May 2013 Moms

Sibling spacing

I've been thinking lately about how far apart we should space our kids. We want three....maybe four kids. I've always thought we should space them 2 years apart, but after having our first I'm not as sure. My reasons for 2 years apart are so we pretty much go through the stages all at once instead of waiting say 5 years and then having to "start over". And so hopefully the kids will have a closer bond since they'll be able to relate to each other and do more things together as they grow up. Also so I'll be younger when I have them. I'm 27 now, so I'd be done by 31 if we have 3, 33 if we have 4.

But I find myself dreading the newborn stage again. I find myself enjoying my son more and more the older he gets (and the more sleep I get!).  I'm wondering if 2 years is enough of a "break" from the newborn stress. We're leaning more towards having 3 kids anyway, so if I space them 3 years apart I could still be done by 33. 

So I'm wondering what everyone else is planning to do, or has already done if you have more than one? Obviously things may not work out the way we plan for various reasons, but ideally what would your spacing be? I'm also asking just out of curiousity because as an only child I find sibling relationships very interesting.

 

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Re: Sibling spacing

  • I have 3, my girls are 21 months apart and this baby is 3 years younger than my middle daughter. I liked having my girls so close together, like you said its not starting over. I won't lie it was rough in the begining trying to figure everything out since I was still figuring out my oldest. Plus they were both in diapers and that's expensive!!

    This time with baby 3 I totally feel like I've started over because my girls were both potty trained, able to do most small things themselves, and most important they STTN. I wish we would have decided earlier to have another one. Although it is a little easier to get things done and do errands even though I have 3. My girls know how to stay close and not run off in a store or parking lot, they help me get things for the baby if I can't, plus they are basically self suffient. I mean yes they are still little and need help but they can dress themselves, feed themselves, climb in the car, clean up their messes, so that makes it so much easier to take care of the baby. I feel this baby gets way more 1:1 time than my middle child got.
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  • I've been pondering this subject daily lately. The plan is for DH and I to have two total.

    On one hand, I want four years between my LO's. This way DD will be in Pre K when the next one comes and I'll have more one on one time with the new LO.I feel like a lot of times second, third, etc children get shafted in that regard. Also, thinking way ahead it would be nice to have big celebrations like graduation parties and sweet 16's,in the case of two girls, spaced out some.

    On the other hand, I would like them closer in age so they can relate to each other better as they grow up. Also, the selfish reason of being done with pumping and such would be over sooner. I plan to EP with this LO and the next until their first birthdays and I'm already dreading the next time even though I'm only six weeks into this time!

    One thing for damn sure, I don't want two in diapers at the same time!
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  • My sister and I are two years, two months apart... We were each other's best friends so I have always thought of that as pretty good spacing....

    DH and I were originally wanting 3, spaced two or so years apart, but currently I have been contemplating either being 'one and done' or having just one more and spacing them maybe three years apart.

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  • My siblings are 8 and 10 years older than me (they were adopted) and moved out when I was 7, so I was basically an only child growing up and it was hard always being on my own, not having anyone to share vacations with, no one to look out for me at school, etc. If we are blessed enough to have another child (or ideally 2 more), I would love them to be closer in age. It might change but right now DH and I are planning to try for another when DD is one year old. 


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  • My two oldest are 2 years 4 months apart and I thought that was perfect.  However, based upon where their birthdays fall in the year, they are 3 years apart grade-level wise.  That is something to consider.  Most schools are broken down into really small segments (k-5 or even k-2/3-5) 6-8, and then 9-12.  If your kids are more than 3 years apart, they are never really at the same school growing up.  This can be a PITA as a parent. Over half the states have a cut-off date of August (I'm a teacher) so with these little ones born in May, anything over 27 months apart would make them 3 years apart in school.  Finally, we just had this LO after a 12.5 year gap.....definitely too big a gap between siblings.  My oldest will be off to college when this LO is 3! 

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  • We plan on trying at the end of next year so they'll be 2.5 years apart if it happens right away. I don't want to get too used to not having a newborn. I agree that it seems to be getting easier as she gets holder and I get enjoy her more.
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  • image surpriseaddition:

    My two oldest are 2 years 4 months apart and I thought that was perfect.  However, based upon where their birthdays fall in the year, they are 3 years apart grade-level wise.  That is something to consider.  Most schools are broken down into really small segments (k-5 or even k-2/3-5) 6-8, and then 9-12.  If your kids are more than 3 years apart, they are never really at the same school growing up.  This can be a PITA as a parent. Over half the states have a cut-off date of August (I'm a teacher) so with these little ones born in May, anything over 27 months apart would make them 3 years apart in school.  Finally, we just had this LO after a 12.5 year gap.....definitely too big a gap between siblings.  My oldest will be off to college when this LO is 3! 

    I'm glad you brought up the school thing. I hadn't thought about that. 

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  • We started trying for number 2 when DS1 turned two. Two miscarriages later we finally had number 2 when DS1 was just over four.

    I had a hard time adjusting to having a baby in the house again. I feel like I forgot everything I knew. DS1 can be super helpful with the baby but he also has had a tough time accepting that he's not going anywhere. I think 4 years of all attention being on him made it harder to accept that there was this new person taking up attention. So we deal with a lot of behavior issues with him and the baby is 3 months old already.

    We want to try for a third and because I turn 33 later this month, we plan to start when DS2 turns one, and we'll see if its in the cards for us.

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  • I'm also 27 and would like at least two or 3 children. Ideally I would like them spaced at least 2 years apart. I'm still trying to figure out myself if that means
    ttc after ds turns 2 or start ttc earlier so they are close to 2 years apart. I def want them to be close in age so they always have someone to play with. I also love the newborn stage. When nannying I found myself getting sad when the kids got older and needed me less. My sister and I are five years apart which I think is too much of a difference. When growing up we weren't as close bc were at diff stages in develop and it didn't have much in common. I also didn't like how since I was older I was suppose to be responsible for her. We weren't close until we were both much older. I would say when I was in college and she was in high school.
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  • I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately as well. I would like to have two children close together then space the rest out farther. Like two within two years then a gap then two more. The reason is that I would like them to be able to relate to each other and also everything is still fresh on my mind.

    The downside is that they may be in competition with each other. I have friends that are like that and the younger one always feels like her older sister does everything before she does. First to graduate, first to give grandkids etc.

    I think every option has good and bad things about it so you just have to do what works best for your family.
    EDIT: to say we haven't figured out what works best for us yet btw.
  • We hope for2-ish years apart, we will likely start ttc again when DD is about 13-14 months. We will see what life rings though.
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  • Honestly I would love to be pregnant again right now!! My DH thinks I have absolutely lost my mind, yeah well I enjoyed everything about it and I'm enjoying my LO so much. But in reality that is not going to happen right now and I do want more one on one time with this one and enjoy him. Our plan is to at least wait until we have LO potty trained and out of his crib and we can work on that while I'm pregnant. So at least 34 years apart and then I would like more but we will have to see when that time comes.
  • You'll forget the infant stuff really quickly. :) By the time we started TTC for #2 when DS1 was around 15 mos. old, I had forgotten a lot of the really tough stuff. It was sort of a haze to me at that point. I feel like maybe it's meant to be that way so that mankind continues to procreate...otherwise, I'm not sure I would have had another. :) Haha. DH wants to have at least one more but I'm going to hold off on making that decision until this LO's infant stage is a haze in my mind. :)

    But yeah. We purposefully tried to space our kids out exactly two years apart and it worked out well (25 mos apart) for all of the reasons mentioned above: so they'd be close playmates, close in school, so that we'd be on the younger side when they were young, and so that we could get all of this infant craziness out of the way at once.

    Not gonna lie, it's hard having two young ones right now. DH and I are running on fumes most days, we're all sleep-deprived, and we pay a lot of money to have good help (babysitter & daycare) around because we don't have much family close by. However, in a couple of years I know I'm going to be so glad we did it this way.

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  • We want ours 2-3 years apart. If I only remember one thing from my human development class (I remember more but anyway) it's that children start having true memories at 3 and older and will remember what it's like to be an only child and can become more resentful of the younger sibling. This of course, was a statistic and there will be kids that don't fit this but for some reason it stuck with me.
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  • image christinaw2011:
    Honestly I would love to be pregnant again right now!! My DH thinks I have absolutely lost my mind, yeah well I enjoyed everything about it and I'm enjoying my LO so much. But in reality that is not going to happen right now and I do want more one on one time with this one and enjoy him. Our plan is to at least wait until we have LO potty trained and out of his crib and we can work on that while I'm pregnant. So at least 34 years apart and then I would like more but we will have to see when that time comes.

    Sorry mobile bumping!! 3 to 4 years
  • I can weigh in here. My boys are a little over two years apart. I will say that it is hard right now. However, I can't wait until they play together and to see their bond. We might have a third, but I don't know yet. If we do, we would probably try for about two and a half years apart. : )
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  • I think we'll start trying when M is a year old... Partly because I'm 34, and partly because I think it would be nice for the siblings and also just makes it kind of one long infant parenting bonanza and then maybe we can all get some sleep! Kidding. Kind of.

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  • As of right now, our plan is to have 2 kiddos...and we will start trying again when V is about 18 months to 2 years old. I personally would like to have 3, but I haven't talked H into that yet, lol. We will see where we are at in a few years and reevaluate. But definitely pretty set on the age difference. My brother is 2.5 years younger, and H's brother is almost exactly 3 years older, so we like that age gap between kids.

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  • Ideally, 1 to 2 years.  My sister and I are 5 years apart and it was too far.  We didn't have much in common and fought a lot. 
  • I'm not concerned about spacing.  IF we decide to have another one, we'll just do it when we're ready.  No decisions need to be made now.
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  • April!April!
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    I am thinking a lot about this too. I'm 34 so I don't want to wait too long. I'm an only child too and don't want to have an only child. I'm in grad school and can either leave early and get a regular job, or finish my program in 3 or more years. I might stay just so I can have another baby with our good health insurance and my flexible schedule! I can't decide what to do.
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  • We have almost exactly 3 years btwn our two. I thought it would be great timing but 3 is kicking my butt. DS1 is very loving with DS2 but we are having major behavior issues. Jealousy mixed with being 3 is my guess. I think we may have one more but might try a smaller or larger gap to try to avoid some of the terrible threes. We'll see. I'm 32 so I want to have our last relatively soon.
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  • LN1024LN1024
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    We are kind of care free in regards to this question. We want two kids and want them to be pretty close in age, but have no specific plans at this time. We will probably re-evaluate this question as a couple in the beginning of 2014 and go from there. We are just focusing on the little one we have now. 
  • We want four kids but would settle for three if we have to. It took us four years ttc DS and a year of actual fertility treatments. We want to start trying for number 2 in a few months but I want to lose a lot of weight first. We will probably need to go through IVF again so it could be a while. We're playing it by ear but feel the clock is ticking because DH is already 35 and I'm 33.
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  • image surpriseaddition:
    My two oldest are 2 years 4 months apart and I thought that was perfect. nbsp;However, based upon where their birthdays fall in the year, they are 3 years apart gradelevel wise. nbsp;That is something to consider. nbsp;Most schools are broken down into really small segments k5 or even k2/35 68, and then 912. nbsp;If your kids are more than 3 years apart, they are never really at the same school growing up. nbsp;This can be a PITA as a parent. Over half the states have a cutoff date of August I'm a teacher so with these little ones born in May, anything over 27 months apart would make them 3 years apart in school. nbsp;Finally, we just had this LO after a 12.5 year gap.....definitely too big a gap between siblings. nbsp;My oldest will be off to college when this LO is 3!nbsp;


    This! I want our next son to be 2 grades apart. Being from NY, there you have till December before the cut off date but we now live in the South, the cut off is August. We are going to try and have the next LO in JulyAug of 2015. If we were back in NY we would be planing for October/November.
  • My oldest is 6 1/2 years older than DS2. However he is from a previous relationship so I didn't really want that age gap but in the long run glad I didn't have another child with my ex. It was like starting over for me plus with DS1 I was a working mother and with DS2 a stay at home mom. Big difference. Then I found out at only 12 weeks pp that I was 4 weeks pregnant with DS3. Not the spacing I wanted again but I am blessed to have this little one in my life. It has been difficult but I know in the long run it will turn out okay. They will grow up together and hopefully be best friends.

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  • We didn't have the luxury of getting pregnant when we wanted to. Infertility changed our path several times. Because of that, our kids are 7 years apart.
  • We are hoping for a second baby in 2 to 3 years for the reasons others mentioned. Then DH has volunteered to get the snip snip.
    Baby girl born 5/20/13. Figuring it out as we go. :)
  • There are 7 years between DS1 and DS2. Also 7 years between DS2  and DS3. But apparently there will only be 10 months between DS3 and LO4 since we found out last night we are expecting again!

  • image LN1024:
    We are kind of care free in regards to this question. We want two kids and want them to be pretty close in age, but have no specific plans at this time. We will probably re-evaluate this question as a couple in the beginning of 2014 and go from there. We are just focusing on the little one we have now. 

    We're like this too, somewhat carefree.  I'm not on birth control now but I am EBF(and he's pulling out, sorry tmi).  I'm sorta hoping for natural spacing, possibly getting pregnant again when dd is a year old.   We'll see, I want 3 and right now he only wants 2. 

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