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When to have 2nd or 3rd kid? (Article)

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by TravelingGal, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » Sep 20, 2010
    Thought some of you would find this interesting.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/20/p.space.siblings/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    We made our decision this weekend, but this put the nail in the coffin for me. In hindsight, I would have done 2 under 2. (Easier said than done, as I know that's crazy, but I love looking at Curlygirl's two girls!). Since that no longer applies to me, we have decided to have only one child and I'll be back on the pill after my next cycle!
     
  2. E B
    Ideal_Rock

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    by E B » Sep 20, 2010
    Thanks for sharing, T-Gal!

    Below is exactly why we like the idea of a 3 year space, though they all sound like kind of a drag. :cheeky:

    "Many older kids are ready to grab the "big sib" mantle and run with it. And Packard says she loves that she's been able to enjoy each child individually.

    "By the time each baby came along, the older one was in preschool at least part-time, so I could really just focus on the baby at least for some of the day," she says. "Also, because their ages are so disparate, I don't compare them very much. I appreciate their separate stages of childhood."


    One of the women in my son's Gymboree class has a 12 month old and she's 7 or 8 months pregnant. I just don't know how she does it. I feel like having twins would be easier than two under 2 at completely different stages of development, but I know some prefer this. Friends of ours had their second baby when their first was my son's age (15 months) and they're doing just fine.
     
  3. qtiekiki
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    by qtiekiki » Sep 20, 2010
    Great article.

    There are pros and cons for every situations, and age gap is not a guarantee of sibling closeness. In the end, each parents just run with whatever situation they end up with.
     
  4. fieryred33143
    Ideal_Rock

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    by fieryred33143 » Sep 20, 2010
    We decided on having another once S is 3-4 mostly because of the sleeping/diaper factors. I anticipate that while it won't necessarily be easy to put a 3 year old down for a nap, it is a lot easier to tell them it's time for a nap, no ifs/ands/buts. I also really don't want to change and wipe 2 rears.
     
  5. qtiekiki
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    by qtiekiki » Sep 20, 2010
    Really interesting that most people say that they don't want to change two in diapers. It's a trade-off. You can change twice the diapers in a shorter period or less diapers for twice the length of time. :mrgreen:
     
  6. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » Sep 20, 2010
    Changing two in diapers doesn't seem like a big thing to me. Changing diapers for FIVE YEARS is what seems intolerable! :rodent:

    But changing diapers as a whole is fine...I never got what the big deal is. Right now it seems a lot easier than having to take the kid to the bathroom!

    It's having to deal with a toddler again that doesn't appeal to me (and the first 3 months of newborn life). Toddlerhood is fun, but it is tiring. I just like going through and enjoying a stage and being done with that stage.

    Actually it's pregnancy. For someone who had an easy pregnancy, I don't know why the thought is so repulsive to me.
     
  7. fieryred33143
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    by fieryred33143 » Sep 20, 2010
    The changing of the diapers isn't bad. It's the poop. So much poop :sick: At least by then I'll forget about the change from milk to solids poop. That was traumatizing.

    I'm not that into pregnancy again either but I'm hoping that if I meet my weight goal before we TTC, it won't be as bad. It is hard carrying around a belly on top of the weight I already had. Really stressful on the knees.

    Plus, I do mind S sleeping over other houses right now. I don't want her away from me until she learns how to express herself well. Once she does, I'm shipping her out of the house as many weekends as everyone else will tolerate :evil:
     
  8. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Sep 20, 2010
    Interesting read. Though of course it is pseudoscience and doesn't tell us much of anything concrete or generalizable that could help us plan our own lives :cheeky:

    We have blazed past the two under two mark and are aiming for about a 2.5 year age difference. Seeing our friends kids with this age difference I thought the kids played really well together. But who knows. Seems like it is a crap shoot.
     
  9. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » Sep 20, 2010
    Fiery, maybe my nose isn't all that good, or maybe I do think my kid's sh*t smells like roses, but I do think keeping the kid on a rather healthy diet minimizes the poop stench. The few times that she's eaten really processed food, OMG. :knockout:
     
  10. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » Sep 20, 2010
    Dreamer, my friend's son (the one we just vacationed with) is 3 years and 9 months. Their daughter is 15 months, so they are pretty much 2.5 years apart. He's good with her and she loves him, but at this stage in the game, they don't really play together. She just marches to beat of her own drum and he does his thing. I do think it's a great age difference though, because it will be a different story in another year or two.

    He's way more interested in playing with Amelia or other kids.
     
  11. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Sep 20, 2010
    This was what I was thinking... at 15 months they don't play with other kids anyways, not matter what, but our friends' kids were something like 3 and almost 6 (32 month age difference), and I thought they actually played well together. Our other friends' kids are 5 and almost 3 (27 month) and they too play very well together now. It was seeing the kids with 4 year age differences together and seeing what a large developmental gulf that was that sort of made us move up our timeline a little. I'm not judgeing other families choices, of course, as lots of factors go into family planning, but for us, since we feel like we are ready for another, waiting much longer seemed like a diminishing return.
     
  12. Nashville
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    by Nashville » Sep 20, 2010
    We're a "one and done" kind of family. I'm too lazy for multiple kids. I own it, I'm fine with it, and our daughter is plenty to keep us busy. I have so much fun with her, and my husband and I are happy, so that's what we've decided.
     
  13. ponder
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    by ponder » Sep 20, 2010
    I cannot agree with this more!
     
  14. fieryred33143
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    by fieryred33143 » Sep 20, 2010
    :lol: I am very sensitive to smell. Actually that's how I knew something was up with her urine/kidneys because the scent wasn't the same. I haven't thought about the changes once she gets processed foods. Hopefully she'll be potty trained by then :knockout:

    Dreamer-Sophia is almost 15 months. She doesn't play with other children at all. I don't think she even likes them as much as she does older children that can run, jump, and talk.
     
  15. qtiekiki
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    by qtiekiki » Sep 20, 2010
    Poops - I think it depends on the kid. Jaron has the stinkiest farts ever even when he was EBF, and his poops were stinkier than Meena at the same age, eating the same thing.

    There is no perfect age gap for kids playing well together. It has a lot to do with personalities. There is a 4 years gap between Meena and our nephew. They play fairly well together, even if it's more or less our nephew telling M what to do. They pretend play quite a bit (house, kitchen, and fort), chase around, play balls and ride bike/trike outside. I know they are not siblings, but I am just commenting on playing together since our nephew is at our house after school everyday. Our other nephews, who are brothers, are 3 years apart, and they barely play together.

    I am really curious how M and J will interact as they get older. M will occasionally hand J toys, tap him on the head, roll on him and hug him. But she also yells and screams sometimes when he grabs her toys.
     
  16. choro72
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    by choro72 » Sep 20, 2010
    FYI, here is my experience growing up with a sibling close in age. My "younger" sister and I are exactly 17 months apart. Our mom always said that she decided to give me a sibling because she wanted someone else to take my attention.

    Pros: I'm sure it made gift giving easy for other people; just get the different version of the same thing. We got the same gifts, same cash gifts, same toys. We played barbies together, we built lego together, we played house together. We grew up with the same celebrities, movies, music, trends. We learned to ride bikes and unicycles together, we roller skated together, we took aikido lessons together, learned piano together, had the same desk, pencils, bags, and accessories.

    Pro+Con Double everything. Double laughter, double food, double noise, double fights, double breakage, double running, double mess, double headaches, double sickness.
    My sister certainly took my attention from our mother, but we fought so loudly that our mother had to leave the house to clear her head. When she returned she said that she could hear us all the way on the other side of the block. I remember when I was about 3, we were fighting as usual until we realized our mother was squatting at the corner crying. We were very scared to see our strong, reliable mommy break down like that. We stopped fighting immediately that time. Also, keep in mind that every playtime ended with a fight. It's the reason we stop playing at the end of the day.
    Can you imagine raising <i>two teenage girls</i>? I would kill myself if I had to raise two teenage versions of me. Talk about double attitude. Our mom always say that we were really good and easy-to-raise teenagers, but I still cringe at things we put her through.
    If one goes through anything good or bad, make them share! When I got chicken pox our mom made sure that my sister caught it as well.

    As for social life, once the grade system and age related politics became important in junior high, we spent more time with our own friends. It just wasn't the thing to do to speak with kids in other grades. We grew more apart when we got into different high schools. During our teenage years we refused to do anything together outside of family. We made sure never to mix our friends, and we were too different and embarrassed to be seen outside together. Once I came to the US for undergrad we really stopped talking. I only got news from her through talking with my parents and my occasional visits.
    We started talking again when she also came to the US for her graduate degree. I was glad to give her advice on housing, cell phones, and day to day life. We are VERY close now that we live less than an hour away. The fact that we know each other so well drove us mad before, and now it brings us together. We don't see each other as often as we can (on purpose), but we are there for unconditional support. We email often to catch up, and we are the first to give a shoulder whenever the other needs support (after our SOs of course). She was my MOH by default and I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Through it all we were close within our family and relatives. We always had a great time going on family trips. Our mom made sure that dinner was a family affair, so during that time we would always chat our heads away and laugh together. Even through our teenage years, we never really hated each other. My parents said that my sister cried for hours when I got on that plane.

    As for poops, it really depends. My constipation problems gave my mom such a heartache that she didn't mind my sister's healthy bowel discharges at all. In fact she was so happy whenever she had to change my sister.

    Sorry for such a long post. I hope it helps someone. Of course each experience is different, but please let ask if anyone has any specific questions!
     
  17. curlygirl
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    by curlygirl » Sep 20, 2010
    Great article, TGal and as always, I love hearing everyone's varied responses.

    My sister and I are 26 months apart (she's older). We're close but not like best friends. Our personalities are extremely different. Sometimes we go weeks without talking to each other but when we finally do catch up, it's like we haven't missed a beat. We are each other's "go to" people and I'm grateful every day knowing that she will always be there for me, as I will for her.

    choro, your story is interesting to me as my 2 daughters are 17 months apart. They are 2 and almost 3.5 and from what I can tell, they love each other and play together well but I know that can change at any moment. I'm definitely dreading the teen years and truly hope I will survive since I'm already TOFTS but I will say that all of the pros you mentioned are true. There is a lot that is just easy when you have 2 who are so close in age. The diaper thing was never an issue to me and now that the 2nd one is nearly potty trained (before her 2nd birthday!), it's like I have two toddlers who can walk, talk, pretend to be self sufficient and definitely aren't babies anymore! I kind of like it.

    I honestly couldn't imagine having a baby now with a 3 year old. But then again, I'm an older mom already and I really don't want to drag out all the baby stuff for years. So for me, it's working out pretty well right now and I find that I'm generally much happier now than I was when they were younger. Hope it lasts...
     
  18. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » Sep 20, 2010
    Curly, I think I was TOFTS when it came to having even one kid! :rodent:

    Choro, interesting post! My bro and I were 15 months apart and it was GREAT! Sure, we had fights, but we also had fun. It didn't hurt that he was the sweetest, most generous child ever. If anything, I feel sorry for him that he had to deal with me as a kid.

    I also think it helped we were different genders. I grew up never feeling the stress of competition. We just supported each other and got along great, each with different strengths. Plus in the 80's baggy tops were in so I just borrowed his clothes, but he couldn't borrow mine. Hah! :P
     
  19. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Sep 20, 2010
    Yeah, I think actually playing together doesn't start to get rolling until closer to 20 months.... Hunter is just starting to get past parallel play. It is really cute.
     
  20. MonkeyPie
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    by MonkeyPie » Sep 21, 2010
    My brother and I are 6 years apart. We loved each other until I started school, then he sort of generally loathed my existence until I hit 5th or 6th grade. Then he would give me rides in his "cool truck" and he liked me again lol.

    We intend on waiting until Micah is two to start trying for a second baby, mostly because I am already 28 and my husband is 30, and we feel like if we wait too long we will be too old to enjoy chasing after them. My parents were older and they never wanted to do anything, so we never had trips to amusement parks or the beach, or any place that required a lot of activity on their part. I don't want that for my kids.

    And I have a super sensitive nose, but Micah's poop doesn't bother me at all, haha! I think he will be easy to potty train if he accepts that poop goes in the potty though - he goes at exactly the same time every single day.
     
  21. steph72276
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    by steph72276 » Sep 21, 2010
    I think it's all what you make of it, and whatever age difference there are pros and cons. To me, 5 years apart is wonderful. I wanted them to be 4 years apart, but it took a little longer than planned. I feel like I got to enjoy my first for so long and really soaked in all the moments, and I actually love that I'm getting to experience the baby stage again (minus the first 8 weeks of no sleep) just as my oldest is going off to kindergarten. We also wanted to try to plan so we didn't have 2 in college at the same time. And the biggest thing about 2 in diapers for me would be the expense, diapers are so outrageous! I also loved that I already have one that is pretty self sufficient (potty trained obviously, can dress himself, brush his own teeth, take a shower on his own), it makes it much much easier to take care of a baby when the older sibling can do a lot for himself.

    I feel like siblings being close has more to do with personality rather than closeness in age. Besides, when they are 30 and 35, 5 years doesn't seem like much of a difference.

    ETA: I keep thinking of things. I was on bedrest for a full 3 months and had a very traumatic emergency c-section with complications with my first, so really I was NOT anxious to go through that again anytime soon, so I actually didn't even start thinking about another baby for the first 3 years or so. I might have considered a baby earlier had that not been my experience...
     
  22. anchor31
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    by anchor31 » Sep 21, 2010
    Interesting article. Again however, I think everyone should do what they feel is best for themselves and their family. DH always said he wanted 3, I was more the "2, maybe three" type. When I was pregnant I was so sick all the time that I decided to not get pregnant again until J is potty trained. Then we discovered his kidney issues and we decided to wait until that is resolved before thinking about another one. And then I had my arthritis flare-up... No way no how I'm getting pregnant with knees hurting like this. So, adding this all up, if you asked me right now if I want another child, I would say no. It might change, who knows. I know DH would be disappointed because he still wants 3, but he's not the one who had to go through 6 months of all-day sickness and 3 months of heatburn, with 9 months of back and hip pain, 21 hours of back labour on no sleep and a 2nd degree tear, then 4 months of BFing issues that lead to a guilt-ridden weaning... In the end he has told me that I have the last word, so we might very well be a "one and done" couple. I'm young and there is really no rush... If we do have another one J will most probably be in school by then.
     
  23. Sha
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    by Sha » Sep 21, 2010
    Hmmm....interesting article. Thanks for sharing! To me, a 3 year age gap gives the best balance of pros/cons.

    I go back and forth on this issue in my mind a lot. Age is a factor for us. Just this weekend I was thinking that DH and I are getting older, and we should really try sooner rather than later for a 2nd, and get the 'infant stage' out of the way as soon as possible. But then last night we went out and a nice evening, just the three of us, and I was thinking how nice it was to feel rested and to be able to go out in pretty clothes and look kind of 'hot' again... :D, and how nice it was to have a bit of money to spend on an evening out. All of that would go out the window (for a while, anyway) with a 2nd baby right now. It's such a tricky decision. As Steph said, there's pros/cons no matter what age gap you go with. I guess it just depends on which pros/cons mean the most to you. But then again, there's other factors like age, income, other goals etc to take into account too.
     
  24. TravelingGal
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    by TravelingGal » Sep 21, 2010
    MP, I think you'll be happy to know your kids will be fine no matter what age you have them. You appear to be the types that ENJOY that kind of stuff. Not taking your kids out for fun stuff has nothing to do with age...it has to do with disposition! ;)

    ETA, you should see my 70 year old mom with Amelia...she's crazy active!
     
  25. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Sep 21, 2010
    Yes, I was thinking the same thing. MP maybe your parents are just boring? :cheeky: My 60 year old mom takes my pre-teen cousins to the amusement park every year and is so active and physical with Hunter. DH's parents no so much. But I suspect they were always boring like that ;)
     
  26. vespergirl
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    by vespergirl » Sep 21, 2010
    Great article Tgal!

    My sons are 3.5 years apart, and I was aiming for 3-4 years, so I guess we hit our target :mrgreen: My reasons were some listed in the article - not having to pay 2 college tuitions at once, having the older one in preschool when the baby was born, but still having them close enough in age that they could get along (my older brother is 4 years older than me & my younger brother is 6 years younger & we were all close throughout our childhoods).

    The other huge perk to having a 3.5 year old was how excited he was (and is) about the baby - there has been absolutely no jealousy or rivalry at all, and the baby is now 5 months old. He was nearly 3 when I got pregnant, and he understood from the very beginning what was going on. Every time we went to the doctor, he asked to hear the heartbeat, and he wanted to know when the baby was coming out.

    Since we had the baby, it's been a non-stop lovefest. So much that he tells the baby that he missed him when he gets home from preschool, and is always hugging, kissing & playing with him. They entertain each other enormously. Plus, my older guy is a GREAT helper - he's big enough to fetch diapers, wipes, pacis, etc. I really think it's a perfect gap.

    I have 3 friends who just had babies, and their kids are around 20 months apart. They are all telling me that they wish they had waited longer to have the second. The toddlers hated the babies immediately, since they were jealous that mom wasn't giving them all the attention anymore, and they couldn't understand why not. Also, two of them weren't really talking yet, so they couldn't verbalize their frustrations - they are just constantly having tantrums. My friends all told me that they don't dare leave the toddlers alone with their babies for a second, because two of them had issues with the older one trying to hurt the baby.

    I guess I do see the perk of being done with the whole childbearing thing sooner, but I would hate to be that busy with two babies.
     
  27. MonkeyPie
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    by MonkeyPie » Sep 21, 2010
    Hahahaha...this is highly likely. We did weekend trips to the mountains and other towns and stuff, but I had never been on a roller coaster until I was about 16 and my aunt took me with some friends. Just this past weekend at the fair I told my husband I could hardly wait to take Micah on the rides when he got old enough, so maybe I will be a bit more excited about that stuff :cool:
     
  28. janinegirly
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    by janinegirly » Sep 22, 2010
    Another TOFTS mom ;), but we have not ruled out #2. If there is #2, we are aiming for 3 yrs difference. If things don't work out that way, that's fine too--we can't control every aspect of life and like so many have pointed out it comes down to personal preference and most importantly personality of each child. My sister and I are over 10 years apart. I'm sure everyone would say that is crazy..but we are extremely close. DH is 3 years apart from his sister and they do not get along. His brother is 15 months apart and they are closer but there is a competitve strain for sure. Yet the overriding observation I have made, is it is dependent on personality and how the parents treated each child (ie differences in family position/role,etc).

    I think I like the 3 year number b/c #1 had a fair amount of one on one time before another child came along and can reason/understand more by age 3. They would also likely be in preschool,etc. Plus give some gaps between stages (ie when one is a full blown teen, the other is just entering, college expenses,etc). I also think I'd stop working if there were 2, and having that extra year working/maternity leave allows for some padding of savings--but that is purely personal and may be the opposite for others.

    PS I agree that 2 in diapers is not that bad. I actualy dont mind diaper changing...smell and all. I don't love it but it's not something I dread. It does get pricey though.
     
  29. gailrmv
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    by gailrmv » Sep 22, 2010
    What does TOFTS stand for? Something about on the fence?

    I have an 18 month old and I'm a SAHM. I love hearing about people whose situations are working out great, and it always warms my heart to hear about Curly's girls and see their smiling faces. I do know that 2 under 2 would not work for me though. My son can't do much for himself i.e. put on his shoes, or even walk nicely alongside me. I feel like if I turned my head for a moment he could run out in front of a car, dive off a piece of furniture, etc. He's strong willed and has no sense of danger. There is no way I could adequately take care of him plus a newborn without losing my mind and/or neglecting someone. DH works long hours and I don't have family nearby so it's just me and my kiddo(s) day after day. I have to wait til A is slightly more self sufficient and not inclined to destroy himself or my home while I'm trying to take care of a newborn. If that is 3, 4, or even 5 years apart, so be it, no matter what the experts say is the perfect age gap!
     
  30. dreamer_dachsie
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    by dreamer_dachsie » Sep 22, 2010
    Too Old For This Shizzle.
     

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