Age Gap: Toddler and Baby

Cynthia Dermody

sibling age gap

Photo by busykids

What's harder -- having kids close in age or farther apart? Ask me and I'd say I couldn't imagine anything harder than caring for a toddler and baby. But then again, I've only got the two so it's impossible for me to compare. So I asked two stay-at-home moms, one with a toddler and a baby and another with a toddler and a teen, to compare notes.

Today, busykids talks about life with a 3 year old and a 14 month old (at right, but she has two older children as well):

Cafe Cynthia: Did you want kids so close in age?

busykids: None of my pregnancies were planned. I became pregnant with my baby when my toddler was about a year and half old. But that's good because now they have each other to play with.

How did your toddler react to having a new "baby" in the house?

When I brought  the baby home, my toddler was okay at first, until we were all by ourselves. He always wanted me to put her down and pick him up, no matter how much attention I gave him. It was never enough; he just wanted me all to himself.

He would cry and try to pull the baby out of my arms when I tried to feed her. It was a nightmare. I had to constantly reassure him of my love for him, but he would just say "Put Mia down so she can sleep."

What's the hardest part about caring for a baby and a toddler at the same time?

You never have time for yourself. Your time revolves around taking care of their every need. What makes things even harder is I decided to home school my toddler for the first year. Talk about work! Some days I don't know if I am coming or going.

I will never shop alone with a baby and a toddler. One day, I took them to the store. My toddler was walking alongside me, but when I turned away for just a second, he ran out of the store. I had to make a difficult decision right then and there: I had someone watch the baby (a stranger) while I ran to get him before he got run over.

What is the greatest thing about having a baby and a toddler?

They get to grow up together.

Do you think it would be easier or harder to have a toddler and a teenager?

I think it  is much easier to deal with at toddler and a teenager, despite the teenager's emotional roller coaster. The teen can help with the toddler, and it's less that you would have to do with both.

++Check back tomorrow to see if mom20yearsapart, who has a toddler and a teen, agrees. Meantime, what's your take? What about a toddler and a grade-schooler, or a toddler and a tween?

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