Reproductive Sneak Attack

Yesterday we had a well-child appointment with our beloved pediatrician. He’s a family friend and a very skilled and knowledgeable clinician. He spends time with us talking about the Pie’s development, advising on upcoming issues, and asking about our family. We love him.

But this post isn’t about our Pediatrician, it’s about family planning. He asked if the Mountain Man and I were planning to have another, and I said I wasn’t sure. He said that at our next two appointments the pressure will be on, because he thinks that 2 years is the perfect age gap for siblings. It was a sneak attack of reproductive encouragement that I wasn’t anticipating at all!

I was totally caught off guard – and I think I got a deer in the headlights look.

Obviously he loves kids and families. He has a slew of his own, and his wife and son work with him in the office. He had kids 2 years apart and it worked out really well for him.

I know that two years apart can be nice for kids growing up. My brother and I are about 2.5 years apart which was sometimes fun and sometimes challenging, and my sisters are two years apart and I think they saw fun and challenge as well. But right now I can’t imagine having another until the Pie is a little more independent – when I can explain to her that I need to help the baby and she needs to wait. When she can “help” and feel like the big sister. I’m thinking that will be when she’s around 5.

But by the time she’s that old, it will be like starting over. Diapers will be re-introduced instead of continued. Sleep will have perhaps had time to return, only to be stripped away again. How can I handle a toddler and an infant – how do mamas do it? How do you snuggle the older when the younger needs you so much? How does the older child learn and understand that your attention isn’t gone, just shared?

Have you done it both ways – had kids 2 years apart and more like 4 or 5 or 6? How was it? 


  1. well, i have no advice right now, but ask me in about 6 months!

  2. I sure will! I hope it's a smooth transition for you. I kind of figure once I've totally adjusted to my new role as mommy bringing a second baby into the family won't be nearly as hard as the adjustment to the first. But the Pie still needs so much holding and attention it's heartbreaking to think that my time and energy would be so divided! I'm not entirely convinced that 2 years apart is the best...for me at least!

  3. My sons are 2 1/2 yrs apart, and it is perfect. I actually wish I had had them even closer together, one year or 1 1/2 yr apart. They play together, they share a room, they entertain each other. Life is good.

    Flip side: my sister and I are almost 6 yrs apart, and we are not very close. I had always wished when I was growing up that she and I were more the same age. I was 11 and she was only 5! We never were at the same school. She always wanted to do what I was doing which drove me crazy.

    I am voting in favor of closer together (since I have seen both close and not close first hand).


  4. I had my second child when my first was only 15 months. She's two now, and he's almost 1. For the most part, my daughter has been all about loving and caring for her brother. She's even been a really big help (bringing a diaper, and such). They play well together now that he's getting older and much more mobile. She only now is starting to get a little jealous and demands attention when he's getting some, but it isn't very often.

    I, myself, have a twin, and two other sisters. The middle child is 2 years older than us. We're still very close to this day. The eldest is 6 years older, and we're not very close at all.

    So, my vote is close together, too!

  5. I think whatever happens to you is what you'll think is perfect. My sister and I are 4.5 years apart, and I think that's the perfect age difference. She was old enough to understand and even help my mom a little when I was born (in fact, my mom says she pretty much declared that I was HER baby from the start) and we've always had a wonderful relationship. When the teen years hit, she was old enough to help me through the really rough stuff and yet we were far enough apart in age that our social circles didn't really overlap--which meant little to no sibling rivalry.

    You'll know when you're ready. I say relax, enjoy all the baby time you can with the Pie and let the chips fall where they may.

  6. at some point i feel like i could know it's right. and at some point i think i could be willing to have another. but right now, knowing how hard the adjustment to one was, i feel afraid that having another child will be just as difficult. but i know that once the mommy role has been fully ingrained, it will not be difficult in the same way. I'm not sure that 2 years apart is enough... but i will keep all the benefits in mind. it's possible. maybe. perhaps.

  7. Pete and I are planning to start trying for baby #2 around the time Tobias is 1, maybe 1.5 years old. I think having them closer together is a plus. My sister and I are almost 4 years apart, and we weren't really close until she was in high school and I in college. My brother and I are close-ish, but there are 10 years between us. And I am more of an aunt that a sister to my youngest, who is 20 years younger than me. By contrast, I think of close friends I had growing up, where the oldest and the youngest had maybe three and a half years between then (the oldest and the middle were 14 months apart and the middle and youngest were 18 months apart), and I always envied their closeness to one another.


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