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Tell me about going from 1-2 DC with a 4/5 year age gap(17 Posts)
DS is 3.5(ish). If we had another, and got pregnant today, he would be well over 4. And obviously there’s no guarantee things would happen quickly.
DH and I keep avoiding the subject of having number 2. Work has been busy for both of us, life is fairly settled with DS. We know what we are doing and how we all fit in to the family unit. But we are going to have to tackle the subject.
I was always comfortable with one DC but the thought of us definitively deciding not to have another makes me a little sad. DH always wanted 2 but I can tell he’s wavering now - life is pretty settled now and why risk rocking the boat.
So please tell me your warts and all stories about having a second child with a 4/5 year age gap.
Dd2 was born 5 days before dd1’s 4th birthday. It’s been hard as dd1 is very ‘spirited’ but now they are 1 and 5 it’s getting easier.
It was lovely to get time with the baby when dd1 started school and before that she was at nursery two days a week so I feel I’ve had lots of 1-1 time with the baby.
It’s daunting thinking of starting all over again. We have this age gap as couldn’t afford two at nursery but it’s lovely to see dd1 with her sister (when she’s feeling nice!) she also enjoys fetching nappies and wipes and is so good sharing food and drinks etc. And hearing dd2 belly laugh at her big sister being silly is the best sound ever!
Oh and me and dh have taken one each at bedtime , I deal with the baby (still bfeeds to sleep) so he puts the elder one to bed.
My ds1 was 4.5 when ds 2 came along. He was in love from the second he was born. It was great that he could understand that I sometimes needed to do stuff with the baby he had to wait.
He loved helping me, fetching nappies and towels at bath time etc.
I'm finding it a little more challenging now that they are 2 and 6. Just because there are a lot of things that the older one is too old for and the younger is too young for. It is getting easier though.
They are so cute together. Ds2 is always watching and copying his big brother. They play really nicely with the occasional push or shove.
Overall I think it's a great gap and my boys have a lovely relationship!
My dd was 5 when ds was born. Personally I found it helpful in some ways.
Did was old enough to understand what was going on, helpful when ds was unwell and in hospital and also as he was a very unsettled baby so she was able to rationalise why mummy never put the baby down !
She’s really enjoyed being a big sister and loves helping with looking after him.
I have really appreciated the time she’s been at school as well as I could focus just on baby which was nice.
But also a bit of a pain in some ways for me. The age gap has meant activities that suit both during summer hols etc is tricky for us and as my ds fed constantly/hated car/buggy etc we struggled to go out much to entertain the 5 year old. School run with newborn sometimes a struggle.
But for me I know it was way better than having them close together! No way I could have coped
I also agree with others that you are able to give the younger child all the attention during the day when the older child is at school. I know some friends with small gaps felt guilty that they didn't have enough time for the baby.
Also one piece of advice a friend gave me was to remember that the older child needs you more in the early days. The baby only needs feeding and changing but the older child needs you emotionally. I tried to stick with this as much as I could but obviously it's hard sometimes. Especially as ds2 is a horrific sleeper and always has been!
My youngest was born just after eldest turned 4. Worked really well. Eldest started school when DD2 was 3 months old so DD2 got lots of one on one time. Eldest was old enough to understand when baby needed feeding etc. They play together well now (most the time ).
I would agree only tricky thing is doing activities they both can do. Youngest gets dragged to eldests swimming, dance lessons etc but does her own dance lessons now so starting to get easier.
4.5 year gap.
Older one more understanding, they play well, vaguely helpful . Little one idolises her. Except from when she is doing homework and he is getting ignored.
Lovely to have been able to spend time with both. But now I feel my older one doesn't get as much time - she is 'fine ' (pretty responsible, so I'm off running after the mad toddler, I feel guilty she lacks attention at times) . But hey. She was desperate for a little brother or sister so suck it up .
It was a good if slightly terrifying move !
I’ve got a 4 year gap. Baby DS is 6 months old now. Obviously have nothing to directly compare but looking at how friends with smaller gaps have found things I would say the bigger gap has made the early days easier. DD can feed herself, take herself to the toilet, dress herself, consistently sleeps through etc. She understood how long it would take to feed the baby in the early days and could play relatively unsupervised while I fed him. So far haven’t had any major jealousy issues because I think she had a good understanding of what was coming before DS was born as most of her friends had siblings already. DS absolutely loves her. Can’t take his eyes off her when she is in the room. I can see it might get trickier as they get older and have very different interests. But I had a brother 4 years younger and don’t remember this being a huge issue. We always played together at home happily enough. And so far it’s been a pleasant surprise.
Oh gosh yes I forgot about the sleeping! Part of the reason I left such a big gap was that dd was such a poor sleeper for first 3 years. By time we had ds she was sleeping through so only one to contend with!
DD1 was 4 and 2 months when DD2 was born. So far, all good. Mat leave was lovely, DD2 got 1:1 time with me and DD1 loves being a big sister and a big girl at school..... they are now nearly 1 and 5 and it’s all good. (Apart from the crawling one likes to smash up Lego / train tracks, but that’s the same for loads of siblings!!!!
Omg yes the Lego and train tracks are little problematic haha
Not going from one to two, but my eldest two were 4 and 5 when my third was born. They both dote on him, and we’re really helpful. Even 6 years on, they all still play together. I found that age gap was really easy to manage, and didn’t disrupt activities etc.
The main difference from your situation is that your dc is used to being an only, do you know how they’d feel about it? Mine were (and still are!) always asking for another sibling so I was pretty confident they’d be excited and love the big brother/ sister role.
Slightly different, went from 3 - 4, but the older 2 were in their 20s and living elsewhere. DD2 was nearly 4 when DS2 was born. There was a little jealousy with pinching and hitting, and right now at 10 and 6 she says she doesn't like him. Best tip for school mornings, get yourself and DS sorted first, feed the baby, changing can wait until you're back home.
DS2 might have left the house in pyjamas well into toddlerhood.
Thanks for all your replies. They are really helpful and ease a lot of my concerns (although i still don’t know how I’d cope with working five days a week and two children!)
In terms of DS, he often asks about when we are going to get a baby. I think he would be pretty open to the idea. And he is really lovely with the baby brother of one of his close friends. He’d make a good big brother I think.
I was quite an anxious first time mum but I reckon I’d be a lot more relaxed second time around which would probably help with the transition.
Don’t worry about working! It’s no harder to work with 2,3 or 4 dc than with 1. It’s hard to juggle work with a child but doesn’t get any harder when you have more.
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