20 Month Age Gap

I have to be honest and confess that when I found out I was pregnant with my second baby just after Burton celebrated his first birthday, I was feeling a mix of emotions. On the one hand I was chuffed to bits to have fallen pregnant so easily for a second time and to be carrying another little life inside me; on the other hand I was worried about having such a small age gap between my two children. 


We didn’t plan to have that age gap but at the same time we had always said that once Burton turned one we would start trying again, as we thought a two year age gap was about right. As it turned out there is 20 months between Burton and Jenson, which is ideal I think – personally  I wouldn’t have wanted a gap of less than 18 months or one over 2 1/2 years.


In my opinion (based on my OWN experiences, I am no child expert!!) the positives about having a smaller (around 2 year) age gap are as follows:

*The oldest child doesn’t feel jealous when his or hers new sibling arrives, because they are too young to understand what that emotion is. Also they cant remember a time when the new brother or sister wasn’t around in their life.  


*Less bedtime or nap time resistance and which meant me not having to cuddle Jenson to sleep to prevent him from crying (I still do cuddle him to sleep when he is not feeling right – any excuse for some snuzzle time). 

Its just not possible to afford the time to lie with them or cuddle them to sleep or let them fall asleep on you – not with a noisy brother around or one that couldn’t be left on his on while you did this. Up until Jenson was almost 4 months I tried letting him fall asleep on me after a breast feed and then move him to his crib or moses basket but he would always wake up and would end up missing out on naps. In the end I had to do controlled crying (which I NEVER did with Burton) and luckily Jenson didn’t really cry that much so it was a big relief for me and my guilt!! As a result he will go down for naps so much easier than his brother ever did. 
*Once the baby is siting up the two of them should start to play with each other and eventually help entertain each other. 
*I think a smaller age gap will help them bond more easily because they will want to play the same games, play with the same toys etc… Something which say a one year old and a four year old may not do as easily due to the development differences in such an age gap.
*Burton’s toys and books are still in really good condition because they are less than 2 years old so we haven’t had to buy anything new. Even if Jenson had been a girl she would still have wanted to play with the  same toys as her brother as they are pretty generic really. Ok so there are cars but girls can play with cars too, in the same way boys will play with dolls.


*By the time Jenson was ready to be weaned Burton was big enough to stop siting in the high chair and sit at the table so we didn’t have to buy a new high chair (although I did because Burton’s was a cheap one and had got quite tired looking, and the new one was a bargain!)

*By the time Burton starts pre school, I wont have to worry about having a small baby in tow to have to try and feed around taking him to and from pre school


I think the only down sides to having such an age gap have been:


* It is bloody hard work managing a newborn and a toddler in the beginning – only getting 1-2 hours sleep per night and then having to be awake during the day to entertain an energetic 20 month old. I am not saying it gets any easier with a larger age gap but at least if the oldest one is out at school or nursery then you might be able to mange a nap during the day 



*A 20 month old does not understand the notion of being gentle or being quiet or not to throw things near a sleeping baby!! Or that hugging a baby too tightly is not good for it! 


* It was hard during the pregnancy for the first two trimesters as my toddler wasn’t toddling and I had to carry him around a lot


* I haven’t had the same ‘me and baby snuggle time’ that I had with Burton – its just not possible with a demanding toddler wanting your attention all the time he is awake! 


Whats the gap between your children? do you find it easier managing a smaller age gap or a larger one?DAY 3

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40 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I can totally agree with all of this! The age gap between Isla and Noah is 2 years (short of 4 days). It is hard work but with every week that goes by it gets easier and you find your own methods of dealing with them both together. I’m glad we have this smaller age gap & feel sure it will pay off.
    Your boys are gorgeous BTW!! X

  2. Hi!  I had my first 2 boys 18 months apart, and the third 16 months after the second.  The up-side – they play and entertain one another.  The downside – they don’t really understand ‘play’ for quite some time so you are forever breaking up fights and dealing with noise!  But they are best friends and I agree with you that it’s lovely.  Best of luck with it!

  3. I love this post! My next one is due next May/June so there will be about 22/23 months between the two and its so interesting to read your take on it all. I’ve been a little apprehensive about how hard it will be but this is such a positive piece it’s given me a real lift!x

  4. Thanks for this blog post, Jenny – it was just what I needed this week! I’ve just gone into week 28 with baby no.2, who is due at the end of Jan, and have spent the week trying to cheer up a boisterous 18 month old suffering from an eye infection and fever since Tuesday. So it was great to read all the positives that you’ve found from the closeness in age between Burton and Jenson, seeing as we’ll be looking at around a 20 month age difference as well.
    The negatives – well, nothing that I was not expecting there and the positives that you list seem to far outweigh them anyway.
    Thanks for brightening up my week!

  5. We started trying when bear was one because we wanted about a 2 year age gap but two years later we’re still trying – I think babies come along when the time is right for the family, and obviously the time just isn’t right for us yet.  If we fall pregnant in the next few months bear will be four when the new baby arrives.  We’ll see what mother nature says!

  6. Love this post (was planning a similar one) and the photos. The one of you with Burton over your shoulder is lovely.
    We always planned a 4 year age gap but as soon as Charles was with us we decided to start trying straight away. I felt guilty throughout most of my second pregnancy and had to keep reminding myself of the positives.
    Charles has been a great big brother and surprisingly has only once shown a sign of jealousy. Harry seems to have fit in really well and hasn’t “disrupted” our lives as much as I thought.
    One of the most difficult things was that Charles expecting a play friend straight away but he quickly realised that Harry isn’t able to do the same as him just yet.
    He is getting quite rough as Harry gets bigger which is causing slight problems.

    I do think it was easier that we have a small age gap because Charles wasn’t SO used to having us to himself.
    Also when I was pregnant it was lovely that he was old enough to understand I had a baby in my tummy and was involved in it quite a lot.

    Your boys are so yummy. Everytime I see photos of them it gives me goosebumps.
    Really wish we were closer so our 4 boys could play together whilst we eat cake and drink tea.
    xx

  7. Great post! I will hopefully have a similar gap between my kids and I am happy to see all the “pros” you have to this age difference. I am 26 months younger than my sister, and we have always been close. I hope that my kids can have a great relationship and I hope that having them closer together helps that.

    Love your blog – found you on Twitter. Joining via GFC and adding you to my Google Reader!

  8. I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently because I would love a second child but not sure about how big a gap I want yet. I worry I won’t have the energy for two so young so at the moment I am thinking I want Z to be 3 by the time new baby arrives. Then some days Im not sure if I’d be able to last that long and am I getting on a bit? Etc etc!

  9. I have an 18month age gap and then a 2 year age gap and its flipping hard work at the moment, but I’m sure when they are older it will be easier and I’ll be grateful.

  10. Hello. Thought I’d check your blog out as you were kind enough to come over to mine! Can I just say your kids are MEGA cute!
    I have 5 years between my kids.  Not my choice but done to fertility issues and a miscarriage. However, it worked out well as my son loved his baby sister so much and wanted to help out as much as he could. Since we discovered she had special needs he has been an outstanding young carer helping out and his sister adores him! I was lucky enough to be blessed with 2 step children so at the minute all four kids ages are – 10, 13, 16 & 18! Good ages but with the 13 year old it feels I’ve never left the toddler stage due to her needs. Not sure I could have managed small kids close to age. I take my hat off to you!

  11. Im having a second baby in the next few weeks, a boy. My daughter will be 6 in February. The age gap is not out of choice; my first husband left and I was lucky enough to meet my second husband fairly quickly. We were delighted to fall pregnant a few months after getting married especially as with my first I had unexplained infertility- it took me four years to get pregnant, in the end she was an IVF baby. So it’s a big gap, but my girl is SO excited, I know she will be a big help and of course she’s at school so I can give the baby my attention all day but try and concentrate on her after school. I’ll also have chance for some naps I hope. I always dreamed of a two year age gap but then dreams rarely come true. What I am very happy about is that I’ll have a boy and a girl as that is something that makes me very happy- especially as My husband also has a daughter (15).

  12. Wow you do well to manage three with such shirt gals between them and I thought two were hard work!! It’s nice to know that they are best friends though – I think that is worth all of the aggro you tote x

  13. Oh thank you for popping over 🙂 it is hard being pregnant with a little one in tow – not like the first time around is it?? I won’t lie it is hard work at times and you will be knackered BUT to be fair to my eldest he has been brilliant and loves his little brother and Jenson loves watching his older brother . Makes your heart melt. The thing is you go into the second time around more aware of what to expect so in some ways you are more laid back . Good luck though, you will be fine xx

  14. thank you for commenting. i didn’t mean to make it sound like a small age gap is the be all and end all, because of course it isn’t. ANY age gap is perfect when we are blessed with having a baby. i really hope mother nature hurries up and gets her arse into gear for you xx

  15. I’ve got a 22mth gap between S&H & I think it was perfect,they used to play really well together, sometimes still do….although they do fight & wind each other up (you’ve witnessed that!). I find it much harder having the 6.5yr age gap at the other end as J wants to play with his brother & sister but they just want to go out & play with their friends & he’s left screaming!
    x

  16. thank you for popping by and for your comment. i hope you are able to have the age gap you want – i was lucky that it worked out like that for me x

  17. thats another reason i didn’t want to wait to long because i wasn’t getting any younger. i also didn’t know how long it would take to fall pregnant which is why we started a bit earlier than we were going to. i think no one is prepared for it and if it happens you just have to cope. you will get here and manage i am sure xx 

  18. blimey you have three kiddies don’t you? i don’t know how you cope as i find it hard going with two sometimes!! i am sure it will get easier – thats what people are telling me her anyway xx

  19. thank you:)
    i can see from what you have said that it did work out well for you with a 5 year age gap – good old mother nature she has her reasons i guess even when sad moments happen. thank you for stopping by xx

  20. I completely agree with all of these. Without wishing the time away I am looking forward to when they can play a bit more. I see a little of it now with Nano being 5 mths and Mini being 2.5, but Nano is still at his older brothers mercy a bit as can’t move around much. 
    It is bloody knackering though – at least they both still nap – sometimes!

  21. I’m due with my second baby in about 4wks time, and my son is only 14months atm, and I must admit pregnancy has been hard, as he can’t walk yet so I am having to carry him a lot and I am a single mummy so its difficult to go out places. I dread to think what it will be like when this baby arrives as I am only a teen, but I know that I will find a way, as I love my children.

  22. My gap is 21 months so I can relate to a good deal of this. My pregnancy was complicated by SPD and a wheelchair, so frankly it was awful. And the first few months were really tough. I was grateful to get pregnant so quickly too, but with the issues I had I confess I really took a long time to be anything other than utterly miserable.
    That said, they are now 3 and 1 and play together and have similar interests. I’m certain that Dimples talks so well because she is alwasy with her big sister. And I am loving it- except the hair pulling

  23. Oh god that sounds just awful for you! No wonder your memories of it are not the best!! I am glad that things are better now though thanks for commenting x

  24. Wish Burton still napped!, it is hard work snt it having two so young but its getting easier now Jenosn is eating food and sitting up so he and Burton s can interact more. Thanks for your comment x

  25. I can see why Jack suffers a little having older siblings because theyare into different activities to him. He must get very frustrated at times. Anyway your family is lively ha ha oh and lovely xx

  26. I have 22 months between my eldest 2 children and I agree, that it is a lovely age gap. Perfect infact. There was little sibling rivalry (although now they are much older, that’s a different story lol) They grew up being best buddies 🙂 Aww thank you for bringing back those memories *beams* There’s 6 years between no.2, and no.3 and I have found that quite tough in many ways.  But then then again, the older 2 do help out, so I suppose there are pro’s and con’s to a big age gap too. 

  27. There are 13 months between my 2 and although it’s hard work at times and my 2nd pregnancy was very tiring with a small baby to care for, I’m really pleased we did it that way. The kids get on great and already teach each other new things every day. They are so close and its lovely to see them getting on well. fab post 🙂

  28. 13 months is very short – I dnt think I could have coped with that! but trhn I guess you just do if you as n that situation. Must be wonderful watching them both get on so well thanks for popping over and commenting 🙂 xx

  29. Thank you for commenting 🙂
    I think as you say there are pros and cons to every age gap, it’s just what you get used to I think x

  30. I have exactly 2 years between my two and find it a good age gap. If I have another there will be a bigger one which I am not keen on but couldnt’ have happened before now. x

  31. i think its not always possible to have the gap you might wish for due to circumstances beyond peoples control. so you might have another then? wow! i admire people with more than to children i don’t think i could cope. so  just the two for me . thanks for commenting x

  32. I’m glad you linked this one up to ShowOff ShowCase because I forgot to comment at the time!

    I’m the youngest of four children with a 3, 4 and 5 year gap in between us all; my eldest brother is 12 years older than me and we couldn’t be close because of the types of people that we are, not because we were (or not as the case may be) close in age. I have made a conscious decision to wait until The Boy is at least two and a half before even thinking of trying to get pregnant again. I saw my sister struggle with a two year age gap and she said tht closer than that and she’d have lost it. I also say my SiL struggling with 3 children under 5. She was unhappy for years and snapped and snarled; the youngest was left to parent herself. I also wanted to enjoy those early years with just The Boy and not have to divide my time. Told you I had the completely opposite view to you!

    On the flip-side, time has not eased my memories of childbirth and I’m wary of becoming pregnant again. Also my mother started the menopause at 37 so that gives me 3 years to have another child if I follow her; which I do a lot.

    Good post!

  33. It’s a good viewpoint and it is bloody hardwork most of the time but they will have each other to play with soon and things should get a bit easier in some ways. I was always torn about the spending time with just Burton like you do with The Boy but I also felt it was important for them to have a sibling relationship together when they were young that they enjoyed. I feel guilty to Jenson that he doesn’t get the time that Burton did or indeed does because a toddler demands more attention!
    By waiting like you are planning to (possibly do) then The Boy will be out more at ore school so you will get that quality time with your second that Jenson hasn’t had with me and nap time which I don’t get!!
    At the end of the day it’s down to personal choice (most of the time) and there is no right or wrong age gap – I always wanted a two year to two and a half year one ideally so it worked o for me. But I also wonder if I was younger if I would have waited longer for th second – who knows!!
    Thanks for replying and good luck when you do start trying 🙂
    Xx

  34. Fantastic post. I wrote a post not long after JW was born about how we knew we didn’t want any more babies for a while. I think the thing is that there is no such thing as a perfect age gap – each family has to decide for themselves what they feel is right. I would never judge anyone no matter what size age gap they had between their children – even if I know that for me personally I couldn’t have a small(ish) age gap I fully admire anyone that does. We all know our own capabilities and I think there are pros and cons to any age gap. I hope that all makes sense, feel like I’m rambling a bit! (But hey, what’s new?!) x

  35. A great read – and thanks for linking up to Parentonomy. You are one brave lady. My boys are 30 months apart and I found that one hell of a struggle! But the hard work is so worth it once they’re both out of nappies (as mine are – just) and have a close and happy relationship.

  36. Great post.  I have read it with great interest as I have 16 month twins and am 17 weeks pregnant with baby number 3!! I know that there are tough times ahead and already I am often exhausted.  But I am glad that they will all be close in age. Esther and William are so close as twins and I want this new baby to be part of their team too x I am currently working on a post about my worries and expectations of being a Mummy to three under two x x x Great post x

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