Hi! My first child is now 6 months old. My husband loves being a dad and wants baby #2 ASAP. I'm excited about having another child, but want a longer break from being pregnant ;)  Also, I'm concerned about the toll it would take on my body (nutritionally and otherwise) and about my milk supply, breastfeeding my firstborn while pregnant. Any thoughts? What are some pros and cons of having children spaced closely? Thanks for your input!!

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I wasn't really able to think about another child until my first turned a year, and after that, I was happy to wait a few months, chart my cycle, and then we conceived 16 months after our first child was born.

That resulted in children who are just over 2 years apart, which works amazingly for us. Our children are close enough in age where our first doesn't really remember life without the first.

By no means is there one way to do it, and no way is easy.

Some people/research says that your breast milk changes taste while you are pregnant. For me, 2 months after conceiving #2, #1 pulled back from nursing. This was okay with me-- it was a very natural stop. Supply wise, there was no change. And taste-wise, I can't confirm.

Having a second child is exponentially harder-- now that mine are 4 and 6 it is getting easier-- I am convinced that the closeness in age will help promote a closer sibling relationship (that is promoted more with my thoughtful parenting-- taking many cues from the book SIBLINGS WITHOUT RIVALRY which is about relationships more than rivalry).

The easier part is that you know so much about having a baby-- so that part is easier. And while scaffolding a relationship between siblings is a challenge, you can see your progress and the interaction between your children for the most part is amazing.

My body responded well to the second pregnancy. I exercised a bit, but mostly ran around after my first which was enough. I enjoyed it so much-- especially because I thought it would most likely be my last pregnancy.

Hope that helps.

Kira

www.askyourfriendkira.com
It is my understanding that "nature" (I like to call it GOD) makes a natural spacing for about 18 month. It has to do with many's natural birth control while nursing a baby & then gestation. Here in Colorado that is the time you need between birth via a C section & a VBAC at home. I would think that it was researched to say that the uterus is strongest at that time between births.

If I was planning I'd go with that but my thoughts aren't very scientific. Nursing & gestation takes a LOT from your body so I'd want the best for the nursing baby as well as the gestating baby. I do hope my thoughts helped you. Oh & in my opinion the "real" parenting hasn't begun at 6 months. I have one turning 4 in July, 2 in July & I'm 20 weeks (due late August). Ours are 2 years apart & I really like the spacing.

Gwen
I think its all about what your family wants. I had my second almost exactly four years apart. My older one was very independant and the pregnancy was a little easier because he could still take care of himself, plus I wasn't dealing with diapers. When our second was born my oldest stepped right in and was my little helper. Of course he had some adjusting to do but it seemed to work out perfect. I just had my third a week ago, and my second is 18 months old. So far my 18 month old has been a handful. He wants to be held like the baby and he definatly is very jelous. HE is requiring a tremendous amount of attention. My husband is a key person to juggle our crazy household. My pregnancy was definatly more difficult on my body, having an 18 month old. I was chasing him around at 9 months pregnant was not fun, plus I have 2 in diapers now. Ideally I probably would have spaced them about 2 1/2 years apart, but we are so blessed to have our family, and we happy to have everyone healthy. I say whatever is best for you. Keep in mind, it takes your body about a year to fully recover from childbirth. I do have to add though I feel as if the first year of life is a little easier than the second and third. Once they start walking its a whole different story, so just keep that in mind! Good luck to you!
I agree with everyone, I think it's different for different families. My first 2 are 3 and a half years apart that worked very well for us, my oldest was able to entertain himself for the most part. I'm preggo with # 3 and due any day. My #2 and #3 will also be 3 and a half years apart, it just kind of worked out that way, but I think it's a good spacing. Plenty of healing time for your body and nursing time for all the babies. I also like that they each had time to be the baby for a while(does that make sense?)
i think that you and your husband will be the only ones who REALLY know when yall are ready :) we waited to stop BC till our sons 1st bday that way my body had time to physically heal and also have just Gavin time but to each his own :D
May I just say that it's always awesome to have everybody in and out of diapers around the same time? Five years of poo and then you're done? Sounds good to me!
Thanks for bringing up so many good points. It's interesting that a couple people have mentioned or implied that parenting can be more challenging after the first year...good to think about, since up until now, everything has gotten easier. I guess it just constantly changes. Anyway, seems like my husband is satisfied to just revisit the topic in a few months...even then I told him wait and see. Thanks again!
“infants conceived 18 to 23 months after a previous live birth had the lowest risks of adverse perinatal outcomes; shorter and longer interpregnancy intervals were associated
with higher risks.”
According to Sheila Kippley
http://newmexicanlibrarian.blogspot.com/2010/04/ecological-breastfe...
All I can share is my own experience. I have 5 kids, ages 10 and under. The oldest two are over 3 years apart, and the youngest two are 18 months apart. My life is crazy busy, but I think it's mostly because of the close age of the younger two than it is because of the fact that I have 5 kids. The 3 older kids can do a lot for themselves and don't take a ton of attention. The two youngest are the most demanding of my time, attention and energy. Many times I feel as if I have two babies, because I usually have one in each arm. I've heard that when your babies are closer in age it's harder on the parents but better for the kids. They always have a playmate and friend, but it takes a lot as a parent to deal with kids that close together.

When I got pregnant with my youngest I was still breastfeeding my 10 month old at the time. Pregnancy took a big toll on my milk production and I struggled to continue breastfeeding until she was 12 months old. I still have guilt that I wasn't able to breastfeed her longer than I did, but I really did the best I could. I tried mother's milk tea and other things to boost the production. I was constantly eating and yet constantly still hungry. My urinalysis was showing that I wasn't getting adequate nutrition, and no matter how well or how much I ate I felt that I simply could not keep up. My milk dried up despite all of my efforts, and it was extremely difficult on me physically as well as emotionally.

My kids have really great relationships, and no matter how close or far apart they are, they get along very well. 3 years was a good gap for our oldest two, and 2 years was a good gap for the next two, and so on. Our youngest two are the closest in age and they have an amazing bond and are so sweet with each other. We have had very few problems with jealousy, and we have enjoyed each one at their own stage. I wouldn't change a thing, but we are definitely planning to wait about 3 years between our youngest and the next baby. My body needs time to recover from the last two pregnancies, and our family needs time to grow and adjust before we add another little one to the mix. My teeth have suffered the most from the close pregnancies. I had more cavities during my last pregnancy than I had in my whole life prior to that. If you do choose to have your next baby close, pay close attention to your nutrition and make sure you get everything your body needs to stay healthy and support your babies.

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