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Are two babies better than one?

(23 Posts)
rozzerz Tue 17-Jan-17 12:45:10

I have a 9 month old lb and OH and I are trying to decide if we should add to the family. My heart says yes but my head says no! I'm worried I won't cope with 2 tiny terrors. However I'll be 38 this year so can't afford to leave a big age gap. I would love to hear from some of you about your experiences, whether you stuck at solo or became multiple mums! Please and thank you! smile

OneForTheRoadThen Tue 17-Jan-17 13:00:36

I'm interested to see the responses as I'm in almost exactly the same situation - I'm also 38 this year and have an 8 month old.

My concern is childcare costs, I'm not sure I can afford two!

IWantATardis Tue 17-Jan-17 13:03:55

DH and I knew we wanted more than one DC.

When we were thinking about TTC DC2, we basically decided what was the minimum age gap we felt we could cope with (we finally settled at 2yrs), and started TTC at age-gap minus 9 months. Because that way, if I got pregnant immediately, we'd still have an age gap we thought we could handle. We've ended up with just over a 2 yr age gap between DS1 and DS2, which has worked well for us.

However, I was younger than you are, and got pregnant easily with DS1. If I'd been older or had trouble TTC DS1, then we might well have started TTC DC2 sooner.

rozzerz Tue 17-Jan-17 13:20:51

@OneForTheRoadThen I'm ignoring the financial factor or we'd never have had one baby nevermind two!

@IWantATardis do you think 2 years is the ideal gap then?

IWantATardis Tue 17-Jan-17 14:28:02

2 years was a good gap for us. DS1 and DS2 are about 5.5 and 3.5 now, and great playmates for each other.

But there's advantages and disadvantages for every age gap. I don't think you can say any one age gap is the perfect gap.

katiegg Tue 17-Jan-17 14:43:56

I'm a bit younger than you but dc2 was born six weeks ago. dc1 is two. It's chaotic, I won't lie, but it's already getting easier... or maybe more normal!

We had initially said we had wanted three, but due to a rough pregnancy, dc2 will be our last. They would have been closer in age but I miscarried twice in between them. For me, the biggest factor in having another was for them to have company and someone years down the line when husband and I are no longer around. For various reasons, they are unlikely to have cousins.

peaceloveandbiscuits Tue 17-Jan-17 14:57:36

I decided on the minimum age gap I could cope with, like a PP. For me it was 2.5 years (I struggled with DS as a baby), and it took me almost a year to get pregnant the first time, so I anticipated actually ending up with more like a 3 year gap. But no, got pregnant straight away this time shock so there will be a 2.5 year gap exactly.

Not sure I know what to do with a baby born in the opposite season!

Don't forget that aside from the having two children bit, you've got to be pregnant for nine months with a child to look after too. I struggled much more with early pregnancy this time, and couldn't entertain my 2yo as well as I'd have liked. Cue much guilt. He also does a great impression of me being sick in the street confused

KatharinaRosalie Tue 17-Jan-17 15:10:49

I figured that we already had all the baby stuff and need to get a babysitter if we want to go out anyway, so might as well..

But if seriously, there is nothing cuter than DC1 teaching something to DC2, or DC2 randomly walking over to hug DC1. Mine are 1,5 and 3.5 now and playing nicely together. When they're not fighting over the same toy, that is

If you ask if 2 is a lot harder than 1 I would say no. But then again, if we go somewhere separately and I only have one to manage, it does seem like a walk in the park, so I guess 2 must be harder. You adapt though.

rozzerz Tue 17-Jan-17 16:46:43

Thanks everyone. I think I'm worried especially about those first weeks of madness with a newborn, then if I can give enough time to each child or if they would suffer. I suppose the upside is having a sibling. I do find it quite isolating having a baby but that may be partly because I live far from family. MIL is a support but mostly it's just me and lo when OH is at work.

FizzBombBathTime Tue 17-Jan-17 16:48:14

For me, yes. It's great. Mine are a year apart

Highlove Tue 17-Jan-17 17:13:10

Mine are 2.5 years apart. I didn't even think about 'ideal' age gap, we just got on with as DC1 took four years to arrive. They're now nearly 3 and 6 months. I have found it tough and relentless, no doubt about it, but it is getting easier and I've no regrets. Just yesterday evening DD1 was making number 2 squeal with laughter - it was beautiful to watch. I hope their bond will continue to develop as DD2 gets older and can engage/play more.

Cranb0rne Tue 17-Jan-17 17:46:54

I love having two! We have a 2 year 9 month gap and I am 37. I know I'll probably be feeling broody soon as well. Despite the more rubbish times like screaming, sleepless nights etc, my life is complete with them. You also get some free childcare hours at the age of 3 which helps with the financial side of things (a bit)

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:05:37

My DS will be 3.5 when DC2 is born and I'm shitting myself at the thought of having two.

I reckon most women have this fear regardless of what the age gap will be.

If me and DH were a bit younger we probably would have left it a few more years until TTC DC2.

chloechloe Tue 17-Jan-17 22:31:30

If your heart says yes then go for it!

I wanted to concentrate on DD1 for her first year and felt ready for another by then as she started sleeping through and became really easy. I got pregnant straight away and DD1 is now 21m and DD2 5w.

The big surprise this time round is how easy the second newborn is compared to the first! She's really easy to deal with compared to the toddler!

It is hard adjusting to being 4 with a toddler who can't communicate how she's feeling. But it's also super cute to see how excited she is with her sister- she practically squeaks with delight! and then has moments where she hits her to get our attention

I know there will be difficult times ahead but I really children are better off with a sibling and could never imagine having an only child through choice.

Scotinoz Tue 17-Jan-17 22:39:35

I was marginally younger than you when I had baby #2. My husband and I decided we wanted a second and figured we'd just see what happened after baby #1 was born. Didn't use contraception but since baby #1 had taken a while, we thought it'd be the same second time around...we have a 16mth gap 😅

The first 6mths was exhausting, cripplingly so (we had zero help though since we lived overseas and had no family). We had two fabulous children though (3yrs and 20mths now), they are real besties despite trying to kill each other at times too, they're interested in pretty much the same stuff (two girls, and #2 just wants to be #1) and I wouldn't change the gap (I'd actually have had another by now but husband said no).

I have friends with bigger gaps, but we've all agreed there's no perfect gap. Each has pros and cons, and whatever we all have is good 😊

ohidoliketobe Tue 17-Jan-17 22:47:37

2year 1 month age gap here. We were aiming for between 2-2.5. Pros and cons to every gap. For us personally, we just wanted to get the crazy baby years out of the way. Several friends have 4/5 year gaps and have really struggled with going back to nappies and sleepless nights, and big issues with jealousy from the older sibling. We had many a long chat about it and decided to go for a smallish gap.

DS is 2+7m and DD is 5m now. It's been a crazy few months, it's been exhausting but there is light at the end of the tunnel. They're both sleeping great (for now... I'm not naive...). DS absolutely adores his 'baba sissa'. He still has a short nap (45 mins) and this week I've managed to get them synchronised! I had a brilliant half hour of peace with a brew and a chocolate bar yesterday afternoon!! I do feel DD doesn't get as much attention as her brother did when he was a newborn, but I think that's probably true of subsequent children regardless of the age gap. DS goes to nursery 2 days a week so I do get 2 days with her.

I go back to work in July and will have an overlap of 2 lots of nursery fees for 2 months, but in September DS will be entitled to his free hours which cover the 2 days he attends, so we'll be down to 1 set (in term time).

It's worked well for us, no regrets so far. We're pretty happy with 2 for now. But we're both early 30s so not ruling anything out. I have had a coil fitted as a precaution as I'm not sure I could deal with 3 under 4!!!

ohidoliketobe Tue 17-Jan-17 22:51:45

Oh and the advice I was given by several people was - try and ensure older child relieves a similar amount of attention they had previously, the baby would know any different but their older sibling does. We tried to make sure he got 1 on 1 time with both of us in those first weeks, and sometimes when on my own I have had to let DD cry for 5 mins while tending to toddler DS. It kills me, but I can't split myself in two. As I said in my previous post it's getting much easier as the weeks go by.

Daytona79 Tue 17-Jan-17 23:03:00

I'm 37 and have a 6 month old and 2 year old and have found having two isn't that bad at all

BUT

Baby No2 is a dream to deal with he just eats sleeps and smiles

No1 was a utter nightmare and had no2 been the same I think I'd be going crazy by now

So for me I'd say multiple children and how easy it will be depends entirely on the baby's and kids personalities

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 17-Jan-17 23:19:56

Reading with interest as have number 2 due to arrive in 10 weeks. In many ways I feel more apprehensive this time round - it feels like there is more at stake this time round as it is DS's life that will change as well as mine/DH's.

ohido - I am deliberately trying to ramp down the amount of attention that DS gets so it doesn't come as a sudden shock - not neglecting him or anything grin but just trying not to succumb to yet another story before bed or jumping at the first shout of 'mummy!'. Part of me wants to lavish him with as much attention now as I possibly can but I think it'll make it worse to set expectations I know I won't be able to keep up.

rozzerz Wed 18-Jan-17 11:30:16

Thanks everyone. I think part of my worry - talking about baby personalities - is that we had a lot of issues with lb. Colic, reflux/silent reflux, back and forward to doctor etc until we finally got a diagnosis through the dietician of dairy allergy. Although that's under control now he's quite a demanding and clingy baby so I'm not sure how I could divide my time, especially if I had another the same.

Bubbinsmakesthree Fri 20-Jan-17 19:21:33

My view is just 'keep your eyes on the prize' - I'm pretty much dreading the newborn + toddler phase (and not really that enthused about the toddler + preschooler phase to follow). But my vision of my family has always had two children, and I'm just expecting to have to tough it initially!

NowwhatdoIdo123 Fri 20-Jan-17 19:40:24

I had my first baby at 42 and we were happy with just the one...then when our DD was 8 months old I discovered I was pregnant, we now have two DD's born 16 months apart. DD's are currently 20 months old and 4 months old. Tbh I've found it surprisingly easy up until now. I don't know whether that's because I was quite highly strung with the first baby and this time I'm more relaxed or whether it's because second baby eats/sleeps like a dream and never cries! A really easy baby.

20 month old seems to love her little sister already and we involve her a lot. She fetches the nappies for both of them, pulls the wet wipes out of the packet ready smile and when I'm playing with the older one on the floor I have the younger one on my lap so we're all involved.

The only downside with two babies so close is I do often feel my time with each one is diluted because I always have the other one there so have to constantly make sure I'm involving both of them.

Chattycat78 Sat 21-Jan-17 19:56:59

17 month gap here. I have a just turned 2 year old and a 7 month old. I'm 38. TBH it was a struggle to conceive the first time(needed ivf in the end)so I was fully expecting it to be difficult/take ages/may not be possible, so we started trying when ds1 was 9 months old. Got a bfp 4 weeks later.....!

I won't lie- the last 6 months have been hellish in part, especially on the days I've looked after them both alone. However, I like the comment above about keeping your eye on the prize. I really wanted 2, and am very grateful I was able to giv me a playmate to ds1. Like you, I had the definite sense that I was running out of time and I couldn't afford to wait to try- I also knew that I had low amh (egg reserve) so even more of a reason to get on with it. I didn't want to wait and find out it was too late TBH as egg quality declines with age. Having said that , "lots of people obvs do have babies in their 40s but I guess it's whether you're willing to take that risk of it happening/being easy or not.

Of course there's nothing wrong with sticking to one either! It's not compulsory to have another.

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