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Thread: Baby Spacing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    New Zealand
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    651

    Baby Spacing

    Whether you're a mom, TTC, expecting, or just planning ahead... What is your personal stance on baby spacing? By this, I mean the number of years between each of your children, if you are planning to have more than one. I'd love to hear about the pros and cons of different spacings.

    For example, here are some sibling spaces I currently know in real life, and I wonder which has the most benefits.

    Family A Kids:

    Age 15, Age 11 (4 years between #1 and #2)

    Family B Kids:

    Age 15, Age 14, Age 5 (1 year between #1 and #2, 9 years between #2 and #3)

    Family C Kids:

    Age 8, Age 5, Age 4 (3 years between #1 and #2, 1 year between #2 and #3)

    Family D Kids:

    Age 21, Age 9 (12 year between #1 and #2)

    So, what's your family's age spacing or what are you planning for the future?
    sunny margaret
    léonie evelyn
    cassia june
    ophelia belle
    all those days in the sun, what I'd give to relive just one...
    jasper robin
    vincent mathias
    aurelius claude
    tristan augustus




  2. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Northern US
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    346
    I'm just a teen, so not ttc or expecting but just planning ahead. I've always wanted to have 4-6 kids, so I'd have the first two about 2 years apart, wait about 3 years, have the next two about 2 years apart, and then after that whatever happens happens.

    I think it would be really nice for my kids to all have a built in playmate. I'm almost 5 years older than my siblings who are twins, and I would often feel left out from them because I was so much older and they were the exact same age so they could relate to each other more.
    Harley Eloise - Cecelia Noelle - Piper Joy - Skye Adeline - Lucille Rey
    Fia Belle - Ivy Rose - Campbell Jane - Dylan Elise - Caroline Margaret

    Elliott Jude - Kian Brooks - Rowan Gabriel - Lincoln Oliver - Sawyer Jonas
    Emmett Reese - Finnegan Henry - Jack Cameron - Tyler Flynn - Hudson Kai

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    USA
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    1,917
    If all goes to plan...

    DS1: born Dec 2017
    DS2: born January 2020
    ~mysterious future baby~: born June 2021

    DS1 and DS2 will be two years apart, DS2 and possible future baby #3 would be 1.5 years apart, DS1 and baby #3 would 3.5 years apart. June of 2021 I will be 28, breastfeed for up to two years, and then be done with baby experience by the time I am 30, after what will be nearly 6-7 years of consecutive pregnancies and baby rearing. Our kids will all be pretty close in age and I think that will have some benefits but it really is just about what works for you and what you want when planning your family.
    FC 12/21/2017
    RO EDD 01/10/2020

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    875
    There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Small age gaps mean the children are more likely to be interested in the same things, planning activities all will enjoy is easier, toys/clothes can be easily shared or passed down, and you spend less time struggling to find full-time childcare if both parents work. Bigger agegaps may mean they have less in common, bit older siblings might be more able to help, shared activities can be harder, but there should be less bickering over toys. You might not have kept some baby items if the age gap is big, meaning g you have to buy again, but at least you wont have to buy two lots in close proximity. You can save up more and maybe help kids with college/moving out, but kids with bigger agegaps may be less happy to share a room, if that's necessary. I'd imagine bigger age gaps are also less disruptive to the woman's career
    Girls Names
    Liliana Juliet Sylvia Marcella Rosalie Evadne

    Girls Middles/Honours
    Juliet Margot Vera Celia Rosalie Eleanor


    Boys Names
    Griffin Elliot 'Otto' Caspian Jonas Elias Chester

    Boys Middles/Honours
    Daniel Charles Bennett Piers Thomas


  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Northern Europe
    Posts
    820
    I suppose everything has good and bad sides to it.
    For us, this is how things are and how I'd like them to be:

    My oldest son will be 5 years (and 6 months) old when my second is born. This wasn't planned, but it's just how things turned out. After that we'd like 2 more children (so 4 in total), with an age gap of about 1,5 or 2 years between each. That way (if the age gap is 2 years both times) I'll be 35 when our youngest is born.

    With this baby I think it's nice that my son is a bit older, so he can help with his little brother and he doesn't need the same amount of care that a toddler would need. On the other hand I don't think they'll be playing together a lot, because they'll be interested in completely different things. Our younger children will, if everything goes as planned, be able to play with each other, while my oldest might feel a bit "left out" because of the bigger age gap... I don't know, we'll see how things work out.
    Mother to Hjörtur Emmanuel & baby due November 2019

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  6. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    916
    There will be almost 3 years between my first and second, and I'm pretty pleased with that gap. #1 is potty trained, capable of communicating her needs, and fairly independent at this point. I think we'll have a third, and I'd like a similar age gap between #2 and #3. Then there will be able 6 years total between our three kids, which will help a lot as far as spacing out daycare costs, and hopefully school costs later.

    If I was having more kids, and/or staying home with them, I would likely want them closer together. If I was planning to go back to work at least. I have a few relatives who have done this, get alllll the pregnancy/breastfeeding/other baby rearing stuff over with fast, then they can go back to work once all the kids are in school. It's a little crazy, but they make it work. This is actually super common where I live, people here commonly have 4 kids and 2 years is about the standard gap in between.

  7. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    United States
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    3,340
    It really just depends on several different factors. Temperament, family dynamic, finances, and so on.

    We don't know how many children we'll be able to have or how long it will take us to conceive again after this baby is born. I think our ideal situation right now would be having two kids, with a 3 year age gap in between. I used to want kids born close in age but that's a huge NOPE from me anymore lol. It is so, so much work. Friends of ours are about to have their 6th. Each kid is 1-2 years apart. The parents are incredibly overwhelmed, their finances are shot, they can't afford daycare, the kids always fight, tensions are high in the house, the parents have no time together, they can't all fit into the same vehicle with all of the car seats, the mom's body is suffering from constant pregnancies, and not to mention that have multiples in diapers at a time is crazy expensive. They say the like the gap but it literally has no benefits to anyone involved.

    I've known many other kinds of families though. A high school friend is 3 years younger than her sister, about 4 years older than her younger brother, and was 16 and 18 years younger than her two youngest brothers. The girls are pretty close (though they still fight horribly) but they pretty much had to help raise the boys. They aren't close at all.

    In my own family, things are a bit messy. Long story short, we have varying age gaps and grew up in mostly separate households, in groups. Out of all of my siblings, I'm probably closest to the sister I'm about 2 years older than. Don't get me wrong, we HATED each other for years growing up but she's always been my best friend.

    One thing I do want to say is that it makes me cringe a bit when people say they want to have kids close in age just so the kids can play together. As some of the examples above show, it doesn't always work out that way. Do what is best for you and your family. If that means a longer (or shorter!) age gap, then try for that.
    Alyssa

    Elim Nathaniel James due Feb 2020 <3

    "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself"~ Coco Chanel

  8. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Australia
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    2,109
    My sister and I are 8.5 years apart... and I do not want to repeat that (not that my parents could help it). I just feel like I spent a lot of time feeling like a care-giver more than a sibling. It took til adulthood for us to grow closer, and I don't want that for my children. I want them to enjoy being kids together and bonding with someone who's a similar age.

    Based on all the family and friends babies I've looked after, I think around 2-3 years would be the best gap. It allows time to focus on big developments (walking, potty training, etc) with each child, before going back to giving most of your time to a newborn. The few people I know that have 2 under 2 said they don't recommend it - both babies are just too dependant on mum at the same time.
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  9. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by namergirl3 View Post
    I used to want kids born close in age but that's a huge NOPE from me anymore lol. It is so, so much work. Friends of ours are about to have their 6th. Each kid is 1-2 years apart. The parents are incredibly overwhelmed, their finances are shot, they can't afford daycare, the kids always fight, tensions are high in the house, the parents have no time together, they can't all fit into the same vehicle with all of the car seats, the mom's body is suffering from constant pregnancies, and not to mention that have multiples in diapers at a time is crazy expensive. They say the like the gap but it literally has no benefits to anyone involved.
    YIKES!! What chaos! :O
    This is a perfect example of why "let's just start with one" is so important. If things are hard or falling apart, you shouldn't feel pressured to stick to the plan you made umpteen years ago. If you said you wanted 6 kids, but 3 drives you crazy then stop at 3! Why push yourself and feel like you're losing your marbles??! :O
    Aussie Redhead - 26yrs
    Wifey to my Sunshine - 17.2.17
    TTC 2020/2021

    .girls.
    Persephone Anouk Wren | Mercedes Aliyah Rose
    Kalliope Haven Grace | Saoirse Arwen Snow
    Endelyon Aurora Niamh | Xanthippe Raven Willow
    Apolline Violetta Rain

    .boys.
    Othello Bentley Fox | Atlas Orion Boyd | Vincent Aurel Lark
    ...musing over Bowen, Oberon, Roman, Felix, Areion, Horatio...

    .either.
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  10. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    932
    We had always planned three in relatively short amount of time, with the second being adopted. Ideally we would have 3 under 4. I had nannied for many different families with a lot of different spacings and structures and I really liked the close-knit nature of a single pack or cohort coming up at the same time and experiencing more or less the same phases in short succession. That said, the other families I worked for that had larger spacings or different planning were perfectly wonderful families, too. I can definitely see the benefits on all sides.

    I haven't REALLY started on a career track and I would like to have our youngest in school by the time I'm 35. I'll stay at home until then and then have 30 solid years to build a career. That timing has been a factor in why we felt that our plan would be ideal.

    We now have our number one, but are waiting on our number two. I'm not certain that things will happen on our timeline, which is ultimately ok, though it stings.

    If we adopt in the next year or so, we plan to wait at least 12-15 months to TTC again for our number 3.

    If we have waited two years on an adoption with no placement, we plan to TTC Nov 2020ish. If we conceived right away, that would mean 4 years between my births. We would then go back to the adoption process after about a year and consider a child that was no older than our first, but possibly between the children I had borne myself.

    One thing I don't see mentioned enough is the toll of pregnancy on a woman's body. Someone posted about someone having 6 kids in short succession, and I think we all have a general understanding that that is hard on the body and ultimately not the best idea. But I think that each child deserves the same nutrient rich growing environment as the previous one. It is insanely difficult to actually replenish your vitamin stores if you are not careful before, during, and after pregnancy, and especially during breastfeeding. A lot of these effects won't be visible for a decade or two or three or even longer, but they make a huge difference in longterm health. Things like cancer rates or bone problems are effected hugely by our childbearing years. Not to mention gynecological and back problems. That was a huge factor in us deciding to adopt IN BETWEEN pregnancies rather than another arrangement like adopting before TTC or after two pregnancies. Our bodies will evolutionarily do what they can to nourish and sustain pregnancies and children. So if you are breastfeeding a toddler, pregnant with another, your body is going to be working very hard to sustain those babies and (to a point), leeching the vitamins and minerals they need to survive at your own expense. You aren't going to come out the other end of all that work with more nutrient stores than you started with, and just maintaining takes a lot of effort. And of course longterm breastfeeding is one of the best things we can do for our health, so we should do that when possible AND be mindful of our needs for nutrients and replenishment. So your long long longterm health is something to consider in family planning and spacing between actual pregnancies.
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