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  1. #1
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    Default 18mths difference - pros & cons

    Hi all - I've just found out I'm pregnant, which will mean there will only be 18mths between my babies.

    This part is freaking me out a little, so I'd love to hear from others with a similar gap so I can be as prepared as possible. For example:-

    - how did you prepare toddler for new arrival, when they aren't old enough to understand?
    - how did toddler react to baby?
    - tips for going out with 2 young babies
    - 2 in nappies, is this hard?
    - did toddler still have a day sleep?
    - dividing time between 2 dependent babies?
    - how to entertain toddler when b/f in first few weeks/months?
    - did you still have toddler in care 1-2 days for socialization?

    I'm feeling really guilty about DS, like I'm somehow robbing him of his 1-on-1 time with mummy too early. I know rationally this is silly, as all subsequent children never get this luxury anyway. But with him being our first I guess I just assumed we'd have longer as the 3 of us together...

    So any tips and info (good, bad, ugly) would be so greatly appreciated - TIA

  2. #2
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    Congrats! My 2 boys are 16 months apart and it wasn't planned that way. They are 7 and 9 at the moment. Now that they are older they do a lot of things together and share the same interests. It's great having them only a year different in school.

    The main way we prepared our eldest was buying and setting up baby things and telling him it's for the baby. Telling him there was a baby in my tummy and pointing out baby's when out shopping etc. I don't think he understood one was going to be coming to live with us but it did help a little.

    Our son reacted well to his new brother. We taught him how to be gentle and he liked to pat his head and put his dummy back in for him. He loved to help bath him too.

    I don't really have any tips for going out we brought a pram with a toddler seat as well.

    2 in nappies wasn't hard if your already doing one what's another lol.

    Dividing time want hard when the baby was sleeping I would play with the toddler. The baby was often in sling and was played with and talked to by all of us.

    My ds was in day care one day a week and it gave me a good break and him also. As long as you don't start day care out of the blue after the baby is there it shouldn't be a problem.

    Honestly at that age they soon adjust and won't even remember a time when their sibling wasn't around.

    I remember my little man sometimes got upset at me when I couldn't get up right away because I was feeding. He never got upset at the baby or blamed him for it tho.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by austmum; 25-07-2012 at 08:23.

  3. #3
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    well the gap between my girls was 20months and was planned that way it is 2 months more then your little ones but i found it so easy to go from 1 to 2.

    I didn't really prepare DD1 that much i didn't really think about it she knew there was a baby in my tummy and that she'd stay with her grandparents while i went to the hospital.
    She came to the hospital and i gave her a present and didn't even say anything about the baby i wanted it to be about her then she finally saw her and wanted to hold the 'dolly' she's loved her from the start and we never had any problems until DD2 got old enough to fight back (they are now 3 and 21months)
    I didn't find it hard to go out at all because DD2 was breastfed i only had to take a few nappies and a change of clothes for her so wasn't much harder then going out with 1.
    the nappy thing wasn't that hard i just changed them when needed and DD1 started toilet training at 22months
    DD1 was still having a 3 hour daytime sleep that was great.
    i just spent time with each one when the other was sleeping. i usually got dd1 something to eat when i was getting ready to feed dd2 as guranteed she'd be hungry once i started feeding.
    dd1 has never been in daycare so nope to the socialisation question i didn't feel the need to send her to daycare when i was already home looking after dd2 anyway .

    dunno if this has helped in anyway but feel free to ask anymore questions i felt the same way as you and i was so scared that i wouldn't love the second baby as much because i couldn't even imagine loving another child as much as dd1 but you really do i don't even know what i was worried about lol.

    good luck with everything it will be great

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    Congrats!

    We read books and talked about the baby etc but DD at 20 months ddn't get it at all until the baby was here.
    Toddler was very excited by baby, but would also hit him because he reacted (cried). It was hard until baby started to smile and laugh and react to toddler in a positive way.
    Baby carrier for newborn was essential here. (still is at 6 months)
    We use cloth nappies and getting them washed this winter is hard. Next winter, DD should be in nickers.
    Toddler has a day sleep once or twice a week. Rarely at the same time as baby.
    My toddler doesn't go to day care. We go to friends and play centres and the library. It is harder to go to places which aren't fenced. Have to ensure the toddler is safe before feeding baby.

    It is gorgeous when they start to interact. toddler reads stories to babies and dances to make him laugh.

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    Thank-you

    Can anyone recommend any good age appropriate books for this? I've heard there are specific books available to help explain a new baby on the way. Are they worth it?

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    "Hello Baby" by jenni overend is lovely if you are planning a homebirth.

    "There is a house inside my mummy" is cute.

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    Pesca77  (25-07-2012)

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    i have nearly 22 months between mine, so a bit more thann what you'll have but some of the experiences will probably be the same

    - how did you prepare toddler for new arrival, when they aren't old enough to understand?
    books, we would play with dolls in baby gear - so would give them a baby bath, rock in bouncer, etc. this was also lots of fun. i dont think she got it, but maybe it helped and certainly didnt hurt

    - how did toddler react to baby?
    she has always been great. she is so helpful and loving towards him. even on her worse behaviour days, she is still a great sister. no problems at all

    - tips for going out with 2 young babies
    it is very hard! honestly, i avoid it as much as possible, especially short trips as its hard work and takes ages to get them both in and out of car, especially when dd went through a stage of refusing to get in her car seat and still often refuses the pram. i mainly stick to peoples toddler friendly places, playgroup and play centers (dd is ok to play without strict supervision now thankfully)

    - 2 in nappies, is this hard?
    no. i dont find this a big deal at all. agree with above that getting mcns dry is a pita atm though!

    - did toddler still have a day sleep?
    she is just cutting it out atm. im actually finding it easier without it as it is one less thing to factor in when trying to leave the house

    - dividing time between 2 dependent babies?
    hard. there are times when you just have to let one cry while you attend to other.

    - how to entertain toddler when b/f in first few weeks/months?
    thankfully my toddler has always been good at entertaining herself. its still easy to read books to them while feeding and stuff like that. she knows to bring stuff to me.

    - did you still have toddler in care 1-2 days for socialization?
    yes. i highly recommend. my daughter loves the break out of the house and being at cc. i love the special time with my baby, and i figure dd got ages of 1 on 1 time with me, ds deserves one day a week. its win win really

    good luck! i actually found dealing with a nb and a toddler easier than i expected (although certainly not easy), but im finding it tougher as the months go by and its still so much work.

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    There is 16 months between my 1st and 2nd and 2.5yrs between 2nd and 3rd plus we lost a baby when my 2nd was 10 months. But I think what defeniatly helps is being well organised and a good twin pram, it helps to keep your hands free when out and about, makes life that little bit easier. You somehow just make do, going from 1-2 is harder then going from 2 onwards (just my experience). Having closer age gaps worked well for us, and i'm sure you'll be fine. Congratulations by the way!

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    Default 18mths difference - pros & cons

    It helps in terms of getting the difficult parts of those early years out of the way all at once, i had a gap of almost 19 months with my first two & i was only 19 when i had my first. The two boys are still inseparable & still share a room by choice, now aged almost 14 & just turned 12. Maybe a little bit different if you have one of each?

    These theories on the pros of small age gaps is fine if you dont go back for more 9 years later when you remarry - shock to the system or what!

  11. #10
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    Default 18mths difference - pros & cons

    Hi! How exciting for you guys!

    I was the same! I was so worried as I have a 13 month old and a 6 week old!

    I had no idea how to prepare DS, so we talked about my belly a lot, I had a doll I would hold occasionally and would rock her and say baby. But that's it really. Because they're do young and don't understand, even once the baby is here they still don't understand when it's right in front of them.

    My DS at the very beginning slapped DD a few times, but a few firm NOs and he's stopped, he's very curious about her and will poke her and hug her. But he isn't very careful though and has gone to climb on me while I'm feeding and squashed her. :$

    I haven't been out alone yet. But I was left alone in a parent room while DH went and shopped and that was HARD. My DS was out of his pram while I fed and my eldest DS ran around after him, it was intense! I got dirty looks from other parents too. and one even mumbled under her breath when she left cos my DS was walking around laughing and squealing while her one ate his lunch. I'm not looking forward to going out alone.... I'll probably never leave the house again!
    The 2 in nappies thing is easy but it hurts the pocket, lol.
    Little DS still has 2 day sleeps and its something I think you should make sure you try get the toddler to do, because that time will give you time to catch up on anything else you need to do! Eg: napping, eating, washing clothes whilst power napping?

    I feel extremely guilty about trying to divide my time between them and it's almost impossible especially with how much the baby feeds. But I try so hard but I just really miss my baby boy I guess it will get better with time?
    I find If you have some books and toys handy if the toddler comes up to you while feeding you can interact with them, or I feed on the floor so I can one hand play or read or rest! Hehe

    Sorry for the big reply!!! But I guess I'm still new at this but just make sure you're not too hard on yourself and to just breathe and let everyone EVERYONE help you. And try not to feel guilty about the mummy time because as they grow they will have a little friend and have together time

    I think it's easier having babies close together because you are already in baby mode.

    I honestly wouldn't have it any other way!


 

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