Archive for the ‘age gaps between children’ Category

Mind the gap!
08/05/2010

If you’re planning to have more than one child, there usually comes a time when you think about the gap between them.  When is the best time to have another baby?  Some people favour having children close together and there are those who think a big gap is easier. 

I have done both, I had my first baby a year after we got married. After the initial shock of sleepless nights, feeding non-stop and a crying baby, I thought that if we were having another one, we should go for it straightaway and get it all over and done with. The children would be close in age and I could use the pram, cot, clothes (all hand me downs) for the second one. This worked, sort of, and our second son was born 19 months later.  I felt permanently jet lagged, trying to feed the baby with the toddler running about, or getting one to sleep while the other was crying.  Stopping the baby from spoiling the older boy’s jigsaw, not even being able to go to the loo alone, I’m sure you get the picture!

Because they were so close in age by the time they were playgroup age, people often asked if they were twins. They played together, shared toys, bikes and a bedroom.  Of course they argued and fought as well, but at least I’d got the sleepless nights over in one go.

Fast forward ten years,  my boys didn’t need me as much anymore. My sister and sister in law were both expecting their first babies.  I got pregnant again, unfortunately it ended in a miscarriage at twelve weeks, but this only served to make me certain that I really wanted another baby.  Against the advice of the doctor, I didn’t wait a couple of months and was soon expecting what was to be our third son.

We had passed on all the baby equipment and had to start from scratch, buying a new cot, pram, highchair, car seat and all the other trappings you need for a baby.   Because of that and also because we didn’t want this baby to be ‘on his own’, we had our fourth child – a girl- 21 months later.  ‘In for a penny, in for a pound’ again!

There were definite advantages this time round, the older two were of an age to keep an eye on the babies so I could  do things like  cook the dinner while they played with them,  they would push them round the block in the pram while I caught up on housework, and were invaluable at bath time.   They even changed the occasional nappy!  They enjoyed having an excuse to re-visit their young childhood and could legitimately play with Lego, Playmobil and  Action Man, watch Fireman Sam and Postman Pat and read The Hungry Caterpillar and Peepo!  Up until they were 16, they even baby sat on the very rare evenings that my husband and I ever went out. (They had to stay in to do their homework anyway).

The downside is that they don’t let me forget all the help they gave me and take the credit for ‘bringing up’ my two younger children!  Surprisingly, it hasn’t put them off babies either, both boys have sons of their own now – all that practical experience definitely paid off.