Best Time to Add Baby to the Toddler Mix

Cynthia Dermody
7


My husband and I wanted at least two children, so when my firstborn turned 10 months and we found out my daughter was on her way a little earlier than planned, it wasn't a big deal. But, oh boy, was I in for it. Caring for newborn in 19-month-old territory is a colossal challenge. No, Sweetie, we can't bring her back to the hospital to live. Honey, that is so dangerous! You CAN NOT put Play Dough in your baby sister's mouth!

This flashback courtesy of jammm112's question, over in the Stay At Home Moms group. Her 2-year-old is going through the Jekyll & Hyde behavior that I remember so well: A loving little sweetie pie one minute--biting, hitting, and refusing to share the next.

As jammm112 tells it: "She plays well with other kids but she sort of has a problem playing with the neighbor girl next store. They play well most of the time but sometimes when my daughter doesn't get her way she bites or hits. They see each other often, so I think it would be almost like sister rivalry. I also think she does it because they are the same age and play with the same things and both of them are trying to learn to share. SO if i have baby #2, what should I expect from my daughter?" 

For me, I'm glad my son and daughter are fairly close agewise. My own brother and I are six years apart, and we weren't close growing up. My children agree on the same TV shows, and I can read one bedtime story to both of them without much complaint. Except for the typical sibling rivalry stuff over toys and Mommy and Daddy's attention, they're pretty good buds now.

bupkie says, "Just my opinion, but, I'd go by when you and hubby are ready for baby #2, and not by daughter's behavior. She may not be ready to share with baby, but that's not her decision to make. You might be in for a loooong wait then ... if you waited for her to tell you when she's ready ... lol!"

Or a new baby may bring about a pleasant surprise, as MAyers says. "She may become gentle and kind. Or not. Every child is different. I had mine 17 months apart my oldest was gentle to begin with, but now she's becoming aggresive to her sister. After my youngest is around 2, we're wanting to get pregnant again. Some days I don't want anymore, but other days I want at least 2 more."

How did you know when it was time to have a second (or third, or fourth) baby? Did you let your first child's behavior/demeanor or the age difference between you and your own siblings sway you? 


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