Photo by Peajewel
I had brunch yesterday with a friend who shared the news that she's pregnant with her second baby -- her first just turned one and she's three months along in this pregnancy, so the babies will be 19 months apart.
Later in the day I sold some baby gear we're no longer using to a mama who's also pregnant with baby number two -- I asked how far apart hers would be and she said 15 months. That got me thinking about the whole babies-close-in-age thing -- being pregnant for a second time in a fairly short period and then deaing with the challenges of a new baby when you still have a young one on your hands. Turns out many CafeMom moms are in that situation, too.
While some research suggests that pregnancies should be spaced at least 18 months apart in order to allow a woman to bounce back fully from the nutritional toll that pregnancy and breastfeeding take, it's pretty common to see close successive pregnancies -- witness celeb mamas Heidi Klum, Brittney Spears, and Naomi Watts. (For the other end of the spectrum, check out my friend Cafe Kierna's Do Over! post on having kids spaced more than ten years apart.)
So what's it like to have two so close together? maryinger shared in Advice for Moms that when her second baby is born, her first will be one -- she says she has no idea what to expect, so she asked other moms. Here's what they had to say:
First, moms acknowledged that it's a challenge -- but everybody seemed up to the task and said that with some smart planning, it becomes manageable over time.
MonikaMH says with twice the diapers and bottles, you have to learn to juggle and be a good time manager -- get the kids on similar schedules (for naps, feedings, etc.) and make the most of your breaks when you get them.
Lisa0328, whose kids are 13 months apart, says the kids will get to do a lot of things together -- play, potty training, school -- and that's a nice thing. She also recommends getting them on the same schedule -- and suggests putting the oldest child in daycare for a few weeks to give yourself time to heal after the birth and to get a little routine going with the baby.
lyndonsmom says her kids are 14 months apart -- and though it's a challenge, she loves it! She says it's the toughest when the new baby comes home, and she suggests setting aside some private time for the oldest child so he doesn't feel abandoned.
ben127 suggests that, if you plan on breastfeeding, you might want to get the older child a special toy that he's allowed to play with when you sit down to feed the baby -- that'll keep him entertained.
tlsteinbeck has babies 14 months apart -- her tips were:
- spend time before the new baby comes getting the oldest child on a good schedule, especially for bed time
- give the older child his own "baby doll" so that when mommy is doing baby things -- feeding, changing diapers, etc. -- the big girl or boy can, too
- when family offers to help, say yes -- don't try to be "super mom"
- instead of having a traditional shower with kid #2 and receiving gifts, she asked people to make meals and freeze them -- she had good, home-cooked meals for her family for the first two weeks with the new baby because of this!
If your second baby is going to be close in age to your first, connect with one of these groups:
What are your thoughts on spacing babies? And if you do have two close in age, how did you make the logistics work?