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19-month age gap?

(50 Posts)
rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 15:45:03

Just found out I'm expecting no. 2 DD will be 19 mo on my due date. I'd be very interested to hear any stories / experience from anyone with a similar age gap between siblings. In particular, how much will she understand about what's going on? I've been reading about how to prepare the older child and how to minimise the upset of the new arrival, but it all applies to children over 2. DD is still only 11 months so I've no idea what a 19-mth-old is like and capable of!

bambi06 Wed 29-Dec-04 15:50:46

my two have the same age and although initially its hard work with a toddler and baby, they are now very close and are at the same stage of play so happily play together which is brill as it means i dont have two sets of toys for different age groups, and o.k i had to have a double buggy but my 19 mth old soon loved the buggy board and walked happily and still does because he didint get pushed aound in the buggy , so he has better stamina than his sister in that she was in abuggy until 2 1/2-3 yrs.looking back i wonder how i did it but it was definitely worth it and it was done all i one go so to speak.

lockets Wed 29-Dec-04 15:51:20

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rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 15:54:51

Thanks bambi. Had been wondering about the double buggy thing. lockets, belated congratulations to you too - you'll have to keep me posted between April and August!!

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 15:55:45

Bambi, how did your DS react to the new arrival? Was there anything you could do to explain / make it easier for him??

lockets Wed 29-Dec-04 15:57:13

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binkie Wed 29-Dec-04 15:57:58

You'll find lots of other threads about close gaps on here, but the basic message is: hard work at first, fantastic thereafter. (Mine are 5 and 4 now, 18 months apart, and that, um, slight surprise is the best thing that's ever happened to us!)

A good book for a very little big sister is Lucy Cousins's Za-za's Baby Brother (works for a baby sister too) - very simple, all in (very appealing) pictures.

Gobbledigook Wed 29-Dec-04 16:02:53

Congratulations!!

I've got the same age gap between ds1 and ds2. TBH, I didn't really prepare ds1 at all as he was still very little and a bit oblivious to it all! When I got bigger and he was getting older, we told him I had a baby in there and he'd kiss my tummy but I don't really think he understood it. I just went in to hospital one morning, he stayed with my Dad and had a nap and by the time he woke up I was home (very quick birth and home in a few hours ). He didn't even react that much tbh and just got on with his own thing!! They are the best of mates now though!

Got 21 months between ds2 and ds3 and again, ds2 didn't really know what was going on when I was pregnant - we didn't explain much and he's been fine (ds3 born in August).

We've had no jealousy problems or anything like that, they've all just adapted and got on with it!

In terms of the age gap - I personally think it's fab having them close together and I planned it that way. DS1 and ds2 are like two peas in a pod and now ds2 is starting to talk more they are hilarious together! It's bloody hard work dealing with a toddler and baby (or even 2 toddlers and a baby!) but you soon work your way around it and get into a routine and it's really just the 1st year with a baby that's most tricky.

I have a double buggy and particularly when ds2 came along I used it loads to get out for a walk. I think ds1 was too little for a buggy board at that age and he was so active I'd have struggled to keep him on it!!

Any more questions - fire away!

Good luck!

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 16:07:03

lockets no I havent started doing my research yet! Will check that out.

binkie - thanks so much for the book tip! And the reassurance!

Gobbledigook - thanks very much for all the info and encouragement! Will be back with more questions, I'm sure

geekgrrl Wed 29-Dec-04 16:26:09

I have 19 months between my first two - it´s a nice gap, never used a double buggy with them - generally avoided going out with two at a time!
I Think dd1 had a very basic understanding, and dd2´s arrival was of little interest to her either way it seemed. There was never any jealousy (I think that´s a great thing about a small gap) and they get on well now.
Dd2 has a learning disability so is more than 19 months behind dd1 developmentally, but they love each other and play together well. I think if dd2 could talk properly they´d be inseparable.
The main thing I can think of is sorting out any sleep problems before no.2 arrives if possible, I wish we had with dd1. Even though dd2 used to be a good sleeper as a baby it was a real nuisance having to deal with dd1´s bad sleeping whilst having a little baby.
Anyway, congratulations! I think it´s a lovely gap and I´d do it again like that.

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 16:36:16

Thanks geekgrrl!

Can't find any pictures of the Phil & Teds as a double, lockets - where should I look?

throckenrobin Wed 29-Dec-04 16:39:06

we have 18 months between DS1 and twins DS2 & 3. I like the gap (although I won't deny it is tough at times). We didn't get too much jealousy and DS1 was very interested and helpful (sometimes too helpful when he wanted to change nappies for us ).

Now the twins are nearly 2 and they play well together and are at relatively similar stages.

We didn't do much to prepare him - just told him about the babies in mummies tummy and talked about them coming.

jellyhead Wed 29-Dec-04 16:41:27

There is a an 18 month gap between my ds1 and dd. The main emotion my ds1 did have was jealousy and up till then he had never displayed any jealous traits !!
Looking back on when they were little I now can see I spent too much time feeling guilty I wasn't giving them each enough attention which is a bit pointless. The first 4 months were hard work then their routines fell into a pattern so they had baths, tea time etc together which made things alot easier.
They are now 3 and 5 and good little friends. The jealous thing didn't last long and ds1 started to like his sister when she was a bit more fun eg smiling, holding things.
I now have ds2 and was very worried about the older two being jealous but it really hasn't been an issue and yet at their age I really expected it.

jellyhead Wed 29-Dec-04 16:44:57

Sorry meant to say despite 'preparing' ds1 he was completly clueless about the new baby coming and looked quite shocked when she came home from hospital. I think we should have taken him into hospital to see her first rather than 'springing' it on him when we came home.

lockets Wed 29-Dec-04 16:46:26

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rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 16:48:45

Thanks locket! And thanks for the stories, throcken & jelly

Clayhead Wed 29-Dec-04 18:40:08

Hi rouge, congratulations to you & lockets.

I have 20 months between dd and ds, who are 3 and 16 months now. I had a very similar experience to gobbledigook, dd used to kiss my bump but had no real understanding, I went in one morning to have ds, came home for tea with ds and dd didn't really react at all other than to be fascinated by her brother. She was fine with the bf, we read books, watched Beebies, all the normal stuff. I did have a double buggy and used it loads (I got out and about far more than when dd was newborn since I had dd to think of and she loves going out) and loved it but then went on to a buggy board, which I still use. The piece of equipment I found most useful in the early days was my sling which I used all the time to allow me to 'hold' ds and also have free hands for dd.

Although I felt alone as none of my friends have gone for number 2 yet, I feel it has been exactly the right decision for us; the older they get the better I think it is as they have started to play with each other and communicate between themselves.

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 18:45:08

That's really good to hear Clayhead, thanks!

Clayhead Wed 29-Dec-04 19:02:46

No problem rouge!

We did read I Want a Sister by Tony Ross but I'm not sure how much sunk in!

Personally I found one of the weirdest things to deal with was other people's reactions to the smallish age gap and the comments that ds must be a mistake! People I consider reasonable and sane suddenly decided to make very strange comments.

dh and I were only saying yesterday how we think we did the right thing as dd has no idea that there was life before ds, as far as she is concerned he has always been around and she has always 'shared' mummy. It is bringing it all back now, she used to shout, 'Mummy, X needs the boob' whenever he started to cry, no matter where we were and told everyone about his 'Lello poo', which fascinated her! She is amazing with him now, forever encouraging him to walk and talk, it is wonderful to watch them together now.

Gobbledigook Wed 29-Dec-04 19:07:48

Exactly Clayhead - the first child doesn't really remember being an 'only child' because the second came along so quickly after they themselves started walking and my ds1 wasn't even really saying much either at 19 months so the interaction between me and him wasn't like it is now. I can imagine it being much harder on the first if they are 3 or over as they've had a long time to be used to full on personal attention. DS1 really doesn't know any different from having siblings.

Seeing them play together and chat is amazing and there is nothing that makes me happier than listening to their little 'conversations' and the way they look out for each other.

Like most Mum's I felt a bit strange when pg with ds2 - could I love anyone as much as ds1? is it fair on ds1 to for me to now have to split my attention? The feelings are totally normal but absolutely unfounded as there is love enough for any number of children you have and, imo, the more the merrier - having siblings to interact with enriches their lives, it doesn't deprive them at all.

lockets Wed 29-Dec-04 19:08:34

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Gobbledigook Wed 29-Dec-04 19:10:43

Same here lockets. Especially when I was pg with ds3 - due when ds2 21 months old!

I felt a bit like people thought I was irresponsible and I felt a little bit like I should have a tatoo on my head saying 'don't worry, I planned it'!!!

I got a lot of 'are you mad?', 'how will you manage', 'ooh, that's going to be hard'. No shit!?

lockets Wed 29-Dec-04 19:14:28

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jenkel Wed 29-Dec-04 20:01:58

I have an age gap of 18 months with my 2. I dont think DD1 had any understanding of what was happening, I can remember that when I went into hospital she was my little baby and when I came out she was all grown up - I was only in hospital one night. Dont want to put you off but initially it was hard work, but just beginning to reap the benefits now, DD2 is 9 months and they are just beginning to play with each other. Having 2 girls helps with toys, didnt plan it to well for clothes, one born August and the other born in March. Certainly DD1 loves her baby sister and DD2 is always interested in what her older sister is doing so looks like they will be close.

blossomhill Wed 29-Dec-04 20:06:58

I had an age gap of 19 months between mine (completely unplanned and was v. ). I wouldn't worry too much about your dd as my ds adapted really well as I think he was too young to really understand. I did make sure that when dd was born everyone who visited made a huge fuss of ds as dd didn't have a clue about attention at that age. Think that reallyhelped.
It was really hard work at the time but they are 5yrs 4 months and nearly 7yrs and both at school. So had 6 years of intensive childcare and now have a bit of time for me

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