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To ask how long you should wait between 1st and 2nd DC?

(114 Posts)
MsHopey Sat 04-Nov-17 12:21:01

Hey. I've been lurking for a while but I don't post very often. Background information, I've been with my husband for 8 years, we're both 25. Hes always wanted children and told me so from the day we met, I said no for many years as I'm the oldest of 8 and knew they could be hard work and wanted to enjoy our time together.
Last year we made the decision to start trying, I got pregnant within 4 months and our little boy is now 13 weeks old. I have never been happier in my life. Husband has always wanted 2 DC, and I already know I want another one.
But how long do most people wait before having a second one? I want them to be close in age so they have things in common (hopefully, I know some kids just don't get on), but also want to leave my body long enough to recover from the first pregnancy (things weren't too bad) and my c section.
How long have other people waited and why?
Please be kind, I've seen how normal sounding posts can get quite nasty, quite fast smile

Unihorn Sat 04-Nov-17 12:26:24

I'm about 4 months pregnancy with my second, our first is 12 months so there will be about 17 months between them. We didn't plan it that way but I think once we're out of the baby years it will be nice. They will be both be 18 then by the time we're in our mid to late 40s which sounds quite nice!

I think I'd have gone to a maximum of 2-3 years but wouldn't really want to go back to nappies after getting rid of them.

confused123456 Sat 04-Nov-17 12:31:12

We have a 2 year old, and we agreed that we want a 5 year age gap, so our 1st is at school when our 2nd is born.

DeadDoorpost Sat 04-Nov-17 12:35:35

I'm close to having my first and DH and I have said if we have another we want at least a 3 year age gap. I've had a horrendous pregnancy though and don't really like children in general (although a mini me/DH will be fine I can cope with that).
What I don't like is the fact that my parents are already expecting us to have a second straight away after this one. They're gonna be disappointed. Make sure you do it because you're ready and not because you feel you have to right away.

MissConductUS Sat 04-Nov-17 12:36:08

Ours were born 22 months apart and that's worked out quite well. Our first is off to uni next year!

It goes by so fast.

Groovee Sat 04-Nov-17 12:37:49

I started TTC when Dd was 15 months for a 2 year age gap. Ds arrived when she was 2 Years 9 months. It was perfect for me. Dd was potty trained, went to playgroup and was quite able to do a lot.

My friends vary from 10 months to 15 years age gap. Whatever suits you best.

Robots1Humans0 Sat 04-Nov-17 12:38:36

Think the general advice to let your body heal is 18months , though I suppose it’s a totally personal decision really. Currently 29wks with ds2 and DS1 was 2 in September so I’m hoping they’re close too smile

MyDcAreMarvel Sat 04-Nov-17 12:38:45

Anymore than three years and it is unlikely your dc will be playmates. My dc age gaps are six years, 19 months, 18 months, 11 months and six minutes.
I think smaller the gap the better.

corythatwas Sat 04-Nov-17 12:39:26

I had to wait a while for medical reasons: 3.5 yrs between our two. Has been absolutely fine. My friend had 3 children within exactly the same time-span: her eldest and my eldest are the same age and she gave birth to her youngest a few weeks after I had my youngest. Also absolutely fine.

BrioAmio Sat 04-Nov-17 12:45:52

I think there might be some NHS guidance on how long you ‘should’ wait after a c-section. Everyone has a different age gap and they have advantages and disadvantages, it’s personal preference.

At the time people who had short age gaps seemed mad but in retrospect this seems a good idea to get the lack of sleep out of the way first. But there are also advantages to having a more independent child when you are pregnant or have a new baby. Have you factored in childcare costs? The 15 free hours come in very handy when you have a bored toddler!

Bippitybopityboo Sat 04-Nov-17 13:03:32

I always wanted a 3 year gap, always said absolutely no to 2 in nappies or 2 under 2. Currently 10 weeks pregnant with number 2 and will have a 23 month gap. Also sooner than I wanted but we always wanted 2 and everyone's said if you can muddle through the 1st year it's a lovely gap after that. Congratulations on your baby op

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 04-Nov-17 13:13:23

Here is my very stereotypical (but surprisingly accurate!) summary of age gaps amongst my friends and family:-

Less than 18 months - oops!
Less than 2 years - lots of family support plus first a good sleeper
2 - 3 years - very average - just wanted 2
3 years plus - one had to talk the other one into it
4 years plus - fertility issues
6 years plus - different dads

Personally we had just over 3 years (dh had to talk me into it!) Advantages were :-

Body completely healed from first - managed a VBAC without splitting open (my biggest fear!)
Big enough gap to avoid the worst of sibling rivalry
(Just!) small enough gap to be playmates
One in nappies at a time
One non sleeping at a time
Dd had her free hours in nursery before ds was born
Time alone with ds once dd had gone to school
Time alone with dd before dd was born

Big downside is that it sometimes felt like I had had kids in nappies / not sleeping / tamtrumming forever. As just as I got dd out of it, ds would start. If you work then having one in school and one not is hard. So 3 years of it was a very long time!

MaryShelley1818 Sat 04-Nov-17 13:17:51

My ideal gap would be 3-4yrs however I'm 34wks pregnant with my 1st at the age of 39 (40 in 6mths) so realistically if we decide on a 2nd we'll have to get a move on faster than that! Will probably wait until this baby is 1 though before TTC to give my body a break!

MistressDeeCee Sat 04-Nov-17 13:19:17

It's up to you. "Should" is all very well. But my plan to wait until DC1 was at least 4 years old was scuppered by getting pregnant again when she was 7 months old. So I had DC1 in July 94 and DC2 in November 95. It was hard, but do-able, and now I'm so very glad there wasn't a huge gap. But if you'd asked me beforehand I'd have said no way, anything less than 2 years apart is madness...!

WhatwouldRuthdo Sat 04-Nov-17 13:22:52

There are nearly 4 years between my DC. Advantages are that DC1 is pretty independent, can take himself to the toilet, sleeps well and is a fairly reasonable little human being. We also get the 30 hours childcare which is the only thing that makes it affordable for us. Disadvantages I can see so far (DC2 is only 9 weeks!) are that they may well not play together and it’ll be harder finding days out that they both enjoy.

Lazypuppy Sat 04-Nov-17 13:22:53

I'm due my first in January and wouldn't a 2nd until she is 4/5 and going to primary school. Feel like i would miss out on stages for both if they're too close. Also want a chance to go back to work properly after my maternity leave and go for next promotion before taking another period of leave.

My partner has a 9 year gap with his brother, not close as teens but now do everything together which i think is much nicer than just a few years when they are younger

Moomintroll85 Sat 04-Nov-17 13:23:13

Congrats on your recent arrival!

My first is 3 years old and I am 9 weeks pregnant with my second.

A slightly smaller age gap than we're going to get would have been nice I guess but it took me a while to decide in favour of another (horrendous birth the first time). We have also found conceiving this time around took A LOT longer.

StrawbRhi Sat 04-Nov-17 13:23:28

There's 6.5 years between my first and second (same dad, fertility issues and 4 miscarriages between) and it's HARD. I wanted 3 years gap but life doesn't work that way. Dd1 is nearly 7 and dd2 is 5 months and both want very different things. DD1 dotes on her sister and is very, very helpful but it's a struggle to keep them both happy.
I'm undecided if I'll try for number 3, but if I do it'll be when dd2 is 18 months purely because I had a C-section.

AnnaT45 Sat 04-Nov-17 13:24:16

Re c section recovery. I fell pregnant ten months after mine and was absolutely fine! They said at least a year ideally two but it was ok.

My age gap is 19 months. We don’t have much support and I’ve found it quite hard. Not initially, first six months were actually good. Was more when baby was on the move, that’s when it’s tough as you basically have two toddlers.

Now the youngest is 15 months it’s slowly getting easier and they are starting to play really nice together so I’m hoping the hard work is worth it!

If you want a small age gap go for it, but now there are parts that are tough but you’re doing it in the hope they’re close!

Oysterbabe Sat 04-Nov-17 13:30:15

Our second is due 2 weeks before our first turns 2. We planned it this way for a couple of reasons. I'm 36 so didn't want to wait too long. Once I've had a year off on maternity DD will be entitled to some free hours as I'm returning to work, which makes having 2 in nursery affordable for us.
Other factors, I'm glad they'll be close in age and will be entertained by similar kinds of things, getting the baby stage done quickly, my body had just over a year to recover from the pregnancy.
There are downsides to a 2 year gap too but there is with any gap. It comes down to what will work for your family considering things like age, work, childcare, finances etc.

Oysterbabe Sat 04-Nov-17 13:33:20

Oh and having another year off with the older one while I'm on maternity and before she starts school will be nice too.

LuckyAmy1986 Sat 04-Nov-17 13:44:00

We have almost 13 months between ours.
The advantages -they are the best of friends, we got the nappies etc phase done quickly, they are only 1 school year apart, days out are very easy to cater for everyone as the are the same age group. They will both (hopefully) leave the family home within a few years of each other. There was no jealousy from the bigger baby as she hadn't had many years on her own. Got the two pregnancies over and done with back to back. I mean there are so many reasons why I am so glad we did things the way we did. I wouldn't want to have to have started all over again in 5 years (that was our original plan, to leave a 5 year gap)
Disadvantages - only one I can think of it that it goes so quickly and was obviously quite busy with two very young, so my memory is quite blurry!

LuckyAmy1986 Sat 04-Nov-17 13:45:37

Oh yes another disadvantage is double nursery fees. It didn't matter for us as one of us was a SAHP at that any given time but if you are going back to work then remember you will be paying for a LOT of childcare if you have them very close together

NapQueen Sat 04-Nov-17 13:47:20

We would have had 2y2m months between ours if the second pregnancy had stuck, but in the end it was 2y10m. It was a good gap. Dc1 started afternoons at Nursery while I was on mat leave so got to do all the drop offs and collects and dc2 fell into a good routine around that.

Dc2 will go into reception class as dc1 goes into y3. So enough of a gap for own interests and friends without being almost a different generation.

It comes down to lots of factors though. Getting pregnant again. Childcare costs. Space in the home. Energy levels. All sorts.

chocchocpop Sat 04-Nov-17 14:02:15

I am due second baby any day now and my first is three in February.

In hindsight I should have probably waited until my first turned three (free nursery hours) but it is what it is and we’ll be fine

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