General Question

TheFonz_is's avatar

Is it better to have kids close together ie trying again when your first is 4 months old, or waiting a bit?

Asked by TheFonz_is (362 points ) February 24th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

DrBill's avatar

The only difference is if you wait, the older can help take care the younger.

2late2be's avatar

If you want to get over with it as soon as possible, go for it! I decided to wait, my older is 2 years (29 months) and I’m due in 4 weeks, I think 2 and a half years of difference is just fine with us, on the other side, my sister and I are only one year of difference, so I think it is really up to your thoughts…

Dog's avatar

Wait till the first is out of diapers.

basp's avatar

Mine are thirty three minutes apart.
Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Meathooks24's avatar

Most Children who are born within a year or so apart sometimes feel like they can not really be themselves because they have to go through school with the other sibling and or share close friends with the other one. I believe that at least two to three years should be good to give each child their space and individuality. having children after a long period of time can be stressful for everyone in the family because there is such a big gap between children. Pretty much two different generations that may clash and cause controversy in the household. But it is your choice and what you think is best for your family and current situations in your home. Just be smart and do not only think about how you want it but what the children would want also. Be sure that you talk it out thoroughly with your spouse and agree on a plan for you. Don’t forget your financial aspect as well.

TheFonz_is's avatar

@Meathooks24 so your saying that all twins, quadruplets pen..(more than that) “feel like they can not really be themselves” ?

What about different sex children who will have different friends?

cookieman's avatar

I’m an only child and my wife and her brother are 15 years apart – so what the hell do I know?!

But I am interested to read the responses as we are working on this with our family.

basp's avatar

Meathook
I take exception to your opinion that children close in age can not be themself.
My twins have always had their own personalities and never had problems being themself. Also, I grew up in a family of nine, many if us less than two years from a sibling and being ourself was never a problem.
I think parental attitude has more to do with inhibiting a child from being their own person than age difference from siblings does.

gailcalled's avatar

@TheFonz is: If you have babies that are 4 months apart, the yentas call them Irish twins, and for a reason. Do you have family nearby who are willing and able to lend a hand? If not, I would wait a year or so.

My sister and I used to be almost 10 years apart; now we are the same age.

TheFonz_is's avatar

@gailcalled not 4 months apart… there would be 13 months before them.. if my son is 4months old now, and my wife falls pregnant the baby still takes a while to get here:)

gailcalled's avatar

You are right. But they still would be Irish twins and a lot of work.

TheFonz_is's avatar

ok, why irish?

janbb's avatar

It’s a very personal decision and you have to weigh a number of factors – a major one being your own patience and energy level. My sons were 2 1/2 years apart and that worked out fine but it was a little hairy at first. I wanted a 3 or 3 1/2 year difference but got pregnant right away the second time. In terms of the children, I think if you can handle to spacing, they can handle the spacing. I’ve seen all kinds of families work out just fine, but personally, I was glad to have a few years with my older son before the younger was born.

I would say don’t worry about waiting til the oldest is out of diapers necessarily because that can take a long time!

wundayatta's avatar

There was almost four years between ours. Our oldest was old enough not only to not be jealous that our attention was diverted to the new arrival, but to take a proprietary interest in him, and to be desperate to help take care of him. Another advantage for us in the US, is that we only have one child in college at a time.

My brother was born a year and a half after me. He was sickly in the beginning. When he was born, we are guessing, all my parents attention switched from me to him. I must have felt abandoned. Certainly, later on, when they gave him more attention than me, I was jealous. This has, supposedly, lead to some of my rather serious psychological problems as an adult.

If you do have children close together, I can not tell you how important it is to still pay equal attention to your oldest. This will be more difficult if your oldest is under the age of three. It’s not undoable, but you will be focused on nothing more than your kids, and you may resent it. You, as father, will have to be totally involved, or your wife will think really nasty thoughts about you. You think her hatred of your time with football is bad? Well, if you have another child now, and you don’t pitch in with your whole heart and time and energy, let me tell you brother, you ain’t see nuthin’ yet!

TheFonz_is's avatar

@daloon brilliant answer, i agree 100% with the being involved part.

I love being involved but tend to do more of what i enjoy with him than what i should do. WE live in germany which has amazing incentives for having children, my wife has 1 year off on full pay and then another 10 percent per month for having a new born. if she goes back to work it will be part time, then she would only get half of that money if she got pregnant again.

plus if she does go back to work then our son will have to go to kindergarten at the age of 1 (i would prefer 2).

If she got pregnant now (still in her full paid maternity year) then she would have minimum another year full pay off, another 10 percent for the new baby and 10 percent again for having two kids.

all the meanwhile im working :)

we both want another child and are prepared to put in the hard work, financially its more stable for us to do it now, then my Lennon (my son) can stay at home for at least another 6 months..

what you reckon?

wundayatta's avatar

Well one thing, depending on how good your kindergartens (here we call them daycare, kindergarten doesn’t start until age 5), it can be a really good experience. Our children both started at three months, when my wife went back to work, and the kids loved it, and seem to have gained a lot of good experience in relationships from being there. So, if you have good kindergarten, I would be totally comfortable with him going at age 1.

As to the incentives—well, do you think they will go away? If not, then if you wait another year before after she goes back to work, or even half a year, you’ll still be eligible for those benefits. Also, why would she only be part time if she went back to work after a year? Does that mean that she would have a lower benefit if she got pregnant after going back to work?

I’ve found that it’s difficult to predict the future financially. These things are important, and we want to know, but with times like ours, who knows what will happen? You might lose your job. Then what? I know you also have generous unemployment benefits, and you also have a fairly good system for paying for health care, so you have a good cushion in situations like that, but they don’t last forever, do they?

I guess I wouldn’t have a child because of the huge financial incentives. I know population is decreasing throughout Europe, and a lot of nations have such incentives, but you don’t have to do what the government wants you to do, even if it is patriotic. Caution suggests not taking on another child at a time like this, and it is better for the children if there is more space. But that’s just my opinion. Whatever you do, and whenever you have the child, it sounds like you’ll be a very loving father, and the love for children is what counts the most. If you have that, you can endure a lot of trouble elsewhere.

TheFonz_is's avatar

@daloon cheers.

The incentives will go in a short time period in my opinion. Plus I have a lengthy contract for work which would be hard for me to lose, and again like you said there are unemployment benefits (not that i would ever want to use them). We wouldnt be having another child simply because of money but obviously its a deciding factor.

If my wife went to work she wouldnt want to work full time and leave our child in daycare.. so she would work part time. if then she is pregnant she only gets a half of the pay for maternity leave (again one year). if she gets pregnant now, she gets full pay.

so pros are that she can stay at home until our son is 2 and spend more time with him, we would be much more comfortable and we would have another bundle of joy..

cons are really the extra pressure it will put on us and our son. TO be honest I think that being made aware of the issues that can appear will help us deal with them.

either way, here’s hoping its a girl this time :) (of course whats more important is that it will be healthy)

wundayatta's avatar

Good luck! I think you are right that if you understand the issues, you can be prepared to deal with them. You do have some significant financial incentives to do this now, so I guess you’ll go ahead and try. I wish you success.

Likeradar's avatar

I don’t think there is a “better” way to do it… whatever works for your energy level, financial situation, personal and familial future desires, etc, is the best way possible.

I know families with back to back to back kids, and it’s the perfect way for them. I know other families with big gaps between their kids, and that’s perfect too.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

It’s different for every family. What’s right for me maybe not be right for you and so on.

Personally, we’re waiting until Max is old enough to start school. He’s 6 months old right now and I honestly don’t think I’d be able to chase after him (he’s crawling now) while pregnant. I would also prefer not to have two in diapers. I want to focus all of my attention just on him during his first few years rather than divide my time.

It does sound like your country offers a lot of support for families. What will happen after the second child? Will she have to return to work when the second year is one?

Good luck! And really, what we say doesn’t matter. It’s your family and you should trust what your gut tells you.

TheFonz_is's avatar

@dragonflyfaith if we do have one more then that one would go to kita at age 1… I#m working for an internet company thats big oiver here and taking on uk and us now so hopefully in the next 12 months ill be able to support us both and then we wont have this trouble… she gets three years at home with the kids and then still got her job

dragonflyfaith's avatar

That’s awesome! Best of luck to you!

Jack79's avatar

I’d say as close as possible, though it depends. My sister had a very easy pregnancy and an easy-going daughter a couple of years ago, and I persuaded her to try soon. She was lucky enough to have a second easy pregnancy and an even more easy-going son about a year later. Her son is now 4m old and her daughter 21. The son is also quite big, so he’ll catch up pretty fast and they’ll be able to play together on equal terms pretty fast. Of course having two angels instead of two devils helps.

TheFonz_is's avatar

:) anyone know “the technique” used to get angels rather than devils? (sounds like a dan brown novel:o)

Jack79's avatar

well the idea is to stay calm, be cool, have a smooth and loving relationship with your spouse and an overall atmosphere of peace and tranquility

…which is a bit like greeting people in the Middle East with words such as “Shalom” or “Salaam Ale Kum”

My sister is fortunate enough to have a loving, supportive husband, and most debates end in some sort of compromise. Which is certainly more helpful than parents fighting over a crying child.

janbb's avatar

Well – having a calm, loving home certainly helps, but babies are born with innate temperaments. I woulddn’t want to characterize any as either angels or devils, but there certainly are easier and more difficult babies/children. I ahd one son who was very colicky and hard to soothe and another who was very quiet and easy-going from the beginning.

Jack79's avatar

also true

my daughter was born in the centre of a busy town with cars, motorbikes and drunken tourists making loud noise 24/7. The fact that me and her mum often fought didn’t help much either. Yet she managed to sleep through anything, and has generally been a kind and loving child, who, despite her strong personality and sense of ownership (she won’t share her toys and especially her dad with anyone), is tidy, polite and obedient, with a love for knowledge. I have come to believe in genetics a lot more since she was born (especially since she managed to pick up 4 languages in no time but still can’t count beyond 5 in any of them, despite my best efforts).

But I think this is off topic now.

jessicar's avatar

Well I had two that were a year apart. It was very hard to have two babies in diapers. Also my second cried all the time so to deal with a crying baby and another baby thats now walking around and getting into everything is tuff. I also had another baby 5 years after those. It was nice having the age difference because the other two were now old enough that they could and wanted to help.

Jack79's avatar

oops, answered this already

sflwr09's avatar

Its generally the parent’s preference. Look at the pros and cons. Such as, having children close in age, you will be purchasing more diapers than usual. On the other hand, you children will have a playmate. I have 2 children which are three years apart and find it just perfect.

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