What's the best age gap between baby 1 and 2?

(59 Posts)
AlmondFrangipani Sat 26-Oct-13 16:11:31

We have a DS whose 12 weeks old and whilst we're not ready yet by any means to have number 2 I wondered what people's views are? We always thought we would have them close together but sleep deprivation is putting me off!!

filey1 Sun 27-Oct-13 01:40:51

Am planning a 3 year age gap. Have loved the time with DD1, just the three of us. Now can't wait to have another but I think any earlier would have been too much too soon.

WinterOfOurDiscontent Sun 27-Oct-13 04:14:29

21 months apart here. I'm not sure any age gap is ideal, it's down to what works for you and you're family IMO.

JeanBodel Sun 27-Oct-13 04:16:38

I have a 17 month gap between mine.

There was a time when I regretted it - when they were both in the terrible twos stage (ie terrible 18 months to 4 years old).

But they play so well together, they are best friends; and as others have said the same activity suits them both. I am really pleased I worked through that hard patch as it's plain sailing from here on in!

Fishandjam Sun 27-Oct-13 04:56:11

I wanted an 18 month gap; my body disagreed and I didn't get up the duff until much later. We ended up with a 2.5 year gap. Just as well, in hindsight, as otherwise I'd have been pregnant and most likely temporarily paralysed (badly herniated spinal disc).

JoandMax Sun 27-Oct-13 05:07:03

I have 20 months between my 2 and now they're 5 and 3.5 its great, they get on well and enjoy similar things.

The first year though was very very difficult - DS2 was very ill and spent lots of time in hospital, he needed so much of my time I felt horrendously guilty that DS1 was basically pushed out of the way and didn't get the attention he needed or deserved. On the plus side he was so young there was no jealously and he doesn't really remember that time.

We would of loved that gap again but due to DS2 we couldn't contemplate getting pregnant as it wouldn't have been fair on either DSes.

His problems mostly resolved when he was just over 2 years and we tried for a year for DC3 and no joy so have decided to just stick with what we have!

Jaynebxl Sun 27-Oct-13 05:09:15

19 months here and I wouldn't have wanted any bigger. It was really hard work but in some ways easier because I was still in baby mode with my first when my second came along. Now they are 7 and almost 6 and it is great. Holidays and days out are easier as they are both at a similar stage. And at home they are lovely company for each other when they're not beating each other up
I don't agree with the poster who said people with small age gaps don't treat them as individuals and just send them to the same activities. Not in our family or any I know. Mine have chosen their own activities and only 1 coincides.

I don't

Wuxiapian Sun 27-Oct-13 05:11:51

There will be just 13 months between DS2, 9 months and my baby due in March.

I am beginning to brick it...

Bakingtins Sun 27-Oct-13 05:18:03

What marriedinwhite said. The only thing you have control over is a minimum gap, and I personally would not want less than 2 yrs.

kidinasweetshop Sun 27-Oct-13 05:18:38

2 years 9 months gap has been brilliant for us so far. No jealousy and DC1 was potty trained and in big bed before baby arrived so all relatively easy which is good as I make non-sleepers!

LittleRobots Sun 27-Oct-13 05:20:21

Gosh I'm surprised at all those saying 18 months. My mother did 18 months and always suggested we avoided it! Too soon to really spend a lot of time getting to know the first one, expectation that they'll be playmates but too close in age to have defined older/younger roles, but not close enough to be on an equal footing.

We have 3 years and its perfect. Number one was able to understand what was happening, we were able to prime so no jealousy at the birth. Able to help out in small ways and enjoy having a baby, starting pre school so I got some one on one time with the baby during the week. They love playing together now.

I'd honestly recommend a similar gap for those in a position to choose, and think its ideal.

LittleRobots Sun 27-Oct-13 05:25:03

I agree kid! I really am glad of that chance to really bond with my first and get to know her as a person and to recover. I am baffled by those prefering smaller gaps!

Maybe people will always suggest what they have?

kidinasweetshop Sun 27-Oct-13 05:30:20

Yes Little Robots my mum did 15 months so I was keento avoid that!

rallytog1 Sun 27-Oct-13 09:02:43

My Mum went for an 18 month age gap after me. Unfortunately her dc2 turned out to be twins, so she had 3 children under 2. She did an amazing job but I remember her being very stressed a lot of the time. No WAY would I take that chance now, especially if twins may run in the family.

Fortunately the decision has been taken out of my hands, as my emcs for dd went a tad wrong (for me - fortunately she is fine) and the consultant recommended I should wait at least two years before becoming pregnant again. So the age gap for ours will hopefully be around three years.

BobaFetaCheese Sun 27-Oct-13 09:06:39

What ever you end up with you'll make it work/will end up being the best for you.

We've got 20months between ours, at the early stages (DS2 is the same age as your DC Almond) and it's much easier (most of the time) than I thought it would be.
However I'm just starting to toilet train DS1 & I can see how it would be so much easier if I could just focus on him

VelvetStrider Sun 27-Oct-13 09:12:30

I'd say 3-4 years is best imo. No need for a double buggy, only one at a time in nappies, but not so big an age gap that they have nothing in common.

What concerns me about smaller age gaps is that the second child's 'firsts' are not enjoyed as much. If you've done something just a year or so ago with DC1 then it's not fresh and exciting to do it again with DC2. If you space it out, then it's like doing things for the first time again.

ExcuseTypos Sun 27-Oct-13 09:17:52

We have a 3 year gap (not planned) and it worked brilliantly.

Dd1 was able to 'help', understood much more that the baby needed me sometimes, she was also at nursery a few mornings a week, out of nappies, talking etc etc.

They've always been friends and you only have one a university at a time, so you can afford to help them.

DoudousDoor Sun 27-Oct-13 09:20:36

There was 2.5 years between me and DB and we were very close until he left home and always played together and rarely argued!

We'll have 2.8 years between our 2. I wanted less but DS still isnt sleeping through aged 2.1, and I get debilitating migraines so could not have contemplated a smaller gap. We were lucky and got pregnant first month of trying each time.

I think it depends a lot of your children and not the age gap. I know 2 lads with an 18 month gap who cannot be left alone together as they try to kill each other and destroy the house.

Locketjuice Sun 27-Oct-13 09:22:42

I have 18 months between 1& 2 works really well smile

Mumof3xx Sun 27-Oct-13 09:24:47

We had 16 months between 1&2 then they were 4&5 years old when dc3 was born

Although it's lovely how close the older two are I feel I am really able to enjoy dc3 as a baby much more than when I had 1&2! As the older two are quite independent I get plenty of lovely one on one time with my little one

Abitannoyedatthis Sun 27-Oct-13 09:27:19

I think it depends on circumstances. There is 20m between me and my sister. We played together but fought and fought. We were also constantly compared at school and outside activities.

My girls have nearly three years between them - I think I originally aimed for two but started a new job. They are now teenagers but get on extremely well. DD1 also started nursery age 3 which gave me time alone with DD2.

On the downside it stretches paid childcare - kids in nappies etc over a longer time period.

mummy1973 Sun 27-Oct-13 09:29:28

What married said. Experience showed me that! Of course great to plan and dream but just be aware you don't always get what you wish for. Sorry to be maudling. You'll make it work whatever gap you have smile

lade Sun 27-Oct-13 09:36:19

I have two DDs and 3 years. I had wanted 2 years, but we ended up going for 3. For us it is perfect.

My eldest had her own babyhood (the eldest is forced to grow up when the second is born) was out of nappies, going to preschool, able to help, able to understand when DD2 was born. It wasn't difficult having DD2, because by that stage,DD1 slept, understood sometimes she needed to wait, could take herself to the toilet etc etc..

As for closeness, yes they are very close. They choose to play together at school, share friends and get on really well. But, I think how close children are is more down to personality than age. I have a friend with children not much more than a year or so apart. Despite being the same gender, they hate each other, I mean really hate as in they cannot be left alone together. My children share interests and hobbies, so they're very similar and have compatible personalities (ones a leader, one likes to follow). They're downstairs playing together right now. When at home, they play together all the time. I think though, that's just the luck of gender and temperament more than anything else.

hellsbells99 Sun 27-Oct-13 09:52:51

I have 2 DDs, now teenagers. Gap is 13 months. The 1st year was hard but otherwise it has been great. They have similar interests, help each other with homework and keep each other entertained. Woulc highly recommend a small gap!

MiaowTheCat Sun 27-Oct-13 13:28:18

11 months and I love it... hard for the first 3 months or so but you've not really got out of the baby grind part with number 1 so you're not suddenly hit with it being hard with number 2 again (you just do two nappy changes instead of one when you've got all the nappy stuff out), you haven't sold off all the baby stuff from number 1 yet and they really do interact with each other now with howls of giggles... plus you get everyone in the supermarket going on about how cute the pair of them are! Plus no real pressure for the eldest to "grow up" when the baby's born (I've always been really against this idea of getting the eldest to help fetching nappies and things - baggage from my own childhood there) and you're not at the level where toys from the eldest have little bits so you're desperately trying to stop the baby eating them either!

Bathtime resembles a small tidal wave of devastation though when they both discover splashing their sister at the same time (which is really fun to watch but slightly wet)

PennyJennyPie Sun 27-Oct-13 19:03:41

Just curious how people with smaller gaps manage their careers? If you take a year of with dc1 and have an 18 month gap, you will then be 3 months preg when returning and only work 6 months before the next mat leave?

I appreciate that this is not a concern for everyone, but would be good to hear thoughts?

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