Tell me about your 2 year age gap...

(20 Posts)
haloflo Thu 25-Apr-13 09:27:31

And tell me it gets a lot easier! I have 2 DDs, 2.1 and 8 wo. The toddler doesn't sleep, whinges, clings and is really hard to cheer up. The baby won't nap anywhere well (except a moving pram or sling which is impossible when toddler wants me to sit down and help her play) and always seems to cry.

Toddler hates me holding the baby but lays on top of her if I try and put her down anywhere but her cot. She does not care if her sister is crying at all.

I'm knackered, stretched thinly (lots of help from DP and family) but both babies want or need me most of the time.

It's going to be ok isn't it???!

amazingmumof6 Thu 25-Apr-13 09:49:42

Congratulation on new baby!

whatever the gap I find the first 6 months the hardest, it does get easier afterwards.

I love 2 year gaps, they were perfect for me!
we had 2 years between DS1 and DS2 (both in July), between DS3 and DS4 (both in December), then between DS5 and Dd (May and April)

the gap of 17 months between DS2 and DS3 was too quick for me, and 3.5 years between DS4 and 5 were too long, but couldn't help it as we lost a baby in between.
I don't mind the longer gap now, but it does remind me of the loss sometimes.

it is hard though when they are both so needy, I do sympathize!

the one thing I can advice you to do that saved my sanity is Priscilla Dunstan and her "baby language".

I can't do a link, I'm rubbish, but just type in "Priscilla Dunstan on Oprah" and watch, learn, be amazed and sob with relief when you realize that by distinguishing between the sounds your DD2 makes you can cater to her needs. making everyone so much happier!!

make notes and use the info she gives and I promise you that you'll feel in control, that you'll know what you are doing and it will transform your life!!
as soon as you learn the clues your baby gives you, you can help her sleep better too, this will give you a chance to rest and/or pay more attention to DD1.

I wish I had this knowledge she is sharing when my boys were newborns, it makes me cross how we all suffered from me not knowing what they actually needed!
but thankfully my baby girl benefited, so I guess better late than never.

watch it now, then get back to me. I'm happy to chat more.

differentkindofpenguin Thu 25-Apr-13 10:49:30

Mine are now 2.4 and 4 months, and yes, it does get easier!

I was tearing my hair out for the first 8 weeks, clingy baby, feeding constantly, really bad sleeper, and a super moody toddler.

the toddler was doing this really high pitched scream every time baby made a noise, was throwing stuff, hitting himself, his sleep and appetite got worse. I asked for help from the nursery nurse who is attached to our health visitors and she was fab, observed his behaviour and gave lots of advice. We ignored the screaming, didn't dwell on his eating, made sure he has lots of activities, and didn't force him to interact with baby.

Very gradually it got easier. Now he is not exactly in love with the baby but accepts her, will talk to her, help "wash" her in the bath, rock her, "feed" her, gives her kisses (sometimes anyway!) He is still pretty jealous and has to have everything she's having, but much more settled and happy in himself.

Good luck, it will get easier for you!

AngryFeet Thu 25-Apr-13 11:02:56

Yes it gets loads easier after DC2 is 1 (bit easier when they are 6 months). Mine are now 8 and 6 and have been the best of friends since DS was 1. They argue a bit but mostly play together for hours on end. It is great. I am so happy I didn't have 1 child or a larger gap as it would have meant I would have to play loads and I am rubbish at it grin. I think 2 years is perfect as a gap! Friends who have bigger gaps (everyone I know actually) don't have it as easy as me smile

There's 22 months between DS1 and DD. I thought I'd made a huge mistake at first, it was so, so hard, but after about 6 months it started to get easier. They're the best of friends now, at 2.2 and just turned 4, I love watching them play together, which is something I thought would never happen-DS1 just ignored DD until she was about a year old.

The difficult times pass quickly, and you'll soon forget them. I blocked it out fairly quickly, and ended up having the same age gap between DD and DS2.

MiaowTheCat Fri 26-Apr-13 08:18:26

There's a thread on behaviour/development about this at the moment.

I'm the nutter with 11 months between the two (and yes, I HAVE heard of conception, yes, it was partially planned in a "see what happens" kind of way... oh the rude questions I've had).

I almost walked out at the start of week 2 and left them all to hubby! Ours coincided with absolute hellish teething cutting a first pair of teeth (that STILL ain't fully got through after nearly a month) and DD1 becoming mobile (late crawler - picked AS I went into labour to figure it out)... basically absolutely everything going wrong.

I'm finding a bouncy chair a godsend at the moment (DD2 has reflux) - DD2 can see what's going on, I can give DD1 some time but she feels like DD2 is in on it as well, and if DD1 IS faffing about trying to get to the baby to poke it I can intercept her, but any prodding of the chair gives DD2 a nice bounce as well! Would be easier if DD2 would let me put her in the sling - but she just fights that all the way (and I have a fair few lying around the house to try out).

PicardyThird Fri 26-Apr-13 08:23:03

Mine are 5 and 7 now, 2.4 years apart. It is beyond fab now - they are the best of friends, would do anything for each other and their relationship is wonderful to watch. They get up on weekend mornings and play together - sometimes for over an hour. IOW, it gets better, a lot better. Hang in there. smile

BackforGood Fri 26-Apr-13 08:36:27

Agree with everyone else - whatever the age gap, the first weeks are hard. You've forgotten that when you have dc1, all you have to do is sit around cuddling them, feeding them, and no-one else demands your attention. With dc2, you're so very aware of dc1's needs and don't want them to feel pushed out, so it's hard trying to get the balance. It does get better though! smile

amazingmumof6 Fri 26-Apr-13 17:09:06

miaowthecat - did you know that siblings born within a year from each other are called Irish Twins?
I just love that phrase and would have loved to have at least the first 2 that close, but I normally had 1st period 6-10 months after birth, so there.

am I the first person to say that I secretly envy you for having Irish Twins? smile

MrsDeVere Fri 26-Apr-13 17:19:20

I have done the two year age gap twice. With my two eldest and then 17 years late with my youngest two (5Dcs)

The first year is a blur and the 2nd year can be a bit of a challenge and you feel like your life will never change. You are surrounded by nappies and poo and bits of old weetabix...

Then it gets a lot easier. The children tend to like the same sort of activities e.g. park, soft play etc. As they get older you can take them to museums and stuff.

Even if they are very different in temperament they tend to be close developmentally. IYSWIM.

Im 17 months in and it's much better now. I kep baby in the sling for most of the day until 10 weeks. Used the sling for all naps until 4/5 months and she was happy napping in the buggy (hated the pram). By 5/6 months she took monster naps in the cot and pushchair which was great.

I kept up my toddler's routine throughout - dd is now on DS's routine. There were periods when my eldest had to wait while I sorted dd but he was fine as I resorted to tv (when putting dd down for a nap) or snacks (when feeding dd).

MiaowTheCat Fri 26-Apr-13 18:46:34

Yeah I've heard the Irish Twins thing before... unfortunately it conjures up images of Jedward that bring horror to my heart (as does the thought of TWO lots of teenage boys knocking on the door at once)!

I had a bit of cheating going on - I don't seem to be able to carry pregnancies to full term- DD2 was due a week after DD1 was a year... came a month early though to sneak in at just over 11 months gap.

amazingmumof6 Fri 26-Apr-13 20:28:42

miaow haha at Jedward - I can see two gorgeous grinning boys with flame red hair.

TheConstantLurker Sat 27-Apr-13 09:37:39

My DDs 2 and 3 are almost exactly two years apart. I found that the first few weeks were fine and then it became very hard work and frankly didn't improve massively until DD2 started nursery a year later. I kept a part time diary to help relieve some of my feelings. DD2 was sociable and did go off on short playdates which really helped. She also started dancing classes at 2.5. Her being off out of the house helped but of course there was the getting ready and the collecting which interrupted a feed or provoked a massive nappy change or something. Oh and DD3 was quite clingy and had reflux so spent a lot of time in a sling with me. God it was awful sometimes.
So my sympathies with you. A stairgate to the kitchen with ME locked inside with a large glass of wine helped me.
One thing I will say. Looking back now I wish that I had not sent the older one off so much to get her out of the way. Give the baby to someone to mind and make sure you do stuff with the toddler.
The best of luck. Im sure you will be a lovely mum to both.

TheConstantLurker Sat 27-Apr-13 09:44:59

Oh and yes in case that all sounded too negative, they too have started to have a nice relationship, playing together for hours, partners in crime and a team, finally at 8 and 6.
Sorry maybe that doesn't sound very positive. I'll stop now.

haloflo Sun 28-Apr-13 19:59:45

Op here. I've no time for a long reply but thank you all. Its great reading even those of you found it tough for a while.

blondebubble Sun 28-Apr-13 20:03:24

2 years 10 days here - I found for the first year toddler was 90% of the day time work - baby was easy in comparison. Total flip after about 15 mths and baby was all the work due to mobility and 3 year old much easier as could rationalise a bit better. Now are 5 & 7 and it is great as they are close in age and play together (which was my plan all along) - when they are not fighting!!

mikkii Sun 28-Apr-13 20:13:42

I have 2.6 between DS and DD1, he was really loving towards her, but not used to waiting. DS had reflux and hated a bouncy chair, so the only thing with him that kept me sane was a travel swing (have passed to cousin now I'm finished...) but DD1 wasn't as happy in it. The fantastic thing for me was that DD1 was happier being put down awake when tired and not fussed with. I lost count of the number of times she was ready for a nap and I thought I'll just finish this .... And went to get her, only to find her passed out under the play gym.

I remember someone telling me that number 2 doesn't know what it is like to get things done immediately (unless it is a safety issue) so keep it that way, let DS have some requests immediately to make him feel prioritised. Also, in the same way you prepare yourself a drink and sack hen feeding th baby, get his ready too, before he asked during the feed. I also found feeding time was a great time to read to him

DeathMetalMum Sun 28-Apr-13 20:38:46

Your op sounds very familiar dd1 2.3 and 6 week old dd2.

Dd1 just doesn't seem to listen to anything I say at the moment and also just lays on top of dd2 if I put her in her bouncy chair. I had to put dd1 in her cot this evening (which she really dislikes being left alone in) to be able to sort things out for bed time. She has also started hitting me and dp if we are telling her off sad . Dd2 is mostly a breeze in comparison at the monent.

SizzleSazz Sun 28-Apr-13 20:43:56

Mine are 21 months apart. I hid in a parenting cave until DD2 was about 18 months but came through the other side grin

They are now 6.5 and 4.5 and play together just brilliantly (ok, 10% arguments but I think that's pretty good!)

Family outings are good because their needs are pretty similar, they are one school year apart so fab for logistics and clothes get handed down straight from one wardrobe to the other <lazy>

Love the age gap smile

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