The phrase ‘two under two’ is usually accompanied by a grimace. Having kids close together is never spoken about in positive terms. People will be desperate to tell you how hard it is. My kids, now 4.5 and almost 3 years old are only 20 months apart. I’ve been called ‘brave’ lots of times and I’ve even had a few people ask me to my face if my second child was an accident, because surely no right minded person would actually plan to have kids 20 months apart?
Well, we mustn’t be right minded because we planned our kids close together. We had a hard time conceiving our first so when we found out we were expecting our second so soon after starting to try we were over the moon and just had to ignore people who were trying to rain on our parade.
You will find a million pages on the internet detailing why having kids close together in age is tough, but this post is here to extol the benefits.
If I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Here are my 10 reasons why having kids close together is amazing:
- They will be interested in the same things at the same time
Right now, they are both pre-schoolers and will happily sit together and watch Peppa Pig or Blippi. Or play hide and seek. Or run around playing tag/tig. Their interests are evolving on a pretty similar timescale. I can imagine them sitting together playing with their Lego in a couple of years, or playing Mario together in four or so years.
- You remember how to deal with all the stages
Teething? It’s so much easier to deal with second time round because you’ve only just got past that stage with your eldest. You will remember which remedies worked/didn’t work and you will probably have some products in your medicine cabinet that are still in date. As for potty training, you remember all the tips and tricks and you probably have all the paraphernalia to hand.
- Much less jealousy
Your first child won’t remember life before their little brother or sister came along. They will be too young to fully understand why the baby needs a lot of attention, and having a sibling quickly becomes their new normal. Where there is a bigger gap between kids, it can cause a lot of upheaval in the older child’s life such as feelings of jealous.
- The tougher parts of parenting are over quicker
The tantrum years overlap which can be hard at times but the great news is that you will be out of this phase quicker. Also, nappies – we just potty trained my youngest and knowing that we no longer need to deal with nappies is such an amazing feeling! But if our kids had been born say 3 years apart we would still have another year or so of nappies to go.
- They can entertain each other
Because they are similar in age, kids born close together are able to play together really well. Which means you can grab moments here and there to do laundry or even better, grab a hot cup of coffee.
- Synchronised naps
When your second child is very little, your older child is probably still having naps which means that occasionally their daytime sleeps happen at the same time which is amazing! I also found that in the early days of having two under two they would both often fall asleep during car journeys which was great when we didn’t have to be anywhere. Make sure you know where your nearest drive-through restaurants are so when that happens you can enjoy a hot drink or even lunch in peace – bliss!
- They can attend classes together
You will often find that music/dance/etc classes are categorised by age. It’s so much easier to juggle life if they can attend the same classes. For example, my two kids currently attend a sports class which is from age 2- 4.
- You regain autonomy of your body quicker
I suffered a lot during my pregnancies – not from morning sickness, thankfully – but my hips and back were in agony and it also had a terrible impact on my immune system which left me with a horrible cough that lasted throughout both pregnancies. Honestly, I am so glad I don’t have to go through that again, I am glad to have got my child bearing out of the way quickly.
- You won’t have to hold on to baby items
You won’t have to put things away for years when there’s a short gap between babies – you can pass down things like car seats, pushchairs, play mats and even clothing and shoes quickly from one child to another.
- They will be the best of friends
This to me, is the best part. They may fight like cat and dog sometimes but I know they have each other’s backs. They don’t remember a single moment without each other and their bond is unbreakable