5-6 in morning) approx 4x a week. Sleep has always been difficult for us. I am hopeful that DS night time sleep will be easy for us parents by the time he is 3.2.

Within the past couple of months, life has gotten easier for us, and we are enjoying it! I am enjoying the respite now, knowing that in a year it will be super challenging again. (Just in time for the difficult 3s!)

It was very important for DH for DS to have us to himself until he was at least 3.
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We plan to start ttc in order to have the second when dd is 3... This is mostly because of our nursing relationship, plus at 19 months dd is still not that verbal, & I think I want her to develop more in that area, and become a more independent sleeper... Plus I would like her to be more aware of what is happening with the new baby... I was 2 yo when my db was born, & don't recall his babyhood at all and wish I did. Growing up I wished there was a bit more distance between us, he was always "right on my heels" for everything.
I think a lot depends on your child's personality as well as yours. I tend to be high-strung, so two close together would probably strain me too much. My daughter will a month shy of 4 when this one comes, and I think this is a good spacing for us. I don't think I would want any closer than 3 years, or GD and AP might be hard because of my personality.
well there's no definite answer, that's for sure. i'm pregnant now (16wks along) and my son was born 3/24/03. he still nurses pretty frequently and i plan to tandem nurse. i'm excited that he'll be young enough that his whole life won't be completely set in his head and rocked when baby arrives, but old enough that he'll probably understand what's happening at least a little. there will be enough difference in age that they probably won't want the same exact toys for a while but close enough that they'll probably want similar things when they're a bit older. LOL

good luck with your decision!!
I am thinking right now 3.5 - 4 years spacing. DS is 22 months and we are thinking of trying this time next year.
Reasons - due to my personality and due to my physical abilities. I wanna be stronger and healtier for another child. So I am starting serious chiropractic treatment for the whole next year to put myself together and also healthier diet to eliminate yeast that I have not been able to get rid off since my DS was born.
Plus I did not wanna have another child to begin with so it took me a long time to make this
All kids are different, but I thikn the hardest age is when they are young toddlers, from the time they start walking, unti lthey are around 2, becuase you REALLY have to be there with them, shadowing them and guiding them. By the time DD was about 2 to 2.5 she was getting more independent in her play, and not getting into things so much. My son was born when DD was just over 2. It's been pretty good. I think another six months would have been even better, but it's been okay for us. Longer age gaps make me worry about how connected they'll be when older, but you know life is about phases. Having two veyr young kids must be hellish, but then that time passes and you have two very close in age which can be nice.

My biggest fear when thinking about TTC #2 was ensuring that DD was well into eating solids and not dependent on my milk. It dried up fairly early in my PG, though that did'nt stop DD from nursing.

But for GD, yeah, the newly toddling crowd needs constant supervision. And even if you really baby proof I like to be there with them to guide them physically and/or verbally through sticky situations that arise.
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This was of concern to me too. I'm currently pregnant and ds will be 3y4m when the babe arrives. I wanted 3 years apart but this is close enough.

Again, I don't think the age thing matters at all. My brothers are 14 and 16 years older than me and we're just as close as dh is to his much closer spaced siblings. One nice thing is I didn't have any sort of rivalry with my brothers but they still contine to have their own issues resulting from being only 2 years apart.
An interesting discussion. I too have been thinking about spacing. It's nice to hear that there are other families, especially ones like ours re AP etc, who do think 3-4 yrs works well. My instinct for my family is this, but when I look to mainstream, so many are closer to 2-3yrs max. I was beginning to doubt myself. Not that I could change it anyway, my DS will be 3 this Oct. We've just been working on the sex thing

Thanks everyone!
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Thanks so much for the replies!

I'm surprised that there is a lot of consistency in the responses!!! That makes it easy for me.
Dh and I talked about this again and we're currently leaning towards Simon being at least 3 when his baby brother or sister is born. We'll be facing a major move in about a year (hopefully less) so it also makes sense to factor that in so that we aren't all overwhelmed by too many big changes all at once.

I'd love to hear more responses.
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I think when it feels right is when to consider it. For me having it feel right meant my son was almost weaned off the breast at night and wanted to sleep is his own bed. When those two things came about and he wasn't as attached to me I decided it was the right time. I was pregnant when he was 21 months. He continued to nurse to sleep in his own bed at that time. By about 2 he said he didn't want milk before bed and my DH was then lying down with him to put him to sleep. Now he is 27 months and has weaned completely off the breast on his own. I would of been comfortable continuing to nurse him during the day during the pregnancy but I needed him to be more independent at night so I could take care of my body for the next baby. He is also very attached to his father now. He prefers that he put him to bed instead of me. Often my Dh will lie down with him to put him to sleep after his stories but shortly after he leaves the room he sleeps throught the night without a peep. We never used ferber or CIO. He just did it when he was ready. This is how I wanted it to be, to follow his cues. I feel really good about the way we transitioned to having another baby. I am due at the end of August so he will be 2.5. I originally would of thought that waiting till he was 3 was a better choice but now I realise I could never predict or analyse in advance what is best for him. I simply waited for him to tell me.
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I'm so glad this thread was started. My dh is so eager to start ttc#2, and #1 is only 17 mos.!! Plus my ds has special needs and may have autism (we get an eval in august). I finally just said to my dh that I needed to catch my breath first before I even THOUGHT about having another child. 3 year spacing sounds just right to me. My ds can't even TALK yet for cryin' out loud....I don't think we need to add another kid into the mix right now. Plus he's still such an eager little nurser and cuddler, I think he just needs more time to be the only child for a while, kwim?

For our family, farther spacing is what works best.
I'm sorry, I just had to giggle at all 3 of your suggested "spacings," as NONE of my kids fall into any of those ranges!! Leah was 16.5mo when Hannah was born, Hannah was 5.5 and Leah was almost 7 when Jack was born.

I do NOT recomend having kids 16.5m apart!!!!! It was a LOT of work having 2 babies, I wasn't able to wear Hannah very much, and overall it was an overwhelming experience. Now, they squabble over just about everything, and Hannah gets upset whenever she's excluded from a playdate or birthday party (or Leah gets upset when Hannah tags along.)

I'm enjoying Jack a lot more than I enjoyed the girls when they were very little. It's nice having only one "baby"!!! 5 years is a very nice spacing (at least if you don't homeschool.) Hannah was off at kindergarten and I had lots of time for the baby.

ETA that closely spaced sibs don't guarantee close friendships as adults. My brother is only 14m older than me and we're not close at all.
I haven't even met my 11mo nephew.
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My ds was 4 when dd was born. I think it probably would have worked well for us anytime between 3-4. For me it really had more to do with when I physically felt I was ready to be pg again than anything else.

Originally Posted by Ruthla
I do NOT recomend having kids 16.5m apart!!!!! It was a LOT of work having 2 babies, I wasn't able to wear Hannah very much, and overall it was an overwhelming experience
Yeah, mine are 21.5 months apart and ITA I would not recommend having 2 babies. I did not do a good job of GDing the eldest at the difficult age of 2 and I have a lot of issues with her even now (she is now 4). Somehow, I think I really did let her down and she was so not ready to share her mommy .... however, they seem to be enjoying each other's company for the moment and it is easier handling the two of them (same school, same activities, same interests...).
Mine are 25 months apart, to the day, and while there are some "consolation prizes" to be had from the close spacing, #2 is about to turn 3, and <heh> I do have baby-fever, but I'm still not *really* ready to do it again yet.

In an ideal world, I'd want to have another one when Eldest is 7, and Second is 5. And a fourth when Eldest is 11, Second is 9, Third is 4... I think :)

I'll be 37 by then, and am in a high risk group for early menopause, so the old biological clock is going to be at war with the desire for spacing to some degree.
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