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Talk to me about 2/3/4 year gaps between DC

(57 Posts)
HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 13:22:09

I know there's no perfect gap between dc, but I'm really struggling to decide when would be best to start TTC no 2. I think I would prefer a 3 year gap, as ds1 would start free childcare then (atm ds1 is looked after by family) and I would be able to nap with the baby when he is at childcare. This is truly, honestly my main reason for wanting a 3 year gap rather than a smaller one blush. Ds1 has been a bad sleeper (dairy and egg allergy, reflux) and has just started sleeping through at 18 months. Even though I have been back at work since he was 10 months, being able to sleep when he does during the day on my days off has kept me sane. For that reason I really don't think I could cope with a non-sleeping dc2 and a 2 year old.

However, there are many advantages in having a smaller gap. Am I being ridiculous to put off Ttc no2 just to prioritise sleep??

Advice welcome smile

NickyEds Fri 16-Dec-16 13:29:51

Don't be embarrassed about either prioritising sleep or childcare! In amongst my friends there was a veritable baby boom in and and round the time that their eldest turned 2.3-2.6 so that they got the 15 hours for the eldest when mat leave for the youngest ended.

I have a 19 month age gap and I love it. First 5 months were hard but now they're almost 3 and 17 months they play together and it's lovely.

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Fri 16-Dec-16 13:37:06

Two things to consider based on your OP.

Beware of shipping your eldest out of the house too much when baby arrives. His place in the family will be changing and you don't want to add to his insecurity or give him too many new major things to cope with at once. Could family continue to have him so his routine is as familiar as possible (and you still get alone time with baby)? Or could you introduce the formal childcare some time before baby's arrival (even if you have to pay for it for a while)?

Also, don't assume your next baby will be a sleeper. 😴 I haven't slept properly in eight months (day or night).

Three year age gap here.

HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 13:45:22

Hats off to you Nicky, I was adamant that I didn't want two under 2!

Danger in a perfect world I would time it so that ds1 was settled in childcare before dc2 arrived. But there are no guarantees are there? How have you found a 3 year gap? Would you recommend it?

Blueredballoon Fri 16-Dec-16 13:46:53

I have a very similar gap to Nicky and it's been absolutely lovely- honestly. I think you just cope with whatever gap you get though!

Artandco Fri 16-Dec-16 13:49:51

WE have a 15 month gap and love it. Both at the same stage and best friends. But your obviously not going to have much smaller than 3 years now anyway

Personally my youngest is 5 years now, I wouldn't want to go back to baby mode and all that again, I liked it all done at once

cowbag1 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:51:18

Something to consider with a smaller age gap is your eldest still having naps. Mine are just 2 and 9 weeks and the fact that ds1 still has a 2 hour sleep in the afternoon has saved me and means I can try and nap with ds2. Some children start to drop theirs between 2 and 3.

HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 13:55:25

Art if I conceived now there would be 27 months between dc1 and 2. I conceived straight away with ds1, although I know that's no guarantee it would happen immediately again. I guess at the back of my mind I'm worried that it would take longer this time, and if we wait for a 3 year gap and then it does take a while we'd end up with a bigger gap than I'd like confused

dm86 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:56:28

I have 3.7 year age gap and a 3.5 year gap. I have to say I found it much easier than if they were any closer in age but I also run a business so didn't get maternity leave.

My daughter started her free 15 hours in the April and then her brother was born in Sept. And the my little boy started his free hours in the January and his little brother was born in February.

Also regarding naps I wouldn't use that premise when thinking about age gaps! My oldest stopped naps completely at 14 months old.My youngest is nearly two and still has two hours a day so they can vary on time/length drastically.

Good luck with whatever you decide. smile

Mybeautifullife1 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:58:17

20 months between my two DDs. Very hard when one was a baby and the other a toddler but they play so well together and have done since youngest was about 15 months.

My eldest was 7 when his first sister arrived. Lone children are a lot harder work in my experience.

HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 13:58:47

Glad you're managing to get some sleep cowbag! Knowing my luck my ds would drop his nap as soon as dc2 arrived - I've heard of that happening a few times!

HateSummer Fri 16-Dec-16 14:01:31

I have a 4 year gap and a 2 year gap (actually 22 months). The 4 year gap was good for me and for dd1. Loads of 1:1 time and no sleep deprivation. But when ds came along 4 years later I was completely hit for 6. I'd lost my baby mojo and it was like having my first baby again. I'd forgotten everything. Having dd2 almost 2 years later was easiest. The younger 2 slept together, ate together and ended up going to nursery together for a year. Now my youngest is 3, I'm glad I had a small age gap.

HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 14:02:03

dm86 that is how I imagined a 3 year gap working with childcare. How have you found that age gap?

evilgiraffe Fri 16-Dec-16 14:04:06

I have a 21-month gap - DD1 is two and a half, DD2 is eight months. I have really struggled, but feel like I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now. My girls think the world of each other, and it is lovely to see them playing together. It does feel like it's a good age gap, even though it has been so hard. PND probably didn't help with that feeling, though. I also have PILs nearby, they are retired and love taking one/both children, so that helps enormously.

HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 14:05:37

That's interesting hatesummer. I do feel like in some ways it would be easier to do it again sooner rather than later in one respect... What about 2 in nappies and double buggies etc though?

HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 14:07:40

evil giraffe sorry to hear about your end flowers. I think having family on hand is such a help

HariboFrenzy Fri 16-Dec-16 14:08:21

end?? Should say pnd sorry

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Fri 16-Dec-16 14:11:24

I have found it unexpectedly hard actually Haribo. I got exactly the age gap I planned for but actually I think that maybe leaving a slightly longer one might have been easier. But then I'm no spring chicken so didn't want to leave it too late!

Having said that, I'm sure it will get easier as they get older, and however hard it is, we cope somehow smile

evilgiraffe Fri 16-Dec-16 14:15:02

Two in nappies is no bother. I am quite apprehensive about potty training DD1 when there's a marauding baby around though!

We don't have a double buggy - sling and single buggy so far. We might get a buggy board at some point but no need as yet.

HateSummer Fri 16-Dec-16 14:18:08

Haribo I had a Phil & Teds double buggy, which was an absolute godsend. I bought it second hand and it had a carry cot too. It was light and easy to manoeuvre.

Nappies was fine. We changed nappies together until ds was potty trained. It was just a normal routine, so normal in fact I can't ever remember it! I bought the ASDA ones so got 3 packs in different sizes. Now dc3 is 3 I'm hoping to potty train her soon; I've been changing nappies since January 2012! I'm looking forward to a nappy free household!

juneau Fri 16-Dec-16 14:19:24

I'd planned a 3-year gap and got pregnant bang on time ... and then miscarried, so we actually have a 3.5-year gap. TBH I'd have preferred a slightly smaller gap - say 2.5-3 years - as I feel there is a bit too much for them to be at the same stage for just about anything. It doesn't help that DS1 is very bright and quite cerebral, whereas DS2 is more of a dreamer and a lot less academically inclined, so intellectually the gap feels quite big. The other small disadvantage is that we were 'in the trenches' with babies, cots, push chairs, potties, etc, for about six or seven years, which felt like ages.

However, from a practical POV it was good. DS1 was settled at nursery long before DS2 came along, each DC got my fairly individed attention for his baby years, we did music, baby gym, futzing about in the sandpit, etc. Neither DC really had to 'fit in' with the other, because they were at totally different stages from the start. Plus DS1 was sleeping well, toilet trained, chatty, even a bit helpful - all of which made having number two easier.

NickyEds Fri 16-Dec-16 14:21:22

Nappies really aren't a problem. We have All Of The Buggies! Single, double and umbrella fold and away thing, plus Caboo sling and Connecta.Our Phil and Teds has been absolutey fantastic and only cost £80 on e bay.

MarjorieSimpson Fri 16-Dec-16 14:31:25

Dc1 and dc2 are 20months appart.
Good points:
You are still in the baby stage so you don't feel you are starting it all again
They have similar ish interest age wise
They also go out of the baby/toddler stage more quickly so you can start doing things again more quickly.
My two ended up quite close together
Down sides
Well it's harder work in the first few years
It's easy to think they have the same age when they don't (so expecting too much of the youngest and not enough of the oldest)
They will also hit teenage years together (that's where we are)

HardcoreLadyType Fri 16-Dec-16 14:40:33

When you have one doing A levels and one doing GCSEs in the same year, you will wish you had avoided a 2 year gap.

Heatherbell1978 Fri 16-Dec-16 14:41:50

DD is due soon and I'll have a 2.5 year gap. I'd have preferred a 3 year gap because of nursery costs and the hope that DS would be fully potty trained and most likely not need a double buggy. But due to my age we wanted to crack on and I fell pregnant immediately! As it happens DS is starting to show an interest in potty training now so we'll be in full on potty training mode with a newborn....he's starting to drop his nap....and I think we'll still need a double buggy so all happening as I thought it would with a smaller gap!
But he's going through a phase of loving babies at the moment and there are babies in his room at nursery still so maybe it's a better age for him to adapt to a little one around and I'm not worried at all about his reaction to the baby, maybe if he was older I would be.

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