Two Kids Under Two
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Two Kids Under Two
My husband and I have a 20 month old very active little guy and I
am 2 months away from delivering our 2nd, also a boy.
I'm a stay-at-home mom and so far, I have not felt the need for
any additional paid help. A big reason for this is that my mom
lives in a neighboring town and loves to have 'grandma time' with
our son, usually twice a week (she still works full-time, so she
will babysit in the evenings or on a weekend morning). I'm also
lucky enough to have my sister living in the Bay Area, and she
usually makes time once on the weekdays to come and visit. She's
a working college student with an active social life so we never
ask her to babysit, but having her visit and just hang out once a
week is really great. My husband also works one day from home,
and while his job keeps him busy, it's wonderful having him
around for emotional support. Lastly, I've made a good number of
mom friends. We've become close, and I hang out with at least one
person, if not a small group, every day.
My son is a really active, high-energy kid, but knowing I have
this extra help from my family and that I have a good network of
friends has so far been more than enough to keep me happy and
However, I'm starting to worry, because literally everyone I have
talked with who has 2 little ones has some sort of paid help,
whether that be a part-time nanny or a daycare, or a preschool.
This concerns me because I wasn't planning on getting any outside
paid help at all. The main reason is because we have a big
mortgage and precious little extra cash, but also because I
didn't feel it was necessary, as I do have a good support
network. I knew having 2 would be much harder than having 1, but
I thought that people did it all the time, and I would, too. Now
I'm starting to question that.
Anyway, I am hoping to hear from other stay-at-home moms who have
2 little ones, and have made it work without any outside paid
help. I'd especially love to hear from women in my sort of
situation (where family is close by and helps out fairly
regularly) because all the moms I've talked with who have paid
help do not have family close by.
That said, really, any and all advice would be appreciated.
Thanks so much!
i'm a mom with 2 kids under 2 (21mo & 3mo) and both my husband
and i work full time. although i don't stay at home, it sounds
like you're doing a great job and have lots of support around
you. my only advice from the perspective of having 2 young kids
and learning how to juggle them is to make sure to carve out
some time for yourself and time to bond with your new baby. use
those times when grandma is around to nap, exercise, or do
something YOU enjoy. i think you can manage without any outside
paid help, but maybe it depends on each individual's lifestyle
preference (e.g. wanting more time alone with 1 child, alone by
yourself, etc). good luck!
mom of 2
I have a 2yr old and a 4 months old baby. I'm a SAHM and I work
from home part time. It is totally possible to do without paid
help. I won't lie, it's not easy but it can be done. I would
recommend getting a good baby carrier that lets you have your
hands completely free (like an ergo or baby bjorn) so you can
still hang on to the older kid when you're out and about. I also
find it helpful to be specific when I need support from my family
nearby. They want to help but sometimes aren't sure where to
pitch in so they just end up coming over and hanging out. I say
things like ''can you come over and help me give the kids baths
and put them to bed?'' or ''can you come over and help me fold
laundry and wash the dishes?'' ''can you watch the kids while I go
You can do it! Some people have 4 kids and no paid help. Just
hang in there the first few months and don't feel like you have
to stick to an exact routine. You have to be more flexible with
meals and bedtime. You might also have to let your older one
watch TV while you tend to the baby. I taped a bunch of PBS shows
and just put the tape in when I need a minute to get things done.
It doesn't make you a bad parent.
It can be done! Make sure you have a baby swing for your new
baby. It was a lifesaver with mine.
Your situation sounds a lot like my sister's: she has two boys under two (and the
is *very* high energy). She is also a stay-at-home mom without help, and she has
been able to make it work. We have family in the area, so she gets most of her
that way. She does an amazing job, though I know that at times she is tired (but who
wouldn't be with two little ones?) Seems to me you'll be fine with the support system
you already have in place.
enjoy your babies
Congratulations! Two will be tiring for a while, but fun. And
TOTALLY do-able without paid help, especially if you have
family around. We have four kids - 7, 5, 20 months and 6
months. I'm a stay-at-home mom, and have had no paid help for
the past 4 years (prior to that I was still working part time,
and had childcare to cover those hours). Yes, it's crazy and
busy, especially after school when all 4 are around and the two
oldest have activities or friends over, but it can be done.
What's been key for me this year, now that I have two under-2s,
is a once a week babysitting swap with a neighbor. She takes
my two littlest ones one day from 9-3 so I can volunteer in my
older kids' classes, do some errands, clean the house, get a
coffee alone, etc. I then take her two kids the next day for
the same hours, so she can work. So one day is extra-zooy, and
the other is great. Beyond that I have the occasional help
from a parent (who is an hour away but will come down in a
pinch) or my sister-in-law, with whom I also do short trades
once in a while. For what it's worth, I know a lot of SAHMs
who DO hire some help, but mostly they are women with 3 or more
kids. And I probably know more who don't. If you feel you
need it and can afford it, go for it - but you sound pretty
together and pretty well connected with family and friends, so
you should be more than fine.
Sticking with four...
My kids are 13 months apart. They are now 4 (daughter) and 5
(son). We did not have any help and my husband commuted 2 hours a
day to a very time consuming job. We did ok. I had my days where
I cried and cried for my husband to come home. But mostly I would
go somewhere that my son enjoyed and was safe like a park or the
zoo or aquarium or library. Somewhere kid friendly. He could play
in a safe atmosphere and get tired while I nursed the baby.
mommy of 2
I'm not sure if I just want to offer reassurance, or I'm jealous,
but I have two under 3 and paid help, and I'd swap situations
with you in a second. My paid help sounds like it amounts to
about the same time you get from your Mom being nearby. My family
is all on the other coast. If you have additional friends or
family who like spending time near your child than you should do
Yes it gonna be rough at times doing back to back diaper changes,
and they'll both want you at the same time, but unless you have
full time help that's going to happen anyway. I wouldn't put
yourself in a financial hole if you have other help.
You can always hire some babysitting later if it turns out to be
Stressed with help
I can totally relate - my two are 22 months apart as well, and
my firstborn is an exuberant, willfull little gal. :) First
and foremost, count your blessings. You have family in the
area... that is fabulous!! We've done it alone without a
single family member being within 1200 miles of us, so I know
you'll do great with the resources that you have. As for
recommendations, we did a few things that made the first 6
months a little easier: 1) Get as organized as you can... with
two, it seems like somebody always needs something from you, so
this means having a stash of books for your toddler near the
couch when you're nursing the baby, baby bouncers in all your
busy rooms, detailed care instructions for family/sitters,
etc... 2) Consider enrolling in some mommy-and-me type classes
with your toddler, if you haven't already. (Arrange a sitter
or a family member to watch the baby once he/she gets old
enough to not-sleep through the class) We did co-op preschool
and Kindermusik, and it gave my firstborn the dedicated mommy-
time that she sometimes missed out on with the arrival of the
baby 3) Host playdates... Everybody knows that playdates are
a savior, but hosting them when you have another little baby is
even better. You don't have to pack a single thing up, change
anybody's schedule, etc... When my husband travels for work, my
week is packed with hosted-playdates! Good luck and don't
fret... You'll do great. This is a super exciting time for
you - congrats and enjoy it!
Mom of 2, too
Hi! Congrats on boy number two! I'm in your exact situation
child-wise: I have a 23 month old boy and a 3 1/2 month old
boy. It's really fantastic! I also stay at home full time (I
teach piano lessons in the evenings one-two days a week). So,
here's my two cents on the paid help question:
I really think it's ridiculous that stay at home moms say they
NEED paid help! The only reason I can think of why they would
say that is because they want time to themselves. For me, I
feel like the time to be doing things for yourself is NOT when
you have little children. You should be soaking up the little
time that you have when your kids are young! Being a Mom is
such a blessing and I really can't imagine shipping off one of
my kids just to have some ''me time''. I feel like women today
think that they should be able to have kids and everything else
at the same time (posh lifestyle, work, etc.) and it's just not
realistic! Also, because women are having kids older it seems
like they get used to a certain lifestyle and expect to keep
that up once they have kids - again, not realistic. I'm a
young mother and so, obviously, most of my friends are young
mothers as well. All of the stay at home moms that I know have
2-4 kids and are doing it all on their own. AND they're
happy! It's totally doable as long as you accept the fact that
you're a Mom first.
That said, I definitely understand that it gets a bit
overwhelming at times. In order to stay sane, here's what I
suggest: teach your kids to be independent (sleep, play, etc.)
and help them learn that the world doesn't revolve around them
(they have to make sacrifices with a new baby too!). Try to
get the two boys to take a nap at the same time in the
afternoon so that you get an hour or so to yourself to get
things done, take a nap, or whatever. Other than that, just
remember that you only get a few years before they're off to
school - enjoy it!!
I don't know if my input helps...but I had two babies (18 months apart) and my
family is close by and helped a TON and I still had paid help.
I had a lot of paid help in fact because my first baby was SO high needs and I was
totally freaked out about having another.
It may have been excessive, but I do not regret the paid help at all. I ended up
having a very easy, calm baby but the extra help was a blessing. We hired a
mother's helper who also did a ton of housework (which I think is more important
than child care -- - they do the housework, so you can relax with your kids!).
I remember those months after my 2nd was born as a very relaxing time and
Then, two years later our 3rd was born, we were a little more worried about money,
plus my oldest (3.5 years) was in preschool so we didn't hire any help at all. Even
though my family still helped out a lot, I wish I had had more help.
My advice is to hire some help. If you don't need it, you can always cut back. Hire
someone who will do housework and cook for you. :)
My girls were about the same spacing. It sounds like you have a
great support network, so you should be fine. Two kids under two
is a challenge -- one that is well worth and will pay beautiful
dividends in less than two years when you have these sweet little
built in playmates running around your house. For me, the respite
was the gym. I took my girls to the YMCA for about an hour every
afternoon while I worked out. My situation is a bit different as
my husband travels about half the month. Most nights, there
would not be any help from Daddy as he was on the road. I really
needed some blocks of time to recharge.
When they were quite young, I needed one hour between afternoon
naps and bedtime for myself. I am big believer that a happy
Mom is a better Mom. That one hour helped me get to my happy
place. There are plenty of ways to find what you need for you.
DO NOT BE SELFLESS. You have needs as a person. You are not
just a Mom. If you can't afford the gym daycare (mine was
included in the $50/month gym fee, but most cost something
additional), then just an afternoon walk between naps and dinner
may do the trick. Or, maybe just simultaneous naps works for
you. But, try to come up with a way that you get a few hours of
downtime every day where you are not cooking, cleaning or minding
the kids. Nap, read, answer e-mail or whatever...
Good luck. It's worth it.
-you'll do great
I work as a nanny and almost all of my families really do truly need care for
children. I think that you have to measure if you really need a nanny. But from
what you are saying it sounds like you made provisions to care for your children.
For some parents who have the money they are able to take a break and go do
errands that otherwise take much longer with children. For some people having a
nanny may be more of a social status symbol. Some families only have a ''nanny''
''mother's helper,'' or ''babysitter,'' or ''childcare provider'' or
call-it'') for one day or a few hours here and there. It can seem like a peer
thing or keeping up with the Joneses. I think that it is your decision and if you
not need regular childcare that is fine. I also think that it is important to
yourself a break and have a date with your partner. For myself I try to live my
with few regrets and I try to make decisions accordingly.
Nanny in the know
it is so not ridiculous, on any level, to have paid help if you
can afford it. Its great for your marriage, your self esteem,
and your overall sanity. we will soon have a second, no family
and will definately have paid help. I have a number of
activities that give me joy other than being a parent - doing
them helps keep me in balance, and be a much better parent. If
you can afford it, I'd say go for a date night twice a month!
appreciate more hands
Oh gosh the peer pressure! What people feel they need or can
afford in terms of help is totally personal. Obviously tons of
people around the world raise two children with a set-up similar
to what you have. Even though yours are pretty close together,
the new one will be able to to chill out in the baby carrier a
lot of the time while you and the older one continue your usual
thing, and pretty soon the older one will be 3, which might be a
good time to start up some pre-school. We had no paid childcare
until starting preschool. At the same time, since you are already
planning to stay home with the little one, you will keep that
flexibility to keep the older one home with you or start
preschool on a very part-time basis. You can do it, you (and I)
are lucky to have family nearby.
No worries!! I have three kids, the oldest was 4 when the
youngest was born, and have not hired additional paid help
during the day. My two oldest each went to one year of
preschool before kindergarten. My youngest is in preschool two
mornings a week now, he's four. My parents live in SF and were
pretty helpful, but not as available as what you have. I would
recommend that you find something to do for yourself after the
second baby. I belong to the YMCA and I think that Childwatch
is terrific. (I guess that might be like paid help.) Having
two kids is like ten times as much work as having one, but also
somehow easier, because you have so much experience already. I
think that a lot of people get help because they feel
overwhelmed. You can always wait until after the baby and then
see how you feel.
Congrats on the baby and you are in a very enviable position to
have family in the Bay Area to help you out! Most of my
friends do not have any family around to help out and although
they have wonderful sitters, friends, neighbors, daycare
providers, and supportive husbands, it really is very special
having grandparents and relatives around to help out. I know
one person that has her parents and her in-laws around and she
is able to enjoy weekends with her husband while the
grandparents watch the kids! She is actually the only person I
know that has family around and the only one does not have a
paid sitter or someone to clean her home.
One of the great things about having them close in age is that
they will probably both take naps at the same time, so you can
have a little time to rest or get things done around the
house. And, after a few months, it is easier to have two than
one (at least for me and many of the moms I know).
Good luck, sounds like you have a great support group and
having your mom and sister around will make a world of
I am almost 8 months pregnant with our second child; when the baby is born, our
son will be about 1 week shy of his 2nd birthday. My anxieties about baby #2 are
coming from a couple of different sources, the first being annoying comments from
others. As soon as people (friends, family, strangers, ultrasound tech, whomever)
learn of the kids’ age difference, I get all sorts of responses. A few choice
‘Wow, did you mean to get pregnant again so soon?’; ‘I guess you’ll be giving up the
next 3 years of your life’; ‘I want 2 kids, too, but I would NEVER do what you’re
doing’; ‘Let’s hope you make it through the 1st 3 months!’ My husband gets it, too –
we ran into an acquaintance at the farmers’ market who, upon learning the news,
punched my husband in the arm and said ‘You poor bastards.’ Aside from being
terribly rude, these comments are really starting to shake my confidence. Is there
way to make this transition to 2 kids a pleasant family experience? I mean, I know
I’ll be tired and overwhelmed at first and yadda, yadda, yadda – but someone please
tell me that they have survived a transition like this with sanity and family
could really use a few reassuring anecdotes to offset this daily, running editorial.
other anxieties are more homegrown. I’m feeling much guilt about the arrival of a
new baby changing the intimate, one-on-one relationship that I have with my
firstborn, sometimes to the point that I even resent the idea of a new baby (even
though we tried for her and absolutely want her). I worry that he’ll think I don’t
him anymore, or that I’ve betrayed him, or even that he’ll withdraw from me
because he feels hurt and sacrificed. As an only child, I’m aware I could be
projecting a little here, but again, any reassuring anecdotes about your family
thriving after such a transition will be much appreciated. Thanks for any words of
First of all, an early congrats on the arrival of your second
child! I have two girls who are 2 years 1 month apart. They are
now 4 and 2 and they are wonderful friends. The older one went
through a brief period where she was jealous of me nursing the
baby, but after a few months she didn't even remember life
without her sister. She now looks at pictures of herself when she
was a baby and says ''But where's Ellie?'' She says ''We're a 4
family'' and always writes her name with her sister's name next to
it. She loves having a sister and never once has said she feels
left out. As for us-- life has changed from having 1 child, but
it's twice as good. Twice as hard sometimes, too. I was worried
I'd never feel ''in control'' again, but things kind of settled
down once the baby was about six months old. So hang in there!
Finally, as for the people and their rude comments-- I got that
sometimes, too. ''Wow- that was quick!'' Since when did a 2 year
age difference become odd? Quite frankly, I'm glad I'm having the
two closer together-- I'll be off on that trip to Italy I've been
dying for while everyone else is dealing with baby #2 and is
''saying goodbye to the next 3 years'' for the second time!
Another mommy of 2 in 2
Oh, boy. I frigging hate that feedback from everybody. I have a
6-month-old girl and a 21-month-old boy (no, not on purpose) and
my life is hard but not THAT hard. I have a sense of humor and
so do my kids. The thing is that there is bound to be hardship
and tears, and nobody's previous experience can predict what
yours will be, and nobody's lack of encouragement is going to
help you through it. This is much like childbirth, in that your
own challenges will surprise you no matter what you prepare for,
and you WILL be okay, especially if you stay calm and shut out
I will say one thing I wish I had heard before, which is about
the threat you feel to the bond with your first baby. This
second baby is all about change, which is always a mixed bag.
There IS mourning to be done over what is no more, but it really
does settle into a better place. When my second was born, I
spent some time crying over my first's difficulty accepting my
preoccupation. And then other moms started saying, ''oh, yeah. I
remember that. It was really sad for a short time, but it really
does get better than it ever was.'' And it has. I just sort of
resented everyone either being unrealistically cavalier about how
it would be fine, or obnoxiously pessimistic.
Check out momys.com (mothers of many young siblings) for good
ideas and support.
Find places like PriPri Cafe, where your older one can play
safely while you nurse your younger.
GO TO THE GYM. They watch your babies, and you get sane and healthy.
Buy a Moby carrier, or something like it. Your younger will
sleep as though in the womb, while you move around the world with
Play games where your infant flies through the air to land for
kisses from the older, creating positive and fun associations to
replace ''intruder'' associations.
Have the older ''help'' you with changing diapers and massaging
ACCEPT ALL OFFERED HELP.
Keep posting on BPN.
I know, people can be so rude! When I was pregnant with my
second -- mine are just over 2 yrs apart, and I planned it that
way -- I got things like, ''Wow, you're really packing them
in!'' ?? I think the doubts you're having are an entirely normal
part of having a second kid. The good news is, 2 under 2 is
totally do-able, and while having another baby definitely
changes your family, it's not going to wreck it. I had the same
fears about ruining my relationship with my firstborn, but like
they say, your love really does multiply so you have enough for
everyone, rather than having to divide it. I wish I could say
the same thing for time(!), but you'll discover how adaptable
you are. I think it's easier having the kids at the same stages
in life together -- diapers, preschool, whatever. And
eventually they play together, too. I'm 2 years into having 2
kids now, and honestly have no regrets. Hang in there and
things will work out!
Don't let the naysayers get you down
My sister's first two children were born exactly one year apart
and this was by choice. Her 3rd child was born 3 years later
and she regrets that she didn't have him sooner. She loved
having babies #1 and #2 so close to eachother, because they
bonded really well. They have lots in common and now, that they
are in high school, they still hang out a lot. She feels that
baby #3 was often left out, because he was so much younger.
Personally, I wasn't ready to have another baby until my child
was at least 2 1/2. I know several people who have two children
under the age of 2 and I admire the hell out of them! Sure,
it's a boat load of work, but there are also tremendous
benefits. I started 7 years ago and am now still having to
confront going through another baby phase (we're trying to get
Aside from all that; I can imagine how frustrating it must be
to hear other people's opinions about your family planning
decisions. I'm very sorry about that, but know that there are
many people who admire you.
I totally went through this when I was pregnant with my second
son (they are 18 months apart).It's nerve racking enough to
prepare for a new baby and then adding all that unwanted advice
and scare tactics is just too much. Sure, it's going to be a
lot of work, especially the first year. I intentionally had my
sons close together and when people asked me why, I would just
smile and say that I'm giving him a best friend for life. Make
it more enjoyable for your immediate family by involving your
older child in all the preparations, reading lots of big
brother/sister books, and just doling out all the love you
normally give. What surprised me the most was how easy the
first one or two months were after the baby came. Sure, I was
exhausted, but that's a given. I had all this help lined up the
first few weeks, but didn't necessarily need it (except for the
extra dinners in my freezer, we always need that!) When the
baby started getting a bit older, and a little colicky, it got
harder and people just assumed I was handling it. I had to
learn to ask for help, to ask for breaks. Remember, the baby
bjorn is your best friend! Also try to schedule one on one time
with your older child. The new baby will get a lot of attention
from outsiders so it's up to you to rally family and friends to
take your older one on a special play date or do it yourself
while someone stays back with the baby. And it does get easier.
My boys are 4 and 2 1/2 and they really are best buddies and it
makes my life a lot easier that they have each other.
I have two kids 25 months apart. Our adjustment took a while
(maybe 6 weeks?) but I have to tell you, it is SO good having
them this close together. My oldest doesn't even remember what it
is like not having his little sister around. They are very close.
To answer your main question, we are a very close family in
general, intact, relatively sane, etc.
Once someone referred to our type of child spacing as the ''Done
Plan.'' I actually thought that was pretty funny -- and true! My
kids are now 7 and 9 and I am just done with the baby thing
altogether. People who have kids very far apart almost have to
''start over'' with things that come with baby: diapers, sleepless
nights, temper tantrums... I like our spacing and find that they
have similar interests, which makes it easy to plan family
outings and adventures.
Good luck and don't let the grumpy guys get you down.
No matter where you go or what you do, insensitive people will give you
about how you are living your life. It has little to do with the fact
that you are having
two under two -- when I had my second child four years after my first, I
heard lots of
opinions about how the spacing would prevent them from being close, how
to have them closer together (which was especially hurtful because I had
have kids closer together but miscarriages prevented that). Don't take it
Every family is different, lots of people have kids 2 years apart (even
people are just expressing their own issues when they comment on your
life. You will
Please do not worry about having 2 children under 2 years old--my mother
had 4 in 5
years and although it was difficult keeping an eye on all of us, we always
for board games or bullying and are all incredibly close now in our 40s.
The oldest had
issues about no longer being the only child and tried to make up with
perfectionism, the middle felt lost, the youngest was easygoing and smart
watching the mistakes of the others and, in my opinion as the oldest, got
murder! None of us would change a thing if we could.
Two under two is hard, but it isn't the end of the world. And,
about 18 to 20 months into the effort you get the pay-off, two
kids who play together! My girls are 23 months apart (now 2 1/2
and 4 1/2) and are best friends. That makes afternoons hanging
around the house sooooooooo easy. They share many interests, so
I am not having to come up with two sets of activities.
I think that people like to torment others. I heard a lot 'get
your sleep now, because you will never get it again' type
warnings with my first child. She was sleeping through the night
at 8-weeks, so much for that prophecy. I got warnings of 'how
tough it was going to be' with my two under two. Sure, changing
two sets of diapers got old and dealing with the terrible
two-and-a-halfs while still nursing a six-month-old, was a drag.
But, I would have to deal with the issues at some point anyway.
May as well deal with all the heavy stuff at once, rather than
make your life torture for years on end. The pay-off is great.
-been there, love it
First, Congratulations on the addition to your family! Second,
don't worry. I have two boys a 3 mo old and a 26 mo old. I have
hear all of those strange comments and I continually get stares
when people see how close in age my boys are, but I have learned
that there are also a lot of people out there who are two years
apart from their siblings or have children that far apart. You
should not worry about others and be happy with the new
adventures that are ahead of you. I delight in seeing my oldest
look at his little brother and kiss him. He loves him so much and
it helps deal with the fatigue and anxiety.
My advice for you is get as much help as possible the first few
weeks. That doesn't have to mean hiring someone but if you don't
already belong to some kind of group or organization like a MOMS
Club join one and sign up for meals to be delivered to your home.
Ask friends and family to watch your older child so you can rest.
If possible get a postpartum doula. Lastly, trust your instincts
and talk through your anxiety before you give birth and after.
I know exactly what you mean. Our 2 children are 16 months
apart, and boy did I ever get comments when I was pregnant! I
was surprised - my older brother and I are less than 2 years
apart, so it seemed pretty normal to me.
I won't lie to you, the first year is hard. But it is so
wonderful, and so much easier, to have kids who are close enough
in age to enjoy the same things - the same excursions, the same
music, the same books. The older one isn't sitting around bored
stiff while you read them a baby book - they can still enjoy a
''baby'' book themselves. And this way, you get the baby stage
over and out of your life that much sooner, so your life becomes
easy again that much sooner.
I too feared for my lost relationship with my older child, and
feel horribly guilty that I would not be able to give my second
child that same one-to-one time. Fear not - your relationship
with your second child will be different, but just as deep. It
will grow in a different way, because s/he is a different person.
And your older child will learn, grow, and flower as an older
So, ignore the nay-sayers (or give them your best icy stare), and
enjoy your wonderful family!
happy mama of 2
My twins were born when my older daughter was 22 months. The
twins are now 4 months old and we have survived so far! We
also moved when the twins were 6 weeks old, which I don't
recommend. ;-) So at least you can console yourself by
thinking of us! And we recently met someone with one 5 year
old boy and 3 year old triplets, so really, it could be a lot
worse! Is your husband/partner going to be able to take any
time off? If so you'll be fine. If not you should really try
to hire some help because the difficult thing is when you are
tied to a chair nursing and your toddler wants to go out and
play. But how hard it will be really depends on your toddler's
temperament as well as the baby's. Our toddler is really
spirited and energetic, and she's been way tougher than the
newborn twins, which fortunately are very easy babies. I do
think that in a few years it will be so wonderful having them
all so close in age. Good luck!
I am not in your situation, but the majority of my friends with
two children have them two years (or less) apart. It's totally
do-able as they are all doing it and are doing fine.
It's gonna be great!
It's a lot of work but you'll survive. I had twins when my son
was 2 months shy of his 2nd birthday. It's exhausting to be
sure, but you'll be fine. I can't believe that you get comments
like that as I never did. Just respond to comments by saying
''wow, that was a really unfortunate comment'' and walk away.
It's totally normal to have these concerns. I, too, got some
strange comments about having kids ''too close together''. My son
was 26 mths old when my daughter was born. That was 3 months
ago. Having a baby is the best thing for my son! He just adores
her and loves to make her smile and laugh. I have to admit that
it is a lot of work having two kids but that would be the case at
any age of the first child! My only advice to you is to find
help (childcare for #1) whenever you can. If you remember from
#1, you'll spend a lot of time nursing so #1 got bored (read:
mischief) often. It helps that your first child gets a lot of
attention esp when the baby is born. I read and heard about
giving gifts and not holding the baby when #2 meets the baby for
the first time. I didn't do any of these things and he's taking
to the baby really well. I made sure that he was a part of the
pregnancy and knew what to expect when she came (looked at baby
pics of him sleeping, nursing or crying!). Good luck. Enjoy
every moment with #1!
mom of 2
Congratulations on your expanding family! I have four children 7,5, 2
months. And what I have learned is that it is difficult to have a baby
child no matter what the age of the other child. There is no perfect age
siblings - there are too many variables (temperment, gender,
personalities, etc.) So
yes, it is going to be challenging for you especially the first 3-6
months. But as the
baby gets more independance, your job will actually become easier because
children are closer in age. They will be closer to each other in
ablitlies. So you are giving your children a great gift of a
companion for life. Hopefully your children will form a close bond that
will last their
whole lives. I had the same fears about having the second child that I
somehow ruin my relationship with my first. But I found that our
diminish in the least. We both had a new person to love. My oldest has
family can expand and she still has her special place in it. She is
she is a big sister now. I have siblings and as we are facing our
illness, I am so glad that I have them because I know I can truly share
this with them
and we can support each other. So my advice to you when someone says
indelicate is to smile to yourself and know that you are giving a very
special gift to
your son that he will have even after you are gone.
been there - 3X
I also have children (girl and boy) who are about 22 months apart so I
there! I never got the comments that you are receiving and they seem a
- for all intents and purposes they are 2 years apart which is perfectly
ordinary so I'd just ignore all that the best you can. :)
As to keeping your sanity... well... I have to say, the first year to 18
mos were very
hard and while I knew we would all get through it, I wasn't always
positive that I'd
arrive on the other side with my sanity intact!! And, frankly, I did
feel like I had no
life during the bulk of that time. It was also hard to juggle my older
child and my
feelings about how it was impacting her (much worse than the actual impact
So not only is it physically difficult (hopefully you are much younger
than me and it
won't be so bad) but the emotional impact is tremendous as well.
Having said all that, now that they are 3 and 5 - its wonderful!! They
enough in age that they enjoy playing together, with the same things for
part, we don't have to plan separate activities for them, etc. We can
often do joint
play-dates (although we do them separately as well). They are very close
each other's best friend. I love that. Many people I know whose kids
years apart have a much harder time managing everything as they get older
the kids aren't really able to do the same things at the same time. It's
heart breaking to watch when the one who is 4 years older shuts the little
one out of
their room (although completely normal for them to need time to do ''big
Does make me feel bad about my own little sister who is 4 years younger
whom I'm sure I was not always kind! We were never close as kids and I
that the large space in our ages had a lot to do with it - although my
have done a better job with the sibling thing too. :)
I think basically that no matter what spacing you end up with for your
kids, you will
''pay for it'' in the sense that it will either be harder at the beginning
or harder as
they get older. There is no perfect way to do it so just do the best
you can - make
sure to read Siblings w/o Rivalry and help them grow to be good friends.
will be much easier after the first year or two.
My kids are close too
Hi There - Sorry to hear everyone is so insensitive with their
comments. Most of the world has kids closer together in age than
the US upper mid. class, so take heart, it is do-able! I only
have one child, but my 2 siblings and I are each just 16 months
apart and were raised by a mostly single mom. Even though it may
be tougher at the beginning, I think there are lot of benefits -
kids closer together in age play well together; we had less of
the sibling rivalry/ or maybe the closeness moderated birth order
dynamics; we went (and go) through a lot of ''growing up'' together
- hard to explain, but it's like having friends around going
through some of the same stuff. I often ask my mom how she did
it, and she always says we kids kept ourselves busy and she got
help from friends and extended family when in need. So get help
if ya need it at the beginning, but I think you're in for a lot
of fun. Congratulations on your growing family.
We have almost the exact same spacing as you and it has worked
out GREAT! The older one *loves* his little brother and the
younger one adores the older. They just turned 1 and 3 but it's
been like this from the get-go. When the baby was about 6
months old, he was crying in his crib. By the time I got in
there (like 15 seconds later), the older one had crawled into
the crib and was patting him saying ''it's okay, baby.'' I am
constantly surprised how sweet they are to each other.
Sure, your older one won't get as much time with you, but he'll
have a sister to play with. And as they get older, that will be
more important than time with you.
For getting 1-on-1 time, we take full advantage of the
difference in bedtimes to take the older one to do special fun
things at night. One of us stays home with the sleeping baby
and the other takes the older one out. He'll go to his favorite
sushi restaurant with his dad or I'll take him to the beach. As
the little one is getting older and more interested in his own
stuff, we take them both to the park or the zoo or whatever so
each can follow his own interests.
There are some tough things about having 2. The hardest is that
when my husband takes one off to do something, there is another
one here so I don't get downtime. But that would be true now
matter how we spaced them.
Sorry people are so rude to you. Maybe they are trying to be
funny or maybe they are just clueless. But at any rate, you and
your family are the lucky ones.
Already thinking about a 3rd
I have 2 kids a week short of 18 months apart, and I am currently
almost 8 months pregnant with baby #3, who will be almost 19
months apart from my middle child. So, I will have 3 kids right
after my oldest child's 3rd b-day, and we couldn't be happier! I
can't believe you are getting so much grief from people. Our
situation was not planned, but like I said, we couldn't be
happier and the kids love each other. They have a playmate for
life and are never bored or lonely. In the beginning, it was
tough b/c your hormones are whacked and you're tired (which
really never goes away). I did have moments of sadness that I had
messed up my oldest child's life, but he is so in love with his
sister and misses her even when he goes to pre-school! Not sure
how we will manage when baby #3 comes, but it's all good and
children are such blessings! Don't get me wrong, there are days
I get frustrated and even cry and wish I could just go to the
restroom alone, but hugs, and hearing ''mama'' or ''i lobe you'',
make everything good. Being a parent (esp. a stay at home mom)is
the HARDEST job in the world, but it does get easier. Hang in the
there! You will LOVE having your kids so close in age!
My kids are 20 months apart. I got the same comments. Anyone
you talk to will say they think THEIR spacing is perfect and
everyone else is insane.
However, I do think two under two has its advantages.
Primarily, my kids are close enough in age to be playmates. The
first year was a lot of work, make no mistake, but now my kids
are 6 and 4 1/2 and have been best friends since the younger
was about a year old. They don't require a parent to entertain
them all the time, because they entertain each other, and they
are interested in the same activities.
I don't see this in the families I know with kids 3 or 4 years
apart. Hope this makes you feel better. It really is do-able.
mom of 2
My kids are 17 months apart, (now ages 3 and 4-1/2) and they are very
a very sweet relationship. It's wonderful. However, the addition of a
can really knock you on your behind, especially when the older child is
young. My advice is to keep your commitments light over the next year,
help and find the support you need from other moms. And try, really
really try (I say
this as one whose babies are gone) to savor the baby-days despite the
because they will end sooner than you think. Congratulations, and ignore
people who say thoughtless things. Either they didn't think first, or
they just have
an odd view of normal (after all, a 2-year gap in kids is hardly
You know? I think I had the same posting about two yrs ago,
before my second was born. They are 15 months apart, and we
still receive lots of surprised looks and strange comments like
the ones you and your husband are receiving. But, if I could've
planned things differently I wouldn't have it any other way. I
gave my first son the biggest gift I could've ever given him: a
little brother to play with, share with and laugh with. Don't
get my wrong, it is a challenge at times and the first 6 months
are definitely the hardest, but then you will see that it all
kind of comes together. Best advice I received was: organize
your time! Try to plan to have their naps close together or at
the same time (so you can get a break). And start finding a
sitter than is willing to watch the two so you and your hubby
can have some alone time. That's what's working for our home,
and for our sanity. Congratulations and enjoy the time you have
them as babies, my boys are 3 and 2 and it all went by so fast!
been there, still there
My kids are 19 months apart and we got a lot of the same comments
early on. Is it hard? Sure. Is it harder than having them farther
apart? I don't think so. Every age has its unique issues and
challenges. Things that made life easier for us, especially in
the beginning: letting my mother do laundry and letting people
bring food for the first couple of weeks. Then we got to hang out
with our kids and have fun, and that sort of set the tone. My
parents gave my daughter a baby doll so she could take care of
her baby while I took care of her brother. Didn't take her long
to decide that the real live baby was more fun, but it was still
nice. Now my kids are teenagers and they are really close. My
best advice is just to relax and enjoy your kids. There are times
when it will make you crazy but I think that happens no matter
how you space your kids. Congratulations!
try to ignore people who make rude comments because they're
biased, insensitive and unsupportive (although they probably
don't realize it). i only have one son but i remember everyone
kept saying things like ''get your sleep while you can!'' or ''oh
god those first 3 months - hell!'' when i was at your stage of
pregnancy and it made me anxious and annoyed. i kept
thinking ''why would people who have gone through the anxieties
of parenthood want to scare me when they must know that what you
really need is support?'' i think some people just enjoy being
in the role of the know-it-all and making others nervous makes
them feel good about themselves (like they're in the know and
you're the naive one). i'm sure it's not intended but that's
the effect it has.
i met a fantastic woman in her 60's last year on a plane flight
who said that, if at all possible, i should try to have my 2nd
so that my kids were two years apart. she said she has noticed
with her own 6 kids and others that the ones who are 2 years
apart end up being the closest with one another. we decided to
wait a bit longer and perhaps our two kids (if i get pregnant
again) will be closer to 2 1/2 years or 3 years apart. she made
such a convincing argument that i still feel sad that we didn't
start trying a bit sooner. i have also talked to many others
who feel this way. of course, as you already know, there are
joys and challenges with kids but i think it's fantastic to have
2 under 2. one of my best friends had twins just as her older
child was turning 2 and they are a fantastic family of 5. yes,
it was a bit chaotic at first but they got into a routine and
they are doing great.
good luck and i'm jealous!
I think it's GREAT!!! Congrats! My two sons are twenty months
apart and it has been fanastic. When the second son arrived
everything was so recently imprinted on my brain that I
immediately knew what I was supposed to do and how to take care
of him. People don't mean to say cruel things, but sometimes
they just pop out. It is what it is and you CAN do it and
maybe because of the closeness in age your kids will have a
close and strong relationship. Good luck and take the
sentiments of others with a grain of salt!
20 months apart
My kids are exactly the same distance apart as yours will be; 6 days shy
of 2 years
apart. It will work out fine! Remember, people make rude comments
and you're pregnant; this combination makes things seem much more extreme
they are. Having kids 2 years apart is perfect. If you haven't already,
buy your son
some books about being the big brother. We read ours over and over again,
the big sister loved helping out and being asked about what it's like to
be the big
kid, once the baby came. We had one very rough day at the beginning, when
nursing the baby, and the 2-year-old realized I could and would not stop
get her what she wanted. But after that one meltdown, things were ok.
first 3 months will be rough--the lack of sleep, the change in everyone's
but take help that is offered to you, ASK for help if you need it, and
just enjoy this
wonderful experience for what it is. My ''babies'' are now 7 & 5, and off
You're right -- remarks like the ones you and your husband are
encountering are rude, not to mention rather clueless. Please
know that there are plenty of us out here who have
successfully, and happily, made this transition from one child
My two children are 23 months apart. We, too, were trying for a
second child, and were planning on two-and-a-half to three
years between them. We got pregnant on the first try, so the
separation was a bit shorter! I wasn't too freaked out, as my
siblings and I were two years (or less) apart, and we all grew
up just fine.
Be aware that once your new baby is born, you may very well
have moments when you feel as though you've betrayed your first
child. When my son was a newborn, I remember feeling as though
my heart would break whenever my daughter -- the older sibling -
- would cry about any of the myriad things toddlers cry about.
In retrospect, I know the intensity of those feelings had a lot
to do with postpartum hormones, which make me feel everything
tenfold. This lasted about a month or so for me. If you can
remind yourself of that hormonal effect -- and its temporary
nature -- during your own postpartum months, you won't be
nearly as likely to beat yourself up about it. Remember to take
care of yourself as well as your babies!
Yes, I was tired during that first year, and yes, I felt like I
spent a lot of time changing endless diapers and keeping baby
brother out of the way of big sister's two-year-oldness. But
this really started to ease up in a big way once my son was
about nine months old. They are five and seven now, and very
close. In fact, they're each other's best friends! I so enjoy
hearing them invent games and play ''let's pretend'' together.
Every time you feel guilty about not having as much one-on-one
time with the second child as you did with the first, remember
that your first child didn't have the joy of having a live-in
playmate that your second one will. In the end, it all evens
Long story short -- that postpartum hormone-driven emotional
rollercoaster ride is only temporary. Don't jump to any
conclusions in the midst of it -- especially about whether
you've betrayed your first child! And know that all the lost
sleep and physical exhaustion of that first year as a parent of
two really will be repaid when your kids are old enough to
really interact with each other. Best wishes to you and your
Happy to have two babies
congratulations. i know this is an amazing time in your life and
a huge change.
i had two under two. our circumstances were different - i had a
tough adjustment to the first (boy) but worked through it. we
then got pregnant by accident with our little girl (now 8
months). i was also upset about loosing the one-on-one
interaction with my son. but, since infants are relatively
portable in the beginning we maintained our relationship and did
kind of wean into the change. he really has moments of loving his
sister. but, he also has phases where he doesn't like her. i
spend a lot of time trying to get them to focus on different
toys. she is always going after the car he is playing with, or
his train track. i use as much distraction as possible but it is
still really hard sometimes.
don't hold the baby when you come home. focus on him. make him
feel like it isn't a big deal.
i feel like my boy and i are closer than we used to be - partly
because having his sister around has been a joy to me. they are
both so special and i feel like i love them quite equally, but so
differently. i was worried i would resent her, i don't.
it is extremely hard. it is true. the comments have merit. two
isn't just double work, it is more like triple. sorry. i had to
get help around the house to clean, get groceries without
straining myself, etc. i know it is a luxury, but it makes life a
little simpler if i can run errands alone. and you get so tired.
also, i have private time for both. i get a babysitter or nanny
to come on off work days (i work a couple days a week) and take
one or the other out and try to have a couple hours alone to make
them feel like they don't always have to have the other one
around. i know this isn't always reasonable for everyone, but i
feel like i want to do it for them. on the other hand, this form
of sibling socialization is really important for them to learn
about love. and they will always have a best friend as long as
you try to help them avoid competing (my sister and i still
compete and i hate it, we are 16 months apart).
anyways, i think in the long run things will get easier, maybe in
another 6 months or so, and they can start playing more together,
napping at the same time for the same amount (she is on two naps
still), etc. i am just tired most of the time and drained by the
lack of private time right now. but, remember that all people
manage the stress of children differently and i may find it more
draining than you!
Having two babies is GREAT!!!!! My 1st son was 17 ½ months when
our second son was born. They are now 5 and 3 ½ and are a great
team. Having two close together is wonderful because once the
little one catches up they have the same interests and abilities
(almost). And you do the diapers all at once. Our boys like the
same toys, same outings, same movies/videos, etc. The boys love
to hang out with each other. The little one adores his brother
but has his own personality. Big brother loves being a big
brother but also likes to be a little guy too. And I love that
we have two little kids.
I got the same comments, which continued at a tremendous volume
when the little one was born. But I had a different reaction to
them. I took them as a compliment, like the person was in awe of
my amazing bravery and ability. Having two very young children
is hard but you could reframe the comments as a nod to your
dedication. And the comments will keep coming so you gotta do
something to reframe or you'll be miserable every time you go
out in public with the babies. Remember people make comments for
different reasons. They may be trying to be friendly and make
conversation, know nothing about children and are terrified of
them, are remembering when they had kids and projecting, are
trying to be supportive, are just curious, have no tact, etc....
Someone once told me something that was shocking but REALLY
helped - the first year is biggest demand of your energy that
you will ever endure. I am very practical and prefer knowing
what's coming so I can prepare for it. For me just knowing this
going into it was a big help because I didn't feel like I had to
make it something else. This is not going to be year full of
sweet hallmark moments. It will be a grouchy, messy, exhausting
year. BUT this person also told me that it only lasts a year and
it did. It wasn't a walk in the park after that but it wasn't so
I know this is not what you asked for but it was more helpful to
me than any sweet anecdote could ever have been so I hope it
helps you. As far as your other worries. I had the same feelings
but looking at it from the other side they were completely
unfounded. Yes, your family's dynamic will absolutely change.
You'll likely see sleep disturbances, clinginess, and some mood
swings in your 2 year old, along with behaviors to match. But
this is your child's way of processing this big new thing
happening. He will not think you don't love him or that you
betrayed him, these are all adult abstract ideas. Be
understanding in his most difficult moments, carve out some time
for him and you, and don't push him to be a big boy and you'll
Mama of two babies
I have 3 under two. My births were spaced similarly to yours,
but I had twins the second time around (now 4 months old). What
a surprise. Sometimes I like to think to myself, ''at least I
don't have triplets.'' Maybe you can think of me to feel like
your load is a little lighter.
How annoying that everyone is giving you negative predictions
about your future! I would come up with something charming and
cheerful to use in response. Put people in their place, with a
lovely smile. ''Well, I am glad it's happening to me, and not
you.'' Or something more eloquent than that. People mean
well--they are just saying something that is not helpful to you.
Line up a little bit of help for the first month or two. It's so
nice to have a visiting aunt or grandma who can entertain one
child when you feed the other or get them down to nap. Or while
you nap. :)
I was heartbroken about the adjustment for my older son. I am an
oldest child and hence might likewise be projecting. We found
that keeping socially busy was a great help to him. We had play
dates with his buddies. We had people bring us dinner and hang
out to play. Ask that your visitors say hi to the oldest before
fawning over the baby. Have a few small wrapped gifts on hand so
that if somebody only brings a gift for the baby, you'll have
something to help the big kid still feel special. Also, try to
have alone time with the toddler. Outings are great. But just a
walk around the block or a lingering bath time are good too. My
boy really wants me to take over bedtime, rather than his dad.
Our oldest has good days and bad days. He has regressed a little
and wants to drink milk out of a bottle from time to time. This
i indulge--what's the harm? It's hard to know if his occasional
temper tantrums are sister induced, or a result of his age. I
figure he'd be having a hard time right about now either way.
And I believe he's forgotten life without them around.
Good luck to you guys!
My two daughters are 20 months apart, and the younger is 15 months old
have to say, it *was* really hard, the first six months after my second
was born, but
it's getting really good now. Having two kids is harder than one, that's
all, in the
same way that having one child is 'harder' than not having any. My friends
kids are further apart in age don't really seem to be having more fun or
than we are.
I don't know why people seem to enjoy telling parents how hard it's going
having two kids under 2; they seem positively gleeful about the trouble
imagine you having, don't they? Unfortunately, the snarky comments don't
coming with the birth; strangers daily say things to me like ''Bet you
waited longer between babies!'' or ''Wow, you really must have been in a
make that second one!'' and such. The nicest comments I get are things
you've really got your hands full there!'' and even that kind of rubs me
way, on bad days when I'm ready to be rubbed the wrong way. Occasionally,
do say ''Wow, you three look like you're really having fun together!'',
feel great, but doesn't happen often, even though usually we are actually
So you have to develop a thick skin. For the yucky comments, I usually say
something like ''Fortunately, I love them both very very much.'' If you
say it very
emphatically, it sounds a lot like ''mind your own beeswax'', and I think
it's a nice
thing for the girls to hear when some bone-headed grownup has just been
cheerfully insinuating to them that I might regret their existence.
Congrats! My second was born 12 days before her sister's second birthday.
thought it was just delightful!!! She loved having a new baby and the day
sister was born when the baby cried she said ''mommy coming'' and patted
wanted to feed her when she began to eat and played with her all the time.
nice for me to have them both little at the same time so I could have
naptime to do
Of course there are ups and downs to everything, but I think it is good to
close so that the older one does not have years of being an only child.
say rude things, just different rude things, if they were farther apart!
good luck and have fun!
mom of now 4 and 6 year olds
Much depends on whether you have a job outside your home to which you
must return within a short period. I am in my 70's, but had 3 children (by
choice by the time my oldest was 3 1/2. It was hectic, but the children
good companions from an early age; we tried to spend some time (even if
15 min. w/each one every day). Then fathers spend much less time w/kids;
now most dads help out much more. When they are grown, chances are good
they will be really close even tho' they will fight occasionaly when
Disposable diapers are a big help; we had to have diapers in the wash by
am each morning or we ran out by noon.
Don't worry ! I have 3 under 3 yrs. ! Yep, I am 40 and we
wanted to get going.... Anyway, the last 2 are a set of
girl/boy twins. I get horrible comments, too ! Isn't that
ridiculous ? You might need some extra help from a nanny,
family friends - but- you can do it. Some days are pretty
crazy - but- the children appear to be doing great ! The 2 1/2
yo girl loves the 10 month old twins. She ''helps'' us take care
of them. I think having siblings is great for kids. My parents
are both only children and I have seen them struggle w/ caring
for their older parents and not having anyone to lean on. Gotta
You will do great ! Just stay organized and focused !
I have children that are 14 months apart, so I definitely
understand your situation. So many people have made comments,
but I try to let it roll off my back. Of course it is going to
be difficult, but you just do it. I think any transition from 1
child to 2 is hard because it changes the dynamics of your
family. It is an adjustment, but it is just that and then it
becomes your normal. My kids love each other dearly and play
constantly. Sometimes I feel like a referee, but I would not
have it any other way. I am now pregnant with our 3rd, so I will
have 3 in 3 years...talk about looks and comments from other
people! Sometimes, I am bothered by it, but I am proud of our
family and know I will adjust to this next addition. yes, my
house will be crazy (and messy;), but that is part of it. I know
that I will look back fondly on these years, even though some
days I want to run away!
The day my second child was born, I felt like I had a
family...not that I did not before, but it felt fuller. I know
you will feel the same way.
Our sons have just turned 1 and 3...so a year ago I was in
exactly the same spot as you are. It has been an INCREDIBLE
year and I am thrilled that our kids are 2 years apart (even
though there are many nights I would like more sleep).
I really wanted to have kids 2 years apart (was actually hoping
for 22 months) because my sister and I are 22 months apart and
she is and always has been my best friend (except for her last
2 years of high school/my first 2 of college...but that is
another story =).
So far, our guys get along famously. We took many of
the ''common'' steps to try to set this up such as letting our
oldest tell everyone the little one's name each time someone
approached us; trying our best to never blame something on the
baby (but to take responsibility ourselves...such as I can't do
X right now because I am doing Y); let the big one pick out his
own present to bring to the baby in the hospital; have the
little one bring home a present to give to the big one when he
came home from the hospital; etc.
The best thing that happened to us was that a photographer at
the hospital was there when the big one came to meet the little
one...and she set the big one on the bed completely surrounded
by pillows...and had the big one hold the little one all by
himself (we would never have been brave enough to do this).
Boy oh boy, you should have seen how pleased our oldest was of
himself. He just kept saying ''I holded by brodder! I holded
my brodder!!'' To this day, he LOVES to hold his brother
(though it is getting tricky now as the little one isn't so
little anymore...and he tends to wiggle away).
The absolute hardest part was the first six weeks. If you
thought you were tired the first time... As my sister told me,
the hardest part is that you are up all night nursing the baby;
and as soon as you both fall asleep, the big one wakes up...and
was she ever right!!!
Also, I found that since my husband and I had to ''divide and
conquer'' a lot of the time, especially at bedtime, that I was
lonely for my oldest (though he was thrilled with extra Daddy
time). On the flip side, I found that it was much easier
to ''fall in love'' with the little one...because I was more
confident and not terrified all the time.
My sister also gave me a bunch of books. The one I found most
helpful was called ''Siblings without Rivalry.''
It will be exhausting...but it is wonderful. Funny how all the
people always tell parents how hard it is to be parents, but
they never mention how fun it is. We find our children to be
hilarious...and they both enjoy and laugh with each other.
I absolutely identified with your email! My daughter is 2
months old and is 18 months younger than my son. We wanted
to have children close together and consider ourselves lucky.
While this may have been a common age difference when we were
young, it's less common now, and I've endured many of the same
comments. That said, I've also received such support and
encouragement from running into other parents who have also
done the close thing.
On a day to day basis it's pretty tough, as I expected it to be
at first. My son is in daycare part time and I recommend getting
some time for just you and the new one if you are able to pull
it off financially. For the first month I was so attached to
my daughter that I felt more distant from my son, but now that
we've gotten the hang of things, that closeness is back. The
good news is that it is not as crazy as I feared and the joy
of a newborn is amazing the second time around and also through
our son's young perspective.
It is definitely harder taking care of two under two since they
still need so much from their parents. But, I also know that
this will bring closeness and joy throughout life. My husband
is close in age to his sister and has treasured his close
relationship with her his whole life.
I say respond to the comments with a quip about how this is just
how you wanted your family to be - and it's going to be a crazy
but beautiful ride!!
My neighbor got pregnant very quickly with number two and she
just said it didn't seem like ''as big a deal'' as with number one.
She had the babe under one arm as she chatted, with babe number
one running to and fro.
Another friend said she (and her hubby) felt so much more
confident and relaxed with number two that the later babe seemed
more relaxed too, much cuddlier and less demanding. So there you
go, two happy stories!
1. As for the rudeness issue, I put on my ''Miss Manners'' thinking cap.
How about this?
Give the rude person a stony stare and say something like, ''How about
2. As for the worries about child # 1, maybe you could ask your spouse,
people, or your pediatrician if this is a common worry, and what kind of
did, or could suggest.
I'm so sorry you're being scared by people's comments -- I remember
same treatment when I was pregnant with my daugher: my son is 18 months
than her. All I can tell you is that I couldn't be happier with our
decision to have 2
so close. My husband's sister is 16 months older than him; his brother is
months younger; they had a great childhood together, and are still great
That was part of the reason we wanted to have our 2 kids so close. And
they are 9 & 10, I can tell you without reservation that it's been a great
Neither one remembers life without the other;
The transition to 2 kids was easy on the older one, because very soon it
my son as if his sister had always been there;
They have been great friends at every age, and (maybe since girls mature
have been interested in the same things at the same time -- no dragging a
older child to play at a park with the younger one, or trying to entertain
a baby at an
event meant for a much older sibling;
My happiest memories are of ''floor time'' with the 2 kids together;
Since the older child is still napping, you'll have time to spend with
just the baby,
time while baby is sleeping with just the older one, and maybe even some
yourself -- not so true with a larger gap in age.
A few things I did to ease the transition (although who's to say they
Gave a gift to my older child, wrapped, from the baby when we brought her
Got a few small toys for friends to ''give'' my son when they brought a
gift for my
Made a point of spending 10 - 15 minutes a day with just my son, telling
no matter what else needed my attention, this was his time with me: I set
a timer, &
I didn't answer the phone, and at least once let my daughter cry for a few
until my son's time was up (makes up for always being on call for the baby
off the older child's needs)
One final point about your concern for your son feeling displaced: I
think it's a
great gift to give a child a sibling. No parent can be all things to
their child, and it's
a benefit for a kid to have someone he can relate to on his own level,
on the ''kids team'', as it were. I'd recommend you read ''Siblings
Good luck, and have fun!!!
F*%k them! :) Don't listen to judgmental people, you will be
fine! My mother had 8 kids in ten years and she loved every
second of it. She said it was easier having them closer
together. Just think how cool it will be for them growing up so
close. My little brother is a year younger than me and it was
never an issue for me either. Life happens and we all seem to
adjust to what we need to. good luck, but don't worry!
Last year, my son was born 10 days before my daughter turned two
so our situations are similar. Please ignore the rude comments
you are getting. They have no idea how great it is! We still do
everything we did with one (restaurants, travel, hiking, city,
etc). My daughter (older) loves her little brother and is great
with him. Yes, there is jealousy occasionally, but there would be
no matter what the age difference was. And they play together
already! If anything, I feel a bit guilty that the baby gets less
attention than the older one did, but I think it's offset by the
extra attention he gets from his sister whom he adores. I still
get some alone time and my husband and I make sure we get some
time without the kids too. Overall, I would say that the
experience has been better/easier than I thought it would be!
Please email me if you want more info.
First -- YAY for you! Good job following your heart and having
two. We have two, EXACTLY two years apart (and I mean it when I
say exactly!). We are one year into it and it CAN BE DONE! :)
Ignore the comments! They speak out of their own experience, be
it ignorance, fear, jealousy that you're doing something they are
too scared/busy/selfish/unable to do, OR WHATEVER! Ok, here's
some things from our house that might or might not be helpful at
1) Prep your son & INCLUDE him in necessary changes. Read lots
of books about babies, talk about and TO the baby. A great one
we found was ''Hello Baby!'' by Lizzy Rockwell. I paraphrased the
''too old'' parts. Make any changes to living spaces that you can,
Now, like adding the baby's bed, clothes, diapers, etc. and have
your son help with the transitions.
2) Do NOT force the baby on your firstborn. When we came home
from the hospital my oldest was totally uninterested in the baby
and that was GREAT with me since I'd heard horror stories of the
older one scratching out the eyes of the baby. My MIL tried to
force the baby on my oldest and that REALLY irritated me. I did
buy an *awesome* toy ''from the baby'' and presented it when we
came home from the hospital. It kept him occupied but probably
wasn't really ''understood'' that it was from the baby.
3) Others suggested having a basket of toys/books ONLY for
nursing time so that it can be a special time for the older one
in some way too. I bought a package of small toys to use as
bribes for this time (or any other time I might need them!) and
actually, never needed anything like this. Movie watching went
up a little for a while (more Thomas, Seasame Street, etc). Oh well.
4) Find jobs for your oldest! A favorite job was to be in charge
of finding and supplying the diapers during diaper changes. Also
popular: being in charge of selecting & bringing a toy for the
baby when we went out.
5) Someone suggested we keep baby care completely business-like
while our oldest was around. When he was not around, snuggling,
cuddling, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the baby could go through the
roof. That didn't seem to be a big deal for us, but I tried to
be aware of it especially at the beginning.
Finally, re: your guilt of changing the 1-on-1 relationship,
resenting the baby, etc.: From my personal experience, this might
take a while to change. I started to LOVE and really enjoy my
oldest just before our baby was born. He was walking, talking,
and more person-like. Adding a baby to that mix was hard. I was
kind of shocked at my feelings of wishing it was ''just us three''
again after the baby was born. My husband asked if I didn't like
the baby or didn't want her. That wasn't it at all! I was
mourning the loss of our threesome and 1-on-1 time w/ my oldest
that is close to nonexistent now. Those feelings came &
eventually went, & now one year out I can say our oldest LOVES
the baby. It is going well. Everyone I talk to says that having
kids close like this is more difficult at the beginning, but more
fun a little bit later.
You can do it! You're right.... you'll be tired, you'll be
changing lots of diapers, it will be crazy... but wasn't it like
that when your first was a newborn too?? :)
--now two under three years... and still happily living to tell about it!
I can't believe how rude people can be! I would never even
think some of the stuff people are saying to you. First, I
think you need a good response that will maybe wake them up a
little bit without you having to be rude yourself. How about
saying ''Well, thankfully my good friends and family are happy
for me''? To underline the fact that the person who is
commenting is NEITHER. Also, I suspect that you look attractive,
happy and energetic and these people want to pop your balloon.
Some people are compelled to be that way, for some reason. I think
that if you looked like a beaten down wreck of a human being, you
wouldn't be hearing these kinds of things. So, take it as a weird
form of compliment.
Second, as a parent, you always feel guilty for SOMETHING.
Take me: I feel guilty my son has no siblings close to his age
(his brother and sisters, from my husband's first marriage,
are many years older). I'm sure you will have love enough for
two. After all, did you ever imagine you could love your first
Third, my mother in law had her sixth when my husband,
the oldest, was only 7. Yep. She has often told me how she
was sort of sickly and low-energy until she started having
babies. She is now the most energetic woman on the planet.
She got used to multi-tasking, and organizing, and is now,
at 78, a human dynamo (and very youthful looking to boot).
Maybe that will be you, too!!
It's hard not to worry when that is all you are hearing. It is
unbelievable the unsoliticed advice that people will give (if
you can even call it ''advice''). I have 2 boys. They are 22
months apart (ages 25 months and 4 1/2 months). It has been a
TON of fun. I think it's a great age difference. My older son
was 22 months when I brought the baby home from the hospital,
and he never acted out or seem ''slighted''. He was very curious
about his new brother, and showered him with lots of love and
kisses. Of course it's tiring, and you feel like you are
constantly ''on'', but it's also a lot of fun. I think it's the
perfect age gap. The key is to keep busy and get on a routine
schedule. We get up early every morning (not by choice...), and
we are usually out the door by 9am. Whether it's just a walk in
the stroller, or a trip to the park for a few hours, the key is
to get out of the house. We mix it up with zoo trips and Bay
Area Discovery Museum trips, and outings with friends with
similar aged children. Invest in a good ''baby wearing'' device
(whatever your favorite is). You'll be using it a lot. It's
imperative to keeping the little one with you and safe, while
having the mobility to chase around your older child at the
park or museum. I hope I have calmed some of your fears. Life
is not over, not even for a minute. Cherish the time...because
it will be gone before you even know it. If I'm exhausted or
overwhelmed...I remind myself of this to refresh my spirit and
attitude. Oh yeah, other relly helpful things have been good
age appropriate tv shows/dvd's (Elmo's world, curiuos george,
and Sesame Street are some favorites). This can buy you some
peace and quiet when you need it (or a few mintues to fold
laundry, etc). And the other helpful thing is getting someone
to watch your older child every so often (I drop mine off at
the ''tot-drop'' drop in preschool about once every 2 weeks or so
from 9-12). Good luck! Enjoy your precious little ones.
You are going to be FINE!!!! While I don't have 2 under 2, I can relate
to the feelings
you have described and have weathered many of the similar comments you
received. People can be very rude and insensitve...IGNORE THEM! I, too,
am an only
child and had similar feelings/concerns stemming from that. I am also an
mom and stepmother to 6...believe me when I say EVERYONE had a choice
comment. It is going to be challenging, no doubt. But your post conveys
conscientious mother. For me, the first year was the hardest (mine are
apart). I would recommend calling on friends and family to help you
hard spots. Your son will do well if you keep him a priority. Do special
him. If you plan to breastfeed, you will be spending a ton of time with
others do as much of the other stuff as you can (clean ups, diapers,
changing, random holding, etc.) which will free you up to be fully
available to your
son. I am happy to share tales of the rough stuff and the resulting
too many to put here. Just email me if you need more reassurance.
Happy to Help.
I know what you're going through! During the last month of my second
often would look at my two year old son and think that he had no idea what
about to happen! Yes, it was a huge transition for all of us. My first
son had to
learn to share our love and attention and I remember that crushing feeling
disappointment when I couldn't give my older son all the attention he
wanted. And I
was just so exhausted! But now, a few years later, the fog has lifted.
My two boys
(two years apart) are such good friends and they really, truly love each
other. In fact
today, after being at different schools for the morning, they had such a
reunion with hugs and kisses. And there is nothing sweeter than listening
talk to each other as they fall asleep and when they first wake up.
The first few months will be tough. Try to get as much help as you can.
friends & family offer to lend a hand, accept their help! You just need
through the first few months and then it will get better, I promise. In
fact, it got so
much better that my two boys now have a beautiful, sweet little sister
absolutely adore. Good luck, take care of yourself and try to enjoy this
Embraced the Chaos
I am sure you will get a lot of replies to your post. My
daughters are 25 months apart (now 5 and 2 weeks shy of 3). My
situation is probably a little different than yours b/c my
partner and I each carried and nursed one of our daughters, so
when the children were infants our relationship to each one was
very different. HOWEVER, I think that it is hard to have
children no matter how far apart in age they are, it is hard to
have ONE child, it is hard to have 2, etc. It is not a
nightmare. No more of a nightmare than it ever is to be a
parent. I believe there are unique challenges to any age
difference, and you will have yours like others have theirs.
I love having my kids with the age difference they have, I am SO
glad I have 2. They fight, yes. But they adore each other and
are friends and are both such great kids.
So I would say ignore those annoying people. No one knows
anything about how the experience is going to be for you and your
family, not even you. Just for the record, I think a lot of
people have those feelings about having a 2nd - whatever the age
difference - I know we did; it is a loss in a way, but of course
it is a huge gain too and totally worth it.
Mother of 2
My kids are slightly more than 2 years apart and it's a great
age spread! When they were small, we went everywhere in the
double stroller. Now, at 7 and 5, they are great friends and
playmates and have been for a long time. Because of the
closeness in age, they like the same things (books, videos,
toys, outings) and can play with the same friends. You'll be
fine! Plus, you'll be falling in love with your new baby which
will soften the blow of any sleepless nights! In terms of
people's rude comments, isn't it unbelievable!
I experienced the same sentiments from total strangers when I was pregnant
my 2nd. My eldest is 25 mos older than her little sister - and it was
FINE! Fine! I
couldn't understand why people were so afraid for me. It was not that
don't people have children 2 years apart all the time? It's not like the
first was 6
mos old when I got pregnant again - then maybe I'd understand some of the
Don't let them bother you - it really is not that bad. Having a new baby
is never a
breeze, whether it's your first or your 15th (haha)! There are always
you will have to make as a family, but you will figure it out and it will
I'm sure you will get many responses very similar to mine, as I
think all the things you are feeling are normal and familiar.
Our two oldest girls, 21 months apart, are now 9 and 8.
Looking back at their toddlerhood, I remember that although
there was certainly busy and stressful times, it was an
overwhelmingly positive experience. The challenging aspects:
two nap schedules, keeping one toddler quiet while the infant
still needed to sleep, feeling either housebound with the
infant sleep schedule or guilty for subjecting the infant to
naps on the run. I highly recommend periodic babysitting to
alleviate some of that and to carve out some special time with
your older child. All those feelings of betraying our oldest
vanished as we all bonded with, and grew used to, the presence
of our younger child. Our older daughter was just as enchanted
with her sister as we were, and part of that I think was her
young age--she was not as threatened as a three year old would
have been. Never once did she seem resentful or wistful for
her ''only child days'' because frankly, she doesn't remember
being alone. Today, they are very close. Not 24/7 peaceful,
mind you, but they rely on each other very much for friendship,
conversation, and still share a room this day. I love having
two children just one grade apart--my nine year old is
the ''scout'' for the curriculum hot spots that I anticipate will
challenge our eight year old.
As for those comments of insensitive or just unknowing friends,
for the most part they are making the same jokes they've heard
before, and I think the best response may be a distant smile
and ''well, we're very happy and hope you understand we made
this decision very carefully.''
Hope this helps. Our youngest is three years younger than our
middle child, and that ''normal'' spacing was harder for us!
best of luck!
Dear Two Under Two,
I did the same thing as you and it really was one of the high
points of my life. My daughter was 19 months when my son was
born, and it was all great. She loved him from the moment she
saw him at the hospital, she was too young ever to remember that
she was first, it never seemed like a great amount of work to
me--once you've committed to one baby one more is not that big a
deal--and it was just fun watching them interact with each other
and with you. It only really got a tiny bit hard once my oldest
hit 4 and refused to nap. Even now that they are 9 and 10, it's
amazing how close they are. That's not to say there aren't
Moments...but still I consider myself fortunate.
It is fun and amusing to have two little ones; you'll be laughing
more than you know. The phrase ''In for a penny; in for a pound''
is completely true but it's only for a very short time and that
time comes with so many unexpected benefits--please do not worry.
You will be more than fine!
Relax and enjoy!
Mom of Two
We had a similar experience when expecting number three, who was
only 18 months younger than number two. My husband and I are
amazed at how rude people can be (on a daily basis). Rude people
aside, it has really been a wonderful experience and I expect it
will be even better as they grow older and are practically the
same age. Although it seems like you could never love anyone as
much as your first child, you will find that your heart opens up
and loves another just as much as the first. And, watching your
older kids become big siblings is great fun too. Everyone adjusts
I found that my older kids did need extra attention, but they
were really excited too. I tried to be sure they had plenty of
time to go outside and run and play. I also gave them lots of
attention for being the big sisters. Lots of hugs and cuddles and
as much time in Mom's lap as possible. We have a big chair and I
found that when I would nurse, everyone would be there together,
reading books or whatever. When I would explain that I needed to
help the baby, they usually respected that...it's hard to ignore
that newborn cry. My first child was 2.5 y when number two was
born and I got her a dollhouse as a gift when the baby came and
she would sit and play with that while I took care of the baby. I
also saw that the older kids formed stronger bonds with dad
during the newborn time, which is nice too. Hopefully, your
''schedule'' will be clear and you can just go with the flow for
the first month or so.
Now, almost a year later, we cannot imagine life without the
baby. It's still a game of give and take, but that's part of life
It's going to be OK. It's going to be fun. It's all a wonderful
blessing. When people make their commentary, I just smile and act
like it's all a piece of cake and they don't know what they are
missing. Plus, you are going to get your body back that much
sooner, you'll be done with diapers that much sooner, etc., etc.
Hi there. I have 3 kids now, but my first two are just 17 months apart. I
same comments, and worried that I was about to a) enter purgatory and b)
straight to hell for ruining my 1st child's life. Now, 3.5 years after the
2nd one, I
have a new baby and would have a 4th within 2 years like a shot (my
I'm on crack). For me, the first two being so close together was a huge
and here's why:
1. You're still in baby mode. There's no big regression to sleepless
diapers, because you're still there.
2. Your experience with small babies is recent, but you also have the
hindsight and know, for example, that you're not going to die from lack of
is the baby going to expire from crying for two minutes while you take a
pee in private.
3. Your first child will have zero recollection of life without the other
sibling issues are lessened. There was some minor 'when is the baby going
stuff, but in about two weeks the 17 month old just seemed to forget that
had ever not been there. She got annoyed if I was unable to respond to her
immediately, but would have been equally annoyed had I been watering a
rather than nursing a baby.
4. Two siblings so close together are excellent company for one another
Mine fight like weasles in a sack sometimes, but mostly get along well and
to play peacefully and imaginatively together. And when the vicious
they're about the same weight, so one doesn't have an unfair physical
5. They share clothes. This is good because it makes your life easier and
because if you forget that the pink t-shirt with sparkles is Child A's
Thing of All Time and you offer it to Child B you better get ready to
obviously applies to toys, etc.
The one bad thing I experienced was that I found it very difficult to
second one as long as I had the first, and gave up after only 3 or 4
older one just didn't have much patience, and it made me feel rushed and
My new baby is going to get nursed as long as she wants, because the older
understand that the baby wants to nurse and they have to be patient. And,
of the experience of raising two under two, I know that if I hear
screaming from the
other room while I'm nursing I don't necessarily have to dial 911 or get
up from my
My best advice is when people make stupid comments just ignore them. Don't
engage. Just smile and look forward to your baby, because you're going to
little dickens like nobody's business and who gives a flying rat's ass
what a stupid
stranger thinks anyway?
Abbi Waxman firstname.lastname@example.org
There are pros & cons to having them at diff. ages. Bottom
line, it's hard no matter what the age diff. is. I have two
that are 20 mo. apart. My younger is now 15 months & the older
almost 3. It was a VERY hard year, but when she hit 1, I felt
that we reached a milestone! Now they are really starting to
play & interact together. They will be better playmates in the
end. We are 'moving on' with the baby things & I'm relieved
that we didn't 'stretch it out'.
Some friends that have children with a bigger age gap have
also had issues w/ the older sibling's adjustment. They may be
more helpful & independant, but they were used to being alone
for much longer & may feel more threatened.
My husband actually has a bro. that's 3.5 yrs. older & one
that's 1 yr. younger & he felt that he & the older one were
always at completely diff. stages, never 'played', etc. The
younger was his roommate for 18 yrs., best friend, & playmate.
Some helpful suggestions when baby is born:
* give a gift to your older child from the 'baby' & vice versa
* put a picture of your older child in the baby's bassinet (will
help empower the older one & make him feel included)
* have older child help in any way, ie: bottle feedings, etc.
* spend alone time w/ older child & explain that younger one
will stay behind b/c she's just a baby
* when introducing the siblings, have the baby across the room
from you initially & walk over (if possible) together w/ the
older sibling (the last thing you want to do is breast feed at
first sight, it's like walking in on your cheating husband)
My girls now look for each other when one's not around. It was
hard, but the best decision I made! GOOD LUCK, it will get
better & easier w/ time!!!
I was in a very similar position. My husband and I wanted our
children close in age and I got pregnant when my oldest was 12
months old. I too felt guilt about potentially messing up his
life - our lives - which seemed relatively smooth and easy. was
I asking my mild-mannered, sweet little boy to become an angry,
resentful terror? Our kids are 20 months apart and the first
year was really hard. I felt like I didn't come up for air for
the first 4 months and that was with lots of family support. As
their needs get more similar, it gets easier to juggle. One of
the best days that I can remember was when I could serve them
both cheesy toast at the same time. Of course my eldest went
through a rough stage where he was hitting a lot and I tried to
give him as much positive attention as I could. I fobbed the
baby off on anyone who would hold her so I could be with him
(she didn't care). One of the advantages of having a baby while
to other is still so young is that they forget more quickly what
it was like to be an only child - it took my son 3 or 4 months.
Now that they are 2 and 4, we are all reaping other benefits of
having kids close in age. They play and fight together all the
time. They are really close and try to help each other. They are
like puppies together and they're learning about socializing
from having to deal with each other - taking turns, being
gentle, communicating, doing household tasks (they put
silverware away and set the table and take dirty cups to the
sink.) Because of their close age, I know this relationship will
last many years.
You've done the right thing for you and you won't regret it.
don't listen to people who haven't a clue about your life.
My kids are 23.5 months apart (my second was unplanned). I too
got the whole range of comments during my pregnancy and
throughout the first year. I too was terrified of what having
2 under 2 would mean. I was still realing from having my
first, still not sleeping well & still overwhelmed when I got
pregnant again. My 2nd didn't sleep well either and that first
year was HARD. However, even during that exhausting, intense
year, there were so many moments of joy, laughter, quiet
contentment that I would go back in a second and do it all
again. Watching my not quite 2 year old meet her brother,
watching her make him smile for the first time, the empowered
feeling of successfully buying groceries with one baby in the
sling and one in the cart, seeing them both asleep in the
backseat, camping with both of them snuggled up beside me,
etc. Sure it was hard, but you just do it - you have to. Now
they are almost 2 & 4 and they actually play together for
extended periods of time, they share a room, they make up silly
games together, they also fight and scream and drive me crazy,
but they really do love each other. I was worried about losing
time with my daughter and her feeling usurped too, but that
worry passed. I do always have to consciously build in time
alone with her, it's sort of automatic with the little one, but
you have to make it happen with the oldest. She can't
rememeber life without him and I know she's a richer person for
having a brother. You're going to be fine. My advice is to
get a good schedule, make sure you have time alone every week
and time with your partner too. I had my eldest in a great
home daycare two days a week for 4-5 hours too and it helped
immensely. She loved it, got to play & be out of babyland, and
I could actually nap when the baby napped or shop with just one
kid, or focus on my little one. My husband and I each took one
night off a week and had a date night every wednesday. We
didn't do any of this when we had one kid, but it became our
lifesaver with too. I was also much more persistent with the
bottle and pumping with number 2. A king sized bed helped,
despite all your intentions you'll probably all end up in there
occassionally. For me, months 1-8 were rough, then it got easy
at about 8-14 months, then it got harder again. It's still a
huge handful right now, but it's also fun. I wanted a 3 year
gap, but realize now that this was perfect for us. I love how
close my kids are, that they'll be in the same preschool next
year, that they like some of the same activities -and I'm only
2 years in. I'm sure it's going to get even better. It will
be great -it will be what it is, it will be YOUR family. All
Happy mom of two under 4.
It is amazing what people will say! I have three kids (all two
years apart) and I love it. I won't kid you, the first six
months to a year is probably more difficult than if you had more
space, but the rewards are totally worth it. First, your son
will not remember a time when he didn't have a sibling. I have
had very little rivalry between my kids. Your house, stuff,
life, is all set up for having small children. Imagine having
seven years between and having to go back to diapers and bottles.
The best part is that when your kids get older (even by 2 and 4)
they will be enjoying the same activities. You can go to
Fairyland or the zoo and they will like most of the same things.
When you start to travel, activities can be geared towards both
instead of having to choose between the roller coasters and the
Congratulations on your second child! That is so wonderful!
I have a friend whose kids are 20 months apart (younger one is now about 9
months). Another friend of mine will have kids 14 months apart (expecting
December). My brother's first 2 kids are about 19 months apart (they now
who are very close and play so well together!). Those are ones I can think
now. I know that each of them did plan for the second child.
In each of the cases I've mentioned, the families are doing fine. Of
course, I'm sure
that the first few months were trying/at times overwhelming, etc., but
managed. ..and the level of difficulty will be different for families
depending on the
temperment of the babies.
I've also heard that if the kids are closer together in age (i think i
heard less than 3
years apart), the older kid has an easier time accepting a younger
sibling. (I know
this was true in my brother's case, though i'm sure every case is
Naturally, they probably aren't always going to get along, but that's just
I have a 6 month old, and we're already planning on when we want to try
for #2 (I've
even had family, friends & co-workers ask about when #2 will be!)
Of course, I also have friends who have said that would never want to have
close together, and friends with kids spaced several years apart. I don't
telling my friends to have kids the way I plan to have them according to
To each their own. Every family has to do what's right for their own
As for your son -- you are giving him a gift of a sister. Just make sure
you set aside
some one-on-one time with him, and look for opportunities to make him feel
included and special in his new, and very important, role as big brother.
I can't believe other people are projecting their own values so rudely and
judgementally to you. That's too bad they are not more supportive. Try
not to let it
get to you, because you don't want your new baby girl growing inside of
you to feel
that guilt or resentment towards her now, or when she is born. She is
Hope this helps. Congratulations, again.
I think there are a lot of wonderful reasons to have your kids close in
age. I am
looking forward to the replies to your post because my baby is now six
and I'd love to have a second very soon. My point of view comes from
close to my sister - we are 14 months and 8 days apart. Since we were so
age, we shared a lot of toys, clothes, books, friends, and interests. Now
that I'm a
mom, I'm asking my own mother how she did it. She claims that in a lot of
it made her job easier, since my sister and I were able to entertain each
sister was an only child for such a short period, she of course doesn't
time when she was the only one. I observed my nephews grow up with a
gap, and that seemed to me more frustrating because they weren't into the
toys at the same time, and the little one was always so frustrated at not
to do what the older one could - both in terms of motor skills and rules
an adult's hand in the parking lot.
I can't believe that people have made such rude comments to you. Please
them and consider yourselves blessed. If they are speaking from
experience, then they should be able to offer constructive tips & tricks
which stroller to get, or naptime coordination or other things that worked
and if they do not have first-hand experience then they're just making
comments. Yes, there will be some times when you are exhausted but that
happen regardless of age difference.
Other positives that I can think of is that if you use cloth diaper
service, you'll notice
you're saving money (cloth diaper service for two costs only marginally
for one), and the number of years when you are dropping kids off at
schools is reduced.
Good luck and Congratulations!
Hello Momma of soon to be two under two. I don't know if I can
quell your fears, but I can tell you that my daughter is turning
two on Friday and then I am scheduled to give birth to twins on
Monday. So if anything, maybe you can think of me and know it
could be crazier! I empathize with your concerns about your first
born. I too have had those, but the reality is that there is
enough love and attention to go around. Sure it is going to be
hard in the beginning, but it will all balance out soon enough.
Just think about how fast these two years have gone! As for the
comments. I don't even know what to say to that except that
people can be really dumb and inconsiderate. Please don't take
any of it to heart - they just need something to say and so they
say something they think is funny or sarcastic. What they are
really showing is their insecurity. You are choosing to have a
family and how you do that is really no one else's business. Be
confident in your decisions, revel in the beauty of your family,
and know that every day the kids get a little bit older, you get
a little bit more capable handling two and you will have kids
that are close in age and hopefully grow to be best friends. Good
luck to you! And when all else fails, know that you could be
doing this with twins!!!
Mom with 3 two and under
i'm 36 weeks today and my daughter is 17 months. And though their dad
us, I do ALL the work. I feel overwhelmed mostly, and a bit worried as to
take care of my daughter when I wont be able to for a week or so. Yeah
extrememly fearful, but be glad that you have a husband that is in it with
what I understood from your post), I am doing it all by myself, and I know
it can be
done. So believe in you and your partner and your toddler, it will all
work out. DOn't
pay attention to those comments that haters (unintenionally) make. WHile
the next 2 years, you and I wont have sleep, and we may be a little
naurotic from it,
but in like 4 years it will be great. BOth of our kids will have someone
to always play
with and fight with and be kids with. THey will get each other more so
than we will
get them to an extent, because they are so close in age. So good luck to
your family. ANd know that in many cultures outside of the US that is how
And those families manage well. So will you.
Don't worry, and don't listen to the naysayers! I have an 8-week
old and a toddler who will be 2 this month. Although much depends
on your particular situation, even though we are on a limited
budget I am SO glad we decided to have #2. Granted, we tried to
reduce the number of disruptions to our toddler's routine (he
continues going to preschool, spends more time with dad when I'm
busy), which I think makes a difference, but so far it's not been
nearly as crazy as I'd imagined it in my mind. Our toddler always
wants to kiss the baby, gets excited as we get excited with the
baby's first smiles, etc. The first few weeks felt crazed, and I
was nervous about our toddler's reaction to the nursing, etc.,
but our toddler seems to think the new baby is interesting.
Reading books about babies might help, or becoming a big brother
or sister, even if he/she doesn't understand everything. Our
toddler also enjoys telling mom/dad what to do (when the baby
cries, he says ''baby -- more milk!'' or ''it's OK'' to the baby).
Although I do feel like my bond with #1 has suffered a bit -- I
can't ''play'' the active way he wants when I'm nursing -- it is
possible to squeeze in that special time. Pump so Dad can give
the newborn a bottle occasionally once you hit that 4-week mark
maybe. But overall, our life has gotten so much richer, and I
can't wait to see the relationship develop between the two kids
as the years go by.
Many people on the street have told me how ''brave'' I must be, but
then others observe that 2 years is a great spacing that we will
appreciate more after we get through the first year or two. Even
though our #2 is an easier newborn than #1, I also have enjoyed
feeling like there is a bit of a learning curve...I feel much
more confident with the bjorn, the swaddling, nursing, and all
the other newborn stuff. Best of luck to you!
Your fears about having two small kids is totally normal. When
my second was born my first was still 4 months away from her
2nd bday. When my third came around, my second was 3 months
from his 2nd bday and my first was still 9 months from her 4th
bday! Having come out the other side I say you can do it!
Have faith in yourself as a mom. Give yourself a break, know
you'll make mistakes, know your house will not be spotless,
know you and your kids may not be spotless but know that all
they really need is your love. I too got all kinds of rude
remarks, especially when I was pregnant with my 3rd. Yes, it
was a crazy time, yeah I was totally exhausted but you know,
looking back I wouldn't have done it any different. My best
advice on how to manage is to anticipate your toddlers needs.
For example, if you're about to sit down and nurse, make sure
your toddler has gone potty, has a drink/snack, has something
to do. You can even read to him while you nurse. I also
suggest joining a mom group of some kind and/or looking into
hiring a Postpartum Doula.
Try not to listen to the criticism of others. They are only
voicing insecurities about themselves. You'll be fine. Tired,
We have two kids who are about two years apart. It's great.
They play well together. They keep each other in line. Of course they
fight sometimes, but they also comfort each other.
The first few months may be difficult, but nothing you can't manage.
Second time around I found myself more calm and prepared. We made sure
that we have one-on-one time with the first child who was very helpful in
taking care of the baby ...
bring a bottle, a diaper, etc.
We have known many families with kids two years apart. They all managed.
You will too :) anon
I have two girls who are 21 months apart. My youngest is now
18 months old and I have to say the last 18 months have been much better
than I expected. I had similar responses when I told people that I was
having 2 under 2 but I'm really pleased. Our girls play together and most
activities (going to parks, discovery museum, etc.) are age appropriate
Watching to two girls play together is such a joy.
You should be aware that the arrival of your second child will likely rock
your eldest child's little world. Hopefully his or her shock will subside
quickly. In the end, I think it's a huge benefit for a child to have
siblings and it has actually improved my eldest daughter's ability to
share and to be less selfish -- to the extent a toddler can think of
someone other than themselves! The upside is that your having them so
close together means that your eldest will likely not have many (if
any) long-term memories of life before his sister or brother arrived so
there will be less resentment.
Well...this should make you feel better. I did what you are doing, but
had twins. So I had three under 2! When I found out I was having twins,
I cried. Literally. I got all the same
comments you got, but with the extra ''twin'' angle thrown in. My
twins are just turning a year and my then 21-month old is almost three.
And you know what? I'm doing just fine. Sure, I was tired around month 4
when the girls decided they didn't want to nap, and it's hard to schedule
around all the various and changing naps, but life goes on. I get out
every day with all three and still manage to do errands, shopping and go
to the dentist.
The one thing I would recommend, which I didn't do and did cause some
problems, is give your existing child extra special attention. Even if you
need to hire someone to hang out with the baby so you can have alone time
with your other child, do it. I didn't and that is the only thing I
regret. He had a tough time with it all and I didn't help with that
transition. Also, try to keep things as normal for him. Don't make any
other changes...besides the baby.
When I'm tired or frustrated, I try to think about the times when they are
going to be 4 and 6 or 6 and 8 and having a wonderful time hanging out,
being friends. It will be a blast. Enjoy!
Just had to chime in with a word of encouragement. My oldest girl
was 6 months old when I found out I was pregnant again - I was
the one making jokes, to compensate for the lack of planning and
my own fears about being able to cope. Well, twenty years later I
can honestly say I wouldn't have done it any other way. Yeah, the
first couple of years were tough, it was a relief to go to work.
But the girls can't remember life without each other, they always
had a friend, a bath buddy, and someone to argue with. The worst
moment of the younger one's life was when older sister went to
kindergarten - being home alone with mom held no charms for her.
Disregard the insensitive comments and be confident in your
choice. The benefits become more obvious the older they get.
My son is 6 months old and we just found out we are expecting
another addition to the family in April. My husband and I are
excited to be having another beautiful baby, although I am a
little overwhelmed by the idea of having a 13 month old and a
newborn. We wanted our children close together but this was even
sooner than we expected! (It took a while to conceive last time.)
Has anyone been through this and have any advice or soothing
words? I am wondering about the logistics of how to care for
both and give both babies the attention they deserve. Is there
really any way to prepare such a small child for the arrival of
a sibling? I would love to hear how people have handled this
and what worked for you. I am also wondering how to respond to
people's comments about ''how crazy'' we are...they were all so
happy for us the first time around. It seems difficult for them
to understand that this baby is wanted, not a mistake.
super breeder mama
Congratulations! How exciting for you. My neice and nephew
are less that 13 months apart. They are almost like twins.
The older one does not even have any memory without the
younger. I babysat for them a few times when the kids were
young and it was not completely insane. Just like anything,
you will find a way to cope.
I think that you just have to ignore the comments from people,
unfortunately I think that far too many people speak before
My younger two children are 20 months apart, that's as close as
we could have them. There are some benefits since you are
already in the baby mode, it won't be as much of a shock
changing diapers and waking in the night. What it will help
with is incetive for sleep training.
Make sure you find a way to get time to yourself.
Hi there--we also had a a newborn when our daughter was about a year
old and while it was difficult, your worry about how the older kid will
adjust wasn't even the slightest problem. A one-year old has really only
just begun turning the corner from worm to human. I don't think our
daughter even realized that she was no longer an only child. A two year
old thinks ''Gosh, I'm not getting as much attention as I used to and it
makes me sad'' when a new baby arrives. But a one year old thinks ''I
really love Cheerios, and, oh yeah, that thing in the basket over there is
my brother.'' Our kids think they're twins. Adjustment was not an issue.
You'll have plenty of other things to worry about with two babies, but
don't worry about how they'll adjust, because they'll be just fine.
If you haven't heard it yet....congratulations! I have two who
are 16 months apart and have found it to be an ideal
situation. My experience is that my son never really figured
out that he was supposed to be the only child in this house, so
when his sister arrived it seemed quite natural for him.
Because they're still both so small for the first few months,
they can both easily be on your lap in the same chair, or, in
the case of my husband, one in the baby Bjorn on his chest and
the other in the backpack on his back for hikes! Even I could
pick them both up, one in each arm for at least a year and a
half or so. So if you have the patience (and a little
strength), you can physically attend to both of them at the
same time. You're already doing diapers and mushy food, taking
baby/toddler gear with you everywhere you go etc., so it will
feel like a very natural progression. Bedtime stories will
stay relevant for both for quite some time so they can be read
to together. Will you each need to carve out some one-on-one
time with each child? Of course - but that's no different than
any other siblings regardless of age difference. How well will
you sleep? Again - entirely dependent on each individual
child, regardless of age or age difference between siblings.
The other nice thing is that you're probably still a little
naive as to what to expect as they go through their 2's and
3's, etc. which I found to be an advantage. Had I waited until
my son was 2 or 3 to get pregnant again, it would have been a
much more challenging decision because their needs are so
extremely different.....and I don't know that I would have
wanted to go back to the baby stage (not a bad stage - just
entirely different and not where my head was at anymore). So,
now they are 5 and 6 years old and all along the way they have
been terrific playmates. That has been the most beneficial
part - we can actually sleep in on weekend mornings because
they get up and play together and completely entertain
themselves. The real key is whether you have more than one
person as primary caregiver. I was quite lucky that my husband
was as involved as I was in caring for both the children and
the house. It could obviously be a very different experience
if that's not your situation. Honestly, the biggest downside I
can think of is the expense to outfit two babies. We had to
buy two cribs at the same time, instead of one child outgrowing
their crib to be passed onto the sibling....same with baby
carseats, etc. However, these days with second-hand stores and
craigslist, you can get great bargains and turn around and sell
them down the road. Anyway, good luck, and feel free to
contact me if you need any hand-holding.
My kids are 16 months apart and my only regret is that I did not have the third
just as close together! It is the best. In the beginning there are many times
that one is crying and you can't address it (except if urgent!) b/c you are doing
something with the other. Getting a sling for the baby did make life easier. As
far as the ''You're crazy,'' comments BOY DO THEY GET OLD! Just smile and
ignore. I only heard that from people who had their kids farther apart, those
with them close like mine all told me it would be great. And it was! Congrats.
My children are 19 months apart. We too wanted 2 close
together but not necessarily that close together. Take note:
Breastfeeding is not a reliable form of birth control :).
Anyway, I also was a bit annoyed and offended when strangers
commented on how busy I was going to be or how I ''sure had my
hands full.'' Funny these same strangers never offered to lend
me a hand! Most of these people are just saying what pops into
their heads (because it is true!) not intentionally trying to
offend you. I usually just smiled and shook my head and that's
it. If you have more courage you could add something
like, ''yes, would mind holding these groceries for me while I
put my kids in the car?'' If friends make these comments to you
and it bothers you I would tell them that and that should put
an end to it.
Frankly, after all the above-like comments, I was prepared for
the worst before #2 was born. But, turns out, I hadn't noticed
the first time around how much newborns actually sleep. So
those first several weeks were actually easier than I expected
because he slept so much. You will have time to focus on your
older child during the day while baby sleeps. I don't think
there is much you can do to prepare a 13 month old. S/he will
simply need lots of positive attention when baby comes and
thereafter. There are things YOU can do to prepare. First,
accept any and all offers of assistance. Just say YES, if
someone offers help. I was not very good at that. If a friend
offhandedly offers to babysit, say yes, please, pick a time and
follow up. Find other families with similar aged children you
can swap care/playdates with. Also, if you don't have family
or friends who can help from time to time, it is money well
spent to hire a sitter when needed or even find an occasional
nanny share for the older one. Join a gym or take an exercise
class with child care. A short workout and shower at the
Berkeley Y while my kids were in Childwatch was like a mini-
As far as logistics...a double stroller is a necessity. I had
one that held the carseat for the infant in back and my toddler
sat in the front. I also used a single stroller for the
toddler and put baby in the baby bjorn or sling. I wore the
baby alot the first few months--he was very happy being in the
Native Carrier sling. Regarding getting them in and out of the
car, always strap your toddler in first because baby can't run
away while you're not looking. Go to parks with small,
completely enclosed tot areas. I don't know where you live,
but near me is King park on Hopkins, Live Oak, Terrace Park,
Totland (but a bit big and chaotic.) Enroll your older child
in some classes like Kindergym, Music Together, and definitely
a play group. Having organized activities like that with
sympathetic parents was very helpful to me. That said, a
simple walk around the block can be a fun adventure when things
get crazy or boring in the house. Plan your outings well and
minimize them. Getting two kids ready, in the car, in the
stroller, back in the car, etc, is hard work, just take it
easy. For grocery shopping, use Safeway.com to deliver the
basics. Have your husband pick up dinner sometimes on the way
home from work.
Once when my two were small and I thought I had it hard, I saw
a women at the park with maybe a 2 1/2 yr old and twin babies.
The twins were cranky and she was soothing and tandem nursing
them (wow). Then it was time for them to leave the park. She
gathered all her things, her still cranky twins, her 2 1/2 yr
old and was just out the gate when the 2 1/2 year old decided
he didn't want to leave the park. The mom is pushing a double
stroller out the gate trying to pull her older son with her who
is having a tantrum. Well, I would have continued pulling my
older one to the car, kicking and screaming, buckled everyone
in kicking and screaming, and driven home kicking and screaming
(myself probably included!) But I was so impressed by this
woman for the simple thing she did. She turned around, pushed
the stroller back into the park, let her son play some more and
took the twins back out to continue nursing them till they fell
asleep. Then they all left peacfully. Sometimes you just have
to be flexible, let things slide, be late or whatever.
It will be hard at times, but before you know it that stage
will pass. By the way, mine are now 6 and 4 1/2. There were a
few ''crazy'' years and there may be more to come but everything
seems much easier now. They are close enough in age so that
they are on similar schedules (ie, sleep and school,)they have
some of the same friends and they entertain each other. And
they have a great, close relationship that I think will last
forever. Sorry for such a long response, hope it helps. You'll
Congratulations!!! My kids are 18 months apart (2 and 6
months), and although it certainly is more work and more
chaotic at times, it hasen't yet been as hard as I thought it
would be (or people told me it would be). Some things get more
difficult-going to the store for example, but really these are
not huge problems. I love having the kids close together and I
think I will really love it once they can play together. I got
TONS of comments when I was pregnant with #2, and I am way in
the deep subarbs, so I can only imagine what you are getting!!
One woman at the Berkeley Bowl took a look at my child and my
belly and exclaimed ''DID YOU PLAN THAT?!''. It got pretty
comical--everywhere I went people had their OPINIONS and none
of them were, frankly, very supportive---except for parents of
kids similarly spaced. The parents that had actually done it
were very supportive and said that it would be a lot of work in
the beginning (a year or so) but ultimately there was big
payoff in playmates and it was great to have kids at similar
stages, etc. We took it from those who knew. However, I did
begin to feel that I was some kind of freak in the context of
the Bay Area for having kids with close spacing. I guess its
more acceptable here to wait at least 3 years. Whatever.
Generally when people made comments (every day, literally) I'd
give a huge smile and some kinds of syrupy response (''Yes, we
are SO excited''!!) or sometimes I'd explain that we simply want
to have our kids while we are still as young as possible. But
it was annoying, I totally understand. You will do great and a
sibling is a great gift to your child. Best of luck to you!!
Congratulations to you! I've got two kiddies who are 13 1/2
months apart as well - my son is 18 months old and my daughter
is almost 5 months old.
Soothing words - you're not the only one! I'm at the park every
day with the kids and I've met so many parents of older closely
spaced children and they all say the same thing - it's hard in
the beginning but it gets easier - and it really does!!
Please, feel free to email me if you'd like to chat further.
I'm not a ''pro'' but I've learned a lot about managing to small
children in the last 5 months and I'd be happy to pass it on -
for what it's worth!
Hi and congratulations on your pregnancy! I have two children
that are 18 months apart and had similar questions when I was
pregnant with my second. We planned both of them and wanted
them to be close in age. Now my youngest is a year old.
Regarding the logistics of taking care of two under two, it's
something that will develop and smooth out with time. Yes the
first couple of months will be hard, it's a transition for all
of you, especially as you get to know your newborn, as you
know. Fortunately with close age gaps such as ours, the older
child is not really mature enough to fully comprehend the idea
of another sibling in their life; my eldest did not have much
trouble adjusting and does not remember life without his
younger brother around. Of course there were moments when he
would get a bit jealous, usually when I was nursing the baby,
but compared to the huge emotional adjustment older children
often need to work through, it was minimal. Most wonderful of
all, since the youngest was about 6-9 months old, they play
together and enjoy the same toys, same jokes, and interests.
It has made all the hard work worth it to see them reach that
I believe having two children close in age is hardest on the
parents simply in terms of how high-maintenance infants and
younger toddlers are. It takes your daily life as a parent of
one to a whole new level. If you have help from family or
friends and want to take it, that will absolutely help. We had
really neither and it left little precious time for ourselves,
for household chores (get a maid!) or just to mentally unwind.
However this has gotten better and easier now that they are
older. Just think, you are getting all the baby years and
stages done with at once, and then you can sell all the baby
stuff (providing you are not having another one) and move on to
the next stage!
In terms of ''preparing'' your 13 month old, we just had a few
books about babies that we read often, pointed out babies
wherever we went, talked about the new baby coming to our house
when the time got close. As I said before, I really believe
the adjustment is not as difficult as it can be with older,
more ''aware'' and mature children. More so, I personally had to
get through a lot of ''guilt'' about not being able to give my
eldest the full attention he had gotten before the baby
arrived, but tried to remember that ultimately having a sibling
was a gift to him. Now that he is 2-1/2, we can see this and
see how being a big brother has made him a more confident,
caring child. Honestly I am grateful every day that we had
them close together. It has been a benefit to both of them.
In terms of dealing with comments from others, I have not
really had a problem with derogatory comments. More often
people remark on how they almost look like twins, but in a
friendly way. In any event, if I wish to comment, I say that
we planned it that way and wanted them close in age - something
my husband and I never had, a sibling close in age. Also for
me it was more practical to take off 3 or 4 continuous years of
work instead of having one child, returning to work for a year
or two, and then having to decide what to do about childcare
for my second. In any event, it's none of anyone's business
why your children are close in age, ''accident'' or planned.
Some people may have their own opinions on what age gap is
best, but ask around and you will realize there is no ''perfect''
age gap, it all depends on the personality of your children and
how you raise them.
Hope this helps! It will be crazy, but wonderful.
First of all, congratulations! You should indeed be happy and proud about the new
addition to your family.
Our second child was also very much wanted, but happened faster than I had
imagined. So our two are 16 months apart.
There are lots of advantages to having them so close together! Developmentally,
they are much more similar, so it is easier to find things they both like. For years,
both kids loved going to Habitot or Totland, as both places were completely
appropriate to both children. Likewise it is easier to find classes that they can take
together (swimming, music, etc) because they are so close in age.
I think it was also nice to get the whole baby stage taken care of in one big
kamikaze swoop. Quite frankly, if I had waited and let our lives go back to post-
baby normalcy, I probably would have lost my nerve about having a second child!
So while it was a wild ride, it was worth it to just get through it and be done.
That is not to say it is easy. The first year after our second child was born was
probably the hardest year of my life. It is also very hard on a marriage. If you have
any kind of help or family support, draw on it. If you don't already have one, you
might consider getting a house cleaner or mother's helper or something. We got a
housekeeper to come in and clean every other week, and it was a godsend to this
poor exhausted mama!
Hopefully you won't get too many comments from people. I found that our family
and friends were very supportive, and completely understood that we didn't really
have the luxury of waiting (I was 39 with our first, 40 with our second). I did
sometimes get comments from strangers, esp. when I was pregnant, about how
close together they would be. I usually just smiled broadly and said something
like''Yep, it's going to be quite an adventure'', and would then sweep off. And
honestly, it only happened a few times - most people really do have better manners!
As for preparing your child for the new arrival - well, you can't. They just aren't old
enough to understand. We talked lots about the baby in mommy's tummy, and got
her a doll so that she could play mommy and baby, but to no avail. She still was
distraught when the new arrival came. It took her a good 3 or 4 months to really
come to terms with the new arrival. I know that's not very comforting, but it's the
truth. But now she dearly loves her brother, and is very protective of him. So it will
work out, it just takes a while!
Good luck! It won't be easy for the first year or so, but it is worth it! I wouldn't
change our little family for anything!
happy mama of 2
I did not see any repsonses from my point of view so I had to
chime in. My sister and I are 13 months and 13 days apart. I
don't think my mom planned it that way but I am thankful it
happened. My sister and I are very close. We were like
twins. We were called ''the little girls'' when we were small.
Although I know it may have been hard on my mom, I'm glad she
had us so close together. As far as comments I think that is
so much more prevalent today. My mom said no one ever said a
word to her in the 60s. Pay no attention to those folks and
feel good about the gift you are giving your children.
I missed your original post, and have just a little to add to
all of the wonderful comments you already received. My two are
20 months apart and I can't even remember anyone telling me how
hard it was going to be. The first year is such a blur, I was
blindsided as we pretty much coasted through the first year
with just one - but - now (mine are 3 and 4.8) I love it!! My
two play so well and the contrast with the highly work
intensive first year makes me feel like I really have it so
good. My two add ons to the comments are 1.) do whatever
possible to get help - find a babysitter once a week for half a
day and get out - even if you can't afford it, it is only for
one year or so until number one is in preschool or at least
more self sufficient - I wish I had given myself permission to
do that as we, too, didn't have any family or friends to trade
with - it is so worth any sacrafice if you are home alone with
them all day everyday. I finally found someone towards the end
of year one and it changed my life - I only wish I had done it
sooner. Secondly, another huge benefit is how much your kids
will learn from each other - my youngest actually did some
things before my oldest and it was the boost she needed to get
over some hurdles (staying dry all night comes to mind) - and
my youngest is learning everything in such a natural way as he
plays with his sister, ''play as work'' is taken to a power level
with two this close. You will do fine, the hard part is over
so quickly and you realize how much you need to treasure this
precious time as before you know it, one or both will be with
friends and the special time with the three of you will be
Loving life with a 3 and 4 1/2 year old
My kids are 14 1/2 months apart, and when I was in my last
trimester with #2 I was so miserable that I couldn't even summon
the energy to post your exact question, even though I wanted to.
So good for you for posting! After I had #2 I kept telling myself
to remember things so I could post if anyone (like you) asked
this question. Almost two years later, I've forgotton some of my
(what seemed at the time to be) brilliant thoughts, but one thing
is very clear -- having two this close together is spectacular.
Getting pregnant so quickly was a total mistake for us, and now I
walk around telling everyone that they should do it on purpose.
Really, it's probably the best thing I ever did in my life.
Seeing how close my two are, and how happy they make each other,
AND seeing how much easier it is for me now that #2 is almost two
-- it's the greatest thing. And as for those people who give me
''that look'' when they realize that mine are so close in age,
well, they just don't know what they are missing. That said,
here are my thoughts:
1. If possible, try to not be alone with the two of them for the
first six weeks. You'll be sleep deprived, the infant will be
nursing 24/7, and your ''older'' will still be a very needy baby
who needs constant attention. Call upon friends, family members,
or hire help. I used mother in laws, mother, and asked our
cleaning lady come a few extra hours a week just so that there
was someone else to hold the baby. This is especially important
between about 4 pm and 7 pm, when the youngest will want to nurse
and the oldest will need dinner. Having a second set of hands is
2. Create a safe space in your house that is closed off. You'll
need a small room you can go in to nurse the younger where you
can let the older wander at will without getting hurt, since
it'll be hard to protect the older while nursing.
3. Lower your standards. Sometimes you're just going to need to
plug the older into a DVD or 15 minutes of Sesame Street (TiVo is
helpful here) because you just need the older to be occupied with
4. Enclosed parks are your friend, and the smaller the better.
The best, in my opinion, is Willard Park. Totland is good. Jordan
Park is okay but a little too big (and it has ways to get out).
Chabot Elementary School has a good enclosed play area. Also
good are things like Music TOgether classes. Avoid parks that
have exits where the older can run out (Frog Park, Acquatic Park,
It gets better quickly! Expect the first few months to be
overwhelmingly difficult, and use whatever crutches you need to
get through it. You'll be surprised how quickly it passes and how
great it can be. Have fun.
My brother and I were 17 months apart, and it was way too close
for comfort. We were in the same grade in school because I
skipped a grade. So every time people asked if we were twins
he had to describe his sibling's success without a
corresponding success of his own. We finally developed a good
relationship when we went to different high schools. My advice
to the parents with two kids under two is to help each child
have their own separate space, with separate friends and
activities, and ideally schools as well. It may be convenient
for you to have another baby while you are in baby mode, but it
also has the potential to set up a lifelong competition that
you want to help avoid. Your relationship with your child is
important, but your children will still have each other long
after you are gone.
Well all I can say is that it isn't as bad as I had imagined.
I have a 3 month old and a 19-1/2 month old. We are making
it. People keep saying how great it will be when they get a
little older, I sure hope so.
Three things have been key: Daddy, Bjorn and Daycare.
Daddy has really been a life saver. He stepped in and has
really taken on the older one. (I'm a little jealous). I
think a Bjorn is the best thing ever invented. Forget
strollers. The bjorn allows me to keep up with the older one,
and not leave the baby behind. The older one is in daycare 3
days a week, this helps out a lot, but it is very expensive.
Sanity vs. poverty is how I had to look at it.
I am looking for advice on how to handle 2 small babies. I am
expecting my second. The two will be 20 months apart. Here
are a couple of questions:
- Does anyone have advice on how to manage 2 in one room? We
are thinking about having the 2 share a room and wondering when
and if this is going to work out. We figure the newborn will
sleep with us for the first 4 months or so. When we put them
together, we are concerned the older one won't get a good
sleep. Any ideas?
- We are in the process of researching strollers. Any advice
on how to transport both babies? We loved the snap and go
carseat stroller combo for our first because it allowed her to
sleep uninterupted. Hoping for some good ideas for how to
handle 2 in a stroller.
My sons are 21-months apart. The second one slept in our room for
about three months. After that, they shared a room. The little
one was in a crib and the big one was in a toddler bed. They got
used to it just fine. I always felt that it was good practice for
dorm life :) They are three and five now and would never want to
be separated, even though now we have bigger house.
My two kids are 20 months apart as well and I dealt with some of
the same questions you have when the second was born (he's now
over 2 years old and just to add... things do get much easier).
Our two kids have shared a room since the youngest was about 3
months old. At night, we really haven't had much problem
particularly when the youngest was a baby. My older child would
generally sleep through any crying. Now, sometimes they keep
each other awake by playing and talking and certainly in the
morning, once one wakes up, the other does. Sharing a room for
naps has never worked out so we set up a pack-n-play in our
bedroom and the youngest has always taken his naps there.
I enjoyed the convenience of a snap-n-go stroller when my first
child was born but gave that up with two and went with a double
Maclaren which turned out to be a great stroller. At the time
there was one version that had attachments for a newborn and that
was the one we got. The Maclaren was very, very easy to maneuver
(for a double stroller) and goes through all standard doorways.
I would really recommend going to a store and trying out
different strollers so you can feel the difference. It seems to
me that I have seen side-by-side strollers now that let you
insert a baby car seat so you may not have to give up that
convenience. The other little thing I liked about side-by-side
style doubles was that while you have the baby lying on one side
the other side acts as a little table for diaper-changing
supplies, etc (something I hadn't anticipated but was very
convenient). Having a double stroller that you really like is so
important with two young ones because you use it constantly and
makes going out so much easier....
If you have any other questions, feel free to email me. Good luck!
I can't help you with the first question, but on the second. I
bought a side-by-side double (Mountain Buggy Urban Double) that
fits through interior doorways. It has a special clip that I
can mount on one side to snap the baby seat in, but I've never
used it. I went with the side by side rather than front and
rear configuration because they looked less awkward to me. It
has turned out being a bonus becuase my 27-month old loves
sitting next to her baby sister (now 5 months old). She
adjusts the blanket for her and makes sure she has her toy,
etc. You can do some research on-line, but I just looked for
one that was less than 30-inches wide, because I wanted it to
be maneuverable inside a house and a mall AND I wanted one that
would recline all of the way to accomodate a newborn. This
particular stroller is narrow, but the seats are fine. On a
recent vacation my 7-year old niece (a skinny one) hopped in
for a while when I put the baby in the Bjorn. The Mountain
Buggy is $$$$$ ($600 or so), but it fit my needs and my second
guessing husband has finally come around. Also, if it matters
to you, they have great resale value on E-bay. There are some
cheaper ones that fit those specs as well, but I just wanted
the bigger offroading tires. The car seat thing just wasn't as
big a deal this time around for me. I NEEDED it the first
time. Now I realize that it was a nice to have, but not
necessary. If we are driving some place (restaurant or grocer)
then I have the car seat with me and I carry that and the
toddler inside where I either sit down or set them up in a
cart. If I am walking someplace, well, I just push the
stroller up to a table in a restaurant or around the mall.
Having two kids close in age is great. Ignore people who tell
you that they are twice as much work. They aren't. But, they
are twice as much fun. Good luck.
Our children were born 24 months apart, and we had the same
concern, but went ahead with sharing the room. The youngest is
now almost three and has neven been a ''good'' sleeper, but the
oldest has never seemed disturbed by it. In fact, he never even
woke up when the baby was crying in the middle of the night. I
think that it is typical for young children to sleep very
deeply - even a fire alarm won't wake them up. My advice is go
ahead, its not as bad as you think.
I’m curious how all of you parents of two manage to get your
kids to bed each night? I have two daughters, age 2 years and
age 11 weeks. Here’s the kicker: my husband travels every week,
which means that I am the only adult in the house at bedtime.
The good news is that my older daughter has a really solid
bedtime routine – bath, bottle and books – and I can generally
count on her being in bed by 8pm. The tough part is that my
infant is suddenly aware of her surroundings and is distracted
by her big sister and all her toddler energy. Gone are those
lovely days when my newborn was oblivious to the world and could
sleep through anything.
The baby feeds at 6pm, which means that we are all planted in
front of a video for 40 minutes so that my older daughter is
quiet and close at hand. Tonight, though, the baby was really
distracted by the noise of the tv, and could neither eat well
nor fall asleep easily. On my best nights, the baby will be
asleep in her bassinet in her room at 7pm, after which I can
spend time putting my toddler to bed. However, almost half the
time the baby fusses and cries off-and-on until 8 or later, and
so I shuttle between the two kids and do justice to neither. I
am a real stickler for routine and am eager for our newborn to
develop good sleeping habits. How can I manage bedtime so that
both kids get the attention they need?
Furthermore, I am horribly sleep deprived and really need the
kids to be in bed so that I can get a few hours of quiet before
the nighttime feedings resume. My newborn eats at 11pm, then
again somewhere between 5am and 7am. I know that doesn’t sound
so bad at this stage in her young life … but she wakes up around
3 or 4 because her little arms pop out of her blanket or
something ridiculous like that. So I am up every few hours, with
no other adult in the house to help with the baby, or even just
give me a hug.
To see me on the street, you’d think I’m really together and in
control of the whole two-kid thing. Inside, though, I’m on the
verge of hating this whole experience. I want very badly to
enjoy my kids, and we do have lots of fun throughout the day.
But little sleep and chaotic bedtime is wearing me out.
I'm in the same situation and it is hard. But I've decided to try
and ''enjoy'' this challenge in juggling. I keep an upbeat attitude
(for all 3 of us!), and just roll with whatever happens--crying,
whining, squirming, late nights. I calmly tell the toddler and
infant what we all need to do, change up when something's not
working, and then cross my fingers and wait (PATIENTLY) for the
inevitable: two kids sleeping. It does take PATIENCE, and if
you're too tired or wanting to be somewhere other than where you
are, it will feel like torture. If you can bring out your inner
calm and breathe that into the situation, it will help.
I have an almost 3 year old and an 8 week old. Fortunately, my
husband is home in the evenings to help me so I don't have a lot
of good advice about how to put two to bed at the same time.
However, you might try a vibrating bouncy chair or swing for your
infant just for the time you need to put your older child to bed.
I find that my infant will sleep longer in something which moves
during that fussy period (or during the day). Although, I try
not to use it too much since I don't want her to get used to it.
As far as your infant waking up in the middle of the night, I
solved this problem with my children by sleeping with them
(although I know that this solution is not for everyone). I put
my infant down in her bassinet after the late evening feeding
(around 10pm) and she will sleep until about 2am. Then I bring
her to bed and sleep with her. If she fusses or gets cold, I can
help her go back to sleep easily without losing much sleep
myself. And nursing her in bed also helps me get more sleep.
Since I always put my older daughter in her crib at the beginning
of the evening, she gradually grew out of the need to sleep with
me as she was able to sleep longer in the night. I'm hoping the
same thing will happen with my infant.
I found a swing invaluable for my baby. I would put her in it
when she got fussy and wouldn't go to sleep early. I would then
put my older son to bed, and then go back to her. Sometimes,
when she was really fussy, I'd put on Baby Bach or other video
and that almost always did the trick. And, some days, I'd just
throw my older son in his room with a very abbreviated routine,
and go back to the baby. Now, at a year for the baby, all is
usually pretty easy. Hang in there, it gets easier, before you
Well, first of all, I feel for you! It sounds like you're really
hurting by not getting enough sleep. Do you have a neighbor who
can come and read books to your toddler while you nurse the
little one at the 6pm feeding? If it's a younger child (like 9 or
so) you can pay her a stipend ($5/hour, or 20 bucks a week), and
since you'll be in the same house you don't necessarily have to
worry so much about safety. You just need someone to entertain
the older kid while you get the little one to sleep.
Otherwise you can try to keep the baby up until you put the 2 yo
to bed. I used to nurse the little one while the second one fell
asleep listening to Bach music. We all slept in my bed, but you
can do this on a futon mattress on the floor, then move the big
kid to her bed, or just move in between them for the duration of
This is a very hard stage, especially hard for you since you're
doing it solo. Hang in there!
I have a 4.5 month old and a 3 year old and the only way that I
have found to manage the bedtime problem is to put the kids to
bed at the same time. At around 8:45, I get into the big bed
with both kids as well as several books and a bottle for the 3
year old. Then I nurse the little one to sleep while reading
books and holding a bottle for the big one. After the stories,
she cuddles up and falls asleep. By 9:30, they are usually both
asleep. Then I have a few hours to myself (usually) before the
little one wakes up for the first nighttime feeding. Of course,
we do have some nights when we are all still up at 10:30 And it
does take a bit of practice to learn how to nurse and read books
at the same time...
another mom of two
Ooof. I hear you, but my husband is only out during a couple of
bedtimes per month and it is can be so stressful I feel like my
eyeballs are going to pop....but it's getting easier every time we
have to deal with the daddyless bedtime (my daughter is 2 1/2 and
my son in nearbout 5 months). I just try to fold my son into my
daughter's night time routine. When I read her a book he sits
either behind us on the chair or (if that doesn't stop his
fussing) I bounce him on one knee while we read. I put him in the
swing when I nurse her (which I think is, to both of us, the most
''sacred'' part of the ritual) and that usually buys us 5 or 10
minutes. If he's not apoplectic I'll let him cry, but if he's
seriously screeching I'll put him in his carriage and push it back
and forth with my foot while nursing her (which calms his crying a
bit). Then I put her in the chair in her room and bring him to sit
in the chair while I put her to bed. She hates that part
especially, but what can I do?
The good news is that he's starting to get it and is more often
falling asleep about 20 minutes prior to her bedtime. Now I just
have to figure out a way to keep her from jumping off the arm of
the chair and onto her nursing brother and then we'll be great!
Good luck. They are only little for a little while and then you'll
miss it (well, that's what people always say to me!).
Number One: Your nighttime Mantra is ''I will get through this.''
Number Two: Your kids are very close in age, and this will be
the most difficult time, but it will get easier!
So what do you do while you wait for it to get easier? I have
several ideas, pick and choose as you like.(My boys are now 10,
7, and nearly 5, they now have great bedtime habits and I used a
combination of all of the following):
The little one's feeding habits can be changed, if you go a
little at a time. If you want to, for instance, go to bed at 11
and sleep until 6 or 7 you could nurse her starting at twenty
after ten, instead of waiting for her to wake at 11. After a few
days of this her little belly will get used to waking at the
earlier time and she'll help you out, most likely. If her arms
falling out of her blankets wake her, try putting her in a
medium duty blanket sleeper, then her little arms will be warm
and she'll likely not notice if her blanket falls off.
The nighttime routine with your older daughter might be
simplified by the use of a snuggli or other baby carrier during
times when the baby is restless and you need to follow the
routine. No harm in the routine shifting a bit to accommodate
the new member of the family. Be flexible. Though the kids need
a bedtime routine and a sense of familiarity and comfort, they
also need to understand that all of us need some flexibility.
But my most important piece of advice is to not forget to take
care of you. An unhappy mom can't make her kids happy. They know
when you're having a rough time, though they of course won't
understand why. The best gift you can give your little girls is
the sense that each and every woman/girl is important and needs
to be taken care of, and this includes mom.
Lastly, enlist the help of friends to get a little naptime.
You'd be amazed how many people know just what you're going
through and would probably watch the kids for an hour or two to
let you get some shuteye!
You will get through this.
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