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Discussion Starter #1
I have one DD who is 20 mo. I would LOVE another, and have been trying to convince DH to ttc or at least stop avoiding. That would put our kids a little over 2 years apart.<br><br>
The biggest challenge I can foresee is nighttime parenting. That's it. I mean sure it's all going to be a challenge at first, but DD is awesome and so much fun that I know I'm not seeing the down sides of having a toddler and a newborn. I have blinders on, though, I know so I would love to hear from experienced mamas what the pros and cons of such a close age gap are.<br><br>
If you have a larger age gap, what are your challenges? Is there more jealousy with an older first child (like a 3-5 year old)? Anything I'm not thinking of?
 

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I got pg with DD when DS was almost 23 months old. They are 2y7m apart. The most difficult thing that I/we ran into was, of course, sleep issues. DS was mostly STTN before DD was born (every once in a while got up for potty, or just needed to be re-settled), but after she was born, oh boy... DS started getting up 5-10 times a night. I think part of the issue was that DD was in our room so that left him as the only one not in our room at night. He ended up sleeping on our floor for a while (we made a little bed for him). It eventually got better, of course. We got DS sleeping in his own room again, and then he started getting up less and sometimes none at night.<br><br>
Also naps were a bit of a struggle. DD would NOT nap for more than 20-30 minutes. So, I would get her down, get DS down, and then DD would be up again. I was exhausted and had little to no down time. But, thankfully, that was short-lived (in retrospect), and now I'm blessed to have both napping at overlapping times so I get a bit of a break, and both are respectful of being quiet during the other's naptime during the non-overlapping parts.<br><br>
Other than the nighttime and nap issues, DS showed very little jealousy or other ill-feelings to his new sister. He always wanted to hold her hand in the car or just lay down beside her and look at her. He seemed to appreciate that "she's looking at me" and later "she's smiling/laughing at me" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Now that they are older (4 years and 18 months), they play together well for the most part and do a great job of keeping each other entertained. A lot of things are actually easier now than when I just had one kid!<br><br>
We're now trying to decide when to start TTC #3, so as bad as I thought it was at times, it obviously wasn't bad enough to keep me from wanting to do it all over again <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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My children are all about 3 years apart. I love it that way. First of all, each of them got to breastfeed for 2.5 years before my milk ran out mid-pregnancy. My kids are not jealous of each other, and I really think it was because each of them got to be the baby until they were done (carried, bfd, coslept, etc.) I really can't imagine having a 2yo and an infant. The 2yo to me is still a baby and it would be really hard to carry two kids around.<br><br>
My children are just beautiful together. The older one teaches the little ones so much. Potty training, table manners, reading, it is all so much easier after the first one because the younger siblings have his example. So I felt like if I did right by the first one, it would just get modelled down to the youngest, LOL.<br><br>
I have always heard that 2 years is a hard separation. My brothers are exactly 2 years and they fought a lot and were always jealous and they are not speaking now as young adults. I know that's just one example, and I am biased.
 

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My childrens' ages are in my signature... so yes my widest age gaps may be small, but I still have gaps between my oldest & youngest. Nighttime parenting isn't a big deal to us... usually it is just caring for the baby, nursing as necessary, and our kids slept through the night at a relatively decent age as far as preserving our sanity goes. My current baby has slept through the night for months so as my pregnancy progresses it's not an issue.<br><br>
My biggest parenting challenge is that I'd like to be able to do more with my older kids as far as volunteering in schools, but am not always able to because the younger ones need me at home or are not necessarily welcome in a classroom environment.<br><br>
We haven't really had sibling rivalry/resentment issues since babies #1 and 2 were the only ones around. Hasn't happened since then, and TBH, baby #1 was an exceptionally high needs kiddo so it doesn't surprise me that he's the one it cropped up with.
 

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DD1 and DD2 are 3y10m apart, DD2 and DS are 2y6m apart. That closer spacing was rough on everyone. DD2 regressed in sleeping as well, she started refusing to nap, crying out all night wanting me. She had been Pled before DS but then we had months of accidents. She had a rough time adjusting to having another baby in the house. I can not tell you how many times I drove home from somewhere with both the little ones screaming the entire way. They are 3 and 1 now, right now it has been great but that first 6 months really sucked. The wider spacing was awesome, didn't have a single issue with anything, very smooth transition. DD1 was old enough to get her own snacks, wipe her own butt while I was nursing the baby which is a huge help. Jealousy has never been a issue for us.<br><br>
The downsides for me about having a toddler and a newborn was meeting both of their needs, it isn't possible all the time. Some one would end up screaming while the other one got attended to, I didn't have that problem with a wider spacing. DD1 was old enough to either do it herself or wait 5 minutes until I could help her, a 2y old doesn't quite get that.
 

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My children are 11, 9, 7, 5, 4, (angel baby would have been 2) and 8 weeks. The hardest time was going from 1 to 2. They were 22 mos apart. I had the same problem Mrs. Mama about naps. I have always weaned my kids while I was pregnant because once I get pregnant I can't stand to nurse for some reason. I think it is my body's way of saying I can't sustain 3 people! We had a queen size bed in our room for me and the baby and my DH and 1st daughter slept in a twin. I look back and don't know how they did it but it worked. Then when my 3rd was born, DH made his bed on the couch and my two kids slept in the twin together. (DH loves the couch because no babies keep him up at night and he can watch the tv he wants to)<br><br>
Can't say it wasn't hard at first but my 2 girls are best friends. I wouldn't change it for anything. I look back at that time and think it was so hard but man it is worth it now. They are the best helpers too. They really do so much to help me around the house and with the little kids. Jealousy was an issue right at the beginning but it didn't last long. We tell them the funny stories of what my first said when my 2nd was born. I had her at home so we were heading off to the chiropractor when she was 5 hrs old. My 1st saw us leaving and said "Bye bye baby!" Then you should have seen the look on her face when we came back with the baby like "WHY is that baby back?" They LAUGH when we tell that story. Also, I was holding the baby sitting next to my DH. My 1st came up and sat on her daddy's lap and said to her sister "MY DADDY!" Again, they LAUGH when they hear this story. So it can be hard but so rewarding.
 

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I have 2yr8m and a 14 month old...they are 18m apart.. At first it was of coarse hard..But i got them into a routine about 2 weeks pp...As long as i could keep DD(oldest) napped and fed all was good. DS was breast fed so it was easy to get him to sleep when DD did...i would just lay in bed and b/f him so i could get rest too. DD has regressed some...Nothing on a daily basis or permanent. but she will try to act like him if she see it's working...That is really the biggest struggle. and it's not even jealousy it's more like..well brother doesn't have to use his words he just puts his hand out and grunts so i will too...<br><br>
She is very helpful though and mothering to him...They had to share a room for the first 13 months( although he slept with us for about 9 months) and when he would cry she would sing to him <3 it would just melt ur heart...They entertain each other so much better than i could entertain dd when she was his age.<br><br>
i always wanted kids close in age tho so i could enjoy the same activities with both of them...like taking them to the zoo....a three year old would love it but a newborn cares less...i wanted my kids to have each other to share those memories with u know? I'm just getting to that point..<br><br>
I also braced myself knowing it would be difficult at first...i came up with a game plan on how to feed all of us while ds was still a newborn and how we would make it to the grocery store with two very dependent babies..i guess i could go on and on haha....<br><br>
u can look at this either way...i would have liked to have more time with dd when she was a baby but i couldn't even appreciate her being a baby because i was already planning another..but that's just me...<br><br>
i'm on the other end now tho...i want another but it can not happen for another 5 years so i feel like it won't even be worth it because it's so far from the other ages<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Good luck....u can do it u just need to know that coffee will be ur best friend and and easy hair cut<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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I've got four kids,<br>
1-2 8 years<br>
2-3 33 months<br>
3-4 44 months<br><br>
If I were to do it all again I'd go for the 3 1/2-4 year age difference.<br>
A three year old can dress, feed, toilet themselves.<br>
They can entertain themselves if you need to be busy with the baby.<br>
You can reason (somewhat) with them.<br>
They can help get diaper, wipes, snacks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
A four year old can also help when the child is crawling walking let you know if the baby is doing something like licking the carpet.....<br>
They can be bribed.<br>
One stroller, carrier, they can walk and carry their own 'stuff'.<br>
They might regress a little but see themselves as "so big" and they realise they get to do much better things. And god forbid if you had to go on light bed rest you can somewhat manage a three year old...<br><br>
My son is now almost 22 months, I still really need to snuggle him, hold him while he sleeps. He just weaned <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
But if we were thinking of planning #5<br>
(dh is planning the anti#5 a vasectomy....)<br>
I'd probably wait until he was 32 months to get pregnant at a minamum.<br><br>
Also especially if you are going to tandem nurse it allows you to rebuild you iron stores, build back lost bone density etc. And get done anything you might need to, loose a little weight, get your filings replaced, go on vacation with the husband!
 

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My oldest 2 are 2 days shy of 2 years apart and then my 3rd is 2y 3mo younger than my 2nd...I would love to be getting pregnant within the next few months to keep the spacing similar. I love the age gap...for me and my kids it has been wonderful. DD never had jealousy issues with ds1 and once ds1 turned about 18 months they were able to play together...they are now great friends(I mean, they have their moments but overall are great). Ds2 loves his older brother and sister...he thinks they are great and they love him. I think he'll continue to mesh right into their playing...he all ready tries to play with them when he can and they are great with him.
 

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My 3 are all exactly 23 mos. apart to the day and I think it has a LOT to do with the baby, as far as what the pros and cons are....When I had dd2 I found it to be SUPER easy she just fit right in right from the start no problems what so ever. BUT with that being said she was a SUPER "easy" baby, she never fussed too much, slept fairly well and was just an all around easy going baby.<br><br>
Well, ds came along and it was a nightmare! He never slept and cried ALL DAY LONG. It was so hard on everyone for the first 6 mos....that's the short of it......<br><br>
But now that ds is almost 2 yrs. old it's getting to be a lot easier as far as getting a little more down time. Plus, they all play together well, I guess it helps that my oldest loves little kids and babies.<br><br>
So to me you could have kids that were a good amount apart 2 1/2 yrs. or more and it could still be really hard if you end up with a really high needs baby.<br><br>
It was bad enough though for dh to go for the big V....I just don't think emotionally or physically I could go thru that again or put my family thru that again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DD is really high needs and is 20 mo old now. I feel like we've been baptized by the fire with this child, and yet, now that's she's almost two I feel like she is mellowing out.<br><br>
Dh would be happy w/a 3 year gap, and I agree. I just have the baby bug so bad that I don't see the big problem with 2.5 year gap either! What's the huge difference, ykwim?<br><br>
I hope that the next baby is easy, lol, but I know I can't bank on that. A girl can dream, though, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Well kids can change and grow so much in just a few months, especially those first few years.... so for me I would have rather had a 2 1/2 - 3 yr. spacing. I know it would have been a lot easier....I could have each one potty trained before the next came along..... when ds came dd1 had only been out of diapers for about a month!! I was NOT looking foward to having 3 in diapers so I had to really push myself to get her potty trained.<br><br>
Although I am glad we ended up getting thru that baby stage quickly, I look at my bro. and SIL and they have a 6 yr. gap between their middle and youngest girl (they have 3 girls) and I am almost envious because they have "built in" baby sitters(their oldest is 10 yrs. old and the middle is now 7yrs old) if they need to get something done around the house and don't have anyone else to watch the little one.<br><br>
So eventhough you have baby fever, any extra few months you can give yourself it would make a little easier on all of you.
 

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My kids are 16 (she'll be 17 in August), just turned 13 (girl), just turned 10 (girl), just turned 3 (girl) and a 7wk old (boy). The biggest problem that I'm having (beside my hormonal teen girls) is that my 10yo is feeling pretty left out right now. My 13yo is less interested in playing games with her and more interested in hanging out with her 16yo sister and the 16yo is more accepting of hanging out with her. For some reason my 10yo and my 3yo have been having lots of arguments lately, I think it has more to do with the 10yo feeling left out than anything. :-/ I really like the 3-4 year age gap too, and would have loved to have had one in between my 10yo and 3yo but wasn't in the right relationship at the time.
 

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My kids are 3.5 yrs apart and I like the age gap so far, it was planned. We had DS and he was the center of our world, we enjoyed him and he had some needs that took a lot of time (special diets, allergies), I nursed him for 2.5 yrs. I loved having that one on one time with him. When DD was born, DS was helpful and able to entertain himself, get dressed, be bribed when necessary<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">. The challenge I have had this year is that I work and when things get really busy it is hard for me to get one on one time with DS. DD automatically gets time because she nurses. DS just started preschool 3 days a week and it is so much easier to get quality time with each kid. They get along well, some mild jealousy issues.<br><br>
I am 11 months younger than my brother and most of my childhood memories involve fighting with my brother, angling for my parents attention, and feeling competitive with my brother in school. I know he felt these issues too and they had more of a negative affect on him. I was determined not to repeat this scenario for my own kids.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Baby_Cakes</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15513888"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DD is really high needs and is 20 mo old now. I feel like we've been baptized by the fire with this child, and yet, now that's she's almost two I feel like she is mellowing out.</div>
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If your dd is high needs, you might want to give it a bit more time. My eldest dd was very high needs as a baby. On top of her intense qualities, I also had bad post-partum depression. It didn't get easy until she was around a year old. After that, she gradually started mellowing out and became less sensitive (now, at almost 4 years old, she's just very emotionally sensitive). I got pregnant with our second (who is now 20 mo.) when dd1 was 17 mo. They are exactly 2 years, 2 months, 12 days, 12 hours apart, lol. Dd1 did NOT react well to the new baby. The first few weeks were okay, but then it turned nasty. And it is only now, almost 2 years later, starting to get better. I think a lot of it has to do with personality and with the high need traits. Dd1 is super smart, outgoing, quirky sense of humor, but she is also strong-willed (or rather, weak willed since she has problems controlling her own will), fiercely independent, can be very volatile and have huge emotional outbursts, and has a need to control everything around her. To the point that she will actually refuse something she wants simply because she's not controlling getting what she wants. She still hasn't figured out that she's not a co-leader of the family, lol. Anyway, after the first few weeks, things got nasty and we have had quite the ride. I don't think she was ready to give up being a baby. She still wanted to be carried/held, she still wanted all the attention... She never hurt her sister, but she basically rejected her for the first year. She would say things like "We should throw her in the trash can, I don't want her anymore" or she would try to give her away to visitors. She would say "I don't like Gretchen. I don't like her. She's not my sister." Over, and over, and over. And the worst part, my relationship with her became very strained. I feel like she was always straining against me, trying to hurt me, trying to do the opposite of everything I said (a lot of that could have been her just being a 2 year old). And she changed...she lost a lot of the carefree joyfulness that used to be a huge part of her personality. The last few months have been better though. The older dd2 gets, the more value dd1 sees in her as a sister, friend, companion. Now she says she loves her sister and will tell her that she is her best friend. I was worried for the longest time that dd1 would keep a grudge against dd2 and resent her for life! Our relationship is much better, though she still challenges me on a daily basis <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
If we were very to have more, I would definitely, definitely wait until there was at least a 3-3.5 year gap. When I look at my youngest, and realize that when my eldest was her age, I was already pregnant, I realize just how very, very young a 20 month old is. They are still very much a baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Is there a huge difference in the ability to grasp what a sibling is between a 2.5 year old and a 3 year old? Or is it about the same?<br><br>
Thanks for sharing your experience, SamsMuffin. That really does make a lot of sense, and I'm sorry for your heartache. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I worry about that happening w/DD too. She is still very much a baby, not yet a big girl. I don't want to rob her of anything she needs...
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Is there a huge difference in the ability to grasp what a sibling is between a 2.5 year old and a 3 year old? Or is it about the same?</td>
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I'm not sure. A lot of it is probably based on the individual child's personality. My sister and I were born 2 years apart, and I did fine. But not so with my daughters. My eldest daughter and I have almost opposite personalities though. For her, her feelings toward my youngest have changed drastically between 2 years old and 3.5 years old. Even at 2.5, she still wasn't a big fan. And not even at 3 even. It was around 3.5 that she began including her sister, being nice to her, and trying to love her. Of course, that was also around the same time the younger could actually play, walk, and interact more like a kid and less like a baby.
 

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This thread is making me nervous! DD is almost 21 months and I think I'm pg <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">. Which I am very excited about and hoping that it will stick, but DD will be around 2yr 5 months when this bean is born. My sister and I have a 2.5 year gap and we get on so well, I wanted to have a 2.5 gap, but now this thread and the other similar one in Parenting are making me think I should have held out a bit longer before trying. DD is still so little and needs me so much, I feel like I might be really letting her down and not letting her be a baby for enough time if I have another one now. Although I know then if I'd waited till January it might have taken months to get pg and then I would probably have been worried that the gap was too big.<br><br>
Anyway I will stop fretting about this for now as there's nothing I can do about it either way, just hope this bean will stick around.
 
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