Jump to content

Are "they" right? - age gaps of sibilings


  • Please log in to reply
72 replies to this topic

#1 *Zen*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:00 PM

I went to a kitchen tea yesterday and got talking to a group of the brides friends I didn't know well, but was pleasant enough.

Anyway we were discussing babies in general and a couple of them asked me when I was planning on having baby number 2 (meanwhile I'm still to have number 1! blink.gif )

Anyway DH wants 2-3yr gap. I want minimum 3-4 yr gap so we'll probably meet in the middle somewhere I'd imagine. In theory if I could I reckon I'd have an even bigger gap as the idea of two littlies is daunting.

Anyway all these women - and a lot of people in general I have found, have said no way have 1 then have the next one soon after and "get it over with" as in the baby stage, nappies, sleepless night etc etc.

Anyway its been playing on my mind today, and I can't help but wonder if they are right. Is it better to just "get it over with" in one go (2 kids in 2 or less years) instead of having a baby then going back to that stage years later, like we had originally thought we would.

I can see the first few years would just be a blur - crazy busy doing it that way and I think I may struggle that way, but then long term they are close in age and going to school closer.

So are "they" right? Is that the best way to do it. Have one then back up and have the next (my sister has done this and is knackered but her boys are so close and always playing together). Or have a bigger gap where the older child is bit more independent and able to do some things for themself and not have two in nappies etc.

WDYT?

#2 Amanda_R

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:04 PM

There is no 'right' way to do it.  What is right for your family depends on your family.

#3 Cat People

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:08 PM

There is nearly four years between my boys and I really like it.  My first son is more independent, has just started school and needs me less which gives me plenty of time to look after the baby without feeling like I'm neglecting one of them.  The older one can also help out with the baby.  I think back to when he was 2 yrs old and I'm not sure I could have handled both of them - ds was still very clingy.  Now I get plenty of time to love on the baby  wub.gif

#4 *Zen*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:09 PM

QUOTE (Amanda_R @ 21/02/2011, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is no 'right' way to do it. What is right for your family depends on your family.



Yes I know that, but WDYT? Big gap or small gap?

#5 Amanda_R

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:11 PM

QUOTE (FranklyMyDear @ 21/02/2011, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes I know that, but WDYT? Big gap or small gap?

For me, I don't know.  I only know what I know and it's ok.  Is it ideal?  NFI because I've never experienced the alternative.



#6 Guest_mummy4eva_*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:12 PM

It's different for everyone but unfortunately you won't know what is the best way until you are in that situation!

I have a 2.5 year age gap and found it quite good. Both my boys were bad sleepers as babies so I got some sleep before having DS2! DS1 was fairly easy to entertain while I was 2 hourly feeding DS2. He was happy to sit next to me and read books or sing/talk or even watch TV. He could feed himself. I had 2 in nappies for only 6 mths.

One disadvantage now is that they don't really play with eachother yet and DS1 (3.5) gets upset when DS2 (15 mths) won't play with him or do what he says! Plus DS1 has to take his games to the dining table because DS2 likes to knock down his towers or mess up his train tracks!

Personally I couldn't imagine having DS2 and a baby now. DS2 is completely full on and I don't think he'd be patient while I was feeding a new baby. It would also be hard to explain to him why I need to spend a lot of time with a new baby. It might be easier as they get older tho because then they would play together better.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all age gaps. You can listen to people's experiences but everyone handles it differently so it might not be the same way for you.

Good luck.

Edited by mummy4eva, 21 February 2011 - 04:15 PM.


#7 *mylittleprince*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:14 PM

Interesting topic.

DS is 17 months and we have no plans for no2 as yet. I'm enjoying my time alone with him and the attention I can give him. I also find being a SAHM full on as it's 24/7 and we don't get any help as all our family live overseas. DS has been sick quite a lot and quite clingy and don't think I could cope with a newborn and a toddler. Also studying over the next two years so we're looking at a 3.5 year age gap if all goes to plan.



#8 Hayleymumof3

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:15 PM

There is 18 months between DD1 and DS and if I could do it all over again I would space it out a little more, more like the age gap between DS and DD2 which is almost 3 years.  The stress I felt when DD1 and DS were little nearly mad me lose the plot.  But that is just me, you have to do what feels right for your family.

also it didn't help that my DH is a shiftworker so was either at work or at home sleeping because of night shift work.

#9 One Wish

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:16 PM

We always said 2 years.  I have a friend who's children are 1 year apart and she loves that they both went to school within a year of each other.  I also know someone who had a 5 year gap because she wanted to devote the same amount of attention to no. 2 as she did with no. 1 and that way the 1st was at school. It's a very individual choice.  I must say I get annoyed at people who tell me that by having them close they will miss out on my attention and that it's unfair to the 1st as they are still babies.

I hope to have had my 2nd by the time my 1st is turning 2.

#10 atua

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:17 PM

you gotta love when you get asked 'when are you having the next one' when the first one isn't even here  rolleyes.gif

honestly - wait and see how things go with your first THEN worry about an ideal gap - there is no such thing as a blanket 'ideal' gap - there are pros and cons for a smaller gap as well as a larger one.

for example - we have 2 years between each subsequent child - and yup there have been some tough days (mostly in pregnancy) but i am on the side of 'getting it out of the system' in a close hit, as i have seen friends with 4+ year gaps and they're struggling atm getting back into the groove of it all.

#11 Julie3Girls

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:18 PM

There is no "right" or "wrong"

I have 2.5yr and 2yr 9mths between my girls, and it's the perfect age gap, for US. The older child out of nappies, old enough to understand about the new baby, and still close enough in age to be friends. My girls are 9,7 and 4 and they play so fantastically together.


QUOTE
have 1 then have the next one soon after and "get it over with" as in the baby stage, nappies, sleepless night etc ....
I can see the first few years would just be a blur - crazy busy doing it that way

Ok, the sleepless nights are not fun. And it's nice to get rid of the nappies.

But really, there is not way I would want to rush through the baby stage. I love having a baby, there is so much good stuff to enjoy in the baby stage, in ANY stage. I like being able to enjoy my newborn baby, not look back on "blur".

#12 JeLi

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:19 PM

We have 17 months between our girls and it works just fine (although we dont know any different age gap)
Some days they play nicely together some days they are fighting non-stop. Maybe after you have #1 you will be able to make a bit more of a clearer decision.

#13 Indatree

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:20 PM

I think you need to have the first one first.... and then see how you feel about when is a right time for you and your partner to have another.

You don't know what you will be faced with.....and also you may not necessarily get to 'choose' an exact age gap. i.e. unexpected pg, or trouble conceiving the 2nd time.

Nothing is a given and there are no hard and fast rules.

Personally I was not going to have any less than a 3 yr gap........... its getting closer to 4 yrs now if I fall pg in the next few months as TTC#2 is not happening the way it did with #1.

Pro's and cons both ways so no easy answer!

#14 Mel1609

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:20 PM

I can only say how I feel, but my DD is gone 4 and we are only just trying now for a second. First reason was that I have always felt it would be better for the child in terms of my time and attention to have a larger gap, and secondly, I just didn't feel like having a second until now. After having DD I realised I had other things that needed attention, like my career ( a new one ) and my relationship. Once they were sorted, I began to feel clucky again. The downside I have found is that she is without a playmate like most of her friends have. However she has an amazing imagination ....you could analyse it forever.

YOU will know when you're ready, and only you.

#15 aussierach

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:21 PM

we have a 3 yr 1mth age gap not by choice but hey its perfect for us that if DH gives in to #3 I would like the same if not a little more between then

#16 Guest_cathode_*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:21 PM

I think it is different for everyone..
I wanted mine all close together, they are all 2 years apart (I wanted closer - at the time) ... nowdays I wish I had started younger so I could have had them 4 years apart.

Good news is that we are nearly out of  nappies and not talking stages ~yay~ The countdown is ON!

#17 dogsneaker

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:22 PM

OP, we were so besotted with DS that we wanted another baby pretty much right away. But breastfeeding hormones prevented that from happening and after 12 months of trying and 8 very irregular cycles (sometimes anovulatory) we are now pregnant again (also still breastfeeding)

The gap will be 2 year 4 months between them. We wanted a small gap, but ended up with an 'average' age gap,  not what we 'planned' but happy with it nonetheless.


#18 Guest_starbellied_*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:23 PM

I have an 11 year age gap, I love the age gap.  But it is the only age gap I know.

Having a two year old right now, I don't think I would be able to enjoy her being two (and it really is enjoyable and fun) if I had a newborn.  Other families would be different, but I love bigger gaps because it just seems right for us.

Oh and I don't follow the philosophy of have children close to 'get it over with' because having children is wonderful and I don't want to rush it.

#19 mokeydoke

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:24 PM

Mine are all close, and I have never felt like I'm neglecting any of them or any of them have missed out on anything by being close. Now my youngest is 2 I am well and truly over babies (although that could be due to child overload, who knows?! laughing2.gif) and on the contrary I feel having another baby now would mean the older ones would miss out by taking me back to the days of working around a baby's very different needs to a school child's needs, and sleep deprivation.

Realistically I don't think either is better and everyone just does the best with what they get. I also believe personalities and gender make a difference in just how hard or easy any gap is.

#20 *Zen*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (pootfrints @ 21/02/2011, 05:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you need to have the first one first.... and then see how you feel about when is a right time for you and your partner to have another.

You don't know what you will be faced with.....and also you may not necessarily get to 'choose' an exact age gap. i.e. unexpected pg, or trouble conceiving the 2nd time.

Nothing is a given and there are no hard and fast rules.

Personally I was not going to have any less than a 3 yr gap........... its getting closer to 4 yrs now if I fall pg in the next few months as TTC#2 is not happening the way it did with #1.

Pro's and cons both ways so no easy answer!


A real possibility for us as I have PCOS and it my cycle can be real hit and miss at the best of times.

I can see myself just enjoying 1 child for some time. I don't feel I'm on a "plan" to get my family over and done with. 2 kids will be it for us so I only need to (hopefully) consider the 1 age gap. Thankfully my bub will have 2 cousins close in age (5 months and 7 weeks so will have play mates no doubt even without a sibiling original.gif )

#21 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE
I have 2.5yr and 2yr 9mths between my girls, and it's the perfect age gap, for US. The older child out of nappies, old enough to understand about the new baby, and still close enough in age to be friends. My girls are 9,7 and 4 and they play so fantastically together.


This is the age gap I have between first and second (2 years 8 months) and I am really happy with that.  If we try for a natural miracle 3rd child, same gap again.
I am not cut out to deal with more than one tiny person at a time.  I hope DD will be toilet trained and a little more independent by the time number 2 is born.

#22 niggles goes feral

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:30 PM

We won't be having a small gap but it does seem to be quite common amongst people I know who are having children. We are in such a good groove with our one daughter. I try to just enjoy it for what it is. The idea of getting nappies and sleep deprivation out of the way doesn't ring true for me. I figure there could always be some new challenge on the horizon anyway and how do you know you won't be bothered by nappies but will be bothered by sibling demands until you try it?

#23 PigNewton

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:33 PM

There have been studies that suggest that the optimum age between siblings is 3 years, especially in how it benefits child #1's development.

There was also a study that was released about a month ago that suggests that in siblings born less than 2 years apart, the younger of the two is 3 times more likely to have autism. There are a few links I found to this study, but here is a fairly basic article about it...
http://www.savvysciencemom.com/2011/01/is-...n-siblings.html

Also, wait and see how your body handles childbirth! My period didn't even restart until DS was 21 months old (I breastfed till 20 months) and I also had back and pelvic soreness for months after DS was born. The idea of another pregnancy and childbirth was quite repugnant to me until DS was 18 months old, when all of a sudden I got clucky again (we have started TTC again in the last couple of months) Sometimes it is less about the children and more about how you and your body handle things. Of course, your first child might get to 3 months old and you will be raring to go again, who knows? I have read another study, however, that suggests that having babies closer than 2 years apart is much harder on a mother's body.

All that being said, my brothers are less than 2 years younger than me and we have a great relationship. Apparently, though, I was a very lonely little girl after they were born and my parents still feel pretty guilty that I was "pushed aside" in favour of newborn twins (even if not intentionally, it was an oopsie pregnancy) To this day I always assume people will get sick of me after a couple of years and I wonder if it goes back to this experience.

ETA here is a quick link I found about the effect on a mother's body of having children too close together http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_an...icle5525024.ece

Edited by redkris, 21 February 2011 - 04:38 PM.


#24 Maeli

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:35 PM

QUOTE
Yes I know that, but WDYT? Big gap or small gap?


My first 4 are 19 months apart, 22 months apart, & 24 months apart.  Although it was chaotic with 4 kids under 5 1/2 it worked well for us at the time.

DS2 is 5 years younger than DS1, & this gap worked well for us also.

There were benefits to 'having them all in one go', as we had no problems with jealously, the kids were used to having to share Mum & Dad, we were used to it, so there was no newborn 'shock' when the next one came alone & with none of them being way older apart from school we weren't having to run around after them much.

There was a benefit to having a 5 year gap too.  Only one child in nappies, & it was way easlier to ferry all the older children around to all of their activities with only one little one in tow.

There will be an almost 3 year gap between DS2 & this baby & personally I think with the ages of the older children that this is going to be the hardest age gap that we've had.  Ask me again in 5 months time wink.gif

#25 Maple Leaf

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:35 PM

For me, I wanted a decent gap. So I could enjoy my first child without feeling pressure from the second.
4.5 years was perfect for us. I still had the baby stuff, still had the energy to devote to #2, still remember most of what I need to do for a baby by the time the 2nd came along.

DD1 didn't feel that put out of her place because she had her own interests and friends, and also was a big helper, she was looking forward to kindy and was very excited about that rather than feeling jealous of the baby.

DD2 looks up to her sister and just loves to follow her around.

I didn't want to "get it all over and done with". I wanted to savour it. And with a bigger gap, I am doing that. original.gif

Maybe during the teen years there will be friction between them, but maybe not because there is simply less competition due to the age difference and the fact that they are at different stages.

Who knows.

I also didn't want my body so wrecked with 2 pregnancies close together.

Edited by Maple Leaf, 21 February 2011 - 04:37 PM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee ? the Bee3 ? offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don?t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

WIN two Sea-Bands plus $1000

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band Prize Pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos Gift Card!

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.