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Pros & cons of babies close together?

(31 Posts)
boundarybabe Sat 05-Sep-09 12:41:55

Sure this has been done before! Over the last couple of months I have gone from 'never again' to 'maybe at a push' to 'I wouldn't mind having another' to 'I want another one now!'.

I am really broody at the moment and even if I'm having a bad day with DS I still keep thinking I'd like another. The thing is Dh and I said we'd like a small gap - both of us have big age gaps in our families (5 years between Dh and his bro, 8 years between me and my sis), and we spent our childhoods fighting like cats and dogs. Of course it isn't always the case but we both feel our large age gaps caused feelings of resentment between us and our younger siblings and we simply didn't have any common ground until we were all adults. I'd much rather DS didn't remember being an only child and had a playmate who will (hopefully) enjoy similar activities. I'm also not the most baby-centred person (the older and more interactive DS gets the more I enjoy him) and I think I'd rather have a couple of difficult years and then reap the benefits of having two close together, rather than raise DS and then start again IYSWIM. DS is now over 6 months so this is becoming a reality - if we want a small gap we're going to have to get cracking in the next 6 months or so.

I'd love to hear from people who've got small gaps - whiat are the best/worst parts?

IdrisTheDragon Sat 05-Sep-09 12:46:14

DS and DD are 22 months apart. We didn't intend them to be quite so close in age but I am very glad it happened this way.

There were no problems of jealousy when DD was born and DS doesn't remember not having a sister. When she started to move (and take his things) he got a little more annoyed but could be reasoned with more by that stage.

They are 5.9 and 3.11 now and do play together quite a bit. I am also glad to have got the "baby" stage over and done with - it is nice to not need to do nappies or buggies etc now.

norksinmywaistband Sat 05-Sep-09 12:47:51

I have a small gap - 14 months.
It is hard work for the first 18 months then gets much easier.
My DC still fight like cats and dogssmile but do have a playmate and toys can all be shared.
Bedtime is at the same time, not staggered.
I am glad I have a small gap as found the whole baby stage very stressful and am glad it is over and done with and can now enjoy my DC and their personalities.
I do feel torn however with cuddles at bedtime as they both want their special time with mummy and like different stories so we take it in turns DD first one night DS the next.
Not looking fwd to 2 stroppy hormonal teens thoughgrin

DeathbyDora Sat 05-Sep-09 13:01:19

I have a 2 yr age gap, almost to the day!

Pros are as the others have mentioned, they get along very well now (now 4.5 and 2.5).

If I'm totally honest I think the ideal age gap is anything from 2.5 onwards. I am pg with number 3 and my youngest will be just coming up for 3 when she's born.

When DS was born, DD was still really a baby herself. When number 3 comes along, DS will be potty trained, settled at nursery and most importantly for me he is talking and communicating properly. You can just explain things to him and he understands which makes things much easier. Obviously he's no angel but I'm definitely less daunted this time.

It's a very personal thing but for me just that 10-12 months later makes a big difference. Good luck whatever you decide!! smile

Loopymumsy Sat 05-Sep-09 20:48:09

Message withdrawn

Fluffypoms Sat 05-Sep-09 20:54:27

Have 22 month gap between DD1 and DS1 then 16 monthbetween DS1 and DS2 then 12 month gap between DS2 and DD2.

I havent any cons really!
Maybe except its hard to juggle buggys and toddlers running off when your out and about.
But love how close they are

boundarybabe Sat 05-Sep-09 21:17:24

Cool, thanks everyone. The only person I know in RL with a close gap got PND after the second one (she had a 10 month gap though shock) so it's great to hear such positive responses. DH suggested we start trying next year and I said I'd like to do it sooner. His response was 'but you don't want to be pregnant over summer do you?'. If that's the only downside he's seeing it looks as though he's sold grin.

I'm thinking perhaps suggesting I finish my box of pills - another two months or so, and then rather than actively trying to conceive (i.e. charting, legs in the air after sex), just letting nature take its course. I think that sounds like a fair compromise!

FlamingoBingo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:19:40

I am KNACKERED!!!! But I love it and I really wouldn't have it any other way.

I have four DDs - 20m gap, 23m gap, 21m gap. It is exhausting but so much fun. They are so lovely with eachother and are very good friends. They bicker like mad, but also play very closely with eachother - great games that they can all be involved in.

I think the downsides are far outweighed by the upsides.

MaggieVirgo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:23:16

Mine are nearly four years apart. I have to read them different stories every night, the elder one stays up half an hour later, so bed time staggered and the 'putting them to bed ordeal' goes on for about an hour and a half.

they are going to be five school years apart (due to dc2 staying back a year) and so when one starts secondary school which is a fair journey from where we live now, I'm wondering what to do, move mid way between schools, or change dc2 to a primary near the secondary??

If I'd had an 18 month gap or a 15 month gap, like the people I used to laugh at (with pity) I'd have none of these considerations.

lockets Sat 05-Sep-09 21:30:21

Message withdrawn

boundarybabe Sat 05-Sep-09 21:32:33

Maggie - it's precisely for reasons like that that I want a small gap. I am 8 years older than my sister - we had absolutely nothing in common when we were growing up - even with completely different personalities, children of a similar age will surely have some things they both enjoy. Plus my mum spent 18 years doing the school run shock.

mathanxiety Sat 05-Sep-09 21:34:39

Mine are 2.5 years apart, so I have a whole lot of different seasonal baby clothes, in fact, was just about up to my tonsils in DC clothes for a while. I have friends who have 6 DCs, each about 18 months apart. They love having such a big family, though her mum thinks she's nuts. She said having them close in age means they share the same interests in books, crafts, tv programmes, have friends they can mostly all play with, or play together. Actually, the mum home-schools them except for the oldest 2, who need more science and maths expertise than she can offer. Another friend has 2 DCs, a boy and a girl, 14 months apart; there was lots of chaos and nappies for about 2.5 years, then all got relatively quiet. The advantage for their family was she could get the baby thing in the rearview mirror and start back to work and not have to go through the maternity leave thing again (she was on a career track in an area where physical presence in the workplace was important).

I think the big advantage is they are company for each other, which can make a big positive difference.

MaggieVirgo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:39:50

18 years!! omg.

She could have avoided the school run by home schooling wink

I don't know how people do that!! I mean, I would just never believe that I could do a better job than even the most mediocre teacher. Also, blush I just really like when they're not here. The poster on AIBU earlier today, with NO children herself yet, giving out about people wishing their children away can put that in her crack pipe and inhale!

FlamingoBingo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:41:53

I was about to say that, Maggie, except that we really do home educate! In fact, close age gaps makes HE easier IMO.

MaggieVirgo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:44:17

ARe you american? I only ask because I've not come across it in UK or Ireland (where I am). My dc1 is too bloody cheeky, she needs to be in the habit of respecting an adult, any adult, even if it's not me (and it 's not me!). My dc2 is on the spectrum and I wouldn't be equipped to do ABA which is what he's doing right now.

But I respect anybody who can manage to HE. Quite an undertaking.

boundarybabe Sat 05-Sep-09 21:45:02

<snort> at the idea of my mum home-schooling us. I think she would rather have poked out her own eyes with a blunt instrument!

Bink Sat 05-Sep-09 21:45:49

I have a completely perfect 18 month gap (I have just two - in fact the reason I don't have a third is because I couldn't quite face a third pregnancy when no.2 was nine months, and having experienced the 18-month gap I wouldn't have wanted anything longer).

Yes the first six months of no.2's existence are a blur, but the (clear) memories start at the moment when very little toddler no.1 was inviting barely-crawling no.2 under the table: "dd come in my house" - and they haven't stopped playing together since. They're nearly-ten-and-a-half and nearly-nine.

chosenone Sat 05-Sep-09 21:46:03

22 months here, would reccomend it to anyone! I didn't like having a double buggy (don't get a tandem one...huge and cumbersome!) and felt it was harder to get out and about with 2 little ones, but life with 2 was generally easier than I thought! They are very close now, choose to share a room and communicate in their own 'language'. There are times when it seems a bit of a blur looking back, but so glad we did it quickly, good luck smile

MaggieVirgo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:48:45

i think that with a gap of 18 months or less, within a week they have forgotten that they were ever the only one. Or is that 15 motnhs?

My 3 and 10 month old daughter still remembers fondly the halcyon days before dc2 arrived. and she's 7 now.

FlamingoBingo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:49:58

Nope, there are loads and loads of UK home educators - we tend not to call it home schooling in the UK.

MaggieVirgo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:50:36

That makes no sense. I've had two glasses of wine. Sorry. I accidentally typed lol on another thread blush

I mean that she was 3 yrs and 10 months when her brother arrived and she still sometimes says 'I remember when we went to Zooom Mummy, JUST you and MEEEE"

MaggieVirgo Sat 05-Sep-09 21:54:10

If I'd had a mum who was up to the job, it would have suited me better than school suited me. Not to knock my Mum, I'm not up to it either.

Like my son (who as I said is on the spectrum) I learn better with one to one teaching. Always have done. The only subjects I did well in were the ones that my brother coached me in (maths) or my spanish student helped with (spanish obviously)....

I actually learned very little at school

CarGirl Sat 05-Sep-09 21:56:56

I've got gaps of

5.5 years
near 14 months
near 24 months

I really do prefer the 14 month gap for lots of reasons. If I had my time again I'd have 2 very close together a couple of years gap and then the 2nd too very close together. I'd basically have had the 4 of them in 4-5 years.

It is hard when they are all babies but lack of jealousy and being to move on from the baby stage is well worth it IYSWIM

Fluffypoms Sat 05-Sep-09 22:09:10

Maggie the poster on AIBU had actually lost a dc..

boundarybabe Sat 05-Sep-09 22:16:32

I'm rather in awe at those of you with several small gaps. I'm pretty sure its going to just be the two for me!

I remember going to school with a brother and sister who were in the same school year - think he was born in Oct, she the following August. At the time I thought nothing of it but now it does seem rather unusual!

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