Will it be difficult to have two kids two years apart?

The optimal age gap to leave between children is often debated. Many parents discuss whether it is better to have siblings far apart or close in age. What are the pros and cons of having two kids two years apart?

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40  Answers

711 9

In the past psychologists have said that the "ideal" time between children is 3 years. However my two youngest are 22 months apart. The only "difficulty" I faced was having 2 kids in diapers at the same time and that was not really difficult. It simply inspired me to encourage the older one to get potty trained.

The best thing about it I discovered as the boys got older was that the older of the two felt very protective of his brother and still does to this day when they are 31 and 33!

I did not plan to have them that close together but then the saying goes "Man plans, God laughs".

21
72 9

what a good quote! yeah, I think if all pregnancys were planned life would be pretty boring. Im so fertile we probably will have our next baby be a surprise too. wow! my girls are going to be close together just like your kids.

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8 2

i dont think so i had my kids two years apart and i never had a problem if anything it was easier because i had my daughter first and two years after my son she loved the idea of being an older sister and that helped her to mature and be more independent over the years they shared a bond that they still share up to today they are 20 and 18 and i must say watching them grow up together was a joy i myself was and only child and although being an only child had it's perks it was really lonely at times so as long as you know it would'nt be a problem financially it should'nt be difficult at all

8
13 1

Wow - that is exactly my situation. Lonely only and then two reasonably close together with protective helpful big one (now 9) and very loving second(7). They are so so close . Makes me wish for a sibling even more now than I did at 8.

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26 17

I am just going to be honest I don't think it really matters how many years kids are apart. Kids will be kids and have their own personalities. Which means sometimes they will collide with each other or maybe have a lot in common. Some may get along great while others want to strangle each other. My kids are 10 (boy), and two girls who missed sharing the same bday by 4 hours so they are almost exactly 2 years apart. My kids get along great of course there are the moments like all kids have but for the most part they are wonderful with each other. I haven't had any complaints other than the diapers yes that gets pricey. I am blessed to be a SAHM so I think that helps out because they are around each other more and have to learned to get along. When they start arguing I quickly make them resolve it so that they learn to fix their problems rather than drag them out. Money of course will always be an issue no matter what age gap your kids have :)

8
73 68

what is a SAHM?

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2 10

My kids are 6 4 2 and 11 months soon to be 7 5 3 1 lol but yes they fight and argue but then theres 11 years between me and my sister and we fight !! its up to you to have the patience to have a baby and a toddler ... Potty training can be time consuming and if your planning to breast feed it can be tricky...I have the younger two at home now and its great they play well together and they all are the best of friends I think a two year gap is perfect .

8
4 0

Hi I have a boy who is 13 and twins who are 11 years old boy and girl. Having them 2 years apart has been a blessing to me. Or it could be that my first child is just terrific and loving. I vote for my now teenager to be terrific! From the first day we brought his brother and sister home on his second birthday they all got along. Sure there has been battles more so now than when they were little. My husband and I are truley blessed and grateful to have them 2 years apart. Very impressed you have 4 children wow :))))

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50 14

I have 5 with the 6th on the way... my girls are 16 & 7 yr old and my boys are 6, 4 and 1. I'm not sure want the baby will be yet, should know that next week when I go for my ultra sound. My 7 yr old and 6 yr old are about 15 months apart and my 1 yr old and baby will be about 16 mo apart.

My 16 yr old doesn't much want anything to do with her siblings, cause they just don't have the same interest. My 4 yr old seems to be the odd man out sometimes, since the 6 & 7 yr old are into the same things and they don't want a "baby" around and the 1 yr old just isn't ready to play like the 4 yr old does. Out off all the gaps I liked the less then 2 yr gap the best... but after a baby in 2004, 2005, a sugery in 2006 and a baby in 2007 - my body needed a brake which is why we waited to have the baby in 2010 whihc ended with post-partum complications and the latest due in Nov was a suprise, but a blessing and will be our last.

Anyways the reason I like the less then 2 yr gap is because they seem to be close... altough you don't have twins, they somewhat act like twins. The 2 that are only 15 mo apart do almost everything together... including finding them in the same room every morning eventhough then have seperate rooms. When they are apart, they look for eachother eventhough when they are together they do fight some. But who doesn't fight with siblings or spouses now and then? The only down falls are the cost of diapers and trying to cuddle with eachone and give them special time, but we have mannaged to be able to do both without to may issues. Man I have had at least one in diapers for over 7 yrs now... I'm not going to know what to do when they are all out and potty trained in a few years.

I have heard that they say that 3 yrs are needed for the body to fully recover & to decrease issues with baby & delivery and also to give baby a lot of needed attention to start of on the right foot. But all in all I think it is a presonnal preferance thing. All gaps have pros and cons to them - when you are ready for the next then it is time.

3
160 25

My kids are 12 months and 20 days apart... they're both girls. They will be turning 2 and 3 in July. I LOVE having them this close. It makes it difficult on me sometimes, and sure - they fight... but they have a built in playmate all the time. My siblings and I were all spaced out so much, that we really had NOTHING in common but DNA until we were adults, or nearing adulthood. No one can promise you that your children will be best friends, but I think siblings are important - having them teaches you a lot about life in general. We're expecting baby #3 in December, so he or she will be 2 1/2 years younger than my youngest. We'll see how that goes :) I may be singing a different tune a year from now.

3
46 51

Funny, mine are 12 mos, 19 days apart. :) older boy, younger girl. Same, best friends, but yep, they fight. Lol they are now 7 and 8. I love having them so close. It was hard at 1st, but easier now. :)

1 12

My children are 2 years apart. I thought they would be closer if the age was closer...being able to hang out together and enjoying the same things. My brother and I are a little less than 2 years apart and we got along great! I was wrong though...my children argue alot. They only have a few common interests and the hormones of puberty make them act rediculously towards eachother. I can't really say if it is a good age difference or not. I personally think there is no age difference that will be perfect. I think it is more the personalities of the children that makes or breaks it.

3
15 25

I agree its personality all the way!

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22 23

I have a currently 16 month old daughter and I'm 27 weeks pregnant with my second (a baby boy - how perfect?!). My daughter will be 19 months old when he's due and a lot of people have said to me that they think it's too close in terms of their age, however I feel it's gonna be better. I think as long as you can cope with having children as close together as having two in two years then it's not a problem - it's personal preference.

2
0 0

Congratulations, I have three, and there is only 3 years and 1 month between the first and the third - it is busy, but totally wonderful - I would't have it any other way. Don't let the knockers scare you!!!

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14 17

I think that having two kids any length of time apart can be difficult. I have a daughter that's 16 months and a son that's 9 weeks, and even though some days I feel like pulling my hair out, I wouldn't change it for anything. My daughter is so helpful and sweet towards her brother, it's adorable to watch, and he just lights up and smiles when she gives him kisses. I think as they get older it'll be easier than it is right now, but I'm going to enjoy them as babies because they grow up too fast.

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13 0

i had 3 in four years. before i had 1 everyone thought i wouldn't have the patience needed. when she was handed to me there was nothing greater. no one could believe how patient i was. then number 2 then number 3. girl, boy, girl. everyday wasn't perfect but i wouldn't trade one. my mom was the most amazed as she watched me make cookies on the holidays flour everywhere on us the floor, burned slightly raw and icing of all colors too. that was our typical day. it was nice they were close and they would change sides against each other too and cause fights but now they are 28, 26,24, the 26year old son is married and made me a grandma. are there cons? i suppose when i was going through it but just like the pain of labor that memory is all distant and only the good ones
remain and the relationship they shared and share now is worth everything we went through.

2
0 0

I'm with you, I had three in 3 years and 1 month, and although there are chaotic times, it is just lovely. I have boy/ boy/ girl and they are already playing so beautifully. My eldest is 4 and 1/2,, then 3 and a bit and 20 months my girl. It is so busy, but already I am noticing that it is getting easier. I love the thought of them growing up together and sharing and looking after each other. And as for not giving them enough love/ time on their own, that is not the case, you just have to share the love around and plan special things for them on an individual level here and there. My kids definitely share well and cooperate (at the moment anyway!) with each other. I doubt they will be too selfish/ or self absorbed!! Hopefully anyway!

4 0

I think 2 years apart is pretty special. They can be in the same school for a couple years atleast and I believe that the bond is stronger if it is less years apart. But that's my only experience so I can't say having older siblings wouldn't be great either. But I have a 13 year old son and 11 year old son and 11 year old daughter and they seem to hit it off pretty good. Ofcourse the boys hang out more together and my daughter feels left out but then it changes because the boys get sick of eachother.

1
1 14

I have a 5 year old, a 2 year old, 1 year old and baby due this October - so I will have 3 one year apart (and 4 five years or under!) What I have found is that I tend to suffer a bit from guilt - that I am unable to spend the same time exclusively with the 1 year old as I was able to with the 2 year old - that sort of thing. I have to keep reminding myself that they only know what they experience, they aren't making the comparisons, I am. The children are completely in love with one another and I find that getting things done (especially now that I am 31 weeks pregnant) is much easier when they are able to entertain one another and play for hours on end. They are already sharing secret jokes and coming up with their own silly songs. My 1 year old just loves following the bigger kids around and is such a tolerant and easy-going little boy, I am sure much of that results from observing his siblings and 'learning' to enjoy being rough and tumbled from an early age! My 2 year old daughter is extremely nurturing and loves 'making cups of tea' and bathing her baby dolls... she can't wait for the new baby to arrive and has already claimed that she will be the one that feeds it, changes it and puts it to bed! She also has her older brother to look up to and is potty trained, experimenting with cutting with scissors, holding her pen correctly and cutting her food with her knife etc - her younger brother, in turn, is anxious to get started too! It's hard to know what the 'best' age gap is, to be honest, I don't know that there is one, there must be pros and cons for every scenario and in the end, the way it is is the only way they experience it - and, hopefully, they are all having the time of their lives!

1
57 1

As far as sibling rivalry goes...

My aunty waited 3-4 years between her 3 boys because there was a theory around that a baby needed 3-4 years to bond with mom before the next came along. Now they are 30, 26 and 23 and they only talk to each other when they absolutely have to.

I have a lot of siblings, we are 33, 31, 30, 28, 24, 22 yrs old and we all get along great. Outside of my husband they are my greatest source of comfort and support and I wouldn't swap one of them for the world. My mom is still on the scene and of course I love her very much too. I am just as close with my brother who is 8 yrs younger as with my sister who is 1 yr older.

In terms of giving your kids the best chance to become friends I think it is more important to look at your parenting style than the age gap. Try and make sure not to play favorites.

1
0 0

There are always difficulties in having more than one child, however far apart they are in age (unless there are more than 14 years apart and you can get the oldest to help out!).
A lot of people I know seem to have had kids around 3 years apart (although this has been changing recently). Nowadays, people seem to have kids either really close together or really far apart.
I have two sisters. One is 6 years older than me, the other is 1 year younger. I get on better with my older sister most of the time (although the two of them used to get on better than I did with either of them when we were younger). There are 5 years between my kids (that wasn't deliberate, it just happened that way). It was good in a way because my oldest didn't get pushed out as he was already at school and I could concentrate on spending time with the little one without neglecting the oldest.
However, I know people who have had 3 or 4 children within a very short space of time (one even having 2 sets of twins within 18 months of each other!). Of course, it would be difficult although a good thing would be that routines can be continued rather than changed and rearranged and then changed back again. Once all of the kids are out of nappies, sleeping through the night, eating "proper" food, etc. it can be seen as a good thing to have got it all out of the way rather than having to go back to it.
Also, sometimes (not always). If, say, there are children only 1 or 2 years apart and one is, say, potty training. The other may want to follow. Saying that, if there are more years apart, the younger one might want to copy the older one at things.
It's really a difficult thing to answer. There are pros and cons to close or far apart. Neither is better or worse. Although I don't think that having them 10 years apart is good, you end up with a toddler and a teenager. I wouldn't like that!

1
4 67

I have 3 children with 21 months between each birth. I found that number 2 fitted in to our lives very easily. I was still in baby mode and soon adjusted to life with two babies. I really struggled when number 3 was born though. 3 under 3 1/2 was tough! Now they are a bit older (5 1/2, almost 4, and 2) it's easier, but number 1 and 2 fight like cat and dog, although they both adore the baby. I chose to have my children close together as there's 6 years between my sister and I, and we never had anything in common as we were growing up.

1
3 33

My daughter was 2 when our son was born. She immediately informed me "that is her baby" . After discussing it was not hers but mine, she was satisfied that it was "her brother". She was the best helper. The second child was much easier because I had a paci retriever, bottle holder, and champion diaper fetcher. I dont know what I would have done without her.

1
0 13

I have 3 girls, the oldest 4, middle 2 and baby was born in April. Let me tell you this, it is very challenging at times, but they are very close to one another. Especially the oldest 2. They fight a lot - as it is in our human nature, because no 2 persons can be the same, but I don't think they fight more than other sisters and brothers. As long as you give them the same amount of attention, I don't think it would be more challenging than having more than 1 child no matter what the age difference. Some days I think that I will end up in a loony bin before I reach my next birthday, BUT to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. A mother just has the strength and patience to carry it through to the next moment, the next day and the next years to come, because of that instant love she has for her child while it is still growing inside of her. Parenting is one of the most challenging tasks one can have - as my mother would say, No one said it would be easy, but it will most definitely be worth it!!

1
11 20

I have a 5 yo, a 3 yo, a 1 yo, and I'm pregnant. While things haven't been super easy, things haven't been difficult either. My older two are 22 months apart to the day. My middle two are 21 months and 5 days apart. My younger two will be approximately 28 - 29 months apart. The three children I have now have all been different and have all handled the same situations differently. Lily (1st) is independent. She taught /herself/ how to do most things, such as eat with utensils, use the toilet, and even read. She potty-trained shortly after Iris was born. Iris (2nd), on the other hand, cares very little about things that don't interest her. She doesn't care to eat with a spoon or fork, doesn't care if she's in a diaper until she's 40, and the only learning activity she wants to do is see how many buttons she can press on her sisters. Rose is the most observant. She doesn't talk much, but she mimicks everything her sisters do, which the older two did not do at that age and the oldest would not stop yapping. She also understands Spanish better than her sisters do. I am positive that Daisy/Dorian (unborn) will be just as different as her/his sisters. The pros and cons of having children close in age doesn't truly matter by age gap; it really depends on the parents' and the children's personalities.

1
3 32

We have three boys - ages 4, 2 and 1. Most days are crazy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love that they are at the same stages and growing up together. Yes, there are a lot of diapers and laundry, but the blessings far outweigh the burdens.

1
7 26

my daughters are 1yr and 4mths apart and it was the best thing ever. i can potty train both at the same time and they are learning together and are the best of friends. however there is some of that sibling rivarly in there too. but that is too be expected.

1
2 4

I had 2 boys 25 months apart, it was fabulous!!! The older one was my helper and liked that! The third one was 14 months after and it was more difficult!

1
5 1

My children were two years apart and I loved it...I was always busy, nursed one while the other sat on my lap and I read him a book, sometimes they both took a nap at the same time, that was heavenly. However, when my daughter slept, it gave me time with my son as well.....Yes, it was trying at times, but I would do it all over again....As they grew older, they were best friends and remain the same best friends at 28 and 30 years old.....

1
105 0

My daughter just turned two in April, and I have number two on the way. I'm a newly single mom, and my daughter is a HUGE mommas girl, SO attached. Needless to say I'm nervous about how she will react once the new baby arrives, but right now she is so excited! I'm only ten weeks but I think I'm having a boy and she talks about her baby brother all the time! When I ask her things like if she's gonna be my big helper and help feed the baby and bathe the baby she answers YEAH very eagerly every time. Although I know it's gonna be hard for sure and there's gonna be sibling rivalry, I also know she's gonna love him and she's gonna be the best big sister in years and I am excited.

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25 12

I can personally answer this question on my Mom's behalf, my sister and I are only 13 months. I am the eldest so I actually helped my sister be potty trained, help her by holding her hand to walk and to sit down and color so Mom could do work. She quotes that it was easier to have children that close in age because your pretty normally teaching certain things in life at the same time. Me and my sister seem to be closer than other sibling today than other siblings.

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0 20

My kids are 10months apart. Girl is 6 and boy is 5. I love having them where they are they really are each others best friends. It has it struggles too but that is just kids. I always remind myself god will never give u more then u can handle.

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10 0

I have two boys that are less than a year and half apart but two school grades and they are great friends. They basically had the same friends a built buddy at home, did the same stuff got along great. I think it was a major plus the minus is one is always better at stuff usually the older one and so sometimes the younger one feels less than. Its best to find there strengths and tell them about them explain there difference in a good way. My boys are 21 and 20, so far it hasn't been a bad thing its actually been a really good thing. AT a young age its really hard chasing two toddlers around but its such a short time it will done and gone before you know it. Enjoy your children they grow so quickly and sometimes you are struggling just to get through it that you miss on a lot so try to see what enjoyment there is now.

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0 18

I think it really does not matter the age differences. I come from a rather unique family, with multiple sisters, aunts, cousins and assorted other relatives, the main feature being a DEARTH of males. My eldest sister is nearly 12 YEARS older than the next eldest, and yet my little sisters ( 5 of them between my age and age 15!) are all spaced between 14 and 18 MONTHS apart. MY eldest is 5, her next younger (triplet) sisters are just turning 2 in January ( 2013) I have then twins who turn 1 in December and am pregnant now. In my family we ADORE our children, (and they DO seem to keep on arriving!) ,born to all my sisters, aunts and cousins. So between us all, i'd think we can have experienced just about EVERY interval.. and you know what? there is pretty well NO difference in how the kids adjust, OR their mothers. OUR benefit comes from having so MANY relatives, it is never difficult to find a willing volunteer to sit with the girls.. I can see it would be much more difficult for single mothers, or persons who don't HAVE the loving father, or partner,, or who don't have the community of family we do at my house. My mother, she had children from the time she was 16 until she could no longer, ( she's 48 and had her most recent, a single girl, born in 2011), but that will be her last, as she had so many difficulties due to a bungling and incompetent doctor in Germany, that she can no longer. In total i have 12 sisters.. So "lucky 13" proved itself worthy of her auspicious number.. We have a wonderful relationship all of us,, even with our new baby sister, who was born the same day as my most recent twins. We love them all, don't we? so what else matters??

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76 0

I had my daughter when my son was 2 years 2 weeks and to be honest it wasn't hard at all, however I had my 4th son when my 3rd son was 1 yr 1 mth and a year age gap is hard because they r both baby's and both need lots of attention, mind u I do have the eldest who also want attention just not as much as they r 8 and 6 now. On the other hand my sister had her daughter when her eldest was 7 and she found it hard as her 7 year old was used to having mummy to herself and was abit jealous not to mention getting on off to school and starting again with the sleepless nights. It's just personal choice.

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9 0

I have 6 children aged 31, 30, 29, 27, 25 and 25.

The pros of having them so close together far outweighed the cons. They were playmates for each other, the ones who started school the year before were able to assist in teaching the newbies how things had to be done, they were into the same things most of the time when young, etc.
The cons were the bickering as they got older, the crying in unison when not given into, different tastes in food and clothes as they got older ( could be cooking 4 different meals each evening for dinner!)
They would argue like cats and dogs with each other but lord help any outsider who picked on any one of them - they would have the rest of them to deal with afterwards!

When small they were hard work but you are so busy 'getting on with it' that you don't realise just how hard. As they got older they were able to take on helping do chores around the house and make my load a little easier.
Saying all that, I wouldn't change what I had with them all - good and bad - for a lottery win!

0
5 12

i have t boys who are 2 years and 4 days apart, we had some streeful times but over all it was good for them to have a built in friend and playmate.some normal sibling rivaly,but are now to great grown men so they did surive :)

0
1 2

my two children were 17 1/2 months apart....and yes they were planned! My oldest was potty trained so just had one in cloth diapers. To me was so easy, they took naps at same time and played so good together.

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167 1

Mine are 2yrs 5 months apart both girls, we have good days and bad days sometimes they get along great and sometimes they don't I think that's normal. They are now 7 and 10 the biggest problem between them is more that our oldest is in 6th (she is a summer baby having started k at 5 actually on her bday LOL and then skipped a year) and our youngest in in 2nd so while there is not much time between them there is a big gap in emotions and interests on the other hand when our oldest wants to just play like girls that are her own age she has a buddy to do so with bc our youngest just loves and idolizes her big sister. So they work as kind of a check and balance for each other right now big sister not letting little sister give up on things that are a bit more difficult for her and little sister keeping the older one from being too serious in the long run reminding her that its ok to just play sometimes.

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14 0

Maybe this isn't so much about how the kids are with each other but the welfare of a woman. Having children closely spaced is physically, emotionally and mentally demanding especially if you breastfeed and/or the children don't start sleeping through the night at the right age. It also means you, as a mother, won't have special time with the older child without a sibling, that he/she will remember as they grow up.
You will often be harried, tired and consumed in the day to day activities of caring for multiple babies and toddlers. For instance, it will be constantly taking focus off a 2 year old who has to bend to the feeding, napping and eating schedule of an infant. There will be far fewer outing, beach trips, social opportunities, quiet time with Mama, etc. because taking one young child somewhere can be fun. Taking 2 is a potential nightmare, lol.
With, say, 5 years apart, the older child is more independent, can communicate better, is in school and there is a break for the mother to care for the infant at home. ( If she's a SAHM).

If a mother is able to withstand the sleep deprivation, toll on her body, lack of personal time and space, and inevitable hit to her relationships with other adults, including the children's father, then at least you can say having them close together gets childbearing out of the way early on.
However, if you are trying to create a healthy family where everyone's needs are met, then perhaps churning out kids in a short period of time is not the best plan.

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8 10

My first two children, both girls, were 18 months apart. My third child, also a girl, was born three years after the second child. My forth child, a boy, was born 13 months after the third child. If you have a choice, I recommend a birth span of at least 17 to 18 months up to 30 months. I personally think children born within 15 months of their sibling will not be able to have the same quality time the other child experienced. I promise you, you will be too busy and too exhausted. Three years is a little long and has its own consequences, especially the effects on their relationship with each other during their preteen and teen years.

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27 25

i rarther have kids five years apart because then one is out of diapers. or have one when the other one is potty training. i think it is easier. i grew up with a brother who was five years apart from me. my other two brothers were year apart and they always fight. me and my five year old brother did not fight hardly at all

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0 0

Most of my kids are 20 months apart. I love that. They have common interests and share a lot of things. The set of kids I had 42 months apart, fight a lot more and just didn't bond the same way. The elder tries to mother the younger, could be her own personality, but I really couldn't say. I guess 24 to 30 months apart would be ideal for me.

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8 20

My first 2 are 19mths apart ( 8 and 7) number 2 and 3( almost 6) are 14 mths apart and then I have a almost 2 year old, I love having them close together and wouldnt want it any other way in fact I hate having the last one so far behind makes me sad for him that he wont have a sibling closer to his age in fact thought about having ONE more just to give him that but after 4 c sections i thought my body had enough!

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1 0

Mine are 17 1/2 months apart and man, I wouldn't have it any other day. A little rough for the first 3 months, but I got use to it after 2 weeks. My girls are BEST Friends. And the sleep thing, I wouldn't dare wait 3 yrs. and be sleep deprived all over again.

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3 10

My first two son's have the 25 month separation, and there is a two and a half year separation between son #2 and son #3. With providing my body the break between children allowed me to lose some of the baby wieght that was gained during my pregnancy before I started to put in on again. This break between the pregnancy also allows one child to be almost out of diapers before another one is born. You don't have to worry about what the professionals are telling you, listen to what your body is telling you, looking back 14 years when my last son was born I wouldn't change a thing.

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12 14

I have 5 girls ages 11 twins, 5, 3, and 5 mths. I honestly think it is easier to have them closer together because my 11 year olds want nothing to do with the 5,3, and 5 mth old, and my 5 and 3 year old are best friends. I really wish I had not spaced my first 2 pregnancys out . I think their are lots more pros than cons to having them 2 years apart. They will have alot more in common with each other and get along better. Less stress for mom less stress for kids.

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