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Ebf mamas- Q on child spacing?

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Old 01-24-2011, 12:22 PM   #1
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Default Ebf mamas- Q on child spacing?

I hope it's okay to ask this question here... I am currently losing weight to ttc at some point this year. I'm hoping to lose 30-40 lbs to get to my wedding weight before another pregnancy. DD is currently 8 months old.

We were thinking of starting ttc in June after DD turns 1 in May. My dilemma (which has been weighing so heavily on my mind lately) is that it's really important to me to bf her for at least 2 years and then let her self wean after that... but I've always wanted my kids close together. My siblings and I were all 3-4 years apart and didn't have a lot in common growing up. But I know it can be difficult to nurse through a pregnancy and I would be devastated if she weaned early because of it. But I know plenty of people who have nursed through pregnancies just fine and then went on to tandem nurse.

Idk... I guess I am just still feeling like she's a baby (Bc she is!) and that maybe 22-24 months apart is not enough time with just her... but then there's this part of me that wants another baby and wants DD to have a sibling sooner rather than later.

*Of course, this is all assuming hypothetically that I've lost at least 30 lbs (but it's going well) and that we get pg right away again like we did with DD.*

Thoughts? If you ebf, how far apart are your kids? I'm SO back and forth on this and just want to hear what other moms think
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
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I was nursing my son when we decided to TTC for #2...I got pregnant pretty much immediately. He was 15 months when I got pregnant and by the time he was 18 months, he had weaned. I don't know if my supply dried up, or the taste changed, or he was just done. I was sad that perhaps I ended it early...but it is what it is. I had intended to continue, and tandem. I don't know anybody IRL who has tandem nursed, I wanted to be the first! lol Anyways in terms of spacing, I'm really happy with the way things have gone so far....DD will be 1 on Friday...I just think having them closer is really nice. Now we just need to figure out if we're having one more or not!
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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My boys are 21 months apart. I weaned my 1st at about 1 year, and then got pregnant almost immediately. I'll nurse this one until he's a year old, and then wean him too (he's almost 5 months now). So, I guess I'm no help at all since I haven't nursed while pregnant, LOL!

I will say that I love this age gap. There are things about it that are really hard, but so much that is just a blast. We are planning on having our next one within 2 years of our second just because we like the age gap. I also have a lot of space between my siblings (I'm 3 of 6 and there's 5 years from my older sib and 8 years from my younger.) OTOH, my DH and his sister are only 10.5 months apart... his mom only had 2, lol!

I think there must be benefits and drawbacks to any age gap. You just need to do what's right for your family.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:05 PM   #4
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Well, my sister and I are two years apart and we are super close. For that reason I chose to have my two children two years apart, and I am so glad I did. My daughter is 5 and my son is 3 and they play so well, seriously they play together for hours. My little guy can't wait till she gets home from pre-K so they can play.
As for breastfeeding I think its a personal thing. I could not breastfeed for more than three months which broke my heart. I presonally feel though that as long as you can do it why not. Generally most doctors say up to 1 year is great so just the fact that you can still breastfeed is wonderful, just let it play out as it should. She may wean herself you never know. Good Luck! Such an exciting time!
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:46 PM   #5
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There are 22 months between my first and second and there will be 18 months between my second and my third. And I'm still breastfeeding both of the older ones.

My first is very attatched to nursing, she likes it a lot and was always a great nurser, she weaned herself down to one or two 10 minute nursing sessions when I was pg with my second. After that she picked right back up, tho now that she's 3 years old she's weaned herself down to 1 nursing session before bed unless she's sick.

My second was never as interested in nursing, and by the time I got pg with my third when she was about 9 months old she had weaned herself down to about three sessions a day.

I find that my supply decreases dramatically during my second trimester, and occasionally during that time both of my kids can go for a couple of days without nursing. But just when I'm sure they've weaned themselves for good my older one will ask to nurse or my younger one will pull at my shirt and ask for help (her way of asking to nurse). Now that I'm getting closer to my third trimester my supply is on the way back up (tho it's generally colostrum now instead of actual milk) and they are asking to nurse more frequently again. The supply issue is the only thing I've found that makes nursing during pregnancy more difficult, but I figure I'll just offer it if they give me cues that they want to nurse and so far that's worked for us. Also, my milk for my second came in and my supply regulated much faster since my first was still nursing, which was nice.

Anyway, I love the spacing of 22 months, it's wonderful. My daughters are best friends, even at this young age. And I feel like I'm getting the diaper years over without having a big pause in between where I get used to not having an infant around. I'm not sure how the 18 month spacing is going to be, but that's more because my second is a total attention wanting diva than because of the actual age difference...

Good luck to you!
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:45 AM   #6
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My kids will be 2years8months apart when #2 is born. I'm currently 2 months pregnant and DD has been nursing a lot still (she's just over 2 years old). We're hoping to wean her sometime soon but I know she really wants to continue (and I don't have any supply issues) so we'll see what happens.

My pregnancy wasn't planned, it was a happy surprise, but a surprise nevertheless. We were hoping to wait until DD was weaned and sleeping through the night first and I got to 155lbs, which would put me at a healthy weight. We're still very happy about it but I wonder still if things wouldn't have been easier on me if we could've waited (then again maybe it'll be better for the kids to be closer together in age, I can't really say yet?).

I guess, my advice is work on you weight loss in the meantime and evaluate how you feel when your son turns one. You could always decide to wait until 1.5 and your kids would just be over 2 years apart. Then you'd be more likely to be able to nurse your son until two and you'd also have a close spacing. Plus you'd have more time for weight loss.

I have to admit that I was no where remotely ready to have a second when DD was 1 but then again she was a pretty demanding kid.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:18 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for the detailed responses. I think that a lot of what I'm feeling are just fears and that everything will work itself out the way it is supposed to. And I will re-evaluate when DD turns 1 and see where I am with my weight loss as well. So far, this month I'm not losing as fast as I'd hoped. It always seems like 2 steps forward and 1 step back. But I will get there.

I'm glad that those of you who have kids closer together feel like it has worked out well. I know so much of child spacing depends on the individual family, but I really appreciate all your thoughts! I guess a part of me was feeling guilty for possibly taking away some of DD's babyhood and nursing that she enjoys, but I think a sibling will eventually outweigh any negatives! And hopefully we will make it through the pregnancy with nursing too

Quote:
Originally Posted by 19Deltawifey View Post
So don't feel like if your kids are years apart that they wont have anything in common, and don't be led to believe that kids who are close in age don't fight endlessly.
That is very true that just because 2 kids are spaced closer together doesn't automatically mean they'll be close. Thanks for offering that perspective!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sept15lija View Post
I was nursing my son when we decided to TTC for #2...I got pregnant pretty much immediately. He was 15 months when I got pregnant and by the time he was 18 months, he had weaned. I don't know if my supply dried up, or the taste changed, or he was just done. I was sad that perhaps I ended it early...but it is what it is. I had intended to continue, and tandem. I don't know anybody IRL who has tandem nursed, I wanted to be the first! lol Anyways in terms of spacing, I'm really happy with the way things have gone so far....DD will be 1 on Friday...I just think having them closer is really nice. Now we just need to figure out if we're having one more or not!
I know a couple of people IRL who are tandem nursing right now... and I'm *hoping* I can join them. I know that DD is very attached to nursing and so I hope that that will get us over any kind of low supply hump during pregnancy. I'm glad you like the spacing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latchkey Princess View Post
Anyway, I love the spacing of 22 months, it's wonderful. My daughters are best friends, even at this young age. And I feel like I'm getting the diaper years over without having a big pause in between where I get used to not having an infant around.
This is what I'm hoping for! And I agree that (for me) it would be really hard to start getting a lot of sleep and then have to transition back again.

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Originally Posted by runningfromfat View Post
I have to admit that I was no where remotely ready to have a second when DD was 1 but then again she was a pretty demanding kid.
This is how my DD is too. I like to call her my "high needs child", lol. But I'm still getting that "itch" as she is getting older and "slightly" easier. Plus, I feel like she would be happier with a sibling. Even now at 8 months, I can tell she gets kind of bored. I play with her as much as I can, but I still need to cook and clean, etc. And she goes nuts with excitement whenever she sees other kids, even little babies. It's like she's fascinated.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:50 AM   #8
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I was hoping my children would be a year apart, but it didn't work out that way. My son and my next child will be 4.5 years apart. I'm totally okay with it becuase my niece and nephew are 5 years apart and are very, very close and loving. As far as breastfeeding goes, I intended to nurse DS for a year and then wean him. Then a year turned into two years and I decided to let him self-wean. Now he's three years old and I plan on weaning him in May.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:41 AM   #9
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I have no idea what ebf is, nor do I have kids.

I clicked on the thread because of the child spacing thing. I heard a news report just the other day about a new study that shows a high link/correlation between closely spaced children and autism. I found the story very interesting, partly because I teach and have lots of experience with autistic students, and also because I have quite a few friends who waited until late thirties to have kids and then tried to have their 2 or 3 as close together as possible. Yes, a few of those kids have problems - severe ADHD, developmental delays, possible autism. My own sister's youngest two have learning disabilities - they are less than 18 months apart.

Now, there is probably nothing to this - many studies' results are totally skewed when presented. So, while this study might be pure BUNK but I just thought you might want to research it. My brother, sister, and I were all 2 years apart - we, like most siblings born close, got along great and had no issues.
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:45 AM   #10
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I nursed my daughter until 2 years 2ish months. My son is 4 years 6 days younger than her and he nursed about 20 months. (No matter HOW MUCH I wanted him to nurse until 2. it just didnt happen.) So, I ebf and they are 4 years apart.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walking2lose View Post
I have no idea what ebf is, nor do I have kids.

I clicked on the thread because of the child spacing thing. I heard a news report just the other day about a new study that shows a high link/correlation between closely spaced children and autism. I found the story very interesting, partly because I teach and have lots of experience with autistic students, and also because I have quite a few friends who waited until late thirties to have kids and then tried to have their 2 or 3 as close together as possible. Yes, a few of those kids have problems - severe ADHD, developmental delays, possible autism. My own sister's youngest two have learning disabilities - they are less than 18 months apart.

Now, there is probably nothing to this - many studies' results are totally skewed when presented. So, while this study might be pure BUNK but I just thought you might want to research it. My brother, sister, and I were all 2 years apart - we, like most siblings born close, got along great and had no issues.
I read this study too and found it very interesting. What's funny is that all of the autistic kids I know (3 different families) are either the oldest in their families or were a 2nd born but 4 years after the first. I know that doesn't mean anything scientifically but it is interesting to think about. Also, I like to think about all those big catholic families 40 years ago where the kids were all 1-2 years apart and how autism wasn't really known about back then and all the kids were just normal. Who knows all the different factors that contribute to Autism. I personally wonder if it doesn't have something more to do with our lack of whole food nutrition in favor of the processed Standard American Diet

Oh, yeah, and EBF stands for extended breast feeding
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livb528 View Post
I read this study too and found it very interesting. What's funny is that all of the autistic kids I know (3 different families) are either the oldest in their families or were a 2nd born but 4 years after the first. I know that doesn't mean anything scientifically but it is interesting to think about. Also, I like to think about all those big catholic families 40 years ago where the kids were all 1-2 years apart and how autism wasn't really known about back then and all the kids were just normal. Who knows all the different factors that contribute to Autism. I personally wonder if it doesn't have something more to do with our lack of whole food nutrition in favor of the processed Standard American Diet

Oh, yeah, and EBF stands for extended breast feeding
Umm... I never checked back on this thread.

Liv, that is interesting and lends credence to the idea that it's the interpretation of a studies' results that is usually presented to us... and there are also just unreliable studies! I wonder, too, if the SAD plays a role. Autism has certainly had a rapid rise in the last 15 years or so - it's kind of mysterious.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:33 AM   #13
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my ds1, dd2, and ds2 are all 2.2 yrs apart. All were naturally spaced. I nursed them all till they weaned on their own. I nursed ds1 and dd2 through pregnancies and they both self weaned around 2 yrs old. It can be done.
All the feelings you mentioned are completely normal.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:30 AM   #14
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Interesting, because whenever I read EBF I think exclusively- breastfed.

I was a crazy nursing woman- loved it so much. My period returned at 4.5 months postpartum. For my daughter's first 11 months of life, I was completely convinced that we would be nursing until she was at least 2.

Then at a year our relationship changed. It wasn't bad at all, our nursing relationship was just different. At 15 months she weaned herself. I thought I would be sad when that day came, but honestly, it was just time for us. Now we're doing different things together.

She's 20 months now and I think she'll be at least 3 before she has a sibling- I always thought about 3 years apart is the perfect age gap.

So, I think it's awesome if you nurse that long, but just thought I would share my story.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:28 AM   #15
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Don't worry about the weaning issue. Yeah, it is hard to nurse while pregnant, I've done it through two plus pregnancies. I thought for sure DS2 would be weaned before DD came along at 21 months, but no such luck.

I'm really only posting to warn you, there may come a time that you will be so done with nursing. I'm there.
If I had it to do over again, I think I would have spaced them out enough to wean in between.
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