Need Advice... Would your share your experience!!!

mcookAugust 12, 2008


I am a first time mother of a 5 months old baby. My husband & I are already thinking ahead of when to have our 2nd child (since I'm 34 already). We are just "thinking-out-loud" of maybe start trying when my baby boy turns 6 months old, so by the time the 2nd baby arrives, he'll be 1.5 yrs old. We would love to hear your advice/experience on:

1. What would be the Pros & Cons of the above scenario?

2. Given my age circumstances, what's your advice/suggestion of the ideal age gap between the 1st & 2nd kids?

Your precious advice/experience will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!



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I have two children. I had the first one when I was 26 and the second one when I was 32.

I had no 1 at school, when No 2 came along. I liked having the age gap because I didn't want to have 2 babies at once ! It was a lot easier going out to places because the older one was easy to manage by the time I had another baby. She was wonderful in amusing him as well.

Now they are 21 and 16. I only had one going through difficult teen years at a time, which was and is a lot easier. I never had any problems with sibling rivalry, they always got on very well, I think because of the age difference.

I think you will be fine with what you are proposing with your little ones..after just deal with it all because you have to. Its just important to keep reminding yourself of the big picture, to enjoy each moment, every moment and remember its better to play with the children than to do housework!!

All the best to you.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 3:15AM
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Congratulations and very exciting for you!!!!!

My daughter was 4 when my son was born and it was wonderful. (I was 25 and 29). Two is much more work and tiring than the first one alone. I don't think I could have handled having them any closer together. She was a big helper, understood when her brother needed my attention, went to school around the time that he began requiring more in terms of chasing and outings. Each will have their own time during high school which I see as a pro.

My husband had my stepsons one year apart and they are very close but more competitive at school and in sports but they are two boys vs a boy and a girl so that might be the difference. They share clothes and friends which is both good and bad.

There are pros and cons to both a lot depends on your personality do you do better with it all coming at you at once or do you prefer to take things one at a time? Are their financial decisions that require you have them together or further apart? Are you planning on having more than two if not than you probably have more time than if you were trying to have four?

IMO my friends with kids 2-4 years apart seem to be having an easier time of it than those with only one year between or those whose kids are more than 5 years apart.

I'm sure whatever happens will work out just right for your family:)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 3:57PM
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I say go for it,the first few months are hard ,but u will manage and when they both a little older they will play together and be very close.I have three kids my first daughter was nine when my other daughter was born,i worried about the age gap ,but it worked out lovly ,she helps out and there is not many squabbles,then when my second daughter just turned two i had a son.I admit i wonderd how id cope,but when he arrived you suprise yourself and manage,the first few weeks were tough,my two year old fighting for my attention,but now my sons nearly thre months old and everthing is great.One of the things i do find difficult is just gettin out the house for a certain time,you need that much stuff nappies and bottles and stuff,but you get used to it.I love having, them so close together,but like the other people sais no matter what you decide ,itll work for you.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 4:45PM
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I would say wait. Mine are 22 months apart ( first was around 1 year when I got pg again).

I remember crying my eyes out the first few days after number 2 came home because I felt I was ignoring number 1. When I would go to nurse the baby, my first DD would cry "don't feed her again!"

Let your first enjoy being your only for a while. Anyway you look at it, you will have less time and energy for your first child. Don't short changed him.

35-36 is not old to have a baby.

This is JMO of course!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 6:37PM
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I had my son when I was 17 (almost 18). My second son when I was 20. They are 2.5 years apart. Then I had my daughter at 21. She is 10 months after my son.

Having two 10 months apart was like having twins most of the times, double diapers, bottles, etc. I am sure I didn't get to enjoy them as babies as much as if I had them further apart. But, they did entertain each other when they were small. Definitely no sibling rivalry when I came home from the hospital.. he was too young to understand. The older one was a 'helper' and he never once acted jealous in any way over either baby. He was always offering to help and loved to help take care of the babies.

The boys, being 2.5 years apart was a little better. They all played together and I was able to work full time once my daughter went to school. (I only worked part time when they were babies) The toughest ages for the group was when they were between middle school and high school. That was when they squabbled most. (starting around 10-11 for the boys to start teasing their sister) but once they got into high school, they didn't bother her anymore. Then, they were more interested in whether her friends are cute, etc.

I'm now raising my step daughter. She's 9 and my daughter is 18 so she's more of an only child and it's a lot tougher I think. She seems to demand more attention because she gets bored. When my kids were younger, I could say go play and all would play with each other, never a complaint. I tell my stepdaughter to go play and she acts like I told her to walk the plank. (of course there may also be differences in personality to account for that) but I think it was better to have all my kids close together.

The other part is that they all turned 18 in three years and are now all college age. Unfortunately, my oldest did not want to go to college, but he's thinking of joining the military. My second son is in college and my daughter is thinking about it. They will both have to work to help pay for college because there is no way I could afford two or three kids in college. That is the down side for me. (I was a single parent so I didn't plan for college and/or have much savings)

BTW, I'm 39 and all my kids are legally 'adults' and if I hadn't married my husband, I'd soon have an empty nest. It depends on you and your husband's feelings on it, but I had my first at 17 so I am looking forward to having an empty nest and being able to travel without a worry in the world (like babysitters).

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 7:49PM
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My four kids are all at about 3 year spreads: 3 years and 2 months between #1 and #2, the same between #2 and #3. #3 and #4 are 2 years 7 months apart. I started younger, though. I was 23, 26, 29 and 31, respectively. Now my kids are 15, 12, 9 and 6 (or will be after the last couple birthdays this year).

I highly recommend it, absolutely nothing to complain about that age span so far. The older sibling was walking, talking and using the toilet when the next came along. I never used a double stroller. I breastfed each one a year, but that age span was enough to give "the girls" a break between babes. They were old enough to be aware that we were having a baby, a brother or sister, and to talk about it- which changes everything! That is a real hoot!

My kids play together, help each other (and fight, too). So they are still close enough in age to have a good, everyday relationship. They are far enough apart to have very separate identities, they don't end up lumped together and treated the same by friends or family.

All that said, I don't think there is a "bad" spacing. Whatever you decide, or whatever happens for you family, it will work out for the best. There are issues to overcome, and advantages to celebrate, no matter what the age span. You might have tough days when you wonder to yourself "What have I done to myself, having these babies so close?" Just as on my tough days I wonder how I can plan outtings and vacations for such an age range. But overall, whatever happens for your family will feel just right for you.

I wouldn't really endorse one age spread over another. However, if we could control these things, I would endorse a season for birth over another. Now that my kids have all started school and I've seen that transition for them, I think it's best to have a winter birthday. A child who turns 5 in winter is, IMO, the best age for starting kindergarten the following fall.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:03PM
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I agree with the other posters who stressed that ANY spacing has its advantages, and NO spacing is impossible. So don't worry too much no matter what you do -- you'll make it work.

Our two are 3 1/2 years apart, almost to the day. Several people commented that we went for the "golden interval" -- I had never heard of that, so it certainly wasn't anything we "went for," but evidently there had been some article or trend back then saying that 3 1/2 years was a great spacing.

And it was. I think the reason was that our son (the elder) was already able to talk well, which meant both that I could still pay plenty of attention to him while dealing with his sister, and also that he could express himself verbally, so he didn't have to act out. His little friend who was only 2 1/2 years older than his baby sister tried to put her in the trash can!

He was also big enough to be a big help when I was busy with the baby -- he could answer the phone or the door, bring me a diaper, pick up her pacifier for her, amuse her, and eventually even watch her for a moment if I had to go to the bathroom or something. It was sort of like the third arm you feel like you ought to grow when you have a baby!

A couple of weeks before the second baby was born, we bought him a baby doll (a non-sex-specific Cabbage Patch infant -- do they even still make those?). When the baby came, my son and I could both feed, change, and read to our babies together. Also, the new baby had a gift for him that he really wanted. And we arranged for it to be his idea to move to a big boy bed and give his crib to the new baby -- he even threw in the changing table -- well in advance of the birth. I think all those things helped a little with the adjustment.

But really, don't worry about it too much. That other brother and sister are just fine with each other! Being close in age will have its advantages, too. Just do what works best for your family.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 12:19AM
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Am a grandma...parent of grown children 2 1/2 years apart. I think the advantage of having them between 2 and 3 years apart is that they are friends, they are in highschool at the same time, sometimes their friends over lap and, while it's financial Hell...they are in college at the same time. don't really get to choose!...Perhaps you will get PG the first time you "try"...perhaps it will take 9 months...or a year.
I think I would like an age span of 2 years or more to 1 1/2 years....but....
And remember....women over 35 have a greater chance of having twins!
(just had to toss that in there....I have twin grandsons!)
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:49AM
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I remember wishing I had had twins instead of having sons 3 years apart. I would have done the diapers, bottles, etc. all at one time and been done with it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 8:30PM
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And would have had them both in the house or playing outside at the same time etc., etc., etc..

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 8:32PM
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My children are about 2 yrs and a few months apart. I am so happy there age is close together. They have a very close relationship with each other. The arguing is very minimal. They really stand up for each other even in school. Honestly I think if I would of waited any longer I would of never had a second child. My sisters children are gaped by 8 yrs they fight a lot and are not close at at. As long as you can keep up with them you are never to old to have a child.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 12:14AM
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Oh, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, all of your words of wisdom are a great help! Every day I look forward to read all of your posts! I can't thank you all enough.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 6:02PM
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One disadvantage of having a bigger age gap, I find, is that the school years seem to go on forever !! I am into my 16th year of dealing with school issues, and I must admit I am beginning to tire of the whole thing. I find myself dreaming about the day where I am not ironing school clothes, making school lunches, chasing up homework, helping with assignments, paying school fees, etc etc.

But, I know, when it is all over...I will cry and wish it all back again...oh being a mother !!!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 6:45PM
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a year and 5 months that's the difference I and my brother have. good difference. Pretty much same age. Our kids are also close in age, which is nice. And we live few blocks from each other, we keep moving here and there but always end up on the same street or same subdivision. lol Our kids went to the same school etc I don't think we would be that close with much larger gap. the smaller the gap the better. And you want to be done early, you don't want to be having babies in your 40s.

My daughter (20) has a brother 12 years younger. They are close, DD loves him so much. But obviously they cannot be as close. Due to age difference. And DD is excited to have a new baby brother this fall. 20 years age gap. Ouch. it is all nice but nothing like being close in age.

I am all for small age gap. good luck to you!!!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 11:02PM
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