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Pros & cons of the following age gaps...

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#1 BentoBaby

Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:10 PM

Some background...

Baby 1: Difficult pregnancy until around 20 weeks (very very VERY sick!). Easy pregnancy after this. Newborn-9 months, very unsettled, severe reflux that wasn't well controlled until then, not a good sleeper. Now at 15 months a very easy baby (still not sleeping through but otherwise very very easy).

Thinking about TTC towards the end of the year. Minimum age gap we'd consider would be around 2yrs 3momths. Initially I thought closer to 3yrs but now I'm beginning to think being pregnant/young baby with an older toddler that still has a day nap would be better (obviously with a 3yr old there would be no day nap once the bub comes and potentially no nap through my pregnancy).

What have your experiences been with a 2.3yr vs up to 3yr age gap? Obviously we can't pick exactly but we fell pregnant very easily with DS so there is a chance we could have some say.

#2 tibs

Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:25 PM

Well I'm sorry to say my 2 years and 2 months old no longer has day sleeps  wink.gif

I have 2 years 5 months between #1 and #2 and this worked well for me as my #1 could entertain himself to some extent plus help himself to snacks etc if I was feeding the baby.  He went to preschool at 3 for 2 days a week so I then had some time with the baby while she was still a baby and just starting to really do things.  Now they are 2 and 4 and get on so well they keep each other entertained and the gap isn't too big so they are interested in many of the same things e.g both still play duplo as my oldest isn't old enough to have moved on to lego which may happen with a bigger age gap.

We wanted a similar gap with #3 and I was due to have a 2 year 3 month gap but miscarried.  Got pregnant again expecting a 2 year 5 month gap and miscarried at 10 weeks, had to have a D&C which meant no TTC for a further 6 weeks.  Pregnant again now and should have a 2 year 8 month gap if things go well this time which is longer than we wanted but unfortunately beyond our control.

Good luck  original.gif

#3 Libertine

Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:34 PM

My Dd is 3 years, 3 months and still has a 2 hour nap every afternoon. I'm due with no.2 in October so she will be a couple of months short of 4 then.

Tbh I always wanted a close age gap but having seen pretty much all my friends have a second baby when the first was between 1-2 I am glad we didn't do it. If the first child is too young it is really hard on them and i am not sure  would have coped all that well. It took us 2 years ttc for no.2 and I am now beginning to think it may have turned out for the best (for us obviously. Everyone is different!)

I reckon my dd will be at the age where she understands, and can help out. She will also start kindy at 4 so she will be gaining some independance and I will also have some time alone with the new baby too which will be great.

I wouldn't over think it op. TTC is a funny thing, it rarely works out exactly as planned but age gaps tend to work whatever you get!

#4 No girls here

Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:39 PM

I wouldn't pick it based on whether or not your DS still has day sleeps.  My boys both gave up their day sleep at 2, my sister's boys gave theirs up at 4.  So either way DS may or may not be sleeping.

Personally I would choose the 2 year age gap.  With 3 years it takes a while longer until they play together well, but they're not really old enough to be all that useful either.

#5 ubermum

Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:40 PM

Unfortunately, you don't really get a say. I wanted 3 close together. I fell pregnant with my second when my first was 8 months. Since then ttc the third hasn't happened and then when it did I miscarried. My third will be 4.5 years younger than my second.

All children and families are different. It is hard to say which age gap is the best because so much is reliant on individual personalities and circumstances.

#6 Spartacus

Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

Three year olds are pretty sucky. I would go for a larger gap, so that the older one is 3 1/2 or older when the younger one is born so they're not tantrumming and being awful with a crawler around the house.

#7 Julie3Girls

Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:52 PM

I wouldn't be timing based on day time naps. Simply because you cannot guarantee how long your child is going to nap. My older 2 girls both dropped regular naps at around age 2, gone completely by 2.5yrs.

That said, it is possible to get your child into the habit of "quiet time".   We used to do it after lunch. Put on a DVD, and just have quiet time.

My age gaps with the girls are 2yr 6mths, and then 2yr 9mths.  Love the age gaps.  They are close enough in age to play together really well, get on really well. Old enough to understand about being gentle with the baby, and to entertain themselves a little bit.

During pregnancy with DD2, DD1 and I would cuddle together on the lounge, lying down, with a movie on.  Half the time, I'd dose off, she'd occasionally sleep as well.

If you wait until the slightly older end, closer to 3, you might be able to put your oldest in preschool, and get one or two days a week with just the baby, where you can catch up on a bit of rest when the baby sleeps.

#8 Xiola

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

DS1 was 2 and 4 months when DS2 was born.  He was still napping for at least 2 hours but this stopped after a couple of months.  It didn't really make much difference really.  I can say though that I wish DD was closer in age to them (they're 4.5 and 7 now and DD is nearly 8 months old).  All the running around with school runs etc I find quite hectic with a baby in tow and it was very draining whilst I was pregnant.

#9 Stronger

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:07 PM

Hmmm don't think as well just because your DS was easy to conceive that the second one will be too...our DD was conceived second month off the pill we were trying and yet we are going on for 4yrs TTC#2 and have just done our first round of IVF.

I hope it is not the case for you but just trying to say don't assume anything in TTC!!

Good luck - I would just start TTC whenever you are ready and whatever is meant to be, is meant to be and you will work around it!


#10 jess1980

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:17 PM

My 2 daughters are 2yrs 3m apart and my eldest had stopped her daytime nap around two. I think it's a fine age gap but I do recommend getting onto the toilet training before your next baby is born as I didn't and changing 2 lots of nappies was a pain in the bum! My girls are quite close and play well together.

#11 2boys2cute

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:18 PM

I have 2 years 2 months between my boys.  

The good:

DS1 used to go to bed fairly early back when DS2 was a baby (ie around 6-7pm).
They are at ages (5 & 3) now where they are playing quite well together at times, which is good

The bad:
Having a newborn and a high-maintenance toddler (like DS1 was) was hard work.  Damn hard work.
DS1 dropped his day sleeps 2 weeks after we brought DS2 home from hospital.  That sucked!
TT'ing DS1 while DS2 was still a baby was hard
DS1 was still fairly dependent on me for many things such as dressing, bathing, feeding (to an extent) which made it hard - I think it would've been easier if he was a bit more independent like he is now ie he can have a shower/bath with limited supervision, go to the toilet by himself, get himself a basic snack or drink, get dressed, follow instructions, isn't so clingy & is willing to help etc etc
- dealing with the terrible 2's (which lasted well into the 3's) as well as a newborn wasn't much fun at all.

I guess it really comes down to what your kids are like ie easy, high-maintenance etc etc, which you aren't always going to know until its too late.  It seemed like the moment I fell pregnant with DS2, DS1's terrible 2's hit early, and he was a shocker.  Had I known back then what I know now, I would definitely have waited and had at least a 4 year age gap, because he is the most delightful little boy now compared to what he was like in his toddler years, and I really think having him and a baby now would have been SO much easier than having them as close as I did.  They have very different personalities, and even though they are capable of playing well together for some of the time, they fight terribly as well.  If I could turn the clock back and wait a few more years, I definitely would, for the sake of my sanity.

Just my experience of course!  I have friends who swear by a  2 year gap as opposed to a larger gap.

#12 BentoBaby

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:22 PM

I'm sorry to hear of your losses Libertime & Ubermum sad.gif

You are right, you can't control things at all. I guess I'm just wondering whether we start ttc with the 2yr3mth gap & go from there or whether we hold off for closer to 3yrs. If we start at 2yr3mth there is a chance we'd get that so I wouldn't want to start ttc if that was a shocking age gap! We fell pregnant straight away last time (& I'd expected it to take a little while) so I don't want a huge shock again if that is too close a gap.

It sounds like it would be a good starting point though from your posts above!

#13 BentoBaby

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE (raffi06 @ 09/04/2012, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hmmm don't think as well just because your DS was easy to conceive that the second one will be too...our DD was conceived second month off the pill we were trying and yet we are going on for 4yrs TTC#2 and have just done our first round of IVF.

I hope it is not the case for you but just trying to say don't assume anything in TTC!!

Good luck - I would just start TTC whenever you are ready and whatever is meant to be, is meant to be and you will work around it!


You are totally right & I don't take the ease at which we fell pregnant for granted at all. I hope 2012 is your year original.gif

#14 3inthebed

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

QUOTE (ubermum @ 09/04/2012, 02:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All children and families are different. It is hard to say which age gap is the best because so much is reliant on individual personalities and circumstances.

I agree with this. Everyone will give you an opinion based on their own experience.
Mine are 3 years apart and different sexes and adore each other so much, play well etc. plus my 4 1/2 year old still has a day sleeps. It worked out perfectly for me.

I am planning my 3rd now and will let the universe decide.

#15 prettypenny

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:38 PM

My girls have a 2y 9month gap (a 3yo and 3 month old) and so far I've loved it. DD1 dropped her nap at 2 years (cold turkey) but can do quiet time well. Like a few other PPs, this age gap wasn't planned but perhaps a blessing in hindsight.

I was able to have DD1 TT, in a bed and without dummy well before DD2 arrived. She was basically able to transition from toddler to a little girl without relating all these big changes to the new baby.

Since DD2's birth she has been great. Helps with nappy changes, sings to DD2 and understands that sometimes the baby takes up a bit of mummy and daddy's time.

Good luck and you'll find that you just adjust to whatever age gap you end up with.

#16 Kay1

Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:53 PM

We were aiming for a 2.5 year gap but ended up with just shy of 3yr gap (despite conceiving DS1 first try). It worked well for us. DS1 was still napping at 3 - up until 3.5 actually. So I had time to rest in the afternoons. However DS2 was a very difficult newborn (even worse than DS1!) so day sleeps were non existent until about 4 months - after that he did sleep though and I would often get a snooze in the afternoon when both of them slept. original.gif Even when DS1 no longer napped I would let him watch tv then (only way to keep him awake!) and lie on the couch next to him and rest. He was not TTed until 3.5 yrs so I did have two in nappies for about 6 months.

This time we will have a 4 year gap. DS2 is 3.5yrs and no longer napping but I still use the tv to get a snooze in the afternoon if I am very tired. He goes to preschool two days a week so I have that time as well. He is now TTed, day and night so I have a brief gap between changing nappies!!! ddance.gif

The 3 year gap has been great for us. It was challenging at times in the beginning because DS1's behaviour was more difficult at 3 than at 2 so I often had meltdowns to deal with as well as a newborn. However they are great buddies now, they are inseparable and DS1 takes such good care of DS2. I hope they are similar with their soon to be baby brother. original.gif

Edited by Kay1, 09 April 2012 - 02:58 PM.

#17 samshine

Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

My Dd is 3 years, 3 months and still has a 2 hour nap every afternoon

This is us, I know we're lucky but at 3y 4m DS still has a day sleep of 1-2 hours.  We really have the best of both worlds though as if we need to he can go without out it at a stretch so we're not bound by staying home either.  But even if naps have been abandoned, you can still implement some down time.  Our older DD obviously doesn't have a nap but we inisist on quiet time when DS naps.

We've just had a 3y 3m age gap between DS and DD2 and it's (so far, touch wood) fantastic.  A great age where he can understand some things have to wait and can help with little things.  He's pushing the boundaries with his behaviour at times, but that's to be expected with all the changes.  He's also at an age where he really enjoys the baby.

Overall, I thought I enjoyed my 18 month age gap between my first two, but this age gap has been so much more enjoyable and smooth.

Good luck

#18 Another one

Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:24 PM

My two are 2 days off being 2 years apart.  DD was an awful baby but is an independent well behave little girl and was so excited by her little brother that she has helped from day 1, reading books to DS while I fed, trying to change nappies etc.  She even pulls his blind down and turns his 'music' (white noise) on when he goes to bed (and the reverse when he wakes up).

She has only just dropped her afternoon nap completely (2y8m) but was having one at least every other day until then.  When she became difficult ot get to sleep I started to call it rest time and she had an hour in her room, 8/10 times she'd get in bed and fall asleep, otherwise she would play with teddy, read him a book and so on for the hour.

I didn't, but should have, TT'd DD before DS came along as she was ready but resisted.  After 2 months of 2 lots of nappies (MCN) I just did it with her and we haven't looked back.

She also dresses herself every morning (and has done since before DS was born - although she did need a little help back then).  She has now taken to choosing his clothes for the day as well.  They don't have to be older to be helpful.

I wanted a small gap though as we had IVF with DD and I was 35 when I had her and 37 for DS.  I stopped BF'g her at 12mths so we could get straight back into the IVF.

I know two people with 13/14 mth age gaps and they love it.

Edited by Isabelle Thomas, 09 April 2012 - 03:27 PM.

#19 judy_

Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

My boys are 3 years 2 months apart.
DS1 was an easy 3 year old and was no problem with a baby.
DS2 is a horrible 3 year, it would be a nightmare with a new baby.

#20 Working_Mummy

Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

My DS was 3 in Feb, he has only just dropped the 2nd sleep and gone to 1 sleep per day.

We have a baby due this month so 3 years + 2 months difference.

Loving the independence DS has got in the last 6 months, not sure if it is because we are 'preparing' him for the new baby or it would have happened already.  But he can now get himself fruit / drink from the fridge, a biscuit & put cheese on it for a snack.

Take himself to the toilet without any assistance.

Turn the TV on when he wakes up quietly without waking anyone else - if he happens to wake before us.

Feed himself dinner and just be overall quite helpful.  I wouldn't have got this 6 months ago.

I am also finding that when reasoning with him it is a lot easier (ie no you cannot have a snack now, i am  cooking dinner and will call you when its ready) but again i don't know if this is us cracking down a little bit extra and helping create this extra independence or it would have happened anyway.

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