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Attachment Parenting

Child Spacing
A Message Board Archive
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From kiwicaleb ~ Hi ladies, I know this is early, but we are already thinking about when we'll expand our family. Here's my plan:

*I want Aidan to self wean (I look at Gayesy's relationship with Thomas and would be very happy if he breastfed until Thomas' age this is me saying this NOW at 6 weeks, but this is the plan regardless)

*I would like a sibling to be close in age; I would LOVE for Aidan to be 2 years old when another sibling comes

Now, I'm wondering how many children weaned during pregnancy (as long as I have no pre-term stuff) on their own, because of colostrum coming in did they go back--I'd love to tandem nurse.

How difficult is it for a 2 year old to accept a new sibling? I think of the "terrible" 2s and I wonder if it would be easier to wait until he would be 3 for another sibling.

Okay, thanks in advance, planning way too far in advance as always.

From FlyingFingers ~ My first two are three years and nine days apart. The second was planned. I would say that age was good in some ways and not so good in others. Katie, even though Robb was born when she was three, doesn't remember life without Robb, so I think that's a good thing. However, they fight constantly. They fight about who gets in the car first, what to watch on TV, who gets to turn off the TV, who was playing with which train . . . you get the point, ad nauseam.

My second and third children will be 3.5 years apart, but the third child was not planned, so I guess we'll see how that works out.

I've heard lots of my friends say that closer is better for when they get older, but it is very hard to take care of a young toddler and an infant, so the early years are more difficult.

Good luck!

From Gayesy ~ As you know, mine are almost exactly five years apart. We didn't plan it that way. My fertility didn't return until Thomas was almost 3, and we lost a baby who would have been born when Thomas was 4 1/4. Anyway, Thomas did wean himself during the pregnancy (said the milk tasted "yuck"), and hasn't expressed any desire at all to go back. I actually offered one day and he said, "There's no way I'm sucking on those bees!" He was almost finished with breastfeeding when I fell pregnant anyway, so I imagine he would have weaned by now no matter what. A younger child is more likely, I think, to keep nursing during pregnancy or at least to go back afterwards. I actually wish I had had the chance to tandem nurse, although given I have oversupply problems with Katelyn, having Thomas there could just complicate things I guess.

I must say that I quite like this spacing. I don't think I would be able to manage with Katelyn and a toddler. Thomas is able to dress himself, go to the toilet, feed himself etc, and is pretty sensible and helpful. He also sleeps really well, about ten hours straight, at night, so I only have one child to attend to in the wee hours!

Both my kids are/have been very colicky and with reflux so I think that maybe if they had been "easier" (hate that term but can't think of a better one right now), I might have managed with them closer together.

From Dash'sMama ~ I asked a similar question on another board because I had read in a couple different places that a 2 year spacing is the most emotionally and physically difficult for both parents and children. The overwhelming response on the other board was that 3 years was the best spacing. The reasons given were that by 3, the older child is able to communicate their feelings about the new baby, so they are not as likely to become violent with her. The 3 year old is also more independent and so doesn't feel the loss of mother's attention as much. Also, children spaced 3 years apart are still close enough in age that they can play together and have things in common.

My husband and I have just started talking about and researching the possibly of having another child. One of the articles I read said that 4 years or more was optimal in an AP household. I'm getting a little old to wait that long (I'd be over 40), but a 3 year space seems doable. That was what we had planned before I posted to the other board, and I was glad to see our choice confirmed.

Just an interesting bit of information . . . the first article I ever read about child spacing listed 9 years as optimal!

From wenzday ~ I have a 2 year old and a 4 month old and IT'S SO HARD! I would have waited another year had I known!!! If you want I will go into specifics but for now I'll leave it at that!

From Pamela444 ~ I firmly believe that the two year space is the hardest, just from observing many friends with that amount of space between siblings and from classes I took in child development. My girls are 4 1/2 years apart and it was a good space. My oldest never experienced jealousy and took ownership in her new baby sister.

However, if you want to know the BEST spacing . . . how about this (she says laughing). There will be 15 years between the baby I will be having in a couple of weeks and his next closest sibling and 20 years between my oldest and youngest. Doing it this way, I've raised two perfect baby sitters not that I intend to be away from this little guy much at all. Of course, I'm joking about it being the best spacing, but my girls are SO excited about this baby brother.

From MsWhatsit ~ Go into specifics, Wenzday! That's the spacing Keith and I were thinking about, because we don't want to wait too long for a variety of reasons. So, what are the issues for you, exactly?

From Y Thingy ~ We're thinking about waiting until Aiden is 3 or 4 before trying. There will be a 4 5 year spacing. My health is not great and probably can't take care of two small kids (even though Aiden is perfectly healthy and easy). I don't want to ignore Aiden just because I'm tired with another baby. I do not want to have a baby after 35, though, so they probably won't be more than 6 years apart.

I remember myself being very clingy to my mom when I was three. If she's gone for a while I would be very upset. By the time I was four I mostly enjoy going out to play and wasn't as needy. I think I could easily accept a new brother or sister by then because I felt like such a "big girl".

From merrily ~ Our boys are 19 months apart, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Sure it is hard when the baby is a newborn, harder still when #2 becomes mobile, but right around 14 months it becomes more than worth it, because it clicks with them that sibling can be a friend for life. My kids like the same toys and activities, take turns, say please and thank you, are each other's constant companions for the most part. They can't imagine life without each other. They share a room, and are puppy piled sometimes in the morning . . . (both are free to move in with us if they wake during the night, but DH & I like a little alone time at bedtime because we work opposite shifts 2 3 days a week.)

Now we'll just see what #3 does to this dynamic . . . oh boy!

From pamiam ~ I have five children, the first two are 15 months apart and the 3rd, 4th and 5th are all 2 years apart. For the kids, I think the timing was pretty good. They get along great (well, they fight like brothers but that's normal). Not one of my kids has been jealous of the next one. Quite the opposite, they have been very protective. The only thing that makes it a little tough is going shopping. The older two are no big deal, but with a four and two year old and a baby, it is sometimes challenging keeping them all in check.

Two in diapers doesn't bother me too much. The house always being a wreck is part of the five kids package I guess.

I think I am blabbering now so I will stop, but I have no complaints about the spacing of mine.

From SusanH ~ I only have one kid, so my answer is purely theoretical. We originally planned to have all of our kids 2 years apart, but circumstances intervened and we are looking at a 3+ year age gap for the first two. Now that Susy is two, I can't imagine having a newborn to take care of with her. I'm sure I'd manage, but I think it would be hard on all of us. Hopefully by age three it will seem easier, since we aren't waiting 9 years between kids! Looking at my cousin's 3 year old, it seems like it would be the perfect spacing she would be a fabulous older sister. But she is extremely mature and well behaved for her age, so I probably shouldn't form too many opinions based on her.

From djk42 ~ Aren weaned for the last three months of my pregnancy (he was getting a lot of bottles as I was taking 24 credits trying to graduate before the baby came), then went back to nursing when he saw the baby nurse and asked. Hubby and I had agreed that if he asked we would let him try I had no idea he'd still be nursing at four, but I wouldn't change a thing.

Guess I should add that neither weaned this time, though they did slow down (was it normal for their age?) and they picked back up after Abigail was born (because of jealousy?). Who knows, I just go with the flow. *lol*

From laj ~ Child spacing is such a personal issue. It just depends on so many things. I've got friends with babies 18 months apart and LOVING it. To me, that's a nightmare. My girls are all nearly exactly 3 years apart and I wouldn't do it any other way! The reason I like it this way is because I wanted maximum time with each child before the next one came along. As the older child started kindy, I got two days alone with the baby. That was really important to me.

A bonus I've discovered with this baby.. is.. I HAVE A 6 YEAR OLD MINI MOTHER!!!! It's wonderful. She can REALLY help me! She'll pick up the baby and cuddle her if she's crying and I have meat all over my hands or something! It's a blessing I never had before!

Also I've found that age gaps mean nothing when it comes to your children getting on. It's more about their personalities. My older two get along BRILLIANTLY. They would have if they were 18 months apart or 6 years apart.

My kids have never gone through the terrible twos, but the terrible threes! LOL So, basically . . . I think it comes down to what suits you and your lifestyle and how bad your urge is! There are problems whenever you add a new member to a family, but they work themselves out!

From Andrea_G ~ There is 4 years 2 months between my 1st and 2nd. And then 21 months between my 2nd and 3rd.

The benefits of the long spacing were the independence of my son. That was so wonderful. And he was so helpful. The downside of it was that just as I had reached the independence of having a potty trained boy and lots of freedom to do more with him and without him, another baby came into the picture. It was hard to go from that "freedom" to being semi restricted again. Not that I am complaining just being honest with myself.

With the 2 little ones, the benefits of having them close together were that I could sort of manage them like twins in a way. I tried to do a lot of things with them together. Tandem nursing sure did help with that. The downside is that you have 2 babies demanding you at once and one of them is going to get shorted, even if it is briefly. I hated doing that, but it was a reality of the situation.

If I had had any control over my child spacing, I would have shot for a 30-month age difference.

From mommytorres ~ My ds and my dd are exactly 18 months apart. I don't think I could have had it any other way! Sure, they fight, but they also are so loving towards each other. They wander through the house exploring and playing together like nothing else is going on in the world. Watching them grow up 'together' has been a very beautiful and moving experience. My ds took delight in her 'firsts'. He now lies down next to her at night and reads her stories. *tears*

Now, we are going to be welcoming a new baby in just 10 days. Both of them are excited and talk to the baby all the time. We have talked to them about the baby needing to be in our bed and there won't be room for them. They both have agreed to sleep on a mattress next to our bed, and to help out with putting the baby to sleep. I have to bring one of the twin mattresses into our room and put in next to our bed. I feel sad in a way that they will be getting less attention, but am glad that they are so close with this in mind. They will still have the freedom of their 'play' and will now have a new baby brother to watch grow.

I am so sorry for babbling, I am just a hormonal pregnant woman!

From SharonCC ~ I'm with Gayesy, my kids are 4.5 years apart, and I don't think I could do it any closer. We actually expected a larger gap, as I didn't expect to get pregnant with Emily so quickly in the first month it took 18 months with Zachary (don't ask me to explain THAT one). Zachary was pretty self sufficient in a lot of ways, and when I was pregnant and really sick, he was old enough to play by himself while I napped in the next room. He can push the shopping cart for me in the store, can fetch things for me, put the dirty diapers away, can watch his sister for a minute while I go potty, and plays wonderfully with her. There is no way that I could handle a toddler Emily's age and be pregnant or have a newborn NO way. Besides, Zachary was just leaving the baby stage when I got pregnant, so that kinda gave me a whole new baby fix.

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