Planning age gaps between children?

Discussion in 'Natural Parenting' started by onedaybaby, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. onedaybaby

    onedaybaby Mum of 1 and TTC no2

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    Hi

    Thought I'd ask you lot on here as some issues to do with spacing out children will relate to 'natural parenting'. This looks like it will be long so apologies!

    Our little one isn't quite here yet of course but the husband and I occasionally discuss what age gap to allow between children (as in when to try again as I know you can't plan exactly for these things but I've got pregnant twice, both within 2-3 months of trying).

    We're 24 so no rush to have a second baby in terms of time running out but I'd like to be done by 30 and we want 2 or 3. Part of me feels that it doesn't matter about having another quickly as it would be delightful to have just our son for a few years, but I have been considering around a 18-24 month gap.

    There are 2 issues that I hope your insights can help me with:
    1. We will be babywearing, cosleeping and breastfeeding (for at least the first year, maybe up to 2 and I don't fancy tandem feeding) - how will these be affected by a small age gap? As in you can't wear 2 children at once and I don't want to have to use a pram for one as not a pram fan.
    I know with cosleeping our oldest could move to sleeping between us, while the newborn sleeps by me, but we will need a bigger bed!

    Exclusive breastfeeding will render me infertile for at least 6 months after birth? When did your periods return? Did you use contraception? We don't like barrier methods and I don't want to use hormonal methods so would do the fertility monitoring, withdrawal and hope for the best - and if we got pregnant while trying not to then it was meant to be and at least means we don't have to go through the whole ttc thing!

    2. My husband is doing a phd, we live off his grant money only as I am a housewife :happydance: If we leave a 2 year age gap he will have finished his phd, his funding will have stopped and he will either be just starting a new job or other research position, or he will be in between, looking for work, not bringing any money in.

    If we plan to start trying at beginning of 2012 when our son is 10 months ish then our next child would hopefully be born later in 2012 when husband still has funding and he can take paternity leave again, and he is hoping to finish early and will just be editing at that stage.

    If a 2 year age gap means we could be in a precarious position and at a time when my husband has a lot of other things on his plate, before he settles into a new position and we start trying there would be a 2.5-3 yr age gap. For me this is bigger a gap than I would like.

    So maybe sooner rather than later?

    What do you think?

    P.S: We started ttc this one when we had no money coming in and my husband was still applying for phds so we are sensible to a point but we were happy to take a risk as it just felt the right time!
     
  2. freckleonear

    freckleonear Crunchy mummy

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    We have a 27 month age gap so I'll try to answer some of your questions.

    Babywearing - it is possible to tandem wear but I find wearing both of them really hard work. It's only very recently that we don't need a carrier/pushchair for my son when he gets tired (he has just had his 3rd birthday). Until now he would often get tired.

    Cosleeping - we have had a few nights with both toddler and baby in our bed but you're right, it is very squished! Sometimes hubby goes to sleep in our son's bed so I can have one either side of me. We only cosleep occasionally but even so we're saving up for a bigger bed. It's definitely worth it!

    Breastfeeding - exclusive breastfeeding is not a reliable form of contraception as you can ovulate before your periods return. With my son my periods returned after 8 months, but with my daughter it was only 3. We mainly use natural family planning.

    I think my ideal gap would be 18-24 months, as at that age they can do a lot for themselves but at 2.5-3 years toddlers don't accept change so easily. It's a very personal thing though! You may find that your spacing plans go completely out of the window once baby arrives, mine certainly did! :lol:
     
  3. Rachel_C

    Rachel_C Well-Known Member

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    I would just wait and see what happens, that's not much help I know, sorry! When you have your first you might find yourself thinking that there's no way you could cope with another for a few years, or you might really want to have them close together so that you can do all the baby stuff within a few years.

    I always planned to have babies close together but OH wanted them spaced years apart. At the end of the day, I said that as I have to have them and I'm the one who stays at home with them, it's my choice or nothing :rofl:. So we will have a 23 month gap between ours which is just right for me. Regarding financial situations etc, we're not in an ideal situation to be expecting another but we thought that it was better to get the right age gap because in a few years time, the financial things will be long forgotten but the age gap will still be there. We can manage, you can always find a way to manage; it may not be easy or ideal but I'd rather get the more long lasting stuff right for us.
     
  4. cookielucylou

    cookielucylou Well-Known Member

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    Our lo is just coming up for 3 months now, and are thinking about trying for a 2nd one fairly soon so have been wondering the same sort of things as you. We are only using natural family planning too as it wouldn't be a huge disaster to get pregnant again now.
    I do feel if you leave to long a gap it is going to be difficult to get the first one to accept a new baby, on the other hand though I would like time to spend with my son before he has to share our attention.
     
  5. Kota

    Kota Mum and Preg!

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    My little boy has just turned 1 and my AF has only just returned (yesterday) for the first time., :( we've been having un-protected sex since he was born always figuring that it wouldn't be the end of the world if we fell again. I still co-sleep f/t but we will very shortly be starting the process to get him in his own bed the majority of the time as there is just not enough room in our bed for another baby, and not enough room in the room, for a bigger bed.
    Re breastfeeding, to me, making sure my boy was breastfed at least for 12months was more important to me then TTC a second. I would never have weaned him to TTC as he was the baby that was here, and he requires my attention and caregiving first, not another baby thats not even conceived. Now that my AF has returned, if we fall again and he self weans then so be it, if not I'll tandem nurse, I expect that by the time any new baby comes along he'd be down to 1-2 feeds a day max anyway.
    re babywearing, we will wear a new baby where ever we go and put P in a pram, or if my hubby is with us, then both can be worn, we will also have a double pram as our current one converts so it will very much depend on where we're going and what moods both kids are in. If the baby is happy to nap in the pram but P is upset and will only settle being worn then I'm not going to force him to be in a pram just so I can wear a baby that doesn't mind either way.
     
  6. baby05

    baby05 Well-Known Member

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    We had planned on an 18 month age difference between kids, but had a chemical and then a late miscarriage with the pregnancies after our first was born. So our first and second child are 3 years apart. 2,3 & 4 were all 18 months exactly apart, and after having number 4, I took a break from being pregnant and breastfeeding followed by a pregnancy LOL!

    My youngest is now 2, and I am ready to take care of this new little one that is on the way.
    We knew we wanted to have our LOs while we were fairly young, and I am glad that we did as I have met so many women who are now in their late 30's early 40's and finding that "planning" a pregnancy is almost impossible as it takes a lot longer to get pregnant than it did at 25.

    If I was to decide to have another LO after this baby is born, I would want to start trying for him/her very soon after delivery 3-6 months) I am not getting any younger and if it will take a year or more to get pregnant... I dont want to waste too much time in trying.

    I wish (I & ) all people could "plan" their pregnancies ... It would be sooo nice if everyone who was trying could get pregnant in say a 6 months of trying!

    Oh and a heads up on breastfeeding, you CAN and likely WILL ovulate while exclusively BF your LO! so PLEASE dont rely on that as a form of BC. If you want to wait, use a proven method. My brother and I are 13 months apart because my mom was promised that she wouldnt get pregnant if she BF only.... they told her that if she was FF , and BF part time, it might happen....
    BUT they were wrong!
     
  7. littlestar

    littlestar Proud Mum to a Little Boy

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    we;re trying for our second baby now (we decided when Q was 8 months old but cycles are just starting to return now at 15 months)

    as for baby wearing - we don't exclusively babywear. but there is two of you! men can wear carriers and share the burden too!

    we always wanted two children close together in age, which would allow me to take a career break once then go back to work when youngest is in nursery. i'm 30 now and really don't want to wait too much longer.
     
  8. Aunty E

    Aunty E Mummy to Mog and Teddy

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    We decided to have our second pretty soon after the first for a few reasons (we won't be having any more for several years, if at all).

    We thought that Mog would take to a new baby better if she was younger,

    We thought that we might as well get the pregnancy, disturbed sleep, nappies, exorbitant childcare and pushchairs out of the way in one fell swoop.

    Ditto maternity leave for me, which is a bit of a problem with my career progression.

    I will say that it has been hard being pregnant and working full-time, with an active toddler. I'll tell you what it's like with a toddler and newborn in a few weeks.
     
  9. onedaybaby

    onedaybaby Mum of 1 and TTC no2

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    We had planned on an 18 month age difference between kids, but had a chemical and then a late miscarriage with the pregnancy after our first was born.

    It will have taken us 18 months to have our first born child as we miscarried our first pregnancy so I know how things may not go to plan, sorry for your losses. Fingers crossed it won't happen to us again

    Oh and a heads up on breastfeeding, you CAN and likely WILL ovulate while exclusively BF your LO! so PLEASE dont rely on that as a form of BC.

    Lol I just can't imagine getting pregnant unplanned as in our 7 years together before we started ttc our contraception was always successful, and we didn't use contraception for 9 months before that after I came off the pill, tried natural methods instead. I know in the long term this won't work but it must definitely postpone pregnancy for a little bit!

    I'm loving this pregnancy so can see myself wanting lots of babies (well max 3 maybe) - wow, it's amazing that you're on your 5th, it can't be too hard work then?
     
  10. onedaybaby

    onedaybaby Mum of 1 and TTC no2

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. Your insights have been very interesting.

    I suppose it just depends on when we're lucky enough to successfully fall pregnant again and sod everything else. I'm leaning more towards aiming for a second to be born late 2012. I will miss being pregnant (but then I'm still in my 8th month so maybe that will change!).

    We have room for a kingsize bed so maybe we'd trade up for a second baby unless we bring in a mattress - I suppose sleeping arrangements are a minor thing.

    And I can see that tandem feeding wouldn't be a problem for a short time as the older one would be feeding comparatively infrequently and I've heard that most toddlers self wean while you're pregnant with the next, whether they would have anyway or because of changes in your milk during pregnancy. It's important to me for our first to breastfeed for as long as it is mutually desired and I would not force him to stop to allow periods to return if they haven't yet, or just because I got pregnant. At this stage I can't know when breastfeeding would end and will not put a limit on it.

    I suppose a lot of the time that I go out it will be my husband so he can carry the older one. Good thing I got myself a girasol in addition to our gypsy mama stretchy wrap so we can accommodate them both! And if a buggy would make things easier for my solo outings then I suppose it wouldn't be a huge deal. We tend to walk a lot to get to places and pushing a buggy up the hills doesn't look all that much fun, but oh well. But I would try carrying both at once, eek!
     
  11. Aunty E

    Aunty E Mummy to Mog and Teddy

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    You think pushing a buggy uphill isn't much fun? Try carrying a 17month old when you're eight months pregnant. MUCH LESS FUN.
     
  12. lynnikins

    lynnikins Well-Known Member

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    1. We will be babywearing, cosleeping and breastfeeding (for at least the first year, maybe up to 2 and I don't fancy tandem feeding) - how will these be affected by a small age gap? As in you can't wear 2 children at once and I don't want to have to use a pram for one as not a pram fan.
    I know with cosleeping our oldest could move to sleeping between us, while the newborn sleeps by me, but we will need a bigger bed!

    Babywearing you can do with 2 children but by 18months most children are happy to walk a fair bit , co-sleeping defo possibility with 2 kids in the bed but my boys elected themselves to tell me that co-sleeping wasnt working and they sleep better now in their own beds than in ours, breastfeeding again can be done when pregnant, my periods returned at 5 months he had been sleeping through the night since 8wks with no feeds in the night so my hormone levels dropped , periods stopped again when we were co-sleeping as EJ would feed in the night but started again when he moved out of our bed once again, Breastfeeding isnt a end to periods for all women its only the lucky ones who manage to keep them at bay while BF lol

    2. My husband is doing a phd, we live off his grant money only as I am a housewife If we leave a 2 year age gap he will have finished his phd, his funding will have stopped and he will either be just starting a new job or other research position, or he will be in between, looking for work, not bringing any money in.

    If we plan to start trying at beginning of 2012 when our son is 10 months ish then our next child would hopefully be born later in 2012 when husband still has funding and he can take paternity leave again, and he is hoping to finish early and will just be editing at that stage.

    If a 2 year age gap means we could be in a precarious position and at a time when my husband has a lot of other things on his plate, before he settles into a new position and we start trying there would be a 2.5-3 yr age gap. For me this is bigger a gap than I would like.
    I have a 21 month age gap, ds1 was concived while DH was at Uni and DH was a stay at home dad for his final year of his degree while I worked after having ds1, ds2 was concived the month of ds1s first birthday and we had hoped DH would have secured a better job by that point as it happens hes still working for the same company on a low wage so we get some housing benifit help plus tax credits which keep us going DH is looking into further study or training as well as getting a better job and I will be looking for work before the Summer this year to top up our income as the boys are old enough to go into some partime childcare now

    We were planning another similar age gap but will probably wait to try till Christmas time now with everything else thats happening so would end up with 2 1/2 yr ish gap
     
  13. baby05

    baby05 Well-Known Member

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    To the OP, I am thankful to be a SAHM, and love spending time with my LO's it IS very hard work. most days my feet are sore , my back hurts and I have days where I want to go to sleep instead of making breakfast LOL.... but I look into the eyes of any of my LO's my heart melts and I keep going because they are the most precious things on this earth, and it has always been my PRIVILEGE to take care of them and make sure they have every thing they need to be happy and healthy.
     
  14. NaturalMomma

    NaturalMomma Well-Known Member

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    Our kids are 2 years 9 months apart. I love it. ds1 was potty trained when ds2 came and he was old enough to understand the pregnancy, birth and baby. They are now 3.5 years and 9 months and they play together.
     
  15. Kaites

    Kaites Well-Known Member

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    I think really it's a personal preference that only you and your OH can really decide on and you might find that yoru plans change once your first LO arrives too. I always thought that I'd want 2 kids but more and more lately I'm thinking that our family feels complete the way it is now. Of course that's not to say we wouldn't welcome another if we had a happy accident, but I don't know that we'll ttc another.

    BFwise, it was 14 months AF-free for me. We're still BFing and that's another reason I wouldn't want to ttc anyway- I think my body needs a break from baby making and BFing once that day finally comes. But again, that's just me :)
     
  16. mandarhino

    mandarhino Mum of 1

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    I had 13 months with no AF.

    I would like another I think. But my DH is not yet sold on the idea. And I'm still BFing and would like to continue till she's 2ish. Then I'd like a break to give my body time to recover. But I'd also like a 3 yearish gap so that wouldn't be much of a break.

    I suppose I'll see what happens. We don't really have too much time to dither as I'm mid 30s and my DH is several years older than me.
     

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