Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The Positives Of Having A 3 Year Age Gap Between Our Children ♥
I always thought my children would be closer in age and if things had worked out differently Tyler would have had a sibling at just one year and eight months of age, but that wasn't to be our story and when I reflect on everything now, I'm quite glad that there's these three years between my boys.
If you're a parent of babies who are very close in age I take my hat off to you, I think you're all superheroes, but I don't think it's for me, I don't think I'd cope and plus, with the guilt I felt when I found out I was expecting Beau and feeling like an awful mother for only giving Tyler three years of me being just his mammy and his alone, I don't think I could cope if I had had another baby in quick succession! By the way, I totally blame crazy pregnancy hormones for all this mammy guilt.
There's a lot to be said for a three year age gap and I thought I'd share some of the positives we've experienced by having a 3 year age gap between our children, for anyone else who's going to be experiencing it for themselves or who's curious about what it's like...
Becoming pregnant while my first child was nearing three meant that he was able to understand more about our impending arrival and why his mummy was now prone to a nap (or three) during the day. In fact, he was more than happy to join me in these naps or just sit next to me for some quiet time. It was all quite lovely really and I fondly remember this time as our last few months as 'mummy and Tyler time'. A time to saviour the days when he was my only baby and to lavish all my time on him.
At three years and three months when his baby brother arrived, Tyler was able to understand why he had to go and stay with his Nana whilst I was in hospital with the baby. I do think he found this time quite hard, probably a lot more so because he knew I was having another baby and he now refers to this as the "time I was gone", which is quite sad, but I don't think it would have been any easier for him if he had been younger, he still would have had that detachment from me. And I won't lie, it took him a bit of time to get over the shock of me arriving home with a brand new baby, but I was able to make him understand that he'd always be my baby too because he was that bit older to listen to me.
Tyler is at a stage where he's curious about everything, so the baby is a source of great intrigue for him and he genuinely shows an interest in the baby, wanting to hold him and interact with him. He's also fiercely protective of his baby brother and this is lovely to see. He knows completely that he's the big brother and he's happy to act out his role.
At the age of three years and three months Tyler knew a variety of names and was able to help in the naming process of the new baby. In fact, as soon as he heard the name Beau he always referred to my bump as 'baby Beau' so we allowed him to name the baby. A lovely sentiment for us and a great story for us to sharing with Beau about how he got his name.
Having a three year old and a small baby is actually quite easy - I bet I just jinxed myself by writing that... The three year old goes to preschool five mornings a week so it gives me time to bond with the baby while he goes off learning and playing with friends, so it doesn't feel like I'm ignoring him in favour of the baby - something I worried quite a lot about before the baby arrived.
At three years old Tyler is willing and wanting to help with the baby. He finds great delight in passing me baby wipes, dummies and toys for his baby brother and it's lovely that he's wanting to get involved and help me out.
Having a three year age gap means there's less nappies to change. I'll be honest, Tyler has had a lot of trouble with potty training, but he's now nappy free, meaning I have just one set of nappies to change on a daily basis - this is great for me because I don't think I'd be able to cope with anymore bodily fluids to clean up!
The three year gap means we do get lots of sleep because at least one of them is bound to be sleeping at some time or another. I've shared on the blog how I got my babies to sleep through the night from five weeks and thankfully they both sleep on average 12 hours a night - sleep for everyone, yay!
Not having a child until three years after the first gave me the chance to bond with my first child completely, gave me a chance to get to know him, his wants and needs and also to just have adventures with him for some years. I'll always remember the days of only having one child quite fondly and am now fully loving the hectic, busy and never dull days of life with two children, but I'm so glad I was able to give him those three years to himself.
At three years old Tyler is able to entertain himself whilst I'm busy feeding or having to give the baby attention. He has and likes his independence and again, this is great as he's happy playing, etc., thus making me feel less guilty for not being able to give him all my time.
Tyler hasn't been in a buggy since just after he turned three, so when Beau came along it meant I didn't need a double pram, that I could still push around my beautiful Silver Cross high pram whilst Tyler walked next to me. It's also been great to just pop Beau in a sling when we go on our woodland walks and have Tyler running along - so much easier than having them both in a buggy or both of them wanting to be in my arms.
These are just the positives I've experienced of the three year age gap, every family is different and I think others will probably have a lot to say for smaller or bigger gaps too, but for us three has been the magic number.
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