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if you were going to have 4 dcs..

(30 Posts)
peasandbeans Thu 11-Jun-09 18:42:58

would you prefer to have them close together or with big age gaps between them?

At the moment we have three: (4, 3 and 9months). I can see lots of advantages of them being close together, but I wonder whether four under 5 or 6 might be a bit too much of a good thing!

On the other hand I have two friends who have five under twelve and both wished they had had them closer together.

Any thoughts?

Insanitybecomesme Thu 11-Jun-09 18:51:17

I have a only just nine year old ds, followed by a nearly eight ds, then a only just three dd and finally my 18 month ds. If I could have shortened the gap between ds2 and dd I would of, I like them close together and ds1 finds ds3 a pain at times(issues with lego etc)
Good luck whatever you decide but four is a great number.

wolfnipplechips Thu 11-Jun-09 20:05:04

Together no more than 2 years between i think.

mrsdisorganised Thu 11-Jun-09 20:10:22

Mine are 8,7,5 and 21 months. Loved having the time to enjoy dd4, whilst the girls were in school and nursery, although now 20 weeks pg with dc5 so will be back to juggling my time with them all!! Have enjoyed having them close together and having the gap, although was hard to get back into the baby routine again!

Umlellala Thu 11-Jun-09 20:12:52

Mine are 3 and 10mths. Am thinking of having another one when they are 5 and 3 maybe? Or a tiny bit older? Def at school/playgroup/nursery. Then prob another, a couple of years later...

Would love 4 kids though feel I am mad sometimes (am zombie from early waking ds)! grin

peasandbeans Thu 11-Jun-09 20:38:43

thank you all for your answers.

mrsdisorganised: I feel that I would be tempted to space DC3 and 4 a bit, just to get some breathing space, and to make sure I am not so exhausted that I can really make the most of baby 4. Only thing is that then I think he might get lonely, and I'm not sure that I will be able to convince dh that 5 dcs is a good idea!

One of my friends who has just had her 5th said that what she found most difficult was having the energy to help the older ones with homework, and that it would have been much easier if they had all been preschoolers together.

On the other hand dh works really long hours, so I don't get much help in the week; I think I might be insane to be even considering 4!!

accessorizequeen Thu 11-Jun-09 20:45:01

I have 4 under 5 (admittedly two of them are twins and it is pretty hectic although it's lovely that they're all close in age. Personally I would never have chosen to have so many together, there's v.little time to spend with any of them and ds1 now at school, it's tough to take him to after school activities, do reading with them or anything right now!
It's worth thinking about what ages the other ones will be when baby is born and what they'll be doing/needing. But at the end of the day if you think you can cope with it I'm sure you'll reap the rewards, it personally wasn't what I wanted and I find the chaos pretty hard going.

jellybeans Thu 11-Jun-09 20:45:19

I have 5 DC, oldest 13, youngest 7 months. I love having time with just the baby when older ones are at school but in some ways it can be easier with 2 or more as they entertain each other (maybe I should have DC6 grin ). My first 4. I had 4 in 5 years and it was chaos. Also, finding days out etc that cater for teenagers and toddlers can be hard! I wouldn't change it though!

elvislives Thu 11-Jun-09 21:01:31

I had my eldest 4 within 5.5 years. They were all at the same stage for everything and it was easy to cater for everyone. At the same time it was very intense when they were younger (IIRC we had 3 in nappies briefly )

I didn't consider the immense stress of simultaneous Y9 SATs, GCSEs and A levels (twice). But now they are grown up they are good friends.

I do not recommend university visits with a baby in tow, as we had with the 17 year gap between DC2 and DC5 grin

duvetheaven Thu 11-Jun-09 21:58:41

From a different perspective, being one of four children withing 4 years I would say spaced out.
There just isn't enough 1:1 time with your parents unless you have lots of extended family support. The only time I had 1:1 was when I was ill at home and my siblings were in school.
I don't think enough consideration is given to the child's point of view?

Gorionine Thu 11-Jun-09 22:03:32

I have 22mth gap between DD1 and ds2
3 years between Ds2 and 3
2 1/2 half years between ds3 and Dd4.

It is a good gap as I had one on one time with every single one of them but not at the same age (dd1 had her one on one between birthj and 2 yo, the others had theirs between the time eldest was in school and other not yet born IYSWIM?)

bosch Thu 11-Jun-09 22:09:36

I've only got three (7, 5 and 2) but am the youngest of 5 - when I was born, others were 12, 10, 9 and 5. Mixture of personality and aged difference means I am closest to no 2 (big sister, bit of a surrogate mum) and no 4 (the only one who hadn't left for uni by the time I was 9!)

I like having mine reasonably close together but can't imagine what it would be like having brothers and sisters closer in age to me smile

goldrock Thu 11-Jun-09 22:12:58

I had 3 within 3.5 years then a gap of 5 years and it can be difficult when the youngest is still a baby and the others are all doing much older stuff but I'm not sure it would be better if the 4th was closer in age as it would seem a bit like groundhog day repeating the same things in quick sucession.
There are only so many times you can read the same book from school, do the same worksheets and test the same spellings so a break can be good as well.
I do worry that my youngest won't be as close to the others when they grow up a bit (teens and primary schoolers may not mix well) but hopefully it won't be a problem.

niche Thu 11-Jun-09 22:39:04

Mine are close (6, 4, 2x2 and 1), I have no real regrets about it, although sometimes seems like I've been changing nappies forever. I can sit them all down and play games/activities that they are all interested in (playdough/drawing) as well as softplay that I wouldn't be able to do as easily if they were all spread out in age (although someone will no doubt tell me otherwise).

Once you're in a routine it's fine, I manage my 5 mostly alone (dh works away) so if you think it's a good time go for it.

mrsdisorganised Fri 12-Jun-09 11:34:09

Peasandbeans, you can do it if you really want it, my DH works away from home (like Niche) and it is hard but at the same time we are in a good routine and I find everything gets done because I have to do it!!! When DH is home we have quality family time and he tries to help out in the house although he's much better outside! smile

peasandbeans Fri 12-Jun-09 13:06:48

its reallt interesting to get lots of different perspectives on this. And its true that we are probably considering more from a parent's than a child's point of view. At the moment my three all get along really well, especially the older two, which is one of the things I like about having them close together.
Also that as they grow up they are all basically interested in the same actvities at the same time: playground now, but not for the next fifteen years!

niche, I see that you had twins and then went for no.5 pretty soon afterwards. How did you cope? Did you worry that you wouldn't be able to manage?

my dh is great when he is here, but he just isn't here that much bar weekends, but its good to hear that its not impossible even without a lot of help.
I have a friend who has four under five, but her husband takes the elder two to school twice a week which makes a big difference. When ds1 was born, my husband had one day off, and then I was back doing the school run with my 3 day old.

FabulousBakerGirl Fri 12-Jun-09 13:09:25

I have 3 but my age gap is 2 years 4 months between 1 and 2 and 22 months between 2 and 3. I had to have surgery but would have liked 1 and 2 closer together and if we had been in a position to have had a fourth, I would have had a 1-2 year gap.

FabulousBakerGirl Fri 12-Jun-09 13:10:31

I am interested to know what you mean when you say you wouldn't have chosen to have the children so close together.

niche Sun 14-Jun-09 21:32:21

peasandbeans ds3 (youngest) is such a happy baby I've honestly not one had a moments doubt about having him. As a singleton I found having him so easy esp after coping with the dts pretty much single handedly and he just slotted into the routine I already had. Dts and older two used to having a houseful so no probs there. Actually oldest two keep expecting me to produce another girl so we have equal boys to girls ratio hmm lol.

It can be hard at times, more the logistics of getting 3 such little ones on and off the bus (we use public transport for the school run) and of course I've had to abandon some of the things I used to do as I haven't yet figured out a way to take them all swimming just yet, but it'll slot into place as they get bigger. grin

Actually the time flies so quickly and on my off days I just remind myself of that. I look at dd1 starting school in sept and dts due to start nursery in Jan and think "where did the time go" and hug them closer and do more exciting things than housework. blush

oooggs Sun 14-Jun-09 21:42:54

we have 4 children

ds1 5.5 yrs
dd & ds2 2.4 yrs (twins obviously!!!)
ds3 4.5 mths

we did have 3 under 2, now its 3 under 3 and things are getting easier - I still say that ds1 is the hardest wink

oooggs Sun 14-Jun-09 21:43:40

niche - I agree, ds3 is a dream but with a close age gap after twins it was bound to be easier grin

CarGirl Sun 14-Jun-09 21:45:56

close together or 2 very close and then a bit of a gap and then another 2.

I hade one, then a 5.5 year gap and the 3 in 3 years so 8.5 years between the eldest and the younget and it is hard finding stuff to do altogether as a family.

I would aim to have 4 in 6 years as a maximum.

CarGirl Sun 14-Jun-09 21:47:15

My smallest gap is 14 months and I love it, 2 years (between 3 & 4) seems huge developmentally after a 14 month gap.

I'd get on with it.

mrsjammi Sun 14-Jun-09 21:49:41

Message withdrawn

peasandbeans Mon 15-Jun-09 10:26:23

niche: I'm most impressed about you doing the school run on public transport! I did that for 6 months (ds1 was 2 days old when we started), but I find it so much easier now I have a car! Getting to school was fine, but getting back with tired and hungry children was a nightmare: three big steps to get up into trams and buses here so tricky with a pushchair, but carrying dd2 and ds1 was a bit much. Do you take all 5?

I think that really I'm tempted to have them close together. I've always had easy pregnancies, but if I were to have a difficult one, or suddenly be expecting twins I wondeof we would all cope!

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