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Talk to me about age gaps... planning a second and need honest opinions!

(44 Posts)
WhyTheHeckMe Tue 09-May-17 22:09:10

Ds is 16 months. Was conceived naturally despite being told I had zero chance of natural conception due to lack of periods. Anyway since I stopped breastfeeding I have had periods again monthly!
We want a second baby and know there will never be a good time as there are always things in the pipeline (I'm 30 later this year etc). I'm so conscious of the fact I may not catch naturally so want to try now however if I catch now there would be a 2yr 1mo age gap which slightly worries me.

Can I have your honest experiences (positive and negative) about age gaps? I know it ultimately won't make a difference but I just want to know about the things we won't have thought of! Thanks :-)

Redken24 Tue 09-May-17 22:10:27

Following smile

Rollerbird Tue 09-May-17 22:16:15

Ive had 15, 18 and 19 month gaps.
Tiring blur when little
Know primary school staff really well
Interested in same sort of things at same time - easier for days out etc.
Playmate (even if not so much normally then definitely when on holiday etc)

angelinheaven Tue 09-May-17 22:18:32

I had exactly the same gap between my first two dd, and it was fine. My oldest was in a routine, but was a bad sleeper as a baby so that did worry me second time round, when my dd2 was born she was an angel and couldn't of asked for any better. They have always got on, better than any of my other dc. I don't really look at it as being too small a gap, as my dsis had a year between her boys and that was bloody hard work

Quodlibet Tue 09-May-17 22:24:46

I have a 2yr 7m age gap. From my experience and that of my NCT friends who all had second children in their first child's second year, it's much harder in the beginning the younger your child is - even a few months makes things massively easier. Just the levels of independence they gain as they get nearer to 3 make your life massively easier if you are also trying to juggle a baby. 30 isn't old at all - I'd hold off a few months if you can.

Alyx80 Tue 09-May-17 22:26:35

I have 3yr, 4yr and then 3y again as I prefer bigger age gaps.
It's been great as the older child was more independent, toilet trained, didn't need double pushchair but they were still close enough to play together. The older child was also at preschool which helped.
The main negative for us is that we have a 10 year difference overall so obviously a 12 year old doesn't want to do the same things as a 2 year old which can make days our tricky.

Gaggleofgirls Tue 09-May-17 22:28:48

We had a similar situation as you and ended up with an unexpected 3yr gap.
If I were you I'd just go for it, any gap is what you make it. I know people who have loved a small gap and others that have hated it. Although FWIW I love the gap between the girls and we'll go for 3 again.

SummerSazz Tue 09-May-17 22:30:46

We have a 21 month gap. They are one school year apart - it's fab smile

wineusuallyhelps Tue 09-May-17 22:32:24

I have 22 months and 26 months age gaps.

They are now 12, 10 and 8.

It's been great that they are close enough in age to be playmates (more so when they were little, but they still do all play sometimes).

I've noticed that the eldest and youngest - so, 4 years apart - have not interacted in the same way as the ones next to each other. In the early years the eldest worshipped the youngest, but gradually the age gap has become more apparent and they aren't as close or enjoy the same things any more. My friend with a 4.5 year age gap says it has been hard to please her two over the years with activities etc.

My eldest and middle child are close and share things. Middle and youngest the same. Because they are similar ages, I think. wink

soupmaker Tue 09-May-17 22:34:53

I had secondary infertility and have a 5 year gap between my DC. I really wanted a gap of 2/3 years but it wasn't to be. The gap we have has been brilliant so far, but I think it is more to do with the DCs personalities than the gap itself. Good luck.

Stripeystripes Tue 09-May-17 22:34:59

Three years is great. Older dc a little independent, can go to playgroup so you get one-on-one time with the baby, and the three-yr-old is old enough to understand what is happening and help out a little.

My 3-yr-old was so excited about his sibling before he was born and is wonderful with him now. No jealousy issues so far.

Though I think whatever gap you end up with you can make work! My friends who had two under two seemed to struggle the most at first. Though think this gap pays off in the long run!

saladsmoothie Tue 09-May-17 22:40:06

My older 2 are 24 months apart.

There was a hellish 6 months or so where i was knackered looking after 2 babies with different needs.

But overall it's good. They are now 11 and 9. They are very close. They play together a lot. They often like the same or similar things. Their idea of a fun family day out is the same. No regrets.

My youngest is 4 years younger and she's definitely not 'in the gang '. They love her but aren't very interested in her games or tv shows etc. She ruins their games. They often have to compromise on her account, which they never have to for each other.

jobrum Tue 09-May-17 22:49:31

I'm holding two week old dd2 and dd1 is 2.3. I am really happy with the gap (at the moment!). I think it might be slightly easier if dd1 was a couple of months older but foe me this is pretty much the perfect gap. I'm hoping they will be able to play together as they grow up. Dd1 understands enough to know that sometimes we are holding the baby or the baby needs milk etc. And she loves helping!

MillieMoodle Tue 09-May-17 22:49:51

There's 5.5 years between my two. We would have liked a smaller gap but it wasn't to be and tbh we are just over the moon to have had a second child, as we thought it might never happen. At the moment they are 6yo and 8months and adore each other. I hope it continues!

GreenGoblin0 Wed 10-May-17 09:15:52

3 would have been the preferred gap for me but didn't work out that way so we have a 4 year 9 month gap. baby is only a month old so difficult to know how will work although so far has been lovely as first DD is really helpful and no element of jealousy. think it will be harder when older as less likely to want to play together but does depend on personalities too.
most parents I know have a 3 yr age gap

reasons for preferring 3 years
- first child more independent when baby born
- first child will likely be potty trained
- depending on work / finances means that there shouldnt shouldn't be a long period when paying for nursery for both children (if child 1 is 3 when baby born can just do 15 hours free nursery which gives you time with new baby and then if you go back to work after one year depending on first child's birthday may be starting school soon anyway

personally would have found it really hard
to have a 2 year old and a baby but plenty of parents do it and survive!

VeryPunny Wed 10-May-17 09:20:28

19 month gap here. First year nearly killed us, after that it's much easier. They are bestest buds and generally we can do the same things for a day out. Good to get all the nappies and baby years out of the way in one hit - I would have hated to have gone back to it from a relatively independent 3 year old.

chloechloe Wed 10-May-17 11:21:01

If you can contemplate having another albeit with some reservations I would go for it. There are so many variables - what the baby will be like, where your toddler will be at developmentally in 9 months' time etc.

I'm 5 months in to a 21 month gap and I'm really enjoying it (except for the odd horror moment when both are tired and screaming simultaneously). My toddler is pretty easy and independent though. I think there's a lot to be said to having babies close together as you're still in the little sleep and nappy zone. I do have friends who couldn't even contemplate having two close together though they are in the minority.

Whatsername17 Wed 10-May-17 11:30:40

I've got 5 years between my two. They are very close and it's perfect for me.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 10-May-17 11:45:21

2 year gap for my 2 girls. It was what we wanted so very lucky. They are 3 and 5 now. 3yo Is quite mature and 5yo not so much, so the age gap feels smaller.

Pros
Love the same activities and toys and interests. Rarely need to differentiate. Easy to go to playgroups etc
Very close - share a bedroom, delighted to see each other after few hours apart. Best of friends.
Can play with each others friends
In same childcare for a while
Can't remember life without each other

Cons
First year was hell (restless non napping toddler needing to be taken out twice a day, while me knackered from non night sleeping baby)
High childcare costs
Always want the same, so need to buy two of everything!
Squabbling about said toys
Trying to chase 2 little ones around. Older one not at all trustworthy out and about so not fun taking them out on my own! Even now they are a handful

I personally think, and friends agree, that 3 years is an easier age gap as the older one is more independent, but you have to choose what suits you as a family. I found 2 years a very difficult age gap but dd1 has suspected asd and add. I think things would have been different if she'd had a better attention span.

Pinkjellybeans Wed 10-May-17 14:08:52

I have 2 years one month and it has been fantastic! My 2 year old adores his brother, and the older my youngest gets the more fun they have! Youngest is now 8 months and it's just been brialliant. They make each other laugh constantly and have such a beautuful bond it makes my heart melt.

NotEvenListening Wed 10-May-17 14:15:38

We have 2 year and 5 month between dd's and the 3rd baby will arrive when dd2 is 3-1/2. Dd1 was always a great sleeper and very independant so I wasn't worried in that sense but they don't really get along personality wise. Dd2 is still very difficult, super clingy and a real madam and I'm more worried having this baby even though it is a bigger age gap.

SorrelSoup Wed 10-May-17 14:16:43

The closer the better or they may not be of much use to each other. They like the same things and play with each other. The first year or two will kill you but then it's all done!

BusyBee2017 Wed 10-May-17 14:22:00

I've got a 20 month old and a 3 month old.

Some days it's tough but I am hoping when they are older they will play together (and fight of course). I am hoping they are really close and at least they have a sibling so less worry for us.

Some days are great. Key is to stay organised and do a little everyday in terms of housework.

If they are close in age you can do things which will relate to both of them. Rather than an older one being bored.

Go for it

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 10-May-17 14:22:04

I think 2-3 years is probably the average?

I have 13 months - very tough when babies but great that they get on and play together/have similar interests etc. that doesn't always work out though.

Positives is that it gets all the same stages over and done with in one go, the disadvantage is that stuff like believing in Santa etc lasts such a short time and before you know it you have teenagers.

I don't think there is a perfect gap as all children and peoples individual circumstances are different. Also it's not always a choice people make, sometimes gaps are shorter or longer than intended.

lightgreenglass Wed 10-May-17 14:22:43

I have a 21 month age gap between DS1 and 2 - it's lovely. They really are best of friends. DS1 was ready for a sibling when DS2 came along - his language was quite advanced and I felt he could cope. However DS2 at 21 months I think would have found it hard - he's very much still a baby. Our third will be 2.5 years apart from DS2 - hopefully by that point he'll be more independent. I'm also counting on them both to entertain each other which they do now.

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