Wednesday, June 12, 2013

the age gap conundrum

photo by luisa brimble - mid-summer in Brooklyn (they've both grown so much in 6 months!)

There's a pattern emerging - a primal pattern that reaffirms just how powerful nature and instinct is.

It seems that soon after I wean, my body basks in the new energy and independence for a couple of months. And then, seemingly overnight, there is a shift; I start thinking about another baby. 

In my pre-natal classes I am reminded, twice weekly, of the joy and challenge of pregnancy. Those bountiful bellies are beautiful and beg to be rubbed but then there's the perpetual aches and pains - growing new life is exhausting and the depth of that exhaustion can never be underestimated. I leave each class wondering: is my body ready for that journey yet and, more importantly, am I emotionally ready? 

With subsequent children there is the preferred age gap too - a highly personal decision that some parents take very seriously. There's 3years 9months between Che and Poet - a lovely gap for us and one that I would consider again.

There is of course the complete irony of this conundrum; whilst we can plan a baby we have little control over the outcome. Nature is all-powerful; a reality that can cause frustration, heartache, joy and sometimes, complete surprise (I've experienced the complete surprise).

So tell me, what is the age gap(s) between your children? If you had complete control, how many years would you have between one baby and the next? 

PS. No, I'm not pregnant. 


119 COMMENTS

  1. We planned four years between our first and second - and everything went to plan. We planned to have the third another fours years apart....but this time it didn't go to plan. After many tests, surgery and a miscarriage...we were finally blessed with a darling baby girl, nearly seven years after our second child, eleven after our first. Two doting big brothers and a little sister who looks up to and adores them. It all worked out in the end x

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  2. We have 3 & 1/2 years between the first two and then a 12 year gap. I personally prefer 2 to 4 years as a gap to rest the body but as you said sometimes its not up to what we plan.

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  3. There is a similar age gap (3.5 years) between my two daughters. Personally, I loved that amount of time between them, it was perfect for us. I would not have coped too well with a smaller age gap, I feel.

    Now that my youngest is 3.5 herself - a good 9 months older than her sister was when I fell pregnant again - those invisible question marks are hovering over me. Should we? Shouldn't we? At this point, if we decide to have a third, the age gap can only be bigger and I'm not sure I want that.

    It's a tough call.

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  4. As you know we didn't plan on the 'big' gap between Stella and Louis. There should have been 3 years between Stella and Alice. But there ended up being almost 4 1/2 years between Stella and Louis. It has been great - the only down side is that they will only have 2 years together at primary school before Stella heads to high school (what a ghastly thought high school is). My Mother had a 6 year break between my brother and I and she says that was perfect. What ever works!

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    1. Rachael, I have a Stella and Alice, too!! :)

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  5. Straight after I had Oscar, Rodge, my partner asked the midwife what she believed the perfect age gap to be, the response was 3 years.

    My mum seconded that – and said that that was what her mum also believed. Optimal time to allow the body to rest and get to know the child.

    That said, I'm due to have my third baby just days after my oldest son turns three! (Yes, I was still breastfeeding – this is the question I get asked the most). Maybe I'm a little crazy, but I'm very happy to know that my three will be close in age.

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    1. There is a theory in Chinese medicine that three years between birth and then conception of the next baby is optimal - to allow the body to recover and rejuvenate. In saying that many health professionals believe that once a woman has grown, birthed and fed a baby it will take her 7 years to get her vital stores back (minerals, iron etc) - don't do the math, it's a little overwhelming!

      You will be brilliant with three under three, if I lived closer I would make you a meal (or 10!) x

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    2. 7 sounds good! I might go with a 7 year gap counting from when I finished breastfeeding Jude. I'm not sure if i'm joking or not, I don't think I am... hehe x

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    3. Thanks Jodi x

      7 years, I had no idea, really highlights how important it is to look after yourself not only while pregnant, but also in the years after the baby is born.

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  6. With our first nearing the one year mark (oh my how fast it has gone!), this is a question that is on both of our minds. I am certainly not ready yet to take the journey again because, to me, my 10 month old will still be a baby for at least another year and I'm still nursing, but that doesn't keep us from scheming. Since we want 3 or 4 and I'm 28 we have time, but I also worry about pushing things too far down the road, so I think we'll wait until it seems right and then just take that leap. I've always been fond of me and my brother's spacing, which is 2 years and 9 months, but I'm not making any promises yet. And of course there is the career situation that is always on my mind. As a teacher, having babies for me means taking an extended leave (I hope to stay home with my each of my children for the first three years of their life) and though I am happy with the arrangement now, I fully intend to go back to work and would like it to be in this decade rather than the next. But I also don't want to rush through the baby years because I love them so. So many things to think about!

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  7. We have 22 months between our son and daughter, and then 3 years between our daughters. The 3 year gap was so much easier. Our little one turns 3 in a few weeks, and as much as we would like another, I just don't feel ready yet! I have been wondering recently if 5 years is too big a gap? Will be interested to see more replies here :). I will be 29 this month and ideally would like to be finished by the time I am 31 or 32 :).

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  8. 3 boys. 3 years (and a few months) between each one. 3. 3 is the magic number (for us anyway). xo

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  9. I am holding out for a 3 year age gap too. & it's nice for me to hear that is the dominant thinking pattern in these comments and yours too.

    I have an almost 2 year old and it feels like all his friends are getting a new sibling in the next couple of months except him (2 years is a very popular gap it seems) I was starting to think I was being selfish but I don't feel ready to give up all that quality time with him yet to focus on a new little being just yet. Hopefully my body and nature will agree the time is right when we are all emotionally ready too.

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    1. In my teaching experience it's really common for mums to fall pregnant when their first is 14-16months old - a two-year gap between babies.

      But two years is nothing compared to an 11-month gap (it happens!) x

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    2. We are thinking of a second at the moment, aiming for a 2 year gap...but to be honest, I started getting clucky when Teddy was about 9 months - but didn't want to in case he weaned earlier than 1. My selfishness goes the other way Emily, I don't want to stretch out the baby years too long for myself! (Mind you, I'm hoping for 3 little ones in the end...) Much love xox

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  10. I have three - 20 months between one and two and 20 months between two and three. It has been busy and challenging, but I wouldn't change a thing. I love that they are so close in age.

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  11. We waited. We saw our friends with a toddler and a newborn and thought it just looked too hard. Plus I wanted one baby at a time. I got pregnant a week before my M started school. Perfect timing I think. So so so glad we waited.,

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  12. It is funny how whenever I ask people this question they tend to say the age gap of their children. I tend to think we make the best of what we have and as each child is different in my mind there is no perfect rule. I am sure the balance shifts as children grow and change. That said I planned on three years, after trying for one year to conceive my first, I planned early for my second. My second child was in a hurry to come and we ended up with a gap of ny two years. We have made work as I know no other way to have two children.

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    1. It is funny and it proves that regardless of the gap we learn to accept and appreciate! x

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  13. Our second baby is due a few days before Lola turns 3.
    3 years just seemed right for us. And seeing how Lola is now, compared to at 18 months & even 2 years, I feel we made the best decision (for us) - always comes back to that! Would maybe consider a 2.5 year age gap between 2nd & 3rd, but let's not get ahead of ourselves! :) x

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  14. I have 2.5 years between my first two. Then 10 years between my daughter and my first little. Then 2 years between him and the next little and finally 2.5 years between middle and the last little. 4.5 years between the first and last little and 17.5 years between my first and last babes.

    I have had babies in my 20's and babies in my 40's. Both have been and continue to be an amazing experience that I am so glad I have been blessed to experience. It was a little difficult at times when my older kids were younger teens to switch between the two different mothering styles needed, but I would never trade any of it.

    Plan what you can, but love what you are handed, it is all you can do!
    xx

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  15. Just under 3 years between my boys ... I think it's the perfect age gap. Far enough to not make life too difficult for Mum ... but close enough to be able to be good friends ... one day.

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  16. We are aiming for three years between our second and our third (and most likely, last) baby. We had a twenty month gap between our first two, which at the time I found very difficult (as you know), but now it is wonderful. I do wonder if it would have been a far more enjoyable age gap, had I not been dealing with PND. I don't want to cut my quality time with Finn til short. He is still a baby in so many ways, and never seems to get as much one on one time as Ronan had, which is probably how it is for most second children.

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  17. We had only 2 yrs, 2 months between kids 1 and 2, and then kid 3 came along 22 months after that. I wouldn't recommend it, 3 kids in 4 years. It's hard on the body having them so close together. The minute you stop breastfeeding one, you're pregnant again. I know the feeling of wanting another baby though ... pace yourself, your body will thank you for it.

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  18. We only have 18 months between my two (now 3 and 18 months). 2011 was the hardest year of my life with two little ones but now they play together and share a room and it is working out well. I think it will be good as they grow as they may be interested in the same shows, outings etc.

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  19. I wanted a two year gap. Would have had a two year three month gap (exactly the same as my brother and I) but I miscarried. That one would have been due last week and I think it would have been a wonderful age gap, my little boy feels so grown up now, I think he would have loved it. Last week I miscarried again - that pregnancy would have given me a three year gap. So we will see.

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    1. Oh, that's hard. I'm so sorry to hear your news. Much love x

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    2. I am so sorry too...
      Ronnie xo

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  20. I'm still asking those questions even though I know the answer too well.
    And in my dream last week we were swimming in the ocean and you were discussing how best to announce your third pregnancy in a photo for a blog post. xx

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    1. One of my very favourite things to do is float in the ocean whilst pregnant...x

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  21. My second daughter was born the day before my first daughter turned 3! I really love the 3 year age gap. I thought I wanted a smaller gap, but this has turned out really well. xo

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  22. We have a 5 year age gap between our girls. Not by choice, thats the way it happened. (and we feel so lucky to have had any at all - PCOS) Love this age gap for alot of reasons.

    I think the way friends of ours have done it, is nice. They had two children about 2 years apart, then waited about 4 or 5 years and had another two not far apart.
    Its the breastfeeding part that put me off trying for any more. The first would scream going near the breast, and the second sucked so hard - I ended up having an operation on my breast. I am so impressed with anyone who can breastfeed - I would have loved to! (expressed instead)

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  23. Well we have been blessed with several children (9), our first two are 20 months apart (our closest), most of our other children are 2 yrs to 2.6yrs apart. Our biggest gap is 2.9 yrs apart (we lost a baby, hence the bigger gap), and this baby will be 2.9 mths apart (yes we have been blessed again:) This will be a span of 20 yrs between our oldest and youngest. To be honest I like the closer gap, not the 20 mths so much but the 2 - 2.6yrs. When we had 2.9 yrs it was harder to 'go back' and our toddler seemed like 'an elephant' next to the baby. But really it doesn't all matter, I'm just so grateful, I know and read of women who struggle to conceive and my heart breaks for them.
    Hey and I see Elfyn above has a few:) I so understand what you mean Elfyn about switching hats, it's a juggle at times, from meeting the needs of little ones to bigger ones (and in betweens) but I love it.

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  24. As my husband is 12 years older than me and already has a 20 year old (ours is 10 months old), he doesn't really want a third child, while I find myself longing for a second. If I can convince him, we'll be aiming for a small age difference because of my husband's age. He doesn't want to be paying for college when he is already retired. But I'm still nursing, so it might not happen. I know that I have to consider myself really lucky though and force myself not too think about it too much, as I have three god friends who have been trying for a baby for several years now ... and I have a beautiful, healthy baby boy. What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that everything is relative and maybe there is no perfect age difference; most things cannot be planned and maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.

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  25. Our two boys are 2 years and 5 months apart. We got super clucky after our big boy's first birthday but decided to wait until after our wedding and just enjoy married life with a toddler for awhile first.. but after spending most of our wedding reception snuggling our friends little baby it wasn't long until our second boy was on the way!

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  26. I had planned on trying for a baby again once my daughter turned a year, but we ended up moving to Tanzania when she was nine months old. We don't have access to adequate medical care here, and I'm currently on anti-malarials, so we've been hesitant to try for another one. She just turned 15 months, though, and that baby fever has hit me like a ton of bricks. I haven't changed my mind about waiting yet, but I have a feeling it won't be long before I do.

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  27. there is three years between my two, i couldn't have done it a moment sooner, i really needed the rest for me in between (i'm a relatively elderly 41 though) but mostly i wanted to give my kids as much undivided attention as possible whilst they were very young. this works with the 3 year gap as the eldest is quite independent and has a couple of mornings kindy which allows me lots of time for one on one with the babe. that said now i'm feeling to old and worn out to consider a third, and part of me wonders and wishes i had squeezed three into three years instead of two...

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  28. We have 13 months between the first two and will have 2 years between the next when this little poppet is born. All planned. Most think we are slightly nuts having 3 under 4 but it suits us. We are so grateful we had the good fortune to have our plans come true.

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  29. I think anything above two years is good. And it's crazy to think that if we got pregnant now there would be a two year, two month age gap between Josephine and the next one. Better get going!! xx

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  30. Wow! I totally get this! We really are nature, aren't we? When I weaned my first born I had an overwhelming desire to be pregnant again; something that had been a banned topic of conversation for my husband and I in baby's first year of life because I couldn't even fathom it. Two weeks after weaning: pregnant. Two years is the age difference between my two boys. It is pretty full-on at the moment with one at 2+5months and a 5-month old baby especially because I can't leave them alone together for serious fears of eye-gouging/lying on top of baby/hitting etc but i'm sure one day i'll look out and see them running around the paddock together and loving that they are so close in age. Might wait 2-3 years for another purely for body recovery and to forget what morning sickness is like again. Argh. Good luck with whatever you decide...or with whatever nature has in store for you.

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  31. So relevant right now Jodi! I will have a similar situation as Imogen, three under three! Eek. Totally unplanned but obviously meant to be.

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    1. Oh goodness! So happy for you! When is baby due? xxx

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    2. ps. you need to get Tim back for an updated family shoot! x

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  32. I always wanted a 2 year gap, it came & went faster than I blinked we tried, got frustrated so we stopped & started living our life as a family for three then four years later I was finally pregnant. The girls have a 4 years & 9 months age gap. I would love to add another one hopefully sooner.

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  33. My brother and I are 4.5 years apart, but I reckon I'd like a 3 year gap between Clementine and our next baby. Maybe even more ;)

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  34. There is 2 years and 3 months between my son and daughter. Lost the baby before that around 9.5 weeks. Apart from starting my family late (40 when my son was born and 42 when my daughter was born (all conceived naturally without and difficulty aside from the first that I lost). Aside from I needed to get cracking on having my 2 kids I think the benefits of having 2 years is great because they are close enough together that basically everything you do both kids will enjoy the activity, movie etc. If you have a 10 year old and then a 2 year old movies, parks etc are a little difficult. So our family outings are enjoyable for everyone so being close in age even though one is a girl and one is a boy is relatively easy. All of that being said people and circumstances means sometimes Mother Nature controls those longer periods of time outside of what we would like and if you are bringing a child into this world when you say have a 10 year old loving that child outways differences about activities but it does help having them close together. For me I love the 2 years 3 months because we do everything together. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  35. The age gaps between our kids are 21 months (just under 2 years) and then 2.5 years. I always liked the idea of a 2 year gap, and really our gaps were dictated by our age. Our eldest was born when I was 33, and youngest when I was 37. I must say though I would definitely lean towards 2.5 - 3 years as a gap after the experience. I feel like I missed out on some toddler time with my eldest because I was dealing with a newborn, that didn't happen 3rd time around.

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  36. my two children are 2 years 2 months and 2 days apart...I'm sure there is some astrological significance about that. Like you, I got the urge to plan my second a few months after weaning my first. The age gap is good, my second child helped my first child learn a lot and I think it has been a great decision (granted that I fell pregnant straight away). The age gap is a personal choice...one for many so far from being in control of...and will often result in many varying opinions. Gorgeous image xx

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  37. My two have the same age gap as Che and Poet. Ryder will be 2 in November this year and Ella will be 6 next January. I really LOVE that age gap. I never had two babies at the one time. Which i enjoyed.
    We started trying to fall pregnant with baby number 2 when Ella was just 2, and fell straight away. Sadly it was an ectopic pregnancy and not only did we lose the pregnancy but we also lost half of my reproductive system. Falling pregnant again, easily and naturally was looking slim....but sure enough 6 months later Ryder was conceived :))) Nature has it's way of working out {most times!}
    I thought we were done with baby birthing, and was happy to be a Mama of two only. But now that I face Cervical Disease and possible hysterectomy next month, I am cluckier than ever! Funny how we don't know how much we want something until that option is taken away!!!!
    If only baby-making was a simple science! Some people do it so much tougher, which is heartbreaking. I know some amazing people who would make brilliant parents, but nature thinks otherwise :(
    Claire xx
    http://claireeverafter.com/

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  38. As someone already said above, people seem to be advocates for the age gap that they have for their own children if they were fortunate to have an element of control over things. Seems logical as there are so many different things to take into consideration which is different for every family and people put a different emphasis on different things like work, finances, age of the Mum, coping abilities etc. We have 5 and I love the age gaps we have. The first two are 20 months apart and then I had twins (big surprise!) 2 years and 4 months later. So there were 4 under 4 which was hard work for that first year but at the same time I loved having them all at home with me together and didn't have to worry about school or running around with any activities etc. They are very close and there was hardly any sibling rivalry, which I have heard is more common with that 2-3 yr gap. I then had a 4 year gap and had no. 5. So he is not close in age to the others but I needed that gap to 'recover' so to speak as well as wanting to wait till we could move back to Tassie. The others are all off at school now and I absolutely love the way it has turned out. Works ok for us. I'm very excited that you are talking about your next pregnancy :-)
    Mel x

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  39. I'm happy to read this post. We haven't had our second yet but we've definitely discussed it. Lately I have been leaning towards a age gap of 3 years. Not that you can plan it (like you said).

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  40. It's so interesting reading all of the comments about this topic. There is 4.5 years between my girls and for me that was right at the time. I really didn't think that personally I would have coped with a toddler and new born. It has had it's positive points being that I was able to spend individual time with each of my daughters which I loved but other side to that is when one daughter is in her last year of high school the other will just be beginning her journey. It is like Brenda says it's personal choice and there is always an argument for and against depending on age gaps. I do know that if I was to have had a third though I would have chosen a smaller age gap maybe around the 3 to 3.5 years I have found the gap between my girls a little bit far but I do encourage them to have a close bond in the hope when they are older the gap will lessen. Love that photo of your two little ones together, very sweet. xx

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  41. Little fox is five months old and poppy is three and a half a great age gap but sometimes I'm needed in two places at once and that is a challenge. We talk
    Of having a third and it'll be sooner than later if we decide to become a tribe of 5 instead of four. I'm someone who throws up for 39 weeks of my pregnancy and at 36 I'm either going to get pregnant again when Tully turns one or make the decision to not go there.

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    1. what are the chances? you are next to someone with a fox and a poppy! x

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  42. Fox was two and a half when Poppy was born. It was lovely spacing, though at the time I wished it was smaller. Now Fox is five and a half, Poppy three and we recently welcomed Gil. I think it is a great gap, lovely baby time with each and now they are helpful doting, protective big siblings. I wonder if it is as much temperament (ours and the children's) as it is age gap?

    Listen to your self and trust your intuition - I'm trying to do that for already I am dreaming of a fourth babe asking myself is that right for our family and when?? We are utterly blessed to have been able to carry and birth children!

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    1. what are the chances? you are next to someone with a fox and a poppy! x

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  43. Between Aila and Elliot there is a 2.5 year gap and between Elliot and Oscar, 3 years. Both times I was pregnant within 3 months of weaning. While I'm breastfeeding i have next to no interest in a new baby and then once I stop it's like a switch is flicked and I'm in full clucky mode!

    I remember reading a Weston Price article that said in many primitive cultures it was strictly taboo to conceive again within three years of giving birth. That the body needed this time to recover and restore.

    For me it's worked having the older one out of nappies and in their own bed, before the new baby arrives. Also having Aila at school now, gives me more time and space with the boys.

    rachel xo

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  44. So interesting! If I had control, I'd have one after the other ;) (I love being pregnant and the newborn stage!) Nature however thinks that I'm ready when my babes are 14-16 months. And when I look back, this is right for my body, our little ones and our family as a whole. X

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  45. we are in the throes of this question too (after our first). due to medical reasons the decision is kind of out of our hands and it's tough getting my head around it. Things do happen for a reason i believe too!

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  46. So interesting reading the comments! I have a twenty month gap between my girls. Would love to be blessed with a third baby at some point. My baby is twenty months now, and I still don't feel physically ready despite falling pregnant when my first was 14 months xx

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  47. I've been asking friends about this lately. We always THEORIZED that we'd like a big bunch of kids (4+) close together (oh the naivety!) - my only sister and I are 18 months apart and we have a beautiful friendship so that has always seemed ideal to me. In reality, I still haven't gotten my head around being a mum to one gorgeous 9 month old who is very active and in to everything. I feel like my husband and I are (fairly) at peace however, about letting things happen in their time, whenever God wills.

    Ideas and plans are great and necessary, but every family and circumstance is different, and there is something wonderful about the fact that at the end of the day it is, like you say, beyond our control. There are nature and forces beyond us. I think that is really one of the beautiful aspects of the gift of pregnancy and birth, it is out of our sphere of control, and that can seem a little scary, but also wonderful and miraculous.

    In thinking about the 'ideal' gap I have decided I am not comfortable with being too formulaic about anything to do with people. People - babies, children, adults, cannot be put into neat boxes and we shouldn't treat them as numbers. Just a though... thanks for the great discussion starters Jodi!

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  48. Hi Jodi
    I have two and a half years between the first two then six years between two and three! I always wanted more, I could never find the right time - I over thought and always had reasons/doubts, hence a six year gap. I wish I followed my heart rather than my head, but then if I did that I'd want number 4! I have really enjoyed the older two being older and being so hands on with the baby, I can't imagine having them very close together and have huge admiration for those that do.
    Emma x

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  49. I had 20 mths gap first time and 21 mths gap the next time.. So three babies in 3 and 1/2years!! Crazy.. Especially when working for yourself too. It is great though and I am glad we did it. I would however love a baby 4 in 18mths or so so I can really enjoy all the small things that have all rolled together with these three. Knowing it would be my last I would love to treasure those moments a bit more!

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  50. My son is 2.5 y/o and my daughter is 11 months. They are a year and nine months apart. Since my son was born two months prematurely, the doctors advised my wife to wait a full year (at least) before getting pregnant again (hence the one year and nine months of separation between them - if not for that advisement we probably would have had them closer together, but who knows. Being told you have to wait has a way of making you impatient).

    We'll wait longer for our third kid. I'm guessing our daughter will be closer to two y/o when we jump back into the gene pool. That new decision to wait longer isn't a critique of how we went about it the first time. For us the answer to how long to wait between kids isn't just dependent on the family, it's re-evaluated after each kid. Waiting a full two years wasn't the right answer for us the first time. Jumping back in after only one year won't be the answer for us when we decide to have a third. It's all very fluid.

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  51. We are all over the place with seven kids, our closest being 19 months apart. I have found 2 years apart to be perfect for us.

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  52. I now believe there is no perfect age gap - each has it's own issues & plus sides. I do think the right age gap for you depends on the personalities of your children.

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  53. My two oldest girls are nearly four years apart, I was going to say 12 and 8 years old, but actually one just tuned 9 and the other about to turn 13! and well let's just not think about that at the moment!
    I loved the gap in their ages for lots of reasons. It was nice and neat to have our oldest as an only child for those first years, we got to see her grow as her completely very own little person. When we became pregnant with our 2nd child our oldest was past 3 years old, and such a sweet little helper to her sick and pukey mommy. That was great.
    Then we waited (and sometimes we wonder why we waited so long) and our third daughter was born just last December. So, we now have 3 girls, nearly 13 yrs, 9 yrs, and 6 months old!

    I saw your comment about the traditional Chinese medicine belief of 3 years between babies, and that is actually a common belief in many ancient and traditional cultures. I think this makes sense, to give our bodies that amount of time to build back up to being able to healthily carry and grow another child.

    I also see such a 3 year gap as really nice for the child. I want my littlest one right now to have her years as the baby. We would mostly like me not to become pregnant until her 3rd year, especially because it seems likely I will have another pukey pregnancy, meaning just what it sounds like, a pregnancy where I throw up almost the whole entire time. I think my baby needs a healthy mommy. So once again we are hoping for a 3-4 year gap before the next child, if we should be so blessed.

    This is something nice to think about and hear other people's thoughts on, I will hope to return tonight and read through some of the discussion.
    Happy baby thoughts to you!
    Renee

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  54. Damien my oldest is 10, My daughter Aries is 6, and my youngest son Odyn is 4. My husband and I originally wanted 4 children but realized that our family of 5 is perfect for us. My Oldest son and my daughter love each other but the age difference between them sometimes is very noticeable, especially now. He wants more independence and often she smothers him. On the other hand my daughter and our youngest are the best of friends all the time. Their age gap of 2 years seems perfect. It didn't always feel this way especially when they both were in diapers.
    I think age gaps change over time. They evolve and are perfect at times. I know no matter what my children are always there for each other.
    Also my boys were happy surprises, my daughter was planned but we tried for 8 months. My husband wanted boy, girl, boy - and he claims this was no accident :)

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  55. I want a year of rest once my son weans. And then I'll talk pregnancy again. So I'm looking at 3 years and plus.. I think my body needs the break. Btw I live in Argentina. Not that it's relevant here but it seemed like pertinent information considering...

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  56. We have a 4,8 and 12 year old. Its perfect (most of the time), they play with and adore each other, the big one is super helpful, and I have got to savour all those years of little ones. If my body was up for it I'd have another now, but I think three will be our happy brood.

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  57. Ohh my Goshh... I am so touched by your words. My son is now 2.2 years and it's incredible how my body has been telling me all this year that I'm ready for another one. Despite that, I haven't had the courage to go for it. Is just that I recently got back my body, my independence, my work... But on the other hand every time I see a newborn or a pregnant lady, I remeber how awsome it was to be there. At those moments, it also comes to my mind how difficul were those first months of taking care of one little creature, What would happen having two???.... So difficul decision to take but my goal is at least starting trying this year, not sure how much it will take. Something is really clear for me, we are blessed to be women, grow a little cutie on our bellies and feeling them moving. Look at this video, it's in spanish but I'm sure you will understand the meaning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJSoh1_gy1I Good luck if you decide to go through this journey again.

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  58. I have a 12 years old, a 4 years old and a 4 months old. The long age gap between 12 and 4 years is due to a separation and they have not the same dad... so... but this age gap was great in fact because they play together but they also have each their own life and we can do things different with those two. After the number 2 I was quite tired because he did not sleep well until he was almost 18 months... so I think my body needed time to recover... and then this new baby comes and it is so much joy here. I would think 4 years is a good gape for us even if I throught it could have been shorter (in my mind).

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  59. It is funny to think of planning babies. I remember my GP saying that baby making doesn't always go to plan. Boy did I find that out. Given our stage in life I thought we would have one baby. Rob already has a daughter who is about to turn 18. After my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage requiring a D & C, I did wonder if a baby for us was meant to be. Perhaps an over reaction. 4 months later I fell pregnant. At 6 weeks I found out we were having twins. It threw us in a spin, and I laughed at my GP's wise words. As you know the girls came 14 weeks early, and their age gap is 1 minute. We look at our miracle babies now and I can't imagine only having one baby. This is probably it for me, it does sometimes make me wonder about a "normal" pregnancy, but having gone through what we did I intend to enjoy every minute of watching our girls grow together, and hopefully the fear I felt around being pregnant will fade.

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    1. Daniel has always said: "We'll have a boy, then a girl, then twins." Deep breaths! You are doing a marvellous job with your girls...and whenever I see one of Rob's meals pop up on IG I think about all that goodness going into your milk - Maggie and Elisabeth are eating like queens, and so they should! x

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  60. Well, I have three kids under the age of 5 1/2.
    Loik : 5 1/2 years old
    Saule : 4 years old
    Miko : 2 years old
    I'm a very tired mama... I love my kids, but it's pretty hard because there so close in age.
    2 kids is fun because your man can take one and you take the other. But with 3 kids, it gets... interesting !;)
    Enjoy your sweet children and please wait a little before having a third !

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  61. we've got 2 years and 9 months between our urchins (but wee j arrived 5 weeks early so shoul've been slightly more). i think it's a great gap. i CERTAINLY wouldn't want any less time between pregnancies/babies. i read that the 'tribal' gap is three years, due to fertility being suppressed by breastfeeding, mama nature knows best! i'm hankering after another already, wee j is only just one, it's madness, think it's a body clock thing (i'm 35 and papa m is in his 40s), but i will ignore the ticking until the gap is near to 3 years. that said, you don't need to worry, you guys are mere striplings, you've got plenty of time! PS my auntie has 7 kids and a 10 month age gap between the last two (admittedly the seventh was prem but still... a record?!). x x x

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  62. I love that your 2 are 3 years and 9 months apart. I had hyperemesis gravidarum in my one and only pregnancy, and I had it severe. My daughter is 16 months now and I am struggling with trying to decide when to have the next. In my community it seems like the cool, laid back mom thing to do is have your kids super close together. I'm struggling with this because I am bedridden for the first 4 months of my pregnancy, pretty much fighting for survival. I have to get fluids 3 times a week, no medication works, and vomit around 20 times a day (this is no exaggeration), with or without medication and fluids. I can't talk, walk, eat, or bathe myself so I can't imagine taking care of my little girl. It makes me so sad but I know we will get through it and that my daughter will get through it as well. I like reading all the replies, it gets me thinking that I can have them spread out and its okay, they will be friends, and it's just my situation and my story is unique!

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  63. My girls are two and a half years apart, and then there is a three year gap before my son. This was certainly planned, as otherwise nature would have let my body have babies within nine months of each other--it was rather enthusiastic that way. However, this spacing has worked out so well for us-- each child had a chance to be a baby and lead their own weaning (although I did nurse my oldest while still pregnant, but only for the first trimester), each was potty trained by the next came along, and each was excited and eager for a new addition. Pregnancies were generally difficult for me, so it also gave me enough of a rest in between, and time to begin wanting the next one. Now that they are older, they enjoy and help one another a lot, and I have never regretted how things have happened for us.

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  64. Jodi, this post really gets me thinking. I wonder how heavily this sense of timing is due to the biological factor. I carried our first child, who is now 8 months, my wife will be trying for our second come late summer/early autumn (UK), this might mean a loose 2 years between. Knowing there's a chance that my body may speak, as you describe in your post, and that a newborn may be with us around that time, it will be quite an interesting phase. I can't say we've thought too far along about age gaps, other than not being pregnant at the same time!! I think for us we feel incredibly fortunate to have the freedom and ability to afford conception at all. Thankyou for your lovely post x

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  65. I'm really happy with the age gaps between my 4. I have a 2 year gap, then 3yr gap, then 19 months. It wasn't exactly planned all that way, but the way it worked out I never had 3 under 5 at home.
    Thankfully also the first 2 were boys and last 2 girls so it worked out great for room sharing and having their own special buddy.

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  66. We will have about 2 years 8 months between our's (due in less than two months now!). We knew we wanted a second child, but I had the hardest time imagining sharing my time with my baby. We decided to try once our son turned two, shooting for a three year age gap. Things worked out surprisingly speedily, but shy of three years seems like it will be a good gap too. I think having kids close together looks like fun for them, but I really needed a few years to allow my baby to be a baby- just personally. It was also important to me that they share a room, so I didn't want too large a gap either. I'm grateful that it seems to have worked out pretty much as planned so far!

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  67. I have 2yrs7mths gap between 1 and 2, and a 3yr, 1mth gap between 2 and 3. At the moment they are 3,6 and 9!
    i always thought 2.5-3 years would be good - the youngest being old enough to reason with before a baby came along. That said, it took 11 months to conceive number 3 (as opposed to 1mth and 3 mths).

    For what its worth I found the jump from two kids to three much less challenging than going from one child to two. The third just has to be very flexible with being dragged along to all the older siblings activities (school drop offs, swimming lessons, soccer training etc) x

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  68. We have 20 months between our two. It took a number of years and four miscarriages before Sofia was born and then Otto was a bit of a surprise. I was 41, still breastfeeding and while we had *talked* about trying for another quite soon after she was born (and had been given a hurry up chat by my obstetrician) I hadn't thought it would actually happen given our history.
    We are very tired and it is hard work being (older) parents to two littlies, but worth it. I felt so lucky to finally get one child, I never thought we would be blessed with two!

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  69. i couldn't relate more to what you said about the questions popping into your mind just a few months after weaning. my two boys are 3 and 1, and i love that, but as you said, it's important to take a little time to feel out your emotional and physical readiness for another child. at the end of the day, i feel so blessed that i haven't had any difficulties with my pregnancies. if only it could be the same for every woman.

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  70. This post, in particular, hit home with me. We only have one child, Maile, who just turned 2. However, we've been trying for another baby for almost 10 months now. I never thought that I would want little ones so close together (let alone more than one little one), but I find myself desperately wanting to expand our family ... and Maile is still nursing. As you so poignantly write, it's absolutely one of the most personal decisions that a couple can make -- and yet, ultimately, we have very little control over it, if we truly let Mother Nature take the reins. Thank you for the thought-provoking post!

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  71. I know that feeling so well! My children are 7, 5, 3 and 11months. The gaps are 20 months, 2 years and 4 months, and 2 and a half years. When each child has reached around the 12 month mark that yearning for a baby feeling has started! Personally, 20 months was quite difficult for me, 2 and half years is lovely.:)

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  72. I have only one kid of age 3 years 8 months now. I always thought that I will have atleast 2 kids. But things totally changed when my body generated antibodies during my first unsuccessful pregnancy (I am an Rh negative blood group and my husband positive). My first kid suffered severe problem right after birth including immediate double blood transfusion. Now doctor says my next pregnancy would be even difficult, the baby may need transfusions when it's inside womb. I feel so horrified thinking all this and this is the reason I and my partner have totally given up on this. Ahh totally diverted from topic. What I think that 4 years gap is very good for both mother and the elder child. While it prepares mother's body for the new journey, the elder child gets more independent and emotionally stable for a little one to be around.

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  73. My only daughter is 8 months old & i'd love another when she's about 3 but my husband doesn't want anymore babies so she'll be an only child. My mum left 6 months between each of her pregnancies so there is 16 months between my brother and I and a 16 month gap between him and my sister so she had 3 kids under 3. I don't know how she did it, i certainly wouldn't cope.

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  74. My son, Ivo, is 7 and 3 months, and my girls:
    Ina is 5 and Roza is almost 6 months!!




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  75. I'm RH negative blood type as well and I had to have an "anti D" injection when my son was born....all manageable these days as long as you know your blood type. In the olden days (even one generation ago) this was extremely dangerous but these days (as far as I know) as long as the mother has the anti-d injection all is good. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  76. My 'babies' are four days off being 19 years apart. Both December children. Not what I wanted, but what my body has given me. In my 20s I wanted a dozen. In my 30s half a dozen. Started trying for number 2 and it took four years. Do I want more? yes with every fibre in my body. But in September I will be 45 and my time has run out. Now I just have to teach myself not to cry each month when my period comes.

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  77. I am currently pregnant with our second. There will be a 7 year difference between the two, and to us, this is the perfect gap. Our 7 year old is such a big help during this pregnancy, and is understanding of the changes that are soon to come. Not to mention that it's been nice having the one on one time with her for these past 7 years. When new baby comes, I will also be able to have the much needed one on one time with her as well, since big sis will be in school all day.

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  78. There is 2 years between my two and although the pregnancy was fine, the stress of breastfeeding after pregnancy caused my body great strain. After my son I don't believe I became fertile again til he was 18 months (my daughter was formula fed). So I think physically maybe 3 years is the best although I loe the closeness between my two they are best friends.

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  79. This has been on my mind so much lately. My only little one is almost 8 months, and previously, my husband and I thought we'd like to try for pregnancy #2 soon after he turns one. Now I'm not so sure I'll be ready for that. I would like to continue nursing my son past the age of one and I wonder if I will have trouble conceiving because of that. I also just think it will be nice to have more time with our first child before adding a second. The nursing thing is at the forefront of my thoughts right now, which leads me to something else I've been struggling with and makes me think of you Jodi - co-sleeping. I think you said a while back that you'd be writing about it soon. I look forward to that. You have been a wonderful source of inspiration for me from natural birth to the energy in my home. I value your thoughts and point of view on all things motherhood and would like to hear your take on co-sleeping, night nursing, transitioning, etc... We are co-sleeping and I have to say, I'd like to get more sleep someday soon, and can't really imagine being pregnant with #2 and having my son in bed with me comfort-nuring all night long! I guess that's one of perks of having a larger gap between children - I wouldn't have to consider that.

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  80. there will be 26 months between my daughters and i still don't know how it will be (i'll tell you in a couple of months!). this pregnancy is way more difficult: having a toddler to take care of, even if she is indipendent for some things, it's hard... but then i see her looking for somebody to play with and i'm looking forward to see her with a sister! I'm only child and between my husband and his brother there are just 11 months (too close for me) but looking at some friends experience i think 2-3 years are the best gap.

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  81. I am about to have my 3rd July baby...its getting embarrassing by now. We feel blessed and somewhat surprised at the ease at which we've fallen pregnant. We conceived my daughter 3 months after coming off the pill and then my son at my first ovulation after having my daughter when she was 15months. I was still breastfeeding and would have loved to extend out my childbearing years by having a bigger gap but it wasn't to be. The age gap is lovely and she adjusted well to her brother but I feel like mothering is so constant that it never got to an easier stage before I was thrust back into newborn mode and I wonder if that happens with a bigger gap. I was hoping to have a 3 year gap this time but alas on my second ovulation we conceived this babe when my son was 16months and sill breastfeeding. So we have my son turning 2 on the 6th, my daughter turning 4 on the 21st and our full stop due shortly after. We feel very full and blessed at how its all gone and I'm trying to savour it all for the beauty it contains, even with all the aches and pains and exhaustion.

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  82. i have a 2year old boy and i want to get pregnant since half a year but until now it shouldn't be - so we wait patiently or not so patiently to get pregnant again.. :-)
    I'd love to have a lot of kids! My partner wold prefer to have 2 - I'd prefer to have around 3-4. I'd love to have a house full of life and friends and other kids.
    So I don't care about the age difference more about how many :-)

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  83. I'm pregnant with baby number 2. There will be 2 years and 3 months difference between my two boys. Both are pleasant surprise as we weren't particularly trying. If we (hubby and I) planned when we would have kids we would never agree and may never happen ... Children are blessings and their timings are perfect.

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  84. We have 20 months between my two girls..and it was so, so hard! We have settled on 3 babies (i wanted 5, hubby just 2!) and this time i am waiting until my little one starts school..so 5 years! I just want to have the space and time to actually take care of the little one..and have naps with them for those first few months! So when both girls are in school and out of the house few hours all week i will be basking in the last one ;) its still far away, she is just 20months now and I am already feeling clucky..but I have been pregnant or breastfeeding (or both!) for over 4 years straight now and as we are not weaned yet my body needs a break, hell it deserves a break!

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  85. My children's current ages are 29, 26, and 16 and yes I was married to the same person. I had my last daughter by complete surprise 16 days after my 40th birthday. There is still time Che. Talk about needing to be emotionally ready, my two oldest girls were at an age where we were travelling more and starting to go through the tween years. At one point, I had a daughter in college, one in high school and one in grammar school. Music at our house was interesting. It ran the gamut of what ever the teens were listening to nursery rhymes. She keeps our lives so interesting though. I really can't imagine life without her.

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  86. I only have 1 right now but we're thinking about trying when she's 3 so it would be about the same gap as between your kids. My pregnancy + delivery were easy but this newborn/infant phase is really taking it's toll!

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  87. I can relate to this conundrum Jodi. It is a question I grapple with daily actually. There is exactly 2.5 years between my two boys. You are so right though, no matter how we may try to plan our families, the universe quite often has it's own ideas for us. In saying that, I'm about as clucky as I can get right now... so lots of decision making for us. I think there is probably no ideal age gap between children really, each family forms in the way it is just meant to be xoxo

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  88. My first two are 25 months apart (not planned, but happily welcomed) and then after a gap of 6 years we had our third (also not planned, but happily welcomed).
    I was very nervous at the start, what if we had forgotten all about babies, what if the big kids resented having a new tiny sibling? But it turned out to be fantastic! My two older ones adore the baby (now 14 months), and also, they're at school all day and so it felt much more relaxed to just be at home with one instead of the last time when I had an infant and a toddler at the same time.

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  90. 13 months, 16 months, 13 months and 25 months. Even though it was a whirlwind when Jamie was born with three under 2.5, it is truly a joy to see them enjoy each other company's so much. I think for our next one, we probably wouldn't want more than an 18 month gap - just so we can keep them all relatively close together. It's been a positive experience for us overall. But like you say - it is not ultimately really within our control...
    Ronnie xo
    p.s. Jamie was our complete surprise and I simply can't picture our life without him.

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    1. Wow. I knew your boys were close, but that is amazing. Inspirational. I hope I'm as organised as you are!

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  91. 3.6 years between first and second. Planned. The perfect age gap for me.
    2.5 years between second and third. Surprise. The worst age gap for me.
    Enjoy the daydreaming of new life and round bellies and birth. It's sad when you know you will never have those experiences again. Regardless of how rich they were when you did. x

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  92. SEVEN years between my two and for us, it is perfect. SO right. No fights over toys, a loving doting big brother, a toddler sister who adores the ground her brother walks on and I get to be one on one with both for a decent period as E is home with me while J is in school.

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  93. Such an interesting topic! We did not plan our three children, they all just happened. Our first and second children are 15 months apart. Our second and third children are 2 1/2 years apart. I actually liked both age gaps and prefer to keep our children close together. Our third child is now 2 1/2, so we've kind of passed that age gap, hehe :) We're not sure yet if we want to have any more children, although we both think about it often.

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  94. My eldest two boys are 2 years 7 months apart.

    Number three boy is 5.5 years younger than my second child and 8 years younger than my first.

    We are done!

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  95. There are 21 months between my Alice and Stella, and this 3rd baby will be 3 years and change younger than Stella. We planned more space between Alice and Stella but it didn't happen that way. My mother had 4 girls in 6 years, with 18 months between my older sister and I, and 2 years between the rest of us. I think there are pros and cons for both a long gap and a short gap. For me, the pro of having a short gap is that the girls are playmates now and it wasn't hard to transition back to newborn baby habits and diaper changing and breastfeeding, etc. But the nice thing about baby #3 being a bit younger is that I'll have more alone time with the baby since Stella will be in school a few mornings a week. Stella didn't get that benefit much since Alice was not yet in school when Stella was born.

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  96. A smart friend told me, recently when I was agonizing over this very conundrum, that whatever happens to you will be right. (Not what you choose, whatever happens.) And I think she's right. I have never heard anyone complain that they should have had more or less time between children. Only, "This has worked for us because ____." With a child, I think, you simply feel blessed, not regret over age differences.

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  97. I believe what ever age gap/s you have between your children, is the perfect one for you - as you can't change it. No point wasting energy wishing you could change it. We have 3 years and 5 months between our kids, and it is great. If we had gotten pregnant when we wanted to with number 2, that gap would have been much smaller.......

    And dont get me started on my aching ovaries for another baby. Evolution is amazing, making us want more (crave or ache in my case), to ensure the human race continues. We want to sponsor a child in a developing country, there are so many children out there that need help.

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  98. My older brother and I are 11 months apart (I was incredibly unintentional)! I had my first child the day before you wrote this post so baby number 2 isn't exactly on our minds at the moment, even though its all everyone seems to ask us! My brother and I have an amazing relationship so it's tempting to assume if we keep our children that close in age it will affect whether or not they "like" each other, but I think 3 years is perfect. Plus I'd like to think it was our upbringing and our parents that instilled in my brother and I the love we have for each other.

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  99. I really want to thank Dr Ishvara for saving my marriage. My husband really treat me bad and left the home for almost 1 month i was sick because of this,i was not my self again, then i told my friend about my husband case then she told me to contact Dr Ishvara that he will help me bring back my husband he told me what i need to do spiritually to bring back my husband. They cast a spell of return back of love on him. And he came back home for forgiveness and today we are happy again, i want you all who are having relationship, ex and even husband problem, and also getting back your wife to contact ishvaratemple@yahoo.com Wish you all success.

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  100. How i got my boyfriend back.Am Stacey Bruno by name I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who's name is Dr ATILA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one's gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I'm now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is atilahealinghome@yahoo.com

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  101. My name is Camille bruno Valdez my partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; arewaspecialistttemple@gmail.com , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that we will either conceive in February 2014 or March 2014,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Dr Dahiru, Because his pregnancy spell cast put us at ease, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him via email: arewaspecialistttemple@gmail.com if you are trying to get a baby or want your lover back. he has powers to do it, he has done mine,

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  102. I want to share a great testimony on this website on how great Priest Babaka help me in falling pregnant,me and my husband have been trying to have a baby for over 4years,but they where no luck so we decided to contact the family doctor and after all the test have been done,he said to us that my fallopian tube is not functioning.then one day i was in the office when a friend of mine who have the same problem with me, fall pregnant after she contacted Priest Babaka .she directed me to him and when i contacted him through his email and he did the purification on the pregnancy spell and in 2weeks time i was feeling some how and i went to meet the family doctor who told me that i am pregnant.if you know that you have a similar problem like this, or any fertility issue and you want to be pregnant you can contact Priest Babaka via Email:babaka.wolf@gmail.com or his facebook on Babaka Wolf

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