2-3 year age gaps

Hi,

Not been on here for ages, hope nobody minds me asking a question. I've been thinking recently about when to try for number 2. Number 1 is nearly 8 months old now, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I have found the first few months hard work, harder than I'd have thought, although I am now enjoying it much more. This may be partially down to circumstances (not living in ideal home to start with, going through a house move with a 6 month old) so life was a bit tricky beyond looking after a baby. The birth wasn't ideal (emergency c-section) and I was in some considerable pain for a while. I've always wanted two children, and I have an image in my mind for the future of a Christmas day with a family of four. So I'm willing to accept another 6 months of hard work to have that family. It's just a question of when to do it. I'll be 35 at the end of this year, so time isn't massively on my side. As well as that, I was diabetic when pregnant, probably will be if I get pregnant again, and I've been told that the older I am, the more likely the diabetes will affect me beyond pregnancy (i.e. the risk of developing type 2 much greater, and much more likely to get it sooner) so the earlier the better from that angle too. I'm back at work in February and I'd like a good few months of getting back into that before TTC again.

So, thinking about age gaps, I think a gap of 2-3 years would be the best way to go for me. Those of you with this sort of gap, how was it? Was dealing with a 2 year old and a baby difficult? Would you have changed it? My plan would probably be to take a sabbatical from work for a little while after a second, so I'd be a SAHM in the medium-term. Which is a bit scary!

Any words of wisdom? 

Posts

  • Hi QC, I haven't any decent advice but I'll be following this closely as it's our plan too. I'm hoping to start trying after Christmas (it took us 5m to conceive Isaac so there will be at least 2yrs between them even if I fall pregnant straight away) I really struggled for the first 3/4m too - I really leaned on my mum and didn't start enjoying Isaac until about 5/6m sadly. This time I feel like Ill know what to expect so will be slightly more prepared. I think you just have to adapt so I'm sure you'll be fine Smile

  • Hope you manage to conceive quickly! I think you're right about being prepared - there are so many things I know now that I didn't know then that I'm sure some of it would be easier. And now we're settling into our new home, I'll be much better prepared next time in terms of going to baby groups etc, which I found really hard this time as we were living in a flat and lugging the pushchair up and down the stairs was not easy!

  • I would have had this gap now and I've got a two year old and a three year old, I actually think it'd be pretty hard. But I guess it all comes down to the personality of your little one and it's just what you get used to. My two are currently going through really tough phases so I can't imagine dealing with a newborn as well. But then people think I'm mad with the gap I had!

  • I'm only 8 days in so probably not best placed to answer just yet, but for me the positives are;

    A (2 years & 4 months) is able to talk which makes life easier, he can fetch a muslin or nappy, he's able to walk upstairs and short distances (I do have a double but forsee me using a single/sling/buggyboard most often), he reliably sleeps through the night, is old enough (just) to understand that a baby was coming but not so old he'll have lots of memories of before she arrived, he's still in nappies - at some point he'll have to be trained but I'd rather than be in 6 months than now with a newborn or when I was heavily pregnant, hopefully they'll be close enough in age when, say, 5 and 7, to enjoy similar things.  It allowed me to return to work for 15 months and when I go back this time it will coincide with A getting his funded hours which will help the childcare bill.

    The negatives are; there's already been a bit of jealousy shown, he won't walk that far and still asks to be carried lots, I can't leave him alone with the baby.

    I won't lie, I'm dreading H going back to work, especially on the days Alex isn't at nursery, but I'm sure we'll survive.

    There really is good and bad with whatever age gap you have, but most people make work what they have.  Your reasons sound good and logical, go for it!

  • 2yr 3m here. After a section I think you should really leave 12m before getting pregnant again to heal, although I'm sure they say it takes 2 years to fully heal from any operation, but I don't know where I heard that from?

    People on here have all kinds of age gaps and it works for them. Whatever gap anyone has they make it work and wouldn't want any different. 5 weeks into having a newborn and toddler I can say its hard work, but, it's great too.

    I tell you one thing though,I am done with having babies. No more for me.

  • I had a 2 year 2 month age gap and wished we'd waited until my eldest was nearer 3 before having the twins. Getting out and about with all of them was hard as my eldest still didn't like walking too far and it would have been better to have had her potty trained before the twins arrived. Plus the free funding kicking in earlier than it did would have helped immensely! That said i never know how many of the logistical probelms we had were down to having three under three or the age gap we had.

  • I would say get on with it now, why wait? Babies and small children are hard whatever age. If I was 35 with risk of diabetes, I would get it over with as young as I could. My age gaps are 2y10m and then 21m for the younger two. The bigger age gap was easier, I won't lie but each subsequent pregnancy was easier and the newborn days probably depend on your newborn's personality as much as anything else.

    I also had 2 m/c after number 1 child which was a big surprise. So my advice to anyone in their 30s is always to just get on and do it! X

  • 2yrs 7months between my two and the first 6 months were really difficult. C went through a horrendous tantrumming, kicking, hitting stage and just getting out of the house was a military operation. C is now so much easier and mature, so personally I wish I'd left it closer to 3 yrs and had C at least in pre-school every morning to give me some 1to1time with S and do the baby groups I couldn't take a toddler to.

  • Thanks for all your replies. Definitely things to think about.

    Pingu - you're right about just getting on with it. I would if I thought I could face the early days again right now, but I don't think I can. Age and diabetes are weighing heavily on my mind though, as are the other risks that get bigger with age.

    LWO - I can see how toddler tantrums might be a problem.

    Robin - twins would be an added complication I'm trying not to think about! Three children in nappies - you deserve a medal! Or maybe a holiday would be more use!

    IDC - recovery form the section is something to think about. And I'd almost certainly want another. Well, not want, I didn't want one the first time, but better the devil you know and all that.

    BG - congrats on the new arrival! It's good that you've got a little helper to fetch nappies and such! Hope he stays as helpful for you.

    Pip - I couldn't cope with the age gap you have. The thought of morning sickness with a demanding 8 month old is too much. I've known gaps like yours among friends, and the children get on so well that I kind of wish I'd been able to contemplate it.

  • I'm going to have an almost four year gap which is more than I wanted but unfortunately sometimes life dowsnt work as we plan. I'm sure the early years with a 2 yr age gap would be challenging but I think when they are older it'll pay off as they are likely to want to do similar things. I held off trying for number 2 as we were considering moving house but now regret it.

    Good luck whatever you decide x

  • This is my aim. Currently in my 2nd cycle of ttc so the smallest gap we could have now is 2 years 5 months but it'll probably be closer to 3 years. I'm also 35 & the stats are not good (a drop of 10% change of conceiving each month from 15%). I'm also hoping to be a SAHM for a bit too as it's not financially worth it for us to have 2 in nursery. Good luck x

  • Very interesting reading the replies! We planned to ttc at 6-9m old just to see if we could do it naturally (1st was ivf) but now we are here the idea of it fills me with worry! I'm also mid 30s so don't want to leave it too long especially if we end up down the ivf route again! I also agree that its sooo much harder than I ever imagined and I'm still finding it tough (a faulty sleeper!) so that probably doesn't help how I feel! If you could guarantee the next one would sleep through I'd be more up for it!! As you say though, we will more prepared next time and I know my expectations will be much more realistic! ;-)

  • I think at some point it'll be bite the bullet time and we'll just go for it, scary as it'll be. I know I definitely don't want a gap of less than two years, and I'm prepared to take the risk of difficulties conceiving etc. To be honest, if I suddenly found out I was unable to have more children for some reason I'd be gutted at first, but I'm so grateful for my little guy that I'd eventually get over it. I do want to give myself a chance to have the kind of family I'd always dreamed of though.

    I've never actually been maternal about babies really. It's children I like. But to get the children I have to deal with the babies!

  • We have a 3yr 4m gap and tbh I'm not sure I would have coped well with any less (and I was 37 when baby 2 was born so wouldn't have wanted to wait much longer)

    For me, the thought of changing nappies or potty training whilst pregnant was a dealbreaker - I had bad morning sickness with my first and just couldn't have done it. So I wanted to wait until potty training was out of the way before trying for a second.

    I love the gap I have - eldest was big enough to understand about the baby and be helpful but the age gap is small enough that they play together. Also now 'baby' is bigger (18m) and needs more attention the big one is at school, so I have enough time to meet both their needs. Tbh, what I found hardest was dividing my attention between the two of them - and a smaller gap would have made that harder.

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