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Baby number 2

(14 Posts)
SarahM82 Thu 29-Sep-11 20:04:34

I have a seven month old son and am still on maternity leave, I will return in January. We are starting to think about trying for baby number 2 (yes already!), what is the best age gap? Our thinking is to have them close together, to avoid the stop start with maternity leave and have them both off to school close together that way I can get back to work full-time...anyway really just asking for any advice and others experiences...thank you!!

Gigondas Thu 29-Sep-11 20:05:44

Sometimes it doesn't happen as you would wish- it took me 2 years to conceive no 2

Gigondas Thu 29-Sep-11 20:08:22

So in other words if you want try go on but may not get a gap and think there are good/bad things about any range of gaps.

Re work it depends what you do and how easy it is to get back into it , move between full and part time (also having kids at school doesnt necessarily mean full Tim easier)

rubyslippers Thu 29-Sep-11 20:09:39

I have no idea of the best age gap

There is just over 3 years between mine

I have always worked FT anyway so the work thing wasn't a consideration

For me the pros were my eldest being in nursery 2 days per week as he was eligible for funding and with some jigging around we kept that up for the whole of my mat leave.

He was potty trained, out of the toddler stage and fairly able and independent

Georgimama Thu 29-Sep-11 20:12:47

There is no such thing as the "best" age gap. It entirely depends on your circumstances, and luck as to when/if you conceive. There is no answer to your question.

SarahM82 Thu 29-Sep-11 20:16:54

Thanks rubyslippers, interesting to hear the pros with a bigger age gap.

Just asking more for peeps advice and experienced really, not any one answer..

lovingthecoast Thu 29-Sep-11 20:20:13

I agree there is no such thing as the 'right' age gap. I have four children. There is less than 2yrs between DS1 and DD1. That was seriously hard work. Two in nappies, a double buggy etc.

Nearly 3yrs between DD1 and DD2. That was slightly easier emotionally but practically it was difficult to do all the stuff the other 2 wanted to do with a baby in tow.

Just had DS2 and DD2 is 4 and at nursery every morning plus 2 afternoons. In many ways it is so much easier just needing to manage one small baby in the day. However, I am very aware that lots of stuff that we could just jump in the car and do will need to be put on hold with a baby. Plus holidays are going to be tricky as I have nearly 8years between my boys.

So I guess the answer is there's no such thing. Just do what feels right for your circumstances but be aware that nature isn't always listening.

Firawla Thu 29-Sep-11 20:40:33

whatever gap you end up with i think there are pros and cons to each.

i have 3 that are roughly 1.5 yrs apart each, and i like the small age gaps maybe just cos that is what im used to but i like the idea of them growing up close and its nice for them to be at similar stages and to interact together (although my older two do drive each other mad at times but can see they love each other, from ds2 being a tiny baby they have been really close).
it can be fairly full on, as it does keep you busy if they are both young and more dependant on you, not at an age for any nursery place or anything but i think its very manageable, it can be nice to be kept busy i think and the plus with having 2 small ones is that if they both sleep during the day then you get to relax

but if i look at my ds1 and ds3 i can kind of get the idea of a 3 yrs gap looking at the interaction between them. i have to say i think it would be probably a more 'easier' gap because age 3 are more independant and able to help you and also because they normally start nursery some time after age 3 so once they do, you would only have one at home again for part of the day, which would make life really easy (well im only presuming that.. cos mine does not go to nursery yet) and if they go to nursery it would give the chance to have plenty of one to one time with your youngest one, which is a downside of having them all close together sometimes you feel they might be missing out? but then the downside of the bigger gap they will be alone without their sibling during the school or nursery day, and your house may feel more quiet and empty compared to having 2 of them at home together close in age, and there will be longer to wait til they get more in a similar stage/age to each other

as for work & maternity leave issues i have no idea..

i would just say if gaps less than about 16, 17 months i would just be a bit wary of the oldest one not being walking yet as seems like that could be a bit tricky logistically? maybe i worry about that more as mine so far both quite late walkers, yours might be walking at a yr so not an issue but its not that rare for them to be late with it, but with mine had the gaps been 1 month less i would have had problems with this both times!

Georgimama Thu 29-Sep-11 20:50:25

OK well in that case I think an age gap of 2-3 years is ideal. That's the gap between the three siblings in my family (I mean me and my brothers not my children). I think less than 2 years must be pretty hard going, having more than one child needing nappy changes/carrying about etc.

DS is 4.5 years older than DD and in some ways the gap is both too big and too small - he's too old for her arrival to have had little impact on him (my eldest brother is 2 years older than the next sibling and cannot remember life before he arrived) and too young to be mature and understanding about the loss of attention it has cost him. On the other hand he is at school during the day and I am on maternity leave so firstly I get some one on one time with the baby while he is at school, and I am at home to help him settle into this first year at school, which I wouldn't have been if she hadn't come along.

An0therName Thu 29-Sep-11 20:56:42

this is just my view -but I think under 2 year gap can work v well - its v hard work for the first 6 months or so - but the 1st child don't really remember they didn't have a sibling, and once they are a bit older they have similer interests and will play together quite alot
with mat leave - it is disruptive either way -as you could in theory be back for quite a short time, also consider 2 lots of child care for a long time
personally - between 2 and 3 can be pretty hard going - sibling jealously can reach a peak
over 3 years - much easier - in terms of dealing with 2 children - and older one will understand -and much less time with 2 lot of childcare - with preschool and then school - downside is you have a long time with little children and they will have less in common- I had 4 year gap - not exactly planned to be that long but worked pretty well

lovingthecoast Thu 29-Sep-11 21:01:52

AnOtherName, it doesn't always work out so nicely with 2 under 2. My DS and DD1 are like chalk and cheese and fight constantly. They drive each other nuts. When he was 4yrs and she was 2yrs and I was pregnant with DD2, their fighting nearly killed me! Both of them get on much better with DD2 but I'm not sure if this is because the gap is bigger or just because of her personality.

An0therName Thu 29-Sep-11 21:20:21

yes but siblings fight whatever the age gap in my experience - although over 3 year probably less
- was DD1 older one as I had read somewhere that a girl than boy was worse for fighting/general relationship

lovingthecoast Thu 29-Sep-11 22:07:30

No, DS is the eldest. But DD1 is in no way a typical girl or child for that matter. I was embarrassingly smug with DS as he was a good baby and then a toddler who did what he was told to an extent. She had had 3 broken bones by the time she was 3yrs and 2 lots of stitches. She is wild, no other way to describe her but also the most capable, amazing child I have ever met. She drives us all potty but poor DS1 got the brunt of it.
Sorry, don't mean to take the thread off track!

bluecake Thu 29-Sep-11 22:17:47

We have exactly 2 1/2 year gap here btwn DS and DD. I couldn't contemplate getting pregnant too much sooner (I did have a mc so should have only had a 2.3 gap) but I wish I had in retrospect as by the time DD came along it was clear that DS was a little bit lonely at home and I think would have really relished having a sibling a bit earlier. Now DD is 1 they play well together and sometimes I can just sit and watch them with my feet up. grin Of course they have squabbles and will continue to have but it feels like a good gap. We are thinking of a DC3 and will aim to have no more than a 2 1/2 year gap and probably less (assuming we conceive as quickly as last two times).

I have 3 1/2 years between me and my brother and we are just not that close now as adults, having never been close as children. I have a friend with a 5 year gap and she says she just doesn't even know her brother really - she was at school when he was born, she was at uni just as he was becoming a teenager. I know people with 6 and 8 year gaps and family outings are really difficult so they end up doing different things with the children rather than always being able to be together. In contrast, I have 3 sets of friends with 18-20 months gaps and their children aged around 5 to 7 all have wonderful sibling relationships. My DH has a 2 1/2 year gap with his brother and was very close all through childhood.

So IME I think for all the difficulties of two in nappies, double buggies (we had about 6 months of that which was long enough!) I think the benefits of a close gap are greater than those of a bigger gap. Go for it!

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