what are the benefits of having your kids close in age and how far apart in age are your children? My husband and I want more children, but our first is only almost 6 months. We aren't ready to try again, but are trying to find out what a good spacing is for children. He works all day and gets home late, so it's pretty much just me raising our daughter. Any suggestions?

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Jinglebones - posted on 04/27/2009

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I think there are pros and cons to both close together and space. I have 2 boys who are 2.5 years apart and I think it is perfect - for us. I know many friends who have 2 and three even closer together and this is what we have observed: the first 2 years of your childs life is the most intense in terms of needing attention and the sheer physical effort required - it does get easier and every child is different. The argument goes, while you are in the trenches, might as well just stay there and get it over with and then you can all do things together i.e. family bike rides etc. If you go through it, wait for 4 years, then do it again, you have a child ready to go biking, Disney World, etc, but you now have a baby to consider. Also, child development experts say that if you have more than 5 years between children, the dynamic is more like an only child. I get a big kick these days out of how well my 2 guys play together and am thrilled that they will always have each other - they are now almost 5 and almost 2.5. Having a sibling changes their life - they have to share everything, they have to wait, they have to learn to be tolerant of different needs - all great life skills. When I hear my older one say in a sweet voice to his little brother - do you want me to read you a story, Lukie - my heart just melts. They adore each other - and they fight, and punch, etc, but they are learning to work things out in a safe place. I think you need to think about what would work for you - those first few years are exhausting and you really have to put your own life on hold and do what is best for them. But we are just coming out of it now and I am very happy that it is over, in a sad, sweet way...

Janna - posted on 05/05/2009

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My oldest daughter and 2nd child(son) are 19 months apart. Totally awesome timing! They are 4 & 5 yrs old now and play together so much. We lost our 3rd baby when the 2nd child was 2 yrs old. We now have a 7 month old. The older 2 are so wonderfully helpful and LOVE their sister!

Maria - posted on 05/03/2009

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I think there are a lot of pluses and minuses in any age gap situation. It depends on what you're able to deal with, your financial situation, how old you are, and other issues.

In our case, my husband and I are going to wait until our daughter is five to eight years old before we have another child. This is partly due to our very poor financial situation right now, and I also cannot imagine trying to cope with a toddler or a baby *and* deal with the hyperemesis I had the first fourteen weeks of my pregnancy. (Hyperemesis is essentially extreme morning sickness that goes all day long -- I lost twenty pounds my first trimester. I'm lucky it didn't last the entire pregnancy like it does with many women.)

I tire easily and would like to have one child partially independent and otherwise occupied as much as possible with school and hobbies while we're taking care of another baby. That doesn't mean we'll neglect the older one, but it'll help.

I know several families who have children with wide gaps in their ages (my husband and his sister, for example), and the siblings are still close and get along well. In the several examples I've seen, the younger kids can learn so much from the older ones, and both really love to be around each other, yet each gets a good deal of intensive only-child time, too.

Whatever your spacing turns out to be, you'll know when you're ready to try again. I think most people average 2-3 years between kids.

Julie - posted on 04/17/2009

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I have four kids and they are all very close together. My first two are 13 months apart then there is a 2.5 age gap between number two and three and then the last two are fourteen months apart. Personally for me I like the really close age gaps, yes it was a bit harder to have a 13 month old and a newborn then a 2.5 year old and a newborn but they all play so well together! At one point I had 3 kids in diapers :) The absolutely hardest part of having them all so close together was going out anywhere, like the grocery store. I would have my oldest two walk, my third one in the front and the baby in a front pack so I would have room in the cart for groceries. The best part was that none of them can remember life without each other so their is no jealousy for mom or dad's attention. When it is time you will know!

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Melanie - posted on 05/05/2009

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I have two boys who are 23 months apart. I think this is a great age gap, as I know no different. Like everyone else has said, it is difficult in the beginning. Now my sons are 2.5 and 7 months, and its great. My eldest son really loves his brother and never really showed any jealousy, just confusion in the beginning. I plan to have more kids. I think I will wait till my youngest is 2 before trying again though.

Kristin - posted on 05/04/2009

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I think the biggest benefit is you get them both grown around the same time! Lol. No, it has it's pro's and cons. My two boys are 2 years and 4 months apart. They have a love/hate kinda relationship. It brings me great joy in knowing that they have this beautiful opportunity to grow up together, something I didn't have and longed for all my life. (My Sister and I are 11 1/2 years apart.) I guess it all depends on your lifestyle. It is hard having two small children, and when a new baby comes you will need all the help you can get. My oldest son when the baby came clinged more to his Daddy because Mommy was so busy with the new baby. It broke my heart, because I felt like I maybe had another child to soon because he was still a baby himself. I felt like I made him grow up way to soon. In the long run, I believe with all my heart I gave him his Best Friend for life. We are a close knit family, and I feel so comforted in knowing that when I'm gone they will have each other.

Jennifer - posted on 05/04/2009

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I had my three girls in three years...my oldest was born January 1, 2003, my middle munchkin was born April 23, 2004 and the youngest was born December 31, 2005. I wouldn't have had it any other way....they are the best!

Randi - posted on 04/29/2009

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Our boys are 2 year and 1 month (almost to the day) apart and our youngest son and our daughter will be about 1.5 years apart. We decided to have all of our children close in age so they could bond and grow up as friends. I have two younger brothers and we are all 4 years, 2 months apart (talk about planning!) and I was like a second mother to my brothers especially to my youngest brother. But this is also how I was raised...to help discipline, bath, baby-sit, and feed my younger brothers. Now that two of us are adults and the youngest is 16, we still aren't very close. Although, my oldest son is 3 yrs and it's definitely fun to see his excitement about having a new baby soon. He always asks if she is awake so he can feel her move. In the end, I think you can raise a close family regardless of the difference in your kids' ages. It was a very hard choice for us too so I know what you are going through! Good luck!!

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My sister has three children, 5,4, and 2. They seem perfectly spaced apart as far as playing together and getting along. But she really struggled with the first two being only one year apart, she was exhausted. My daughter is 15 months now and will be 1 year and 9 months when my next one is born. The only thing I'm worried about and trying to remedy is the potty training. I would like to do that before this one is born. Only because I think it'll be easier doing it one on one without another baby interrupting and being exhausted, and to save on double diaper cost. Other than that I think just about any age between children can be a good one depending on what you'd like and expect from them. I want mine to play together and grow up being close to one another. I have a wonderful relationship with my sister who is only one year older. Only other thing that comes to mind is when they're older...having to buy cars and college costs bunched very close together.

Tracey - posted on 04/28/2009

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my children are 23 months and then 30 months apart. both were fine with me but it was easier having a new born with a potty trained older sibling than not. my children are now 2,4, and 6. It works out really well, when one of them gets out of a stage the next goes into it and there isn't so much of a difference where they really remember not having the younger sibling but the are old enough to try to help with the new baby.

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My son and daughter are 2 1/2 years apart and I just love it! My son was somewhat independent when my daughter was born so it made it very easy for me. I spent my pregnancy getting him potty trained, teaching him to bath himself, dress himself and clear the table after himself. They are still close enough in age that they can play together. He has been such a big helper with her when she was little, throwing away diapers for me and so forth. I tried to incorporate him in every way in taking care of her and he has loved being a big brother. There were a few times he wished he was a baby again, but I usually point out all the benefits of being a big brother and he does just fine. My daughter is 2 now and we are expecting #3. There will be about a 2 1/2 year difference this time around also. I really love this age gap. I don't see how moms with kids any closer keep their sanity. lol (I just don't think I could do it)

Melissa - posted on 04/22/2009

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My kids are 3 1/2 years apart and I think it's great! My almost 4 year old daughter can help out, grab diapers, a paci, etc. She can also get herself dressed, brush her own teeth, isn't as needy as if she were younger. She LOVES her little brother who is 7 months old. If she does get jealous, it isn't with her brother, it's with her Dad and I so she doesn't do anything to hurt him. She can't wait until he is older and can play with her.

Lorraine - posted on 04/18/2009

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My two are 12 1/2 months apart and while it was hard for the first few months it was great after that. They are now 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 and get along so well together.

Jaclyn - posted on 04/16/2009

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its really great to hear everyones replys to this. I originally said I wanted my children 4 years apart. I currently have one and she is almost 9 months old. My husband wants to have our children 2 years apart. I am ok with that and most likely will do. I said the 4 years thing before I was even pregnant. Now... I cant wait to have another one!!! I am definitely waiting until my daughter turns 1 before we start trying.

Alicia - posted on 04/16/2009

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Hi there. My 2 girls are 11 months apart. Actually my little 1 was supposed to be born the day before the older 1's 1st birthday. Its good and its bad. They love each other to death and play together all the time, but when they fight its crazy. And they both run to mommy. And through all the craziness, I wouldnt have it any other way. I couldnt imagine going through this all over again.

Vanessa - posted on 04/16/2009

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My first two are 18 months apart and although it was extremely tough for me in the beginning, I LOVE it now. They are 3 and 4 1/2 and they are each others best friends,playmates and yes, even each others worst enemies at times :) My son, the oldest, is intelligent by means of his own curiosity, while my daughter is little miss independent. They feed off of each other and learn from each others strentghs and weaknesses already. I just delivered my third one week ago today and I must say, it is hard to go back 3 years and start all over with the infant stage. She was a surprise and we were hoping to get to Disney this year, now we'll have to put it, and other things, on hold for a few more years. Part of the beauty of having the other 2 close in age was that we would get to do family outings and all enjoy the same activities.

User - posted on 04/15/2009

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we have a 2.5 year between our girls. i'm glad we had girls- I think same sex might be easier to deal with. Grace has addapted really well to the arrival of her little sister. I find I'm in total agreement with Elizabeth- Grace has been mature enough to entertain herself, and also too young to realise what jealousy is. She plays beautifully with Ria and as they both get older it is getting easier, and their relationship with each other is getting stronger- it's lovely.

I'm sure there will be times in the future when I'm tearing them appart, but for the minute, it's all good.

Brooke - posted on 04/15/2009

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My daughter and son are 32 months apart. It's actually been great. They are now 4.5 and 2 (on April 30) and they play GREAT together. It was hard at first ( I deal with post-partum junk ) but is getting easier everyday as they both are older and more independent. My husand and I want more but are trying to wait until our son will be 3-4 before having #3. My hubby is in school and not here as much as he used to be. If we have one before that it will be great though too because children are such a BLESSING !     P.S. your daughter is adorable !!!!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/14/2009

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My girls are 2yrs and 5 months apart, and I absolutely LOVE the age gap! My first was just the right maturity when her little sister was born, she was old enough that she was somewhat independent, and could do some things for herself and entertain herself during the times when I NEEDED to attend to the baby, and they're close enough together that once my younger daughter hit about 18 months they do everything together. They really are eachothers best friends, which is exactly what I was hoping for when we arranged their age gap the way we did. Now, I'm expecting our third and it will be born 1 month before my younger girl (can't really say "youngest" anymore!) will be 3, and 4 months after my older one turns 5 - I love the way both the girls are relating to the new baby coming and think they'll do great with it. My *almost* 5 y/o is ecstatic and talks about her *baby sister* all the time, she's going to do great, but I'm really glad that we have Karen to kind of bridge the age gap for them too. I'm 5 years older than my little brother and it's only as adults that we're starting to actually become friends. In my personal opinion, anything more than about 3 years puts them at totally different maturity levels, and while it might be easier for us, it does create a gap between the kids. I love my brother, but wish I'd had a closer sibling growing up. We actually wanted to have this third one a little earlier, but there have been other things going on in our lives and we couldn't do it until now. It also really depends on your child's maturity level... my older daughter was just the right maturity when her sister was born, but my younger daughter is a lot more mature than her sister at the same age and could've handled a younger sibling at a younger age. You really just have to take into account your own family dynamics and find the right balance. For us having them close together was our main goal, but also making sure that each one was *ready* when the next one comes along. You have to think ahead too, remember that your little one will be pretty much a whole year older by the time the new baby actually comes along (allowing for time to conceive and carry of course) so you can't really make your decision based on their personality and maturity level now, you have to consider what they'll be like a year from now..

Ok, that's the end of my lecture... lol I really didn't mean to go on that long, just wanted to give you as much to think about as I could. :-)

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2009

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My oldest 2 are 1 week from 2 yrs apart. The 2nd and 3rd are 16 mnths and the 3rd and 4th will be 17 mnths apart. There are times I honestly feel like I live in a zoo! To be totally honest, I told my husband that if we decide to have #5, I want 1 full year before I get pregnant again. (More for my sanity than anything else) :)

Michelle - posted on 04/14/2009

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My first two are 23 months apart and my second and third are 15 months apart.  23 months apart is much more do able than 15 months.  Just now I am finding that I can take a breath and that is after the youngest is 2.  With having three under three that year was very tough and it felt as though I was running a race that was never done.  My older two have been the best of friends and still are but have been known to leave the youngest out of the loop.  They are just getting to the point in which they will allow him to play too.



Even though it is hard for the first few years having them so close together is also a blessing.  They get to do a lot of the milestones together and can play with each other's friends.  They are still interested in mostly the same things.

Ashley - posted on 04/14/2009

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My girls are 17 months apart and I love it.  At 17 months they don't really know how to be jealous.  It is an adjustment no matter the age difference.  It just depends on what you can handle.

Kelly - posted on 04/14/2009

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Our boys are 2 years apart. That has always been great. They shared clothes (to some extent-one is much thinner than the other), toys (even save up together for things they both want, like video games), and have almost always (and still do) share a bedroom with absolutely no problems. They ride to school together, play the same sports, and even eat lunch in the same room (when they could choose to do otherwise) at school. They even work together over the summer. Then we have an eight year gap, and our girls are four years apart. They have never shared a bedroom, but do play together very well and often share toys. I feel strongly about the benefits of each child having someone to grow up with, but it has also been great having the older siblings to help with the babies. My boys have always been a huge help, and adore their little sisters. I always wanted four kids, and I wouldn't change a thing about the spacing, except I wouldn't have minded having the girls a little closer together. Best of luck with whatever you decide!

Tara - posted on 04/14/2009

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My daughter and our new baby will be 18 months apart (I'm 17 weeks pregnant with our 2nd). A lot of the ladies I talked to when I was in the hospital having my daughter said that 18-24 months apart is absolutely the best age difference, while others have said at least 24-36 months. I think it depends on your circumstances. We were going to wait until our girl was 18 months to start trying for our 2nd one, but, life happens.  If you think you can handle two babies really close together, and 2 in diapers at the same time, I say go for it :)

Hannah - posted on 04/14/2009

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our boys are only 10 months apart.  i am very thankful that they are both boys, this help with clothes and toys.  i think its good that they can grow up as friends.  we are looking forward to them being on the same sports team and things like that. 



right now it is a lil hard that they both need our help with almost everything.  it will be easier as they become more independent.  it also helps that my husband is a very involved dad. 



our oldest boy likes to get the babys pacifier for him when he drops it and checks on him when he crys.  he gets a lil too excited about the baby sometimes and needs to be reminded to becareful. 



in the end it can be a lot of work some days, but is also well worth it.  everything happens for a reason. 

Amanda - posted on 04/14/2009

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My kids are 19 months apart!! I love their age difference. It was tough in the beginning and I hate that I have 2 in diapers (we are working on that now) but I think if you are knee deep in poopy diapers you might as well get it over with together. Mason didn't have alot of jealousy issues either and think that was partially because he was still young when I had Madyson. He did act out when I was trying to feed the baby or I was doing something and couldn't get to him immediately but that only last about 4 or 5 weeks.  I also have a husband that works ALOT. He sells cars and leaves the house around 8 in the morning and at least 3 days a week doesn't get home until around 8:30. The other days he usually doesn't get home until 6:30 or 7:00. He also only gets a Saturday off every 6 weeks so I completely understand what you mean about raising the kids alone. It is ok though because when he is here he is very hands on. Anyway, I love that my kids are close in age. My brother and I are exactly (to the day) the same age apart as my 2 kids are and we are very close still to this day and I can't wait to see the bond between Mason and Madyson as the grow up together!! Good Luck! :)

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