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Is 2016 the year to ttc no2 or is it too soon? Advice on sibling spacing.

(19 Posts)
Blondie87 Thu 07-Jan-16 10:12:56

Hi there,

I have a lovely DS who is eight months old. He's a live wire and I adore him. However, I'd be lying if I said I found the first few weeks/months easy. I'd like another child but I can't decide when to start ttc. Obviously I have no experience parenting a toddler so I don't know how I'd find having a newborn with an older baby/toddler. I'd love advice and to hear different perspectives on age gaps between siblings. I'm swaying towards aiming for a 2ish year gap but I know that even the best made plans are out of our control to some extent when ttc! I'll list what I perceive to be advantages and disasvanges of a smaller gap:
Advantages/motivations:
-Took me 9months to conceive DS (could take as long if not longer for no 2)
-I'd love them to have a close sibling relationship
-Go through similar life stages together
-As they get older, they would enjoy similar activities and family days out.
-The expense of nursery fees would be intense but over a shorter period.
-I have had DS in mid-20s (much younger than most of my peers from uni) so want to be relatively young when both DC are more independent.
-focus more on my career when dcs are both at school. Already quite well established.

Disadvantages:
-coping with 2 under 2 or 3
-giving enough attention to each child.
-if I waited until DS was at school or entitled to free childcare I'd have more time with dc2.
-would have more friends with children the same age.
-just got my body back after pregnancy and breast feeding and would be back to square one with everything!

Thank you if you can share your experiences or comment on this.

jeavcike Thu 07-Jan-16 14:14:00

Mine are 3&4 and are 17 months apart. It was a nightmare in the early months but as dd (the youngest) got older and more independent it has got so much easier. They're close and play together very well (but they do argue quite a lot - though I think you'd get that with any age gap) and they have similar interests which means planning for days out is easier. They often entertain each other now so I can sit back more and enjoy a cuppa whilst they play. I don't often feel like I don't have time for one or the other; I often do things (stories, homework, games etc) with both of them at the same time and don't often feel stretched.

I feel like I got all the hard work - broken sleep, nappies and potty training etc - out of the way all in one go rather than leaving a big gap and having to return to it. The teen years will be over and done with relatively quickly too whereas my sister has an 8 yr gap between her boys and so will end up having to go through that phase twice!

I am 35 now and will be early 50s when they reach their 20s - I often wish I'd started earlier because then I'd have more time with them as adults. I sometimes feel like I don't have the energy to cope with them and I'm not old! We have no money and am stuck working part-time until dd starts school in 2017 because we'd be worse-off financially if I went full-time now. I miss having had a nice easy life before dc with plenty of time and money and feel like I wasted so many opportunities and that I'll be too old once the dc have flown the nest.

I only put on 2st from before getting pregnant with ds up to now. I have lost it a couple of times but stupidly gained it again so now I'm aiming to do it for good - I don't think it's that hard to do really.

Twerking9to5 Thu 07-Jan-16 14:18:23

Hi blondie!

I've got 21 months between my two (DS is just over two and DD is 6 months).

I think you've pretty much nailed all the advantages and disadvantages! Obviously so much depends on the temperament of the children. I was like you and found the first few months with DS pretty tough but I grew into it. We wanted two quite close together for the same reasons as you and, so far (fingers crossed) it's working out OK.

The first few months were really quite awful if I'm honest and I ended up with PND. However, I went to the docs sharpish and am now feeling so, so much better. Now DD is 6 months I once again feel like I'm growing into it and just getting used to looking after the two of them. Like with number 1, the second time round becomes "the new normal" eventually.

There has hardly been any jealousy because, already, DS can't really remember a time without DD. They laugh together now which is just so amazing to watch. We kind of wanted to get all the baby stuff done in one intense go!

DS has just started nursery two days a week and, I have to say, that has made quite a difference. I can spend a bit of time with DD and catch up on housework. I also am trying to follow more of a "positive parenting" route which seems to be working much better for both me and DS.

I think there are pros and cons for every age gap - good luck with whatever you decide!

Blondie87 Thu 07-Jan-16 15:22:50

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I think as both of you have touched upon, getting the baby stage done in one fell swoop is appealing. Since having had a baby I feel like I'm going into it with my eyes open this time and get that it will be really hard but hopefully worth it in the long term. Sorry to hear you and PND twerking. That must have been hard to deal with but sour a like you're doing brilliantly now.
jeavcike I know what guy mean about missing old life- I wouldn't change having my baby for anything but until you have them you just can't predict how your life does change. No spontaneity all! I guess my thought is that stage of my life has passed for now so I may as well have another if I'm able to while I'm in the nappies/up at night zone!

MaGratgarlik1983 Thu 07-Jan-16 18:28:32

This is what I really want to do. My DS is almost 5 months now and I'd ideally like to start ttc#2 when he's around 1. Complete reversal from me thinking I didn't want any more children just after the birth! I think it would be really hard at the start but then the whole baby stage is done and you have two DC who can grow up together. I just have to work on convincing DH!!

waitingforsomething Fri 08-Jan-16 09:33:43

I have 2.8 years between mine. I found the baby stage hard with DD and couldn't really contemplate trying until she was 18 months- it then took 5 months to get a successful pregnancy (1 miscarriage). It's turned out to be perfect: DD was toilet trained, verbal, sleeping in a big bed and sleeping reliably all night. She could also self feed, with a bit of tv when necessary and understand the baby's needs a little bit. It made the newborn stage far easier and DS was an easier baby too. Their age gap is still close enough I hope for a close relationship later but it was far enough apart for my sanity! I think people tend to think whatever they've done is perfect for them so just go for what you want and you will be fine. I know people with 17 month gaps to 5 -6 year gaps and all are happy

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Fri 08-Jan-16 09:43:30

23 months here and it's perfect, although it did help in the early days that DS stayed at nursery one day a week to keep his place. Also they were both good sleepers. It was brilliant having a whole second maternity leave with him at that age, we both got a lot out of it. They're 9 and 11 now and I'm still very happy with this age gap.

MiaowTheCat Fri 08-Jan-16 19:16:27

11 months between mine (took 6 years for number 1, one night for number 2) and once you're past the baby stage it's sooooo nice to know you're through it all - if you're not a baby person like I'm not.

Now mine are nearing 3 and 4 it's really really nice with how close they are together, how they're interested in the same toys and TV shows and things, and not having to plan days out juggling a sibling who's too young for something or older and likely to be bored by something a bit young for them. Mine are currently at preschool together and that made settling my younger one in an absolute breeze as she just pootled on in with her big sister on her first day and settled wonderfully.

I had PND with my second, and I also struggled with physically wrangling two babies because I never recovered from SPD and DD1 was a very late walker and only crawled as DD2 came onto the scene (she got mobile literally AS I was in labour and gave grandma a right fright when her easy babysitting gig suddenly became anything BUT!) but you just do nappies twice instead of once and the like.

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Fri 08-Jan-16 19:31:48

I have 4yrs 3mths between my two ds1 had just started school when I had ds2 so I had time with him on his own they are now 5 and 13mths I we t back to work 2.5days in sept and this week up to 3.5days.

Financially the spacing was better childcare is expensive we currently pay near on £1k a mth for 4days nursery and 3days after school care, 2 in nursery would ha e cost us £1.5k a mth for 4days for 2 so not worth working needed to work.

I like we had 4yrs with ds1 on his own he was independent when ds2 came along would entertain himself whilst I sat bf for hrs, could go to toilet on his own.

I got to have who!e of ds1 first year of school at home as was on maternity leave.

Negatives are

going back to sleepless nights and this one hasn't selpt as well as first and has had a few health issues.

You have just cleared out all the bulky baby crap n huge plastic toys and they are needed again.

Also I don't like leaving two of the! To go to work didn't feel so bad with the one.(a!though that would be whatever age gap)

Metalhead Fri 08-Jan-16 23:19:06

I've just had DD2 a few weeks ago and DD1 is 5.5 so quite a big gap. I had PND first time round and also do not cope well at all with sleep deprivation, so for me a small age gap would have killed me! Now at least I can catch up on some rest while DD1 is at school. And the older one is able (though not always willing) to entertain herself or play with minimum parental input whilst I'm stuck on the sofa feeding baby.

I'm sure it will be hard in another few years when they've got completely different interests, but I'm hoping in the long run they will still have a close relationship. After all, siblings are for life, and once you get to your late 20s/30s a five year difference in age is nothing.

skinoncustard Sat 09-Jan-16 09:19:03

There isn't 'a right time'
6 years between mine ( not by choice)
Lots of + and - . Every age gap has its problems , you can't avoid them.

mrsmugoo Sat 09-Jan-16 12:00:27

We started TTC for number 2 when number 1 was a year. Took 6 months. Very happy with a 2yr3month gap smile

skankingpiglet Sat 09-Jan-16 12:14:57

We're going to have a 25mo gap. I hope it's the right decision as it's too late to change it now! grin As everyone else has said, there are pros and cons to any gap, and you can only go on what is right for your personal circumstances. I don't want an extended period out of full time work (won't go back f/t until #2 starts school), and with DH turning 44 this year we have chosen a smaller gap. Luckily I fell pregnant very quickly. I know it's going to be hell difficult for some months, but I'm hoping it will improve from there on in!

MummaV Sat 09-Jan-16 12:17:45

My DD is almost 9 months and we have decided we won't even think about ttc again until Christmas 2016. It took 6 months to conceive previously so if we look at a similar timescale DD will be approx 2.5 when we have another Which for us would work quite well with childcare etc.

I think it entirely depends on your own personal situation.

BendydickCuminsnatch Sat 09-Jan-16 12:19:43

Ooh OP I'm exactly the same! DS is 7 months, I'm mid-twenties, thinking of TTC in from June/July for a 22-26 month age gap smile

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 09-Jan-16 12:23:46

I wanted one out of nappies and buggies for the second one coming. DS arrived two.months before DDs third birthday so ideal for us.

He is now 15mo and DD is 4 and it is hard work as he is just like a puppy - all over theplace, eats us out of house and home, needs loads of fresh air. However he would have been like this whatever the gap.

I am slightly envious of a friend whose second one will arrove just before her dd starts full time school so she will have six hours a day just newborn time.

No "offocial right time" - just right/ideal for you

SunnyDays1987 Mon 11-Jan-16 10:15:14

DS has just turned one and we are thinking of TTC from about March onwards once we've moved house. I'm also really nervous about being pregnant with a toddler and also having a newborn and a toddler but I really just want to get all the baby stage out of the way. I've also ended up being a SAHM so the quicker I can go back to work and start earning again the better. I'm also looking forward to having a bit more flexibility and freedom again with two older kids. I'd hate to be able to get on with life again only to be thrown back into the sleeping, feeding, changing etc etc cycle of having a newborn! But I am so so so scared about how hard it's going to be!!!!

CaptainWarbeck Mon 11-Jan-16 12:35:44

Snap! I've got an 8 month old DS (I've namechanged since then but think I recognise your username from the May 15 antenatal threads smile) and we're trying to decide when to go for number 2 too. I'm also mid-twenties, we're keen for three so started earlier than most of the mums in my mothers group, and would like them closeish together. This is all in an ideal world.

It's so hard deciding when to try! I look back at videos of DS when he was teeny tiny and get all nostalgic for the early baby months, but then I remember how sleep deprived I was AND imagine a toddler on top of that. Even the thought of being pregnant and how exhausting that was at times along with looking after a toddler is a bit scary.

At the moment we've said we'll wait til DS is a year before we think about TTC#2...

JennyOnAPlate Mon 11-Jan-16 12:49:07

I have 23 months between my dds. The baby plus toddler stage was hard. I don't have any family locally and my dh works long hours so I felt like I was doing it all on my own. I had 2 of them in nappies for about 4 months and had to buy a double buggy.

I'm glad we did it with that gap BUT I'm not sure I would do it again! My life would have been much easier if we'd waited until dd1 was at nursery.

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