Toddlers: 24 Months+

Siblings 2 1/2 years apart.

My son turns 2 at the end of September and I am pregnant and due early March.  The kids will be about 29 months apart. I was just interested in hearing from people with similar spacing about the benifits and challenges to this age spacing. I am hoping to have my son out of his crib in time to use it again but I am not sure about potty training before the baby arrives. Also did you find a lot of sibling resentment by your older child at first and how did you assist your child in the adjustment.  Any other advice would be great as well.  Thank you!
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Re: Siblings 2 1/2 years apart.

  • My kids are a lot closer together so I can't really speak to a lot of this.  But both my boys were done with their cribs right around their second birthdays.  And neither is potty trained or even close.
  • My little cousins are 2.5 years apart (almost to the day). My aunt did not have the older one potty trained yet, so she had 2 in diapers. They are now 6.5 and 4 and are the best of friends. My aunt lives around the corner from us so I see my cousins often and she never seemed to have any huge problems. Now that they are a little older they tend to fight a bit, not nothing awful. I think 2.5 years is a great age difference. My DH and his sister are 18 months apart and fought terribly growing up and still don't get along haha, maybe MIL should have waited a little longer!!
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  • Thanks!  Yes, I don't think the crib will be much of an issue.  He got out once so we need to do it soon.  I am hoping to keep him in there until I know if this baby is a boy or girl.  That will determine if we will be using the same room as a nursery (if another boy) and moving my son to the bigger room or if it's a girl I think we will keep my son in his current room and turn the other room into a nursery for her.  That decision kind of determines what kind of big boy bed we get for him. As for potty training he pulls his diaper off when wet and wears big boy pants for a bit in the evening and hasn't had an accident but shows very little interest in using the potty.  I assume he will be ready around the time the baby arrives which is certainly not good timing at all...lol!

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  • My kids are 25 months apart.  We had #1 out of his crib before #2 came along.  If we weren't having another baby, he would have stayed in his crib a bit longer.  I think you'd be fine trying in a few months getting him into a toddler bed.  We also didn't PT DS until a week before his 3rd bday.  I didn't find 2 in diapers difficult.  The best thing we ever did was getting into a routine as soon as we could and try to co-ordinate naps.  DS was great with his sister, there was no jealousy or resentment.  I always let him help with diaper changing and feedings so he felt included. 
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  • My first 2 are 16 months appart.  We have convertible cribs (crib to toddler bed to full size bed) so each child has their own bed set so we never worried about that.  Plus at 16 months he was too young to be in a toddler bed.  Anyways we had no issues with him adjusting to a sibling- in fact he loved it! And for us, it was a perfect time to PT since we were on baby leave (plus at 1 month old babies sleep most of the time) so we did it when he was 17 months old and it took less then 4 days- super easy too.  I think he loved being set appart from the baby- he was no longer a baby- he was an offical big kid.  Now they are older 2 1/2 & almost 4 and they are and always have been the best of friends- more like twins.  We just had our 3rd baby and everyone is just the same.  We had no issues with our 2 1/2 (she had been PT since she was 15 months so we didn't have to worry about that) but she was still in a crib but decided to put her in a full size bed before the baby came to set her appart from being a baby.  We didn't do a toddler bed (we did with my son) because I'm not confident that she won't walk around her room whereas a full size bed, she won't get down on her own (even though she's capable). 

    I will say we've always included our kids in everything baby- they came to all appointments- helped meassure and do the heartbeat.  Helped paint the babies room, etc.  We talked about what they can teach the baby, etc.  When it comes to nursing, I sometimes read a book to them while doing it or they just sit and snuggle with me.  I've never said, I can't do this because I'm pregnant or I have a baby, etc.  We always incorporate them.  So I'm not sure if that made the difference or not.

  • We will be in a similar boat, my kids will be about 28 months apart.  DD1 is already in a toddler bed, and we are using her old nursery for the new baby.  As for potty training, my doctor recommended waiting (unless DD suddenly gets really into it).  She said it would be hard to get her perfectly potty trained by the time DD2 comes in December, and then DD1 is likely to regress and it will cause undue stress.  The doctor recommended waiting about 6 months after the baby is born (DD1 will be almost 3) and she said we should be able to knock it out in a weekend.  Sounds like a plan to me!
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  • I am 8 weeks post partum w/ my second. My daughter was potty trained ahead of time- so that has helped.. and she was moved to a twin bed with side rails.. (works great! She doesn't fall out ever!). She is 2.9 years and she doesn't seem resentful or anything.. she helps me with everything. We made a BIG deal of her being a big helper.. we ask her to help with everything from turning on lights, to helping get a wipe  for us.. she loves it.. I think the only thing is that she is extra huggy.. and mildly using baby tones when talking.

    So for us- no problems.

    Good luck!

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  • mine are a little less then 26 months apart.  DD was climbing out of her crib as soon as I found out I was pg, so we moved her into a big girl room and big girl bed and left everything set up for the baby.  I didn't talk to her much about the baby until I was about 6 months or more along, I think if you talk to them about it too early they'll just get confused. and they don't get it.  At the hospital I had the baby in the nursery when she 1st got there so she wasn't freaked out, then when I brought her to meet the baby she got a little gift bag with a few little things she liked, like a minnie shirt and socks, but several snacks and fancy juice boxes, that kept her busy at the hospital.  She used to get very jealous when I fed him and for a while she was back onto a bottle every time he had one.  She would also get jealous if I was holding him when she 1st woke up, so I learned quickly to do everything possible not to be holding him when I got her up from her nap.  DD puts up a real fight to take a nap, although she really needs one, so the hardest part has been getting her to nap when the baby is up.  I keep a bouncy seat in her room so I usually bounce him while I lay with her, which works out nice because alot of time he'll fall asleep too.  Sometimes I'll hold a bottle for him while he's in the bouncer.  I really disliked having them both in diapers, I felt like I was running a daycare.  Luckly DD took the initiative to get potty trained not more than a month after he was born.
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  • My girls are 27 months apart. 

    I like it. They play very nicely together now, and most of DD1's clothes overlap in the right size/season for DD2 to wear them.

    The only real drawback, IMO, was that PTing took longer because we were only in the practice phase when DD2 was born, and that went on the back burner for quite a while because I was figuring out how to juggle a newborn and toddler. Also, since DD1 was still so little, she still needed a lot of attention at times and it's no fun to try to deal with two screaming kids at once when there's only one of you. 

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    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • Oh, also, we put DD1 in a twin bed with rails at 24 months in a different room. That was three months before DD2 was born; we did it that way b/c we needed the crib and didn't want to buy two, and it was far enough in advance that DD1 didn't feel like she was getting kicked out of her crib and room by the baby. 

    They share a room now, which is nice.

    The best advice I ever got from other moms with multiple kids was that when both kids are upset, you take care of the toddler first whenever you can. Because the infant won't realize that it took a few extra minutes to get her food/fresh diaper, but an older child will realize/remember who gets help first and if it's always the baby, may get resentful of their sibling. 

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    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • mine are 16 months apart but here are some of my observations/experience. 

    at 2.5 years old they LOVE to help. They are not that self sufficient but  "get mommy the wipes" is a job they love to do. My DD also liked to sit next to me when changing a diaper and so on. 

    Potty training shouldn't be too bad since the new baby won't be mobile yet. We had big issues because DS would crawl/walk/cruise to the bathroom and try to mess with everything. I would be trying to wipe DD and DS would be trying to put his hands into the potty!

    2.5 my DD was resisting a stroller but still needed it for longer trips. We got a City select because it is a single that can convert to a double and we got a glider toddler stand board to attach for short trips/errands. 

    I think you could easily transition to a bed by that age. We just moved DS into a full with bed rails and never had an issue. He likes being in a bed WAY more than his crib (now will nap 2.5 hours where before it was 45 min). I wouldn't recommend moving his room completely. I would just move the crib and buy him a new bed for his same room.

    We also set everything up very early this way the "newness" of all the baby stuff wore off and we could help DD learn not to throw toys into the PnP, "push" the swing, or try to sit in the bouncy seat. We did get her a new toy when baby came home and it occupied her time for hours ...it was great when I was nursing.   

    On the Mini pill, ebfing, and no AF ever.....16 months apart!

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  • The boys are 2 1/2 years apart and I think its perfect age gap. I do think in some ways it would have been easier to have them 3 1/2 years apart because Buddy  is still very spirited and does not listen very well. But I don't know, with maturity it will be fine. 

    I talked up babies ALL the time while pregnant. I felt like that really helped Buddy "get it"

    I made him my biggest helper. I put NB dipes and wipes in a case JUST for Buddy to get for me. I even taught him to wipe Tiny's booty when he was a NB. He loved helping.

    I've never not allowed Buddy to hold Tiny. Thats just my personality though. Laid back. Buddy held Tiny in the hospital with no real support. Just daddy standing close. At home we'd put Buddy on the floor and lay Tiny on the boppy on his lap and he'd stroke his head.

    For the first 8 weeks DH and I made it a priority to take Buddy and do something FUN. Just Buddy and I, or daddy and buddy. Even if it was just a trip to the frozen yogurt bar. Or costco for pizza.

    I tried to PT buddy prior to Tiny, but it didn't work and now we're putting PTing on the back burner till after his 3rd birthday. He's really just not ready emotionally.

    A friend of mine pointed out that she never sees me tell Buddy to wait cause I'm doing something for the Baby. If Buddy needs me I almost always put Tiny's needs on the back burner for the couple minutes it takes me to get Buddy a juice or markers or what ever. This isn't every single time. But I do know that I tend to Buddy first, because he's going to remember me putting the baby before him.  

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  • image lite-bright:

    Oh, also, we put DD1 in a twin bed with rails at 24 months in a different room. That was three months before DD2 was born; we did it that way b/c we needed the crib and didn't want to buy two, and it was far enough in advance that DD1 didn't feel like she was getting kicked out of her crib and room by the baby. 

    They share a room now, which is nice.

    The best advice I ever got from other moms with multiple kids was that when both kids are upset, you take care of the toddler first whenever you can. Because the infant won't realize that it took a few extra minutes to get her food/fresh diaper, but an older child will realize/remember who gets help first and if it's always the baby, may get resentful of their sibling. 

    I peeked in on this post because I am in a similar situation. I am due with LO#2 in December and they will be 2yrs4mos apart. This advice makes so much sense, but I honestly would not have thought of it. Thanks for sharing. 

  • Age difference in siggy. The hardest part was moving DS to a big boy bed before DD came. Took about a month for him not to be in and out of bed a million times so I recommend doing that early. We read the book called "waiting for baby" every night...he loved it and totally it it. There has been no resentment and he is great with DD. He does still go to daycare while I'm off on leave which is good for him. I'm not sure how he'd be all day when I'm constantly feeding her!
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  • My girls are almost exactly 2 years apart. We moved our oldest to a new big girl bed a few months before the baby was born, and for us this wasn't an issue at all. She was so excited about her new room. She never asked to go back to her old one and I think had no resentment about it. When she was 22 months (so about 2 months before the baby was born) we did a 3 (more like 4) day potty training weekend. She did fabulous and has had very few daytime accidents since then. She did kind of go through a stage where she wanted to wear and have diapers after her sister was born, but she didn't really have accidents during that stage. She's never really shown any resentment towards the baby, but now that the baby  is mobile and getting into her stuff, she's not all that excited about it. She really doesn't want to share her old toys, and I'm finding that to be a bit challenging.

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  • My kids are the exact same distance in ages.  DD#1 has been great with DD#2!  We moved her to her big girl bed at 26 months.  that way she didn't associate it with the baby.  We haven't full time potty trained yet, but #1 tries to go potty every day. 

     

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  • For our son, we had him in a twin mattress (on the floor to start with), around 22 months.  At 30 months we then moved him to his 'new' bedroom (because we were reusing the nursery)--- and we got him a new big boy bed---it was all a big surprise.  We told him he was moving to the new room and it would be special for him--and he loved it.  He took to it right away (again, we talked ahead of time to warn him of this change).

    We also told him that his 'old' bed (crib) would be used for the baby--and thanked him for sharing it. 

    He was excited to meet the baby in the hospital---but he also wanted to make sure mommy still loved HIM a lot too.  So be sure that you spend lots of special time with DS1. 

    As for potty training--he had been working on it for quiet some time--but as we approached birth backed away from it--and again afterwards too.  Just went with the flow type of thing.  Around 3 mos after DS2 was born, then we went hard-core and did the 3-day potty training (mainlly so he could move up with his friends in his new daycare).  He actually did awesome. 

     The age gap is great--- because DS1 will be able to 'help' and be a 'helper', which is quite special for them.  And now they get along GREAT.  It's so cute!

  • My girls are almost 28 months apart.  I really love this spacing.  They play with almost the same things at this point and play really well together for the most part.  We can buy big stuff for Christmas and make it a joint gift because they are both going to play with it.  When DD1 outgrows something, it just goes right into DD2s dresser.  They both like to do the same kind of things (for example, they would both love a childrens musuem.  My stepkids are 5 years apart and were always at different stages, made family outings really hard.).  My girls share a room and both have always been horrible sleepers.  At first DD1 was a terror to put to sleep and then would wake up a zillion times a night.  When I moved her out of her crib, she it was pretty near impossible to get her to stay in bed.  For this reason, DD2 will be staying in her crib until school age Wink. As far as potty training, I was planning on waiting with DD1 because I didn't want to go through it just to have her regress.  She decided to potty train herself before she turned 2, and was completely potty trained before DD2 was born.  She never regressed so I'm not sure if we got lucky there or what.  I totally agree with having your DS help with the baby as much as possible.  They are thrilled when they can do tiny things like grabbing a diaper.  I also made a point to tell DD1 when I was helping her do something because the baby could wait a minute sometimes (ie, she would ask for a drink of water, I would go to the kitchen, the baby would start crying, DD1 would tell me the baby was crying, I would tell DD1 that the baby could cry for a minute because DD1 needed my help too and then I would help the baby).  I never really nurtured the relationship between them too much.  When DD2 got to the mobile stage and started getting into DD1s toys, I would make a big deal about how neat she thought they were and ask DD1 to being her a toy to check out.  That kind of let DD1 be in charge of her toys so that went well.  Oh, the one challenge I might have is that they like to gang up to drive me crazy (already!).  Also, DD1 tries to tell DD2 to do things that may or may not result in getting them in trouble.  And DD1 tends to try to do things that DD2 does and does not understand that when DD2 does it, it's because she doesn't know not to but DD1 knows better and then ends up getting in trouble. 
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  • My kids are 28 months apart. I moved DD1 to a twin bed. We completed potty training too, but there was regression after the baby arrived. It was tough dealing with potty training issues with a newborn in the house. They both woke up in the middle of the night at times. That was tough. Since DD2 turned 17 months old, they've been sharing a room. It's been a wonderful arrangement. They love being together.

    We haven't had many issues with jealousy. Although the beginning was a bit rough, I now love the age difference. The girls play together so nicely. They comfort each other, giggle together, and play all the time. It is so nice to see the wonderful friendship that they are developing with each other.

     

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