May 28, 2010,
K.R. asks from Rockville, MD on July 17, 2008
How Other Moms Coped with Two Babies Less than a Year Apart
I wanted to hear from other mothers who have babies less than a year apart. My husband and I weren't trying to get pregnant this early because our baby is only 2 1/2 months, but we are excited. I know it will be very difficult in the beginning and I just wanted to find out how other mothers coped. I'm also very nervous because we have a 3 year old as well and he is already dealing with jealousy issues with having to share attention with the 2 1/2 month old. Those mothers with babies under a year apart, how did you handle it in the beginning?
1 mom found this helpful
C.D. answers from Norfolk on July 24, 2008
I'm a survivor, my five were all within 6 years, so the good news is, there's light at the end of the tunnel (my oldest is 24, my youngest is 18 now). They'd still rather hang out with each other than anyone else, they have a lot of jokes together that even I don't get.
I always had the baby "belong" to the older ones, they were great diaper fetchers and feet washers, everyone was involved; there wasn't a lot of jealousy that way, they were helping. I learned to do a lot of things one-armed while I held the baby and chased the toddlers; a couple of them learned to breast feed on the run since I didn't have time to sit down. You adjust. You do the next thing you have to do and don't drive yourself nuts thinking of EVERYTHING you have to do. Hopefully you have a husband who will hold down the fort while you take a shower. It's easier to do things like the children's museum because they're all around the same age and have the same interests at least until they each turn 6 or 7. The hardest thing, I found, was finding alone time with each of them--but if nothing else I left the rest home with dad and took one grocery shopping(you will become an amazing multi-tasker) which also included lunch at McDonald's, just me and whoever it was. That little bit of alone time was important. You'll be fine. Honest.
J.Z. answers from Washington DC on July 17, 2008
Congrats on your pregnancy and newborn. 3 years ago I had a 10 year old, 7 year old and a 4 month old and pregnant again. I was tired alot and just asked for friends and families help with the kids. Without taking care of myself I ended up being sick all the time and having no energy thinking that I was superwoman. The best advice I can't stress enough is please make time for you, eat well, rest and if you don't have anyone in the area that can help you. Join a local moms group and get to know others in the area that can make time to help you out.
Congrats again and take care,
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C.W. answers from Chico on May 28, 2010
Hi my name is C. Im 23 years old and I have four kids they are ages 4years, 21/2 years, 11/2years and 4months and im expecting another next febuary its hard at times but i get through it Just trying to find out if theres anyone else out there in the same situation as me? if so contact me id love to chat with you my e-mail is ____@____.com
P.B. answers from Washington DC on July 24, 2008
It really isn't so bad in the beginning. Its kinda like a blur at the end of the day(hahaha). Just have a plan. For instance, when i need to do something with my 15 month old that requires my full attention, I just put the newborn in my baby sling, and she is in heaven. And when i need to breastfeed the newborn, i do it in the playroom most of the time so the 15 month old can still be supervised. I also save "snack time" (for the older ones), for times when I know I'm going to need to tend to the newborn.
Well, I have four girls and my first two are 15 months apart, and the last two are 15 months apart as well (the two middle ones are over 2 years apart). It's not less than a year, but close to it. So currently I have 4 children under 5 years old!
Well, we LOOOOVE having them close together. They get along well, there's no jealousy (at least not noticeable jealousy), they are VERY close, and we can do things together that easily interest all of them (as opposed to struggling to find activities that please them all). They get to share friends because everyone is around the same age. We have a lot of fun. There are a lot of pluses to having kids super close together.
But there's also some minuses. Such as changing two kids' diapers at the same time, having two kids that can't walk yet (having to carry them both), and also the whole idea of maybe paying for college two kids at the same time (in my case 4!!!)... haha- and also answering the question "are they twins?" over and over again:)
Don't worry about not giving enough attention to the older child- I think if at all possible every kid should have a sibling, and my kids just get happier the more siblings they get. I have found that babies love babies. It will be great and lots of fun. Just take it easy, and have fun- time REALLY does fly, especially when there is more than one to look after.
Hope this is helpful, and congratulations!!!
L.C. answers from Washington DC on July 17, 2008
I have couple friends that have kids less than a year apart and they say that it is actually easier than having a 2 year old and a newborn.Since your older baby will not remember the life before other baby and they will be somewhat going through the same stages . Phisically it will not be easy.Our 2 have a big gap(23 months apart) and I just was surviving in the begginging(between jeolousy, tantrams, hitting, not slepping and stuff like that), so I think the younger the better:)
PS I so would like to know how people get accidently pregnant......I was never on a pill(or any other kind of birth controll) since we got married, but my husband is so stinking good about controlling "his parts" LOL there is no third one for me till he is ready:)
D.T. answers from Washington DC on July 18, 2008
Congratulations! I had babies 9 months apart and one of the best supports I had was a Yahoo group called LikeTwins. My "babies" are 7 and 8 now and I am no longer on the list but it was an invaluable resource to me when the were little.
L.Z. answers from Tampa on July 18, 2008
I have a son who is 4 years old and a daughter who is 3 years old. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter when my son was 4 months old. I was shocked and couldn't believe it either when it happened. My daughter ended up coming 6 weeks early and was delivered 10 days before my son turned 1. They are very close now and I did not have to deal with a lot of jealousy except when he was trying to take toys from her and because she couldn't talk we would help her out more than him.
I nursed both my kids and had to stop nursing him when I got pregnant with her due to milk decrease. I was able to nurse her for about 2 months and pump for about 4 months. I nursed her alone in a room with no distractions so when I had to do it with my son around she kept looking around all over the place and after 45 minutes of nursing my son wanted attention. So my first recommendation if you are nursing is to nurse where there are distractions. Then I would try to work on a napping schedule. At first when she would nap I would spend time with my younger one and also try to do some cleaning around the house. It did take me about 6 months to get them on the same napping schedule. She went down to one nap a day at that time but she would go down for about 3 hours. It was a nice break when they were both sleeping. Just make sure to take time to rest and leave the housework for the weekend or when both you and your husband are around together.
It is always a challenge every single day and it never stops. I find that my younger one is growing up so fast because she wants to do everything that my older one wants to do and doesn't realize that she is not old enough to do it. I hope this helps. If you have any questions let me know and I can try to help you out.
M.F. answers from Washington DC on July 18, 2008
Mine are 5 and 4 now (a little more than a year apart) and it is GREAT! But it was a challenge in the beginning. If you can, try to have some help when the new baby comes. Make sure your husband takes some time off from work if he can. Don't be afraid to take people up on offers to help with meals, babysitting, laundry, etc. I declined some of those offers because I thought I needed to be superwoman, but in hindsight, I should have accepted the help.
Having them close has several benefits: the one year old often doesn't know to be jealous, you can reuse your baby stuff which is still current, they will be close enough in age to be interested in many of the same toys/activities at the same time. If you are lucky, they will grow up being close friends.
Some things to consider that really helped us:
Make an effort for each parent to spend individual time with each child. This will be a challenge, because there is a certain aount of chaos that comes with having so many little ones.
Make the baby wait sometimes. If the youngest was crying but was essentially ok, we would sometimes say out loud, "Now, youngest, you need to wait for mommy. It's older child's turn." It helped the older ones to feel that the baby wasn't always getting first dibs on everything. Also, the kids now take turns really well. No one got used to being catered to all the time. They key is to make sure you do this at a time when you know the baby's needs have been taken care of but he/she is still crying for some reason.
I also talk to the kids a lot about how special they are individually and in relationship to each other. "There's no other child exactly like you." and "You are so lucky to have a sister/brother because . . . " "They are so lucky to have you for a sister because . . . " We reinforce that our family is important. We try really hard to keep any jealousy to a minimum, and I think it has worked most of the time.
Also try to squeeze in couple time with your husband. For the first year or so, it is extremely hard to do this because it gets expensive to find babysitters who will watch an infant and a toddler (and in your case an additional preschooler). It can be overwhelming for a teenage girl and intimidating for relatives. But you can make it work with planning. We had good luck if we asked my mom to babysit for a short time while at least one child would be napping.
It is definitely a challenge in the beginning, but remember that the chaotic time is temporary. As the kids grow older it gets a lot easier. And having them close together means that they always have a buddy wherever they go. I would not trade having my kids so close together because it is truly magical watching them help and love one another. We didn't plan it that way, but it turned out to be better than we ever could have imagined.
Best of luck to you!! It's going to be a wild ride, but well worth it!