An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Why Having Your Children Close In Age ISN'T Harder

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why Having Your Children Close In Age ISN'T Harder

It's a misconception that having children close in age is harder or more challenging than spacing them out. Here's why.


I can't tell you how many people thought I was insane to have Otto 19 month after I had Henry. Some even went as far as to ask me if Otto was "an accident." Let me tell you, he was no accident! In fact, we even tried to have them a little bit closer together! It just took me two months to get pregnant. Some people think we're crazy but I'm here to tell you this: Having children close in age is NOT harder than spacing them out! I think it's far easier.

Before you think I've mentally checked out from parenting two boys under two, hear me out!

Think having children close together sounds challenging? It's NOT! Here's why

For starters, I still get the benefits of nap time. Henry still takes an afternoon nap, and Otto obviously does as an infant. That means I can catch a break (or a shower!) in the afternoons. If they were more spaced out, Henry wouldn't be napping. There's nothing worse than needing a shower or some personal time and having one of your kids NOT taking a nap.

Think having kids more spaced out means your older one(s) will be helpers? Think again! Henry is just 21 months but this kid LOVES to help his mama out! Hes gets Otto's pacifier for me, brings me wipes, hands me my phone when I'm nursing and even cleans up after himself when he has a snack. Being a good helper isn't just for older kids!

Real talk: having two in diapers isn't that hard. Like, at all. In fact, you just go into diaper changing mode and get those bottoms clean in assembly line fashion! When you space your kids out more, odds are that the older one(s) will be potty trained. Then you're in position of "remembering what diapers are like" once your new baby arrives. I never knew the difference since Henry was clearly still in diapers at 19 months! I just have to throw another box of them in the cart on my Target trips. Easy enough!

Speaking of, when your kids are close in age, they'll both fit in the double kiddie cart at Target. I can't wait until Otto can sit up and ride beside his brother in those carts! I'm sure someone will get bopped over the head, but still. They'll fit. Which is way easier than having a child loose in the aisles and one screaming in the cart! 

My boys are 19 months apart - people looked at me like I was crazy when I was pregnant with Henry still a baby! Joke's on them.

The easiness continues big time when you consider sibling jealousy. See, Henry will never remember a time without his brother. He has yet to throw a tantrum about not being the only baby anymore. He doesn't cling or get overprotective of me towards Otto. He just kisses his feet and pats him on the back. When your children are close in age, you're less likely to deal with these issues since the memory function hasn't yet developed in your {slightly} older child. And that is a HUGE relief, because a child that acts out after you bring their brother or sister home from the hospital would be miserable. Completely. Miserable.

Speaking of completely miserable, you know what's the WORST? Sleep deprivation. But you know what the cool thing is? When your kids are close in age, they have the same bedtime schedules! Since Henry is still so young, he goes to bed at 7pm. So does Otto. So both our kids are asleep by 7 and both get up around 7-7:30 (Otto has one or two feeds during the night too.) If I had spaced my kids out more, likely the youngest would go down at 7pm and then the older one would be 7:30 or even 8, depending on the spacing. Let me tell you, I'm ready for some adult time and start checking my watch at about 6:30 every night!  I'm so glad my boys are on the same schedule so once they're down, adult time (vegging out in front of the TV, drinking wine, blogging, or all three) can start pronto.

Finally, children close in age is great because you get to reuse all the baby gear and likely most of the clothes you had with your first! Granted, we had two boys, so that helped big time. But had we had a girl, we'd have still used Henry's car seat, baby swing, infant toys, burp cloths, etc etc because why buy that stuff twice?! Nothing has expired (yes, car seats have expiration dates) and all the clothes are still cute and on trend. Yay for children close in age being a financially sound decision to boot!

19 comments:

  1. Mine are 16 months apart and I didn't think it was that hard when I had one toddler and one infant but now that I have two mobile toddlers it's a complete game changer! The sibling jealousy didn't really start until Matthew started playing with Miller's toys and the Target cart used to be fun but now they just fight the whole time they're in it so one of them usually gets moved to the other seat! Also two tantrums at once in public is potentially the most annoying thing ever because my youngest does whatever my oldest does now. But I will say I agree with the same schedule and reusing baby gear right away and at almost 3 and 16 months they're starting to play together independently!!! Which might be the best thing ever! So I'm thinking my summer should be pretty easy this year.

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  2. Mark and his brother are pretty close in age and they always had a built in buddy growing up and now they are still best friends to this day. I love the idea of two boys that close together in age :)

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  3. My sister had each about two years apart and it worked for her as well...Since I'm not there yet, I have no idea what we'll do lol! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. Great perspective. Our daughters aren't as close in age, but they do benefit from having a built in friend. They are a little over 2 years apart so they are close enough to do most things together. When they were younger, I appreciated their spacing because as Natalie mentioned it is not fun to have two children pitching a fit so they each had their one public fit, but not at the same time. :)

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  5. My parents waited 10 years before they had me and that age gap was hard. Two different times in life, infancy and teenagers and I wish they had us closer together! Your songs will be best friends :)

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  6. I can definitely see how having two close in age wouldn't be as hard as people think it is. You laid it out really nicely that there are totally benefits!

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  7. You crack me up! I can see all of these being a positive thing. My niece has done well since my sister had a baby, but there is definitely a transition time there.

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  8. Loved this post : ) I would love to give Ginny a sibling close in age. So far, it seems it may be harder for me to get pregnant with a second than it was with her though!!

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  9. We thought we'd have kids close in age, but now having them be 4 1/2 years apart I think will still be good. Kellen and his brother are 2 years apart and were close growing up but not really anymore. I can see positives and negatives to having kids close together and further apart. I'm glad you're enjoying this age gap. A was such a hard baby I don't think I could have handled a second one so quickly.

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  10. Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you posted this! I have always wanted to have my kids close together (someday). My brother and I are less than two years apart and that's what I always envisioned I would do. Your spot on about the sibling jealousy. I only ever remember my little brother being around. Plus, being so close in age, we were able to become friends at a younger age and had the same group of friends in high school!

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  11. My aunt had twins and when I babysat them I definitely noticed there were some advantages. Some things I'm sure are difficult about it, but at least they napped at the same time, at the same types of foods, wanted to do the same things, etc.!

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  12. This is awesome! We're just starting to try for our next and our little one is 16 months old. Some people tell me I'm crazy and some people tell me we should have started trying sooner... Each family just has to do what's right for them.

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  13. Great post. My three are all two years apart and while it IS challenging right now (with the youngest being only 8 weeks old), I know it will get easier as they get older. The two older siblings are so close that it makes it easier for everyone!

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  14. Great post!! I always thought it was harder to have the kids closer together but you present some good arguments! I may reconsider the timing of my second baby!!

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  15. Agree with everything you said! Even though my daughter is 4 years older than my twins, she still helps me out, they have the same sleeping time which is not bad at all and they are best friends. I don't think having children close in age is a bad thing, in fact I wanted to get pregnant right after my oldest daughter turned two, but I couldn't. Great post!

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  16. 16 months apart here and loving it!

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  17. Such a good read! Bowe and Jack are 26 months apart, and thank goodness they still take naps at the same time! Every now and then B won't take a nap, and I FREAK OUT! I hear 'ya on keeping them close together. I think it would be hard to have a huge age range and have to go back to doing diapers. It seems like every family finds a sweet spot. I have some friends that purposely have had their kids super close (think 13 months apart) and others who wanted at least 3 years. For us, the 2 year age gap seems about right. Your boys are going to be the best of friends!

    xo
    Annie

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  18. i mean, you know i don't have kids, but i have always planned to have them close together. another thing to consider, if you don't go back to work until, say, your kid is in elementary school, (how old is that? 5?) you are out of work for 5 or so years. if you have more than one kid, and space them out, say 4-5 years, you could be away from the workforce for 10 years. whereas if you have kids close together like you did, they'll be in school faster and you'll be back at work faster. okay, i know not everyone stays home or plans to go back to work, but that's my plan, and having them close together is definitely an advantage in that area!

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