Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
02/05/2013 at 16:43
I know this has been done loads before but I suppose this is just a bit of a brain dump for me. Obviously, feel free to make any comments/suggestions/advice etc!
I seem to be changing my mind on a daily basis about the sort of age gap we should have and when to start TTC. F will be 15 months next week and H and I have been thinking about TTC towards the end of the summer. If that went to plan we'd have roughly 2 years 4 months between F and any sibling. I like the idea of getting the 'baby years' out of the way and there being a small age gap between the two.
On the other hand, I can see advantages of having a bigger gap of say 4 years. If F was at school I'd have time to spend with the baby and he'd have a better concept of things, be able to 'help' out and be potty trained ! There's 7 years between me and my brother and we've always got on well - I remember doing lots to help my mum when he was tiny.
What was the deciding factor for you? One issue for me is that I'm having issues with various contraceptives and I've been advised that something longer term might help but that it could delay our chances of conceiving for a while after stopping it so I feel like I need to make a decision as to what I want to do. H just says he's happy to go along with whatever I want!
02/05/2013 at 16:46
The deciding factor for me both times was heart over head - I wanted another baby and now! We had wanted to have at least a 3 year age gap first time round for practical reasons but in the end broodiness got the better of me, and this time there was no planned age gap as there wasn't a definite plan for #3. I think that whatever age gap you end up with will work for you, but it was definitely the emotional side which decided things for me.
02/05/2013 at 16:47
I have this dilemma in my head all the time- in my head I don't think I'd be able to cope with a newborn and a toddler in fact I'm pretty much positive I couldn't so at the moment I'm not even thinking about it until J is 3. H would like a smaller age gap and I have a horrible feeling in about a years time he'll talk me round.
02/05/2013 at 16:49
There is also the financial side- no way could we afford for me not to work or to put 2 in nursery
I wanted a small age gap, ideally less than 2 yrs. The majority of our NCT group have a 2 - 2.5 yr age gap. I am going to have a 4.5 yr age gap and actually I'm quite looking forward to it. Having spoken to friends who had the smaller gap they struggled at first but are now starting to leave the baby days behind. However we are about to start all over again, which is a bit daunting, but I like the idea that as Zoe will have started school I can have 1:1 time with Noodles and do all the baby activities with her that Zoe got to do too. Zoe is also really involved with the whole pregnancy and preparing for the baby and very excited about having a baby sister. At the moment it looks as though it is going to work out really well, would have been better if H wasn't still having to work away as that is going to be what makes it hard.
As for why we have such a big gap, well because H didn't want any more children so took rather a long time to persuade him.
02/05/2013 at 17:05
You see, I know that I want another baby the problem is I'm just not sure i could cope with two so young. I was with my friend this morning and she has roughly 2 years between her two and, on the whole, it works but I could also see that I'd probably struggle with it and I came away realising the benefits of a bigger gap for me. I'm probably sounding really selfish now!
I even said to H this morning that we should go for a small gap as planned but since our conversation I feel like I'm leaning the other way!
02/05/2013 at 17:06
We wanted about 2.5 years - it's what my brother and I had, and at school I remember most of my friends my age had a brother or sister the same age as my brother. As it turns out we will have a 2yr 3 months gap. We decided to ttc when we got married, with a minimal age gap in mind, and fell first month (we thought this may happen!).
I'm a SAHM, and my boy now has nursery 2 mornings a week, which we will increase as he gets closer to 3 (and gets his free 16 hours or whatever). So I'm not too worried about the quality time aspect, as we will have plenty.
Another factor is age of us. Hubby is 40 and doesn't want to be an old Dad (well, say having a newborn at 45 for example), and although I'm the right side of 35, I'm obviously getting older too!
Whatever you decide will be right in the end. If you think you may fall quickly, go for the minimum gap before you ttc in case you fall quickly. It can still take 12+ months, even if you fell quickly the first time. You never know, so maybe just try at minimal gap age and let fate decide! Good luck x
02/05/2013 at 17:10
We spent 3.5 years saying "No never again" for so many reasons. Pregnancy does not suit me, I worked night shifts, we would have needed bigger cars and a bigger house. Mr R was next to useless when M was a newborn, I put on 5 stone and struggled with losing weight, I had a c section and wasn't sure if I wanted to go through that again.
Our circumstances changed a lot. Mr R went self employed and I left my job to work with him. This coincided with me stopping the Depo injection, which I feel was making me depressed.
We had a complete change of heart and decided that we did want to give M a sibling.
I won't lie, pregnancy sickness with a three/four year old has been hard but she is a good girl and is fairly good at entertaining herself. The weight thing I will deal with once baby is here. Being self employed does mean no maternity leave but we will figure it out...
I wouldn't have wanted a smaller gap. I am loving that we will have the summer together and then M will go to school and I will get time with Thing2 (when not filing tax returns and doing payrolls!!)
I don't think anyone can tell you what the best age gap is. At the end of the day, you battle on through with what you are given.
We did feel we were totally out of the baby days and I am really nervous about having a nightmare baby, given M was really good. But I have a lot of friends having babies at the same time so feel like I will have my support group there.
My tip, and this really was the deciding factor for us, is to not look at age gaps, logistics, and the dreaded newborn days, but look 10 years into the future and see how many children you want in your life. One was not the answer for us....
02/05/2013 at 17:11
Before we had A I wanted a small age gap, <2 years. I would have started trying again at 6 months if my periods had returned, by the time they did I'd had a bad smear and we had to delay for a year before I got the all clear. At that point it was much more a head over heart decision, as the thought of another one scared me! We did ttc and were lucky to get a BFP quickly and are now looking at a 2yr 4 month gap, which I'm sure will be hard at first but my desire for a small gap has always been for the long term. I don't want to have to split our family waiting for the youngest to be old enough to join in with things we are doing for the oldest. I think there's more chance of them getting on when older as well. Selfishly, I like the idea of 'moving on' once the baby days are over, rather than starting again. Financially, by coincidence, it works out well that A will get his preschool funding the month I'll return to work. What worries me more is that if they both go to uni there could be a crossover!
I think most people find the gap they have works, there are pluses and minuses to both scenarios.
02/05/2013 at 17:13
Definitely what Rusty said about looking ahead - I have friends who have 4 boys (now aged between 16 and 28) and I love how busy their life is and how they are when it's Christmas or other family occasions, and that was definitely a big factor for me in wanting a third.
02/05/2013 at 17:14
WG it's interesting that you mention your family set-up with you and your brother. I had a smaller gap (I'm 26 months older than him) and it worked really well in our family, we are really close. So I think the age gaps in your birth family, and whether or not you feel they 'worked', must have some impact on what you want in your family.
H is one of 3 but with similar gaps and we'd both like a smallish gap in our own family. We can't afford 2 in childcare so we're going to both go part-time when I go back to work, 4 days a week each (i.e. 3 days of childcare to pay for) and we're saving up a set amount now to cover us before no.1 gets free hours. If all financial considerations were removed we'd like an 1.5-2yr gap; as things are, I think it'll be a 2-2.5yr gap (assuming we can conceive again of course!!) to minimise the time when we need to cover lots of childcare.
You know, you could always have a small age gap and then have another one 7 years later...
02/05/2013 at 17:28
We have 4 years between our 2. We couldnt afford to have 2 in childcare unless one was at school. I also wanted to be at home to settle G into school and then be able to go off and do all the groups etc with P that i did with G so she gets her own group of friends and isnt just the little sister that hangs around G and her friends later on. G is also very exvited by P being here and as you say she is keen to be involved.
P is only a week old but so far its going well and G loves having "her baby" around. My niece is 8 and G is 4 so its the same age gap and they play lovely together.
02/05/2013 at 17:30
I couldn't have handled a small gap at all, N was seriously hard work as a toddler and I wanted him to be more independent and communicative before having another. Besides I was a single mum until he was one anyway and we didn't feel ready for another baby until he was 3 and we were married. So the 4 year age gap works perfectly for us right now, he's not jealous or fighting for attention, he can occupy himself while I'm feeding or seeing to the baby. I have time for A while N is at school and I have time for N when A is sleeping. He adores his sister and I'm looking forward to seeing them grow up together. I think siblings either get on or they don't, age doesn't necessarily make a difference.
02/05/2013 at 17:39
There's 3 years almost exactly between my 2, previously I wanted a very young gap and had William lived there would have been 26/7 months. With Isaac its been fab as L is potty trained, he had his free hours at nursery too so I had a few mornings a week with just Isaac and it was so nice as a lot if groups here are strictly under 2s or over 2s so I could only go to 1 playgroup with both. Also the thought of a sicky pregnancy with a toddler. I was so ill with William and L was 19 months and was literally shoved I front of fireman Sam which just wasn't fair at all.
We are going to have another but had I not got my new job we were just not going to use contraception and see what happened (from jan this year) but I got my job and I'm doing alsorts of courses so we are probably not even going to be Ttc next year so il be looking at a 6+ and 3+ gap which I never thought would happen but itl be good because Lucas will be at school and Isaac at Pre school so il have dedicated time with the baby
02/05/2013 at 18:59
Well after my first I had 2 miscarriages so not the age gap I planned, but there is almost 3 years between my boys. Then I had another one when the boys were 21m and 4.5y so we have a few age gaps. I have to say it was hard having two babies and an older one and I feel very guilty that he missed out on things for a while but we are through the worst of it now (kids are almost 3, 4.5 and 7.5).
The best age gap for the kids sake is the 21m gap as they have similar interests, play together with similar age toys, they will only be a year apart in school so will go to the same discos and sports day most of the time. My eldest one isn't much older really but he does a lot of different things to the other two so seems at a totally different stage altogether. I know things will change again and the gap will be relatively smaller as they all get older. My eldest has nothing in common with the youngest and it was so hard for a while keeping things like lego, scissors and his nice things away from her as she destroyed everything.
I have to say I think the best situation would be boy/girl twins, perfect!
02/05/2013 at 19:12
For us we couldn't afford to have 2 in childcare, we have a 3 year 9 month age gap, and in the end they were at nursery for together for 2 months, which was manageable, also I had a bad pregnancy and labour with N, so it took a while to get the head straight, we were quite happy to stay at one, but wanted to give N a sibling.
02/05/2013 at 19:55
Having a very active 8 month old at the minute who has had such trouble teething I'm struggling to imagine going through it all again at the minute! I don't want E to be an only one but it will defitely be awhile before we think about number 2 and I think ideally I'd want E to be in nursery/reception. We have Olympic year babies in our family, bit of a tradition as Mum and her sister and my brother and I were all Olympic babies as is E now so it looks like 2016 for us!
02/05/2013 at 19:56
For us, we wanted a minimum age gap of about 18 months as we knew we wanted a small one. L came along when O was 25 months. It was tough at first but it's working now and O absolutely adores L. When we have #3, we'll be aiming for a 2.5 year age gap between L and #3 as O will be starting school round about that time.
02/05/2013 at 20:04
We have 6 years which wasn't the plan. 3 closer to 4 I would of preferred. Money was the main issue as others have said. Couldn't afford the child care for 2. L was a really good baby and toddler and I had a really good pregnancy with her apart from the spd. It scared the life out of me that all would be opposite next time and I wouldn't be able to cope. Also it took nearly 18 months to fall with L and so many had told me stories of how they fell really quick the 2nd time so that scared me into staying on the pill!!
As time went on and I felt ok, my husband then said he didn't think we should, couldn't imagine loving another child as much as L. So eventually once we'd resolved all that, started trying. Had my Mmc which threw the "plan" out but now I love my gap!
L is such a good girl, always helping and she still (touch wood now the walking is starting) has never been cross or mean to K. It was great to have that 1 to 1 time with him while she's at school. Rushing about for the school run was interesting at 1st and I remember my lazy mornings with L with fondness!! But as others have said, I think whatever gap you have will always work for you in the end!
02/05/2013 at 20:09
My H and I had this conversation daily after our first was born. At one point I never thought I would be ready nod changed my mind daily but when I was 2 we decided to go for it (knowing that we wanted a sibling for I and that if we were talking about it so much we should just do it). I will be 3 yrs 1month when no2 is due and I'm really happy with the gap.
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