Anyone have babies 18 months apart? Advice? — The Bump
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Anyone have babies 18 months apart? Advice?

Hi Ladies,

My DH and I recently found out that we are expecting our 2nd child!  :)  We have a son who is currently 10 months old.  Anyone else have this approx. age gap?  Any suggestions?

 We are trying to plan ahead--ie. what type of stroller will we use?  Will we need two cribs?  Does an 18 month old still sleep in a crib?!  ahh!  A lot to think about...and I would LOVE any advice you have to offer!  

 Thanks! 

Jen 

Re: Anyone have babies 18 months apart? Advice?

  • I do not have 2 ... but I can tell you that most 18mo olds are for sure still in a crib. I would highly recommend getting a second for #2. Also, I know my DD at 18mo old still needed a stroller for outings as she got tired walking a lot and also, was very slow! It was nice to put her in the stroller and not having to wait for her to hurry up or run off!

    My brother and I are 18mo (almost exactly) apart and we are very close now as adults. Congrats!

  • Mine are 18 months apart.  Yes, you'll need two cribs, unless you are very, very brave.  My daughter moved to a regular bed at age 3.

    I have a sit and stand stroller, but we only use it for trips that involve a lot of walking (like the zoo or the fair).  When my youngest was an infant, I'd put him in the Ergo and my daughter would ride in the umbrella stroller.  When my youngest was too big for the Ergo, my daughter was old enough that she preferred to walk rather than sit in a stroller.  These days my daughter walks and my son rides in the umbrella stroller.

    Having two that close together is a challenge at first, but it does get easier!  Keep that in mind during the early days.  Once you learn how to manage two, it's easier to handle.  And now that mine are a year and a half and three, they play together, which is so sweet to watch:).

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  • Our daughters are 19 months apart and I have to admit, it's tough. I'll tell you what we're doing so maybe you can see what works for you. 

     We went with 2 cribs for a couple reasons. 1) DD#1 loves her crib. She moves around all night long and uses every square inch of the thing. 2) We didn't want to worry about her getting out of bed and running around when we brought a newborn home. So far, the 2 cribs are working out well because DD#1 shows no real signs of transitioning out of her crib, except for maybe growing out of it soon (she's super tall for her age). I will say, most people I know who have 2 under 2 transitioned their older kids to a toddler bed a few months before #2 was born and have done just fine with that arrangement.

    We also started out with a co-sleeper, but DD#2 (10 weeks old tomorrow) sleeps better in her swing so we've been doing that recently. That said, the co-sleeper was a lifesaver for the first 8 weeks because of the frequent wake ups. DD#1 is a pretty light sleeper, so having DD#2 close to us so that we could grab her quickly was really helpful. 

     We have a split level and that has helped a ton too. Their rooms are right next to each other, so if DD#2 wakes up, we can quickly grab her and take her downstairs. We have 2 swings (one on each floor) so she can sleep no matter where DD#1 is. 

    We bought a bouncy seat and that's been a help for times when DD#2 is awake with the rest of the family. She'll sit in her bouncy at the dining room table while we all eat and it's great for just hanging out at family time.

     Believe it or not, you can start potty training before DC#2 arrives. We haven't pushed it, but friends of mine had their daughter potty trained by 18 months, 2 months before DC#2 was born and I know their lives are MUCH easier. You change A LOT of diapers when you have 2 around. We have 3 diaper genies (1 in each girls' rooms and 1 downstairs) and we have to take out all 3 at least once a week. It's insane. 

    I don't have a lot of advice on a stroller because I find it's just easier to carry DD#2 in a Bjorn and push DD#1 in our stroller. The couple of times I looked at double strollers, they just seemed so huge and cumbersome to me that we just decided to wait and see, so far it doesn't seem like we'll be purchasing a double anytime soon. For me, a Bjorn is a MUST. 

    Hmm...that's all I can think of for now. If you'd like more info, just let me know...I can give you my email address. Good luck! It's crazy, but fun and I'll be SO glad to get out of the baby stage!! 

     

     

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  • I just have to respond to a previous poster's comments about potty training at 18 months.  It's totally awesome if you can do that, but that is far ahead of the normal age.  So, don't feel bad if you don't.

    Mine are 22 months apart - 5 months and 24 months.

    My oldest is still in a crib and happily there.  I do have a toddler bed for her, but I'm not moving her until she's absolutely ready.  My SIL moved her 18 month old into a toddler bed when her youngest came and that worked for them - but they had a very, very small house and it was easy to monitor her movements and keep her in her room.  That's not often the case.

    My youngest is still in a co-sleeper.  I'll be moving him into his crib in his own room in the next month or so.

    As far as strollers go, I find we use both our Graco travel light and our double stroller.  We use the travel light when my husband is along and can walk with #1 (and carry her if she gets tired).  We use the double stroller when there is a ton of walking involved or I'm by myself at the mall, etc.

    From birth to about  8 - 9 weeks, we didn't have a ton of challenges.  My youngest was still so sleepy and I was still at home, so if our schedule got off, it wasn't a big deal.

    From about 8 - 9 weeks on, the most challenging time was (and is) bath time/bed time.  My husband works nights, so I'm often by myself and both kids are tired an cranky at the same time.  The thing that's worked best for me is to start bath time a little bit earlier than I was for #1 before #2 came along.  Let her play in the bathtub while I lotion and pajama up #2 on the bathroom floor (we don't bath him very often, he has bad excema an it's hard on his skin).  Then, we put pajamas on #1 in her room while #2 lays on a comfy blanket next to us (he's no longer a fan of the bouncy seat).  Then, if I'm alone - we go into my room, #1 snuggles up in our bed and watches a little Caillou while I feed and rock #2 to sleep.  Then I take #1 in and read her stories and put her to bed.

    If DH is home, he takes #2 and feeds and rocks him and I take #1 in and read and rock her.

    It is getting easier as they age - so what Coreen said, that it'll get easier is totally true.  Hard to remember when they're super little, but totally true.

    Aside from bedtimes, the hardest thing is feeling like there's not enough of you to go around.  I LOVE my babies and I'm so happy to have them both.  And - I miss how much time and attention I could lavish on #1 by herself and I wish I had the kind of time to lavish and spoil #2 the way I did his sister when she was an only child.  I don't think they notice it all that much, but I do.  For that reason, I'm finding it hard to face moving #2 into his own room.  I want him next to me at night till he's married, with children.  (ha....kidding).

    One other thing....#1 has had a hard time, at times, letting #2 use the baby items (like the bouncey, the swing, etc).  I wish I'd brought that stuff out a little sooner than I did and let her play with them so that she had gotten used to them and they were old news when #2 arrived.

    Good luck, you'll find your way!

    Also - this blog helps me a ton:  http://www.babybunching.com/

  • imagecoribecca:

      And now that mine are a year and a half and three, they play together, which is so sweet to watch:).

    I just had to comment on this too - my youngest has started laughing at my oldest when she tries to entertain him (which she loves to do, along with giving him kisses and hugs and holding him) and it absolutely melts my heart.

  • My situation is a little different - I have twins and a 3rd that will be born when they are 25 months.

    We bought a 3rd crib. Even though we could have moved them into toddler beds we decided we didn't want to push any big changes right before the baby arrived. They are great sleepers and very happy in their cribs so I wanted to keep that routine the same for them. If they start trying to climb out, we'll reevaluate.

    Having two kids that close in age will be a lot of work, but as they get older I bet they'll be great friends! Even though having twins is different, I can say that it is a ton of work and can be emotionally exhausting to meet two kids' needs, BUT it is amazing to watch the bond that they have and the friendship they are developing. Best of luck!

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!!  I really appreciate all of the wonderful advice.  I am so excited to welcome another special addition to our family, but the 'unknown' of the changes ahead can be daunting. Reading your experiences helps me begin to piece together what life may bring.

    Thank you again!!   

    Jen 

  • Mine are also 18 months apart.  I have to say that while it is a lot of work I LOVE it.  My second was a much easier baby than my first, so in many ways it was much easier than going from 0 to 1 kids.  And now that we are about to hit the one year mark, they are playing together more and more.  This weekend DD#2 was jumping in her jumperoo while DD#1 jumped on the floor in front of her both giggling and giggling.  Adorable.

    I also bought a second crib.  I actually got DD#2 a dresser and crib that matched DD#1's and moved the changing table into the baby's room.  I change both girls in there, and it gives my older girl more room for toys.  The cribs change into toddler beds, and a couple months after DD#1 turned 2, we transitioned her to a bed.

    I waited to buy a double stroller and then bought one off Craigs List right before we went to the fair last year.  We rarely use it.  When she was smaller we'd put DD#2 in the carrier.  Plus as DD#1 has gotten older she is better and better at just walking so we save the double for big trips.  Plus my hubby is a SAHD so when we took them places during my maternity leave we'd just use two strollers rather than one huge one that is hard to operate.

    Both of mine are still in diapers, but now at least they wear the same size.  Having two girls close together is nice because the hand me downs are still stylish too.

    Probably the biggest challenge has been sleep.  DD#1 has night terrors sometimes and wakes up at least once a night about 50% of the time.  DD#2 is up at least once and often more about 90% of the time.  I know this will get better, but I hate sleep deprivation.  In the early months DH and I were each assigned a kid at night, but now I usually get up unless it is really bad.

    I made sure to get the kids on similar bedtime routines early on, and I do anything possible to give the girls a bath at the same time.  In the beginning I'd do the baby's bath and DH would do DD#1's.  Then we figured out that the infant tub can span across the big bathtub so one person could do #2 up top and #1 down below.  Now both girls can be in the same tub which they love.

    One of the things that I think worked really well about this age difference is that DD#1 was so young when DD#2 was born that she really did not know the difference between having a sister or not so she adapted really quickly. 

    Oh and we refer to them as #1 and #2 quite often Smile

    Jen - Mom to Jillian (10/2008) and Hayden (4/2010)

    My Blog

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  • My first two are 18 months apart and #3 is 2 years and 4 month younger than #2.  There are times when it is crazy, but I will say, it was no where near as bad as I was expecting.  I did NOT buy a second crib... My first was an acrobat and was climbing out of his crib regularly at 15 mo, so we set up his twin bed and let him chose.  After 3 nights in a row of him climbing out of his crib and falling asleep in his bed, we took the crib down.  That was at 18 mo... but even if he hadn't chosen that route, there was still 3 months in the bassinet followed by another 2 in the swing.  

    I walk and run a lot, so while I do like the bjorn/stroller combo for ease of packing, when I wanted to really exercise, it wasn't the best option.  I will advise AGAINST a tandem stroller.  I had one that was not only heavy, bulky and hard to steer, but my son (and all his chunky weight) sat up front and it made it impossible to tilt up on any sidewalks or curbs not to mention if you got a little momentum going down a soft shoulder on the road!  I eventually got a side by side jogger which i love! While it is wide and barely fits through doors, it steers like a dream, has good storage, is comfy and each side reclines separately.  Now, with three kids, I pack the double stroller and the bjorn and am able to rotate all three.  It reclines far enough that I was comfortable and confident taking the baby out at less than one week old.  My oldest will walk a good deal of the time, but on a long walk, even he tires out eventually. 

    Some 18 mo olds are so good about walking and holding hands, but my oldest was not one of those.  I did the right hip carry with him and the left arm car seat carry for a full year.  (my son would bolt if I put him down and I am super strict about him staying with me- my husband, not so much). This time around, I make sure I always have the back up, whether it is the stroller, bjorn, or even those hideous/huge carts at the grocery store that seat like 7.  

    While potty training would have been fantastic, it did not happen... for a very long time- in our house.  The plus side, my daughter (who's younger) picked up on it only 4 months after my son.  

    Congrats!  It really is so much fun!  I absolutely LOVE having my kids close in age.   They play, cuddle, cause trouble, flood bathrooms, put capes on my dog, read books to each other, kiss each other's owies, hug each other, correct each other, and in general LOVE each other and they have never known anything different... and neither will you!

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