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It's a bit premature right now (our first daughter is five weeks old), but my husband and I have been talking about how much time we want to have between children. I've been fairly miserable in the heat so having a baby more like in the winter sounds divine right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
A little background information: I have Meniere's disease which is a condition of the inner ear. Mostly this doesn't cause me problems yet, but it influences pregnancy and gets more severe as you age. This means that I need to stop having kids around thirty to avoid most of the problems. I inherited this from my grandmother and she was on bedrest from the second trimester with each pregnancy post-thirty. Given that I ended up on bedrest due to a preterm labor incident I'm not eager to push this trait.<br><br>
I have probably four-five years left before childbearing will become too risky for me. We aren't absolutely certain if we want two or three children. Given that we don't have all the time in the world I feel like it may be a good idea to have the next baby fairly quickly but I'm not sure how quickly is a good idea.<br><br>
What I would love to hear is what are the likely physical effects of having babies close together and how do sibling relationships work out? My siblings are thirteen, eight, and five years older than me so I have no clue.
 

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My second and third children were just shy of 21 months apart. I got pregnant with DS2 two days after DD's first birthday. My body did fine, and they love each other, but I personally preferred the 4-year age gap between my first two. My third has had a ton of health problems and is pretty high needs, so I felt like my DD got put on the back burner even though I tried very hard not to let that happen.
 

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My first two are 15 months apart. I would not recommend it!<br>
I think 2-3 years apart is a great range.
 

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My first and second are <b>13 months apart</b>...<br><b>pros:</b> they are very close, they could share clothes/toys for a long time, they enjoyed similar activities for a long time, I can group homeschooling subjects together quite often<br><b>cons:</b> sheer physical exhaustion, having two babies is more tiring than anything I have experienced.<br><i>I'd do it again.</i><br><br>
My second and third are <b>17 months apart</b>...<br><b>pros:</b> very similar to being 13 months apart but I'd add that it's less physically exhausting than the 13 month difference.<br><b>cons:</b> being just that much farther apart made it difficult to share/combine some activities/clothes/toys<br><i>I'd do this spacing again.<br></i><br>
My third and fourth are <b>8 years apart</b>...<br><b>pros:</b> my older children were(are!) old enough to be helpful, they understood that babies take a lot of my time and adapted, you can nap when the baby does in the early weeks and not have to worry that the olders are getting into trouble<br><b>cons:</b> juggling a baby/toddler schedule with an older child/preteen schedule, many older-kid activities are just not appropriate to take a baby/toddler to, they have to be careful of their music/tv around the younger more impressionable children<br><i>I would never do this spacing again. Well, we didn't really choose it, we had fertility issues.</i><br><br>
My fourth and fifth are <b>2 years apart</b>...<br><b>pros:</b> similar to the 13 & 17 month gap, though my fourth child is only 28 months so we'll see how it goes<br><b>cons:</b> again similar to the 17 month spacing<br><i>So far I'd do this spacing again.</i>
 

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I have two 17 mo apart. We are only 7 months into this and I wouldn't do it again. I'm "planning" on waiting until these two are 5 and 6 before having another one. Of course, I didn't "plan" these two this close.<br><br>
In your situation I'd say 2 or 3 years. I think it's important for our bodies to rest in between babies. I just know what I felt like after I had DD versus DS and it took me longer to bounce back after my second baby. I finally feel like "myself" again. I think it had something to do with them being so close. I got pregnant when DD was only 7 months old.<br><br>
Good luck though!
 

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I had my children 2 years and 3 months apart, and I feel like it was too close. My first was not ready for my milk to dry up when it did, and it was hard to be pregnant with a child who still wanted to be carried and needed a lot of attention and care. During the birth of my second I hurt my tailbone and was in a lot of pain in the months following, which was really hard with a young toddler. If she had been even 6 months older it would have been a lot easier for both of us.<br><br>
I think having them close in age is good when they are older, but can be very hard when they are young. I also think it's really important to rest and build up your nutrients etc between babies.
 

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My three boys are all exactly two years apart (their birthdays all fall within a space of 7 days!).<br><br>
It did take a few months to adjust, especially after the third, but ultimately I think it's great spacing. We don't do family planning, but I wouldn't mind if this turned out to be our natural patten of fertility. The kids were old enough to be at least partially indepentent and close to potty trained by the time the new baby came, but they're close enough in age that they can really enjoy playing together and being "friends" as well.
 

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I would say that the fail-proof way to determ the right age gap for you and your family is to wait until your current child is two years old...and then decide.<br>
If you want a small gap - 2 years and 9 months isnt so bad. If you want a large gap, well - you can decide from there! lol
 

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Well, I only have one but when this one is born they'll be around 26 months apart, which I'm really looking forward to. I don't think I'd want my kids anymore than 3 years apart and we're aiming for 3-4 kids. It'll be nice to have them close together and if we keep having them about 2 years apart like this one then we'll be done by the time I'm 25 and dh will be 27. So imo 2-3 apart is ideal for spacing.<br><br>
my mil had 5 kids and the 3rd and 4th one are 15 months apart and the largest gap between them is about 2.5 years. I don't see how she did it but all of her kids turned out wonderful (she was pretty crunchy for her time!)
 

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Its really personal... some people really work well with kids close, others prefer a distance...<br><br>
My boys will be 4 years apart (I have an almost-4-year old and I am pg). I am anticipating it being a great spacing. What they may miss in being "friends" in childhood, I think they will make up for in many other ways (though I think/hope they will still be able to play and relate during childhood). Already, my son is SO excited about the new baby. He has an understanding of what is going to happen, he is able to help out a little, he can play by himself for periods of time (even do little things for himself like get string cheese or an apple from the fridge and he can use the bathroom by himself, wash his own hands, etc. so that makes things a bit easier). He is anticipating helping take care of the baby, helping him learn things and play with him. At 4, he can (mostly!) understand "gentle" and the likes. He's happy playing with daddy. He goes to pre-school a few hours a day and loves it. So with 4 years apart, I get to enjoy both of them in different stages without being overwhelmed. And they get to be "big brother and little brother", each with his own space. So, I am excited about this spacing. I think it will work out really well (we planned it this way, too).<br><br>
I would reccommend waiting until baby is about 2 to decide. That will give you the opportunity to have them close or space them out and you will be in the middle of some of the "hardest" times, so you can get a sense of what you are able and willing to manage.
 

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Mine are only 26 months and 8 months (so 18 months apart) and so far I absolutely love it. They entertain each other quite a bit and I never had a chance to get out of "baby mode"<br><br>
My sister had hers 5 years apart and had a rough time getting used to having a completely dependant little one again.
 

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My two boys are 28 months apart and I love the spacing. We always knew that we were only having two kids so I kinda felt like as long as I was in "baby mode" as a pp put it, we might as well forge on and have the second relatively soon.<br><br>
I am kind of a geezer mom, though (had my babies at 37 and 39) so I didn't feel like I had the luxury of being that choosy. I like a pp's idea of waiting until your baby is 2 to decide.
 

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My two are 19 months apart. I would do it again because I love them both so much, but I have to admit, there are times when I can barely deal. I did have problems with depression though, so if that's not an issue, maybe it would be easier.
 

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Mine will be about 14 months apart. I think if you know you have really good support and can handle exhaustion however early you like can be good for you, but that no one should let themselves overestimate their abilities by getting wrapped up in the "romance" of the idea of babies. Basically just really evaluate how much energy you normally have and how much there are others who can take over caring for your kids when, from pregnancy or from newborn-stage sleeplessness, you really just need a rest.
 

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Ds1 & ds2 are 35 months apart it was WONDERUL for me 2 in diapers would SUCK then we have a 9yr gap ( divorced remarried) DS3 & Ds4 will be almost 5 yrs apart. Hoping it will work out <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> I wasnt supposed to be able to have another baby but got my suprise at 41. I need about 3 yrs between them because I LOVE the baby stage and dont want to deprive my kiddos by being to exhausted to enjoy them ( but thats just me)
 

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It definitely varies by the individual. Mine are 2.5 years apart and I wish they were a bit further. I did not like juggling a toddler and an infant, esp. with diaper changes and tandem nursing. I wish DS had been born about with DD being 5. If we have a third it won't be until DS is about 5 or 6, although DH is saying no way to a third so it may be a non-issue. I like the suggestion of waiting until your firstborn is 2 to decide.
 

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The siblings I know who have longer spacings between them just aren't as close. SIL is 8 years older than dh... they really don't have much in common at all, yet SIL was/is EXTREMELY jealous of dh. Apparently, she even jumped in front of a bus in order to get attention after he was born. My mom's older sister was 4 when she was born, and she was also extremely jealous. She bullied my mom pretty much their whole growing up years. My mom's 8 yrs older than her brother. There's no real sibling rivalry there, but not much of a relationship, either. My mom's said he was a cute baby hanging around when she was a kid, but was never really part of her life.<br><br>
Then again, my brothers were 19 months apart and fought like cats and dogs... but they also had times where they really got along well and obviously liked one another. So, it may just be a crap shoot depending on sibling personalities! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
So, due to my observations of the siblings around me, I chose a middle ground. Ds1 and Ds2 are 28 months apart. Ds2 and Dc3 will be 30 months apart. I like this spacing. It works for us. I've never fully been out of "baby" mode (ds1 was not potty trained or weaned when ds2 arrived; ds2 is nightweaned and just starting pt), but at least the older dc has some verbal skills and it's easier to communicate with them before the new baby arrives. My boys are really close. My ds1 is also really close to my niece, who is 2 years, 8 months older than he is. So far, this worked really well. But I may have just gotten lucky in the personalities of my two boys. I guess we'll see when #3 arrives!
 

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So far I have 19 months, then almost 5 years, and soon about 2 1/2 years.<br><br>
I didn't mind the 19 months, especially for the first two, but I knew I didn't want a whole string of kids that close together. It also works out nice for homeschooling, as they can do many things together, but not so nice for hand-me-downs, because they wear about the same size so we have to have enough clothes for two, even though they share them all.<br><br>
I also didn't mind the 5 years, the two older could at least get thier own breakfast and bathe on their own. They are also very helpful now with a 2yo and are looking forward to this new one.<br><br>
For the last two they will be about 29 months apart, and I think it is a distance I am the least happy with. Maybe it is the temperment of my 2 yo, but he is not happy about this baby coming. I think that it is going to be hard. I feel that adding a sibling is much easier before the 2yo attitude sets in or after it finally leaves about 4 or 5! I've never understood why the 2-3yo spacing is so popular <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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There are so many factors that I think it's nigh impossible to say what's the best spacing -- to me, it's determined by the temperament of the mother (are you an introvert who needs some down time each day? maybe longer spacing is better. or can you go go go with lots of noise and activity? maybe just diving in and having them close together is the way to go), the temperament of each child (which of course you have no way of predicting until they arrive on the scene!), the chemistry between parent and child and between siblings, family finances, personal goals, how the partnership/marriage is doing handling the stress of the current number of children before adding another one, etc. etc. etc. Then sometimes there's just the feeling that you're "supposed" to have another one at a particular time, defying rational good sense and life plans, and it's great whenever it happens. Mine are 3 1/2 years apart, and I really wish I would have waited a year or two before adding our second -- my first (dd) was/is a high-needs baby and it was really hard adding my son when her need level was still so high at 3 1/2. Plus, I am an introvert and it was very difficult juggling the intensity of two so young...
 

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My children are 20 months apart and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. I'm hoping the best of this age gap is yet to come. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
I am 4 yrs apart with my brother, and that kind of worked. I am 8 yrs apart from my sister, which was way too much. I left home to go to college when she was 10 yrs old. We have very little in common and were always in different stages of life. Now as adults it's somewhat better. She'll always be the baby of the family and loves it that way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 
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