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Are "they" right? - age gaps of sibilings


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#1 ~river song~

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 ~river song~

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?

#4 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.



#5 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.


#6 *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.



#7 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.

#8 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.

#9 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.

#10 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".

#11 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.

#12 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!

#13 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.

#14 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

#15 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!

#16 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.


#17 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.

#18 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.

#19 ~river song~

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 )

#20 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.

#21 niggles

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?

#22 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.


#23 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

#24 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.


#25 White-Lily

Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:38 PM

I think you need to have the first one and then decide.

We are aiming for 3yr age gap but who knows what will happen. Having a baby earlier just didnt fit in. We decided to build a house and do some more travelling before having #2.
Initally we thought 18mth-2yr gap but when it really came time to decide we weren't ready. Im glad we are waiting a bit longer






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