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A Good Age Gap.

(54 Posts)
009 Tue 03-Jul-07 19:05:19

Hi everyone. Am thinking of trying for second but am really hung up about getting the age gap right. I would be so grateful of people's input here on 'your experience' of age gaps. For instance it has been my observation that siblings with a smaller gap (2 years or less) get on better and have closer relationships than those with a bigger gap. Personally I always felt it was better to have a big gap as that way no 1 would have more time alone with parents and would then not feel pushed out too soon. But I think that maybe the longer they go without a sibling the more they find it difficult to accept their baby bro or sis particulary if they are going through a 'selfish' phase in their social/emotional development. There are 10 years between me and my sis and we have always been so close and very loving but she was desperate for a baby sister by the time I came along and always played the role of big sis. Unfortunately I do not have the time (bio clock) to wait for my DD to ask for a new baby. I used to think my friends were absolutely potty for going for a 2 year gap. They have all looked so busy and stressed so I avoided that. DD is now 21 months. But I am really worried that the 3 year gap is not a good one, causing much jealousy. What have you found?

dayofftomorrow Tue 03-Jul-07 20:43:37

whatever gap you chose will be right and on the other hand whatever gap you chose will be wrong, for example some twins get on very well others can't stand one another, so just go for it when you and dp are ready

my ds gets on better with his youngest brother (ten year age gap) than his next brother (three year age gap) as they have similar personalities which is something you cannot plan for

fryalot Tue 03-Jul-07 20:46:46

I have three children,

there is 10 years between dd1 and dd2.

there is 14 months between dd2 and ds.

Both gaps are good in their own way and both have their problems. You are right that the two close together get on really well and are very close, but also the older one "mothers" the younger two and I think this would be the case if there were a lesser gap as well.

One thing is certain, make a plan for the perfect age gap and all the fates will conspire to ensure that the gap is completely "wrong" but it will work itself out and you will be fine.

good luck

funnypeculiar Tue 03-Jul-07 20:48:12

lol, trust me, you won't win!
Ds & dd are just over 2 yrs apart, and I've had 2 moments ever when I regreted it - rest of the time it was fine.

I think studies suggest that less than 2 years has a slight effect on the second babies IQ, but no idea ito the getting on thing. Me & my bro were 3 years apart & didn't get on at all from being about 8-35! My little bro & sister were 2 years apart and have always got on brilliantly.
But that proves nothing

009 Tue 03-Jul-07 22:32:10

Nothing proven but suggestions... that the 3 year gap is not so good - as I had thought. Mmmm. Well as DD is coming up for 2 I've missed the boat for the close gap. But I feel I'm getting too old to wait much longer. Is there anyone out there who has positive things to say about a 3ish year gap? Please.....

macdoodle Tue 03-Jul-07 22:39:28

My brother and I age gap 20 months rubbish relationship from then till now - sister 10 years younger absolutely beloved and wonderful relationship...
I am pegnant with DC2 - my DD will be 6 she is so excited and inolved kisses my belly says she loves her little brother/sister - I have had wonderful quality time with her we have lovely chats (she told me she was excited but nervous about baby was able to reassure her that I would always love her just as much and she is old enough to understand )....but will also be able to have time with baby while she is at school....still terrified though have got very used to just me and DD

009 Tue 03-Jul-07 23:45:39

Macdoodle, 6 years is a fab gap, in my opinion. Good for you. I'm sure all will be well. I wish I could wait that long, but I don't think it would happen if I left it that long.

Still nothing positive coming forward about 3 years?

calordan Tue 03-Jul-07 23:50:38

have three years between each of mine, couldnt do it otherwise, only hard thing is they are in completely different stages to one another, but they play really well and little jealousy

aikigypsy Wed 04-Jul-07 02:04:42

My brother is 4 years younger than me and we always got along well, while my cousins who were two years apart fought constantly, and violently, while we were growing up.

katelyle Wed 04-Jul-07 05:57:35

I have a 5 year age gap, and so far it's been a sheer delight - apart from an awkward couple of weeks when dd was 5 and ds was 3 months. Ask me again when they are 10 and 15, though!

PrettyCandles Wed 04-Jul-07 06:37:33

You cannot dictate the age gap, nor the personalities. The best you can do is accept whatever age gaps and personalities you get, but prepare the older sibling(s) carefully and balance the needs of each sibling so as to try to avoid resentment.

FWIW there's a 2y age gap between my first two, which I feel has worked very well indeed, and a 4y age gap between no2 and no3, which has not worked nearly as well - so far. But ds1 was more-or-less justt the same with dd as he is with ds2, so perhaps it's down to personality rather than age gap. Physically, for me, the 2y age gap was easier to deal with than the 4y age gap is now.

Furzella Wed 04-Jul-07 11:00:28

It will totally depend on the personalities of your children. We have a 22 month gap and it was very hard at first, but is fantastic now, but my great NCT pal also had 2 girls with exactly the same gap and it was very easy. She then had a third - this time a boy - with the same gap and all hell broke loose (I was rather glad to see it was the personalities of the kids that made the difference and not my defective parenting!!).

Also it depends on your personality and the things you find easy or difficult about parenting. Some people find the organising / getting out of the house in one piece hard, others find the UN peace keeper role tricky, others struggle with the Blue Peteryness of it all. You get different strains with different gaps. I reckon that you should just go for it when you and your other half are broody!

009 Wed 04-Jul-07 11:23:40

Thanks for that Furzella. Some good points. Not sure what I find difficult - all of it probably!!! But yes of course the personalities are important when deciding the quality of relationships and that is something you really can't prepare for. Am v. broody most of the time but DH has needed some persuasion. He just thinks of the finances! He's come round to the idea now though so I think we are going for it. Depending on how quickly we get pregnant we may have a 2.5 - 3 year gap. We'll see. Maybe I should start another thread for this but has anyone out there had a natural delivery with second child after CS with the first?

feetheart Wed 04-Jul-07 11:35:16

DD was 2.9 when Ds was born and that has worked out well for us most of the time (they are 4.4 and 20mths now)
She was able to be very involved in the pregnancy, aided and abetted by fantastic midwives who really included her, and claimed her little brother as her own from Day 1. They have started to squabble more recently but I think its just that the dynamics are shifting as he can now say NO and doesn't always want to do things her way!
I felt I had some good quality time with her before DS came along and will get that time with DS when DD starts school in Sept.

As others have said, whatever the gap turns out to be it will be right for you (and wrong occasionally )

Furzella Wed 04-Jul-07 12:47:31

009, am afraid I only managed a second Cs second time round. I'd had a v v horrid emergency CS first time round after a 50 hour labour, then got nasty infections afterwards, then got told off by meany NCT teacher for having "given in" to medical bullying. All v upsetting and bollocks. I was determined to have a natural birth second time round, but failed to fully dilate again. However by luck I had the most amazingly lovely doctor (who advises the NCT I found out later) who was super kind and said that my pelvis simply tipped the wrong way and that I'd never be able to pop them out safely naturally and hooray for the 21st century when that doesn't have to mean that you or the baby dies. It meant I had a second emergency CS but this time it was done brilliantly, I wasn't exhasuted (only a 14 hour labour this time before I gave up, ha ha), they tidied my scar up and I had no infections. It laid to rest the horrible ghosts I'd had after the first one. I know that lots of women do have successful VBACs though - but even without one, you might find the second CS better than the first. Sorry - probably way more information than you wanted!!

009 Wed 04-Jul-07 12:56:15

Change of topic here (this is also running on another thread) I had DD by em CS and unlike many so called it was actually an emergency. I declined the offered CS when it was suggested to me as my baby was in Brow Presentation. I was so against the idea of CS that even after 3 days of labour I wanted to give birth normally. It didn't work out. DD got stuck and was in so much trouble that I was given GA. It took 40 mins plus vontous just to get her out through the section. I'm so hung up about my next baby doing the same thing. I was told that Brow was very rare but I know a lady who had all 3 in brow. I couldn't take that emergency again. Would like a vag del next time but am worried that there is something 'wrong' with my shape that caused DD to get into that position. So may go for an elective second time round. So interested in what you have to say Furzella.

009 Wed 04-Jul-07 13:01:45

Feetheat. I find that encouraging. Thanks for that.

katelyle Wed 04-Jul-07 13:03:33

And there is nothing - I repeat nothing- better than the first time your older child says "us" and you realise she means herself and her sibling, not herself and you!

cheechymunchy Wed 04-Jul-07 13:13:37

009, someone posted this last week too. There is no right or wrong, and, to be blunt, many people don't get to "choose" the age gap. Your post just sticks in my throat a bit as there are many women (incl myself) who don't have the luxury of choosing the so-called perfect age-gap and then pluck a pregnancy out of the air.

009 Wed 04-Jul-07 14:58:25

Yeah thanks for that Cheechymunchy but I am already aware that there is no right or wrong gap. I'm just asking for other people's experiences of age gaps, its just chat, you know, what this website is designed for. And even though I might have an idea of what gap I would like I can't just make it happen or 'pluck a pregnancy out of the air' as you say. My first DD was some time in the making.

Tiggerish Wed 04-Jul-07 15:05:57

009 - we wanted a 2 1/2 year gap and ended up with 3 years (almost exactly!) So far it has worked out really well and I am glad that we had to wait that bit longer. ds was able to be so much more involved and helpful at 3 than he would have been 6 months before.

2 years later and I am still really pleased with how well the dc get on (99% of the time)

009 Wed 04-Jul-07 19:30:52

That's encouraging too, Tiggerish. So far haven't heard many good things about a 3 year gap.

calebsmum Thu 05-Jul-07 15:35:00

009, my DS is 2.4 and we are going to start trying for number 2 so will have around a 3yrs age gap. DS will have a better understanding of what's going on and can help with fetching nappies ect but the age gap is also small enough for them to play together. I hope!

lucyellensmum Thu 05-Jul-07 16:11:05

DD1 is 17 DD2 is 2, not a great gap, too long.

MadamePlatypus Thu 05-Jul-07 17:00:38

I think 3 years is quite good - DS is old enough not to be carried around and go to the loo on his own, and he is also old enough not to have DD treading on his toes in terms of achievements.

However, I think if you have children closer together, they are more likely to have similar interests. I am 20 mins older than my brother, and although we do have a lot in common, I think our relationship suffers from having had to do everything together when we were little. Distance makes the heart grow fonder in some cases!

There is no point worrying about it - nature usually has its own ideas about age gaps, and I think personality of child, which can't be predicted, is the biggest influence on how easy/hard it will be.

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