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Husband & I cant agree on baby no.2 age gap.
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Sleeplessmamma · 10/06/2020 15:25

Hi everyone! I am a new mamma to a gorgeous 10 month old little girl. She is my absolute world. It was a bit of a shock to the system being a new mum but wouldnt change it for the world. My husband and I always wanted 2 children (both have siblings and very close to them and want them same for our daughter). However where we differ is the age gap. My sister and I are 4 years apart (and super close and I definitely mothered her growing up) and he has 1 sibling just under 2 years younger and a sibling 6 years older.

My husband ideal was daughter to be 2-2.5 when 2and baby born where as I was more leaning towards 4 years. We seem to have compromised at around daughter being about 3.5 when 2and baby born (all circumstances being ok) but I feel a bit like worried it will be too exhausting for me having 2 children that young.

My husband concern is that he doesnt want to be an old dad(hes 36 in a few months) and so wants to have the 2and one quicker whereas I have different concerns.

I have a long term health condition where exhaustion plays a big part, so have a great support network,but still find it quite a toll physically. I also have to take into account that my 1st pregnancy I had severe morning sickness with hospital admission so 2and time around I potentially could be out of action but this time with a toddler. Also she is a relatively easy baby in the sense of quite plaid (except for sleeping haha). Were I to have a baby that required extra attention I would worry that may impact my 1st one.

I know having a baby is a joint choice to a degree but am I awful for thinking that fundamentally the choice of timing is slightly more my choice seeing as how I am going to be carrying, giving birth and being the primary care giver?

Thanks

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slothingit · 10/06/2020 15:31

It's got to be right for you but I would be very cautious about trying to plan your gaps so specifically, as it's so hard to predict and secondary infertility can be much more common than you think.

Everyone is different but I can say that our gap of 2 yes and 2 and a quarter years between our three has been perfect. Youngest is now a toddler and all of them are interested in the same things, plus we've never got used to not being tired ! I do think that a five year gap can be difficult, I am not sure that when the eldest is ten, or fifteen that they will have much in common.

Overall I also think that the closer they are the more chance they will play together and in the long term that makes parenting a bit easier. All families are different though and some siblings just don't get on.

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Lockdownlover · 10/06/2020 15:32

We have a 22 month gap. It’s hard as they’re both so reliant on us. In hindsight, I would probably have waited for a 2.5 year gap as that’s what ds1 is now and he understands so much more now, is potty trained etc. My cousins had a 2 year gap between 1 and 2 and then a 4 year gap between 2 and 3. Imo (and I know others may not agree), it was just too much. The difference in interests between 2 and 3 meant they didn’t have much in common growing up and never played together. They’re 22, 20 and 16 now and get on like a house on fire but it has taken until now for that to be the case. Even when it came to computer games, the youngest couldn’t get involved as he could never keep up.

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TankGirl97 · 10/06/2020 15:38

I think fundamentally it should be your preference as you have to carry and care for the babies. We have 3 DC with a two year gap and a four year gap. I wanted the two year gap but having a baby and toddler is quite full on! The four year gap is definitely easier as the older ones are more independent and helpful. Having said that, you never know how long it will take to conceive (as an example with my first two I conceived the first month we tried, third took 18+ months and two losses). So I'd lean towards trying sooner rather than later just to give yourselves the best chance of success.

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Jeleste · 10/06/2020 15:50

I have an 18month gap and yes, it was quite difficult the first 2 years. My first wasnt independent at all yet when the little one was born. Still needed feeding and nappy changes etc. It was rough. He was a good sleeper at least.
But the little one was a spawn of hell. She didnt sleep and couldn't ever be put down the first year. She basically lived in my baby carrier.
They are 4.5 and 6 now and im so glad we powered through. They are best friends and entertain each other all day long. It also works well when one of them has a friend over, because they always include their sibling. They are even allowed to tag along to each others playdates sometimes, because they know each others friends.
They have the same interests and its easy to find weekend activities that both enjoy.
My niece and nephew have a 4 year age gap and their parents always complain that its difficult for them to plan outings that arent boring for one of them.

I think all age gaps have positives and negatives, so it really comes down to what you want for your family.
Im the middle child, my sister is 2 years older and my brother is 1 year younger. We are all really close, but growing up i definitely had more in common with them than they did with each other.

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flissity · 11/06/2020 08:58

I wouldn’t put too much pressure on the age gap- as much as it’s nice to plan things like this, it just may not happen when you plan it.

I think there’s so many pros and cons for smaller and larger gaps it’s hard to get that ‘perfect’ gap.

My older 2 DD there is 2 3/4 years. They’ve always got on, have similar interests now they are 8 and 11. But also could just have easily clashed regardless of the gap!
Now I have a newborn, so a gap of 8 and 11 years! It’s marvellous- the older 2 can make their own food, cuddle the baby, while I do other things. Walk themselves to school (when school is open Hmm) etc...

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Sleeplessmamma · 11/06/2020 10:23

Thanks everyone! I realise you can only plan to a degree. We got pregnant super fast 1st time and realise it may not happen like that 2nd time around.

I think more of my question is an I awful in thinking at the end of the day its ultimately my decision when I'm ready?

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Circlesroundandround · 11/06/2020 12:30

I have experienced small and large age gaps with my children. The first two we had 20 mmonths between, the gap between DC2 and 3 was much longer. For me I found the small gap to be better from a practical point of view. Yes it was full on but it worked for us. I have struggled more so with the bigger gap because the children just arent on the same page in terms of activities/days out etc. That said it really is a personal choice and if you don't feel ready for the next pregnancy/baby especially as you have health restrictions then only really you can make that choice for you and your family. Yes to an extent it is a joint decision but it is you that has to go through conception/pregnancy/birth/possibly breast feeding so don't get pressuered into something if you are not ready. Even if your husband was to wait 4 years he wouldn't be old. On the flip I dont think anyone is ever totally ready for a baby be it 1st or 7th! Good luck

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Sleeplessmamma · 11/06/2020 14:18

I keep telling him hes not an old dad now nor would he be in 3/4/5 years time.hes super fit (especially compared to me lol) so he certainly wouldnt be a lazy dad. I think hes got it in his head so much about being older dad that he has forgotten about me in a way carrying and looking after baby....and dont get me even started on how I have natural triplets in the family!

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KimberleySakamoto · 11/06/2020 14:23

23 months between mine. My mum said a bigger gap would be better, but I'm glad I ended up with a smaller gap. It was absolutely brilliant when they were toddlers (less so now that they are being deprived of GCSEs and A levels respectively, but that's another story). If I'd had a bigger gap, I think I'd have noticed the baby stage more the second time round. As it was, it was just a bit more of what I was already doing.

I started TTC when DS was 12 months, just in case it took longer to become pregnant the second time round - I thought that even if it took a while, the gap between the children still wouldn't be massive. As it happens, I became pregnant quickly the second time too - but I'm so glad it worked out the way it did.

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angie1984 · 11/06/2020 20:21

I have 2 years between mind, dd2 is four months. I think it depends on your first dc, mine is quiet independent with walking and feeding herself and has slept through the night since she was one, this has made it easier to cope. We plan to leave a bigger gap for the next one but that is for more practical reasons like needing a bigger house and car.

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chickbaa · 11/06/2020 21:14

I have 14 months between the first two. Then a three year gap, and then 19 months between the second two.

It's fab. No jealousy, everyone hangs out.

But it depends on the kids, the family attitude and how relaxed you all are, IMO.

And having a hands on partner helps. I couldn't have (and wouldn't have) done it if DH was anything other than brilliant.

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Flutterpieandpinkieshy · 16/06/2020 12:34

Hi OP.

I have an 11 month gap between DD 2 and DD3 and a five year gap between DD1 and DD 2... I personally, find the age gap between 1 and 2 to be much more difficult than 2 and 3....

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HomeTogether · 17/06/2020 09:34

The gap between my son (7) and daughter (4) is 3 years. They play together constantly which has been so helpful over lockdown. They have their little fights, mainly from my daughter but generally are the best of friends. She gets him involved in playing barbies etc! Grin
When she was a baby he was in morning playgroup so although school runs were tricky it was nice to have a few hours together.

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Yesterdayforgotten · 17/06/2020 19:57

2 years 8 months between mine and I can honestly say it is the ideal age gap for our family. It has been a struggle as dc1 is still so young but only having one in nappies is a bonus. I also know that as they get older they will be close enough in age to have things in common and play together and watch similar programs etc.
I think a larger age gap may be easier in the beginning but prove more difficult in the long term. I feel I can get all the difficult stages out the way rather than get my life back and then have to go back to the start again..I don't think I could do that Shock

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HarrietM87 · 17/06/2020 20:02

We’ve gone for a 2.5 year gap. Second not here yet so I can’t comment on how it’s worked out but I didn’t want to wait longer because I want them to grow up together with things in common. I think a 2-3 year gap is perfect as any smaller it’s harder to enjoy the first child’s babyhood and any bigger they will have less in common. The other issue is how many children you want because if you want more than 2 then there’ll be a potentially very big gap between oldest and youngest.

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AnotherEmma · 17/06/2020 20:05

Well obviously you're not "awful", don't be silly. Why do women always feel so guilty about asserting themselves? You'll be the one going through pregnancy and childbirth (and breastfeeding if you do it) so of course you get the final say.

FWIW I originally wanted about a 2 year age gap but we weren't at all ready to try again at that point. (DC1 a massive shock to the system and various challenges.) As it is we will have a 3.5 year age gap which I'm feeling positive about. One huge bonus of the oldest being 3 is the funded hours (15 or 30 hours a week) which means you will get some time alone with baby and if you go back to work, the childcare costs for two won't be so crippling.

Your baby is only 10 months old and your feelings are bound to change over the coming months and years. Why not park the discussion for now and agree to revisit it again at a certain point, maybe around her second birthday? Or when she's 18 months? And I mean discussing it again (which might mean deciding to wait longer) not TTC at that point.

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