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Convince me 3yr age gap is better than 2yrs.

(48 Posts)
fionabeeb Sat 24-Aug-13 15:51:20

I have DS 15mo and have always wanted my children close together in age. I reckoned 2 year age gap. This is looking unlikely. I needed fertility treatment for DS1 and will need similar for DC2. NHS funding is available but waiting lists are incredible at approx 1.5yrs! I could go private but costs are so high and I feel it would add so much more stress to the situation knowing money was being frittered away at every failed attempt. The temptation is enormous though. It's even more frustrating as my GP surgery lost my referral letter and therefore my referral was delayed by four months (I saw GP in February and wasn't referred until June!! more lost time) so instead of being seen in October I need to wait until January. I suffered really bad sickness and SPD in my first pregnancy so a bigger age gap would be easier if I felt awful again. Can anyone convince me the longer age gap is better? I have always wanted two small children growing up so close in age and of course getting the babystage gone more quickly so we can go on adventures with them both. I also like the double buggy idea as we walk alot and a two year old would be more amenable to this than a three year old. Am I being silly? It sounds silly but my desire is so strong. When was it ever a good idea to give women a broody gene?

spanky2 Sat 24-Aug-13 16:30:44

Ds1 was 2.9 when ds2 was born . They do play with each other even though they find each other annoying ! Ds1 was still in nappies so that was the same . The advantage is that Ds1 went to pre school so I got to have a sleep or sit down while he was out.We had a buggy board . Double buggies seem difficult to handle and more difficult to steer round dog poo on the pavement !

Notsoyummymummy1 Sat 24-Aug-13 16:35:09

After three years, the chances of sibling rivalry lessen. This gap is good for your eldest child's self esteem - they are more secure and more independent as they have had your attention for three years.

Giving your body a rest of over two years between pregnancies allows you to fully recover from the challenges of childbirth.

A larger age gap also allows you time back at work in between and the opportunity to spend time with each child, when one is at preschool/school.

You can re-use your high chair, pushchair cot etc. as dc1 will be done with all that.

Your dc1 can learn about nurturing and be a little helper and might even be able to 'read' a simple book to the baby.

hettienne Sat 24-Aug-13 16:39:55

2 year gap seems like a nightmare to me - I have friends who have had 18 month-2 year gaps and it just looks like such hard work! I guess there is something to be said for having 2 years of hell and then it's done, but personally I have really enjoyed DS's first 3 years and am looking forward to really enjoying the next baby while he is at nursery/school.

A 3-5 year gap is more "natural" for humans - it means the older sibling has had all that parental input when they need it most and is quite independent when the next one comes along, rather than having two infants with competing needs fighting for attention.

thisisyesterday Sat 24-Aug-13 16:44:08

i have a 2yr 10 month age gap between my first 2, and a 19month gap between 2nd and 3rd.

if i was doing it again i'd have at LEAST 3 years between them all. seriously.

ReallyTired Sat 24-Aug-13 16:46:08

My children are seven years apart and have a good relationship most of the time. I would have preferred a smaller gap but frankly I am lucky to have two children. It is not possible to plan a family with ideal age gaps as babies don't always come along when you want them.

I think a three year age gap would be nice. The older child will be able to go to nursery part time and you will have time for the newborn.

I am surprised you want a double buggy. I think that avoiding the need for a bulky double buggy would be a big plus.

KittenCaboodle Sat 24-Aug-13 16:47:17

Having had 2x just over 2 year gaps, and one closer to 3 years, I can tell you that a bigger gap seems WAY more sensible to me smile. The list of reasons why is very long. My two youngest lay very nicely together and get on well.

WafflyVersatile Sat 24-Aug-13 16:47:33

the older the child the more independent they are, less in need of your constant attention and scaffolding, and the more emotionally prepared to share parental attention with a sibling.

KittenCaboodle Sat 24-Aug-13 16:47:35

Lay= play

mollycuddles Sat 24-Aug-13 16:49:38

There's 9 years between my dds and they are such pals. My ds is 12 years older than his wee sis and loves her to bits. Age differences aren't that important IMO.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 16:52:40

Honestly (and I'm not just saying it because you asked us to!) a 3 year age gap is brilliant. The older one is able to be more patient and more understanding of a baby's needs, they have a bit of their own lives with nursery/pre-school and are happier playing by themselves. Yet, once the smaller one is walking/playing it's not that big a gap that they can't enjoy each others company. The older one is generally out of nappies and afternoon naps so that makes life easier. There really isn't anything not to love about it, except your original expectation being changed and frankly - as having children is a gift not a given, that's a small thing really.

Good luck getting baby number 2, whenever that may be! smile

solarbright Sat 24-Aug-13 16:55:15

In a situation with a lot of stress - small child to care for, fertility treatment needed, NHS red tape - why in the world are you stressing over this?? There is no 'ideal' age gap. I think you are being silly. smile I can understand it, but I'm sure what you want, more than two children close in age, is two children.

Best of luck, and stop stressing your poor self out for nothing! You'll have your wonderful DC2 at exactly the right time, which is whenever he or she happens along.

PoppyWearer Sat 24-Aug-13 16:56:11

3 years is great, because you should be done with nappies with DC1 in time for DC2 to arrive. Two sets of nappies...not so good.

PoppyWearer Sat 24-Aug-13 16:57:05

You can still have a double buggy, but a buggy board probably makes more sense.

redcaryellowcar Sat 24-Aug-13 17:03:25

I think I missed the brief about aiming for a two year gap, a couple of nct friends had small age gaps, around 20 months, and they seemed to have managed well but counting back dh and I would have needed to be cracking on when ds was waking in the night every 1-2 hours, so we weren't sold on a small age gap, conversely I met a lovely lady who had a five year gap due to problems conceiving and said she is really pleased she did meant whilst her dd1 was at school dd2could go to swimming etc.

Gracie990 Sat 24-Aug-13 17:04:59

I have less than 2 years...shit it was hard.

Now it's SO easy they play together really well, and can do similar activities/ hobbies.

Friends with three year plus age gaps are struggling to balance the needs of both children. One can swim, one can't. One rides a bike one doesn't, one at rainbows, one too young etc etc.

froggers1 Sat 24-Aug-13 17:11:04

I have 3.4 yrs between mine. Amazing! First one at preschool 15 hrs a week so more time with the baby and you get some rest while they nap. They don't fight (much) and the older one loves helping with her, is able to dress himself, out of nappies, not in a buggy...meanwhile my friend tried to get me to have my second when she was (2 yrs gap) and her life is really hard still and they are 5 and 3. They squabble, the older one was really hit by jealousy which has never really gone, 2 lots of nappies, etc etc and no downtime. I feel quite smug....

hettienne Sat 24-Aug-13 17:28:58

I did so much with DS when he was a baby - baby massage, swimming, baby groups, signing etc. I think it would be a real shame not to be able to do that with the second baby too because they are being lugged around after a toddler.

secretscwirrels Sat 24-Aug-13 17:36:23

Two years is hard when they are at the baby stage but that is really only a short time. After that, the 2 year gap is better IMO. Siblings with a 3 year gap seem to me less inclined to do stuff together and much more likely to fight.

blueshoes Sat 24-Aug-13 18:12:40

There is almost exactly 3 years between dd and ds. They play very well together without the stress of 2 young ones close together. The advantage of a 3 year gap is that at 3 years old, dd was looking forward to her baby brother and did not compete. On the contrary, she was nurturing. If she was 2.5 or younger when ds was born, she would not have that emotional maturity.

Hamwidgeandcheps Sat 24-Aug-13 18:13:33

My dds are 3 years and one month apart. Dd1 was utterly thrilled to get a sister and dd2 worships her. At nearly 4 and 9 months they play together as much as they are able and really adore each other. I think dd1 would have been b stroppy if she had been 2 when dd2 was born grin

TiredFeet Sat 24-Aug-13 19:30:50

This thread is great, I am expecting dc2 about one month after ds's third birthday. I have been worrying about the gap so its good to hear so many positives

Two that I have noticed already - Ds has a good understanding of what is happening, he chats away to the baby in my tummy and its getting me through the tough days seeing his bond that is already there. Also, financially it will be a lot easier, ds will have his 15 free hours at pre -school which will mean we can afford to keep him there during my maternity leave (he loves it there and is so attached to his friends, and it will also give me a break) and will also mean it is slightly more financially viable for me to return to work

Allegrogirl Sat 24-Aug-13 20:42:54

Most families I know have about a three year gap either planned for the 15 hours of nursery funding, a break for SAHM and help with the cost where both parents working, or DC2 took longer than planned.

We have 2.10 and it was manageable. My BF had two years exactly and it was bloody hard though her children were able to do the same activities sooner.

Some families want to get the baby bit over with but I needed a long time to recover from DD1 who was difficult as a baby. I suffer from horrendous nausea for much of my pregnancies and would have found that hard with a baby or very young toddler. Just one in nappies at a time and no double buggy required. I also wanted to get plenty of time with both DC as babies. They get on brilliantly now at nearly 3 and nearly 6. No jealousy.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sat 24-Aug-13 21:05:48

Here's an article with some evidence to support the idea of a bigger gap as positive, if that helps - some quotes:

"An analysis of studies involving more than 11 million women, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2006, found that the physical health of a baby is much better if his mother waits a minimum of 18 months after the previous baby before she conceives him"

"In a national survey of more than 1,700 teen-age boys, Jeannie Kidwell, a psychologist at the University of Tennessee, found that children had a more negative view of themselves and their parents when their closest siblings were around two years apart. However, if the space between siblings is under one year or over four years, the negativity disappeared"

GampyWabbit Sat 24-Aug-13 21:19:47

We have 3.5yrs between dd1 and ds. We also have exactly 4yrs between ds and dd2. I think these age gaps are perfect - anything less seems like a nightmare!!

All dcs generally get on well. There is very little sibling rivalry or jealousy. I liked they fact I had dcs in pre school nursery and school when the new baby arrived and I had some quiet time with just me and the baby

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