Anyone have a 3 year age gap between kids?

(57 Posts)
IWantToGoToThere Tue 02-Oct-12 20:36:14

I have a DS who will be 3.2 when my next DS is born in February. I had always imagined/wanted a gap of 2 years or so between two DC (we are stopping at 2) and in fact had everything gone to plan and I hadn't had a MMC this time last year, we would have had that gap.

I am so happy to be pregnant again and having another child, but I can't stop feeling that the age gap isn't ideal. I keep thinking that when DS2 will be 2, DS1 will be 5 and they won't really play together or get on in later life. DS1 is a very sociable child and loves playing with other kids his age (he is very boisterous and full of energy so is better at playing with kids his age who can match this) and I worry that by the time DS2 is old enough to 'play', DS1 won't want to or they won't have enough in common.

Does anyone else have a 3 year age gap between kids? Do they have a good relationship? Can anyone ease my anxieties about this?!


ohdarcy Tue 02-Oct-12 20:40:16

there is 3,8 between mine and i really do think all age gaps have their good and bad. good for me was that when ds2 was born ds1 was already very independant and could get a drink, go to the toilet, manage by himself for short bursts. also had a better comprehensionof waiting while i tended to ds2. bad side is that it is sometimes hard to do things they both enjoy, on days out for example. but ds2 is now 18mths and ds1 5 years old and they do play. mostly alongside each other but still kind of together. they love each other and they give each other companionship and well, its the way it is!

EverybodysCryEyed Tue 02-Oct-12 20:41:55

Mine have the same age gap and they adore each other

crackcrackcrak Tue 02-Oct-12 20:43:20

I'll let you know soon! There will be almost exactly 3 years between dd's 1 and 2 when dd2 hatches. I think it will be fine - dd old enough to do some helping and she's b good with friends babies. Dd1 also plays really well with friends dd's who are 4 and 5.5 - they seem to run along well grin

betterthanthat Tue 02-Oct-12 20:43:47

3.5 years here. Have always had a great relationship since the start. Still share a bedroom because they want to and play fantastic role play games together. As with all siblings, they also have their fallings out and there are different issues to manage with a 3.5 yr gap. But for me it has suited us and was our choice and I have no regrets. I know other families with a similar gap where their children dont get on and other families with a closer gap where the kids are constantly at each others throats. There are no guarantees I guess, but for us it works really well!

MrFlibble Tue 02-Oct-12 20:44:56

Ohhh I just posted a lengthly and thoughtful reply and it disappeared!

Mine are 2 and 5, a boy and a girl. They are currently refusing to sleep in separate beds and insisting on sharing.

They'll be fine IWantToGoThere. Honest.

sittinginthesun Tue 02-Oct-12 20:46:08

3 years 2 months between my boys and it's fantastic!

The eldest was out of nappies, pushchair, cot, so I had one baby and one toddler.

They are best friends, play together all the time, rarely fight and there is very little competition between them.

Perfect age gap, IMO. grin

fuckwittery Tue 02-Oct-12 20:50:50

3 year 3 week age gap between mine, they absolutely adore each other. 5 and 2 now, and they play together all the time.

RobinSparkles Tue 02-Oct-12 20:51:17

There is a 3 years and 9 months age gap between mine and its lovely! They both share a room and show so much love for each other. They are 5 and 19 months.

I like the fact that I have had lots of one to one time with DD1 before DD2 was born and now that she has gone to school I get lots of one to one time with DD2, so they've both had a similar start.

RobinSparkles Tue 02-Oct-12 20:52:46

I do some work at school and 3 year age gaps between siblings seems to be very common!

greenhill Tue 02-Oct-12 20:56:46

My DD is 5 yo and my DS is 2 yo, like you I had a MMC (and an ERPC in between), so would only have had a 2 year gap otherwise. My DC play together really well, he loves copying what she does and she loves showing him what to do in games she has devised. Sometimes I have to intervene, when they are rough with each other now, but this is normal too. It was not a problem when DS was a baby though, my DD was very nurturing then smile

My DD is very sociable and loves playing with all other children. Play / music / swim groups range in ages and other children your DS know will have older / younger siblings too.

Congratulations on your pregnancy. Worrying about the unknown is normal, but don't worry too much smile

Faxthatpam Tue 02-Oct-12 21:03:13

I have 3 (school) year gaps between older 3 DSs and there is good and bad. Mine were lovely with each other most of the time when little but tended not to get on so well when 11/12 and 14/15. Oldest 2 now 16 and 19 and get on so well it's lovely to see. Oldest back at Uni now and 13 and 16 YOs not so close - lots of bickering! I do think that all age gaps have good and bad sides and lots of ups and downs through the years. It is what it is so just enjoy the ups! One upside I never foresaw was not having to suffer GCSEs and A levels simultaneously and not having to put two through Uni at the same time! grin Enjoy.

rhetorician Tue 02-Oct-12 21:10:49

2y10m between my dds - it was hard at the beginning because they had such different needs, and dd2's arrival compounded the normal toddler meltdowns. But as dd2 gets bigger they like playing with one another; there's no guarantee that siblings closer in age will like the same activities either - this way they get to shape their own identity a bit more. Swings and roundabouts

SarryB Tue 02-Oct-12 21:16:40

There is 7 years between me and my youngest sister. I have three other sisters, one a year older, one a year younger, and another one two years younger.

My youngest sister is the only one I have ever got on with and we even shared a room for a long time!

Don't worry about it smile And congratulations on your pregnancy!

cutegorilla Tue 02-Oct-12 21:16:53

I think relationships between siblings have more to do with individual personalities than age gaps. I have nearly 4 years between my DD and DS1 and sometimes they are great together and other times they fight. There's just over 4 yrs between DS1 and DS2 and they adore each other so far (DS2 14 months).

I have exactly three years and my DC adore each other. They are just about to turn 5 and 2. I love that DS has had two full years with his sister before starting school, and that it's now that she needs a bit more one on one time that she's getting it, and we have a year of just us before she starts pre-school. He was old enough to understand that sometimes we had to be quiet when she was tiny, or that sometimes mummy was more tired etc, and old enough to want to feel a bit grown up in some ways, e.g. helping me get the baby's things ready to go out. And he had just started pre-school when she was born so had a few hours each week away from the house, a bit of structured activity and so on.

They play together with Duplo, Happyland, they go on their scooters together, sit together to draw and do craft, he 'reads' to her, she is his shadow, or was before she became a bit bossy with him smile

GnomeDePlume Tue 02-Oct-12 21:19:13

Ideal gap IME. DD was 3 when DS was born. She was great - a real help eg getting tissues when I was feeding DS.

Now that they are 17 & 14 they still have a good and thoughtful relationship.

3.5 years between DS and DTD's - LOVE the age gap. Again not planned. It would have been 2 years if gone to plan but so glad it didn't! DS adores his sisters, was independent enough never to be jealous or competitive with them. I have more bickering between the DT's that with the older one. As they get older (DT's nearly 3) they are playing more and more together. DS is incredibly protective of his sisters and in turn he is their absolute favourite person. However, I do think so much of sibling relatonships depends on the personality of the eldest, and I guess we've just been really fortunate there and DS just naturally seems to fit the big brother role.

pjd Tue 02-Oct-12 21:23:03

OP - I could have written your post! I too would have liked a 2 year age gap, but had a mmc. Have ended up with a 3 year 3 month age gap. DS1 is now 3 years 10 months and DS2 is 7 months. The beginning was difficult - the first 8 weeks or so, mainly because it was a shock to the system for DS1 to have to share me, and he became very clingy as a result which was hard as I was breastfeeding so was attached to DS2 most of the time!! However now that those difficult first few weeks are over,things are great. Obviously it's hard to tell yet whether they will play together well as DS2 is still little, but DS1 is very affectionate towards him and seems to have accepted him and the signs are good so far that they will have a good relationship (fingers crossed!!). As another poster said, I think there are pros and cons to any age gap, you just need to focus on the pros!

emalushka Tue 02-Oct-12 21:27:41

I have an age gap of 3 years and 2 months between my 2 daughters and it's perfect. They are best friends, play together nicely and have chosen to share a bedroom together. When my youngest was a newborn, the eldest could understand why I was so busy and was able to help out and look after herself a bit.
She was toilet trained, out of the buggy and could dress herself, get a drink etc. the eldest is now at school and I get to spend lots of quality time with the youngest.
I'm now pregnant again, but will only have a 2 year 4 month gap between number 2 and 3. I'm now panicking as I know it won't be as easy as last time! There's a huge difference between a 2 year old and a 3 year old!

wigglesrock Tue 02-Oct-12 22:14:32

I have 3 years and 3 months gap between dd2 and dd3, its great. Dd2 is still young enough to want to play with dd3 and still likes playing with her baby toys etc but can still go to the loo, eat and amuse herself if needs be. It really is a lovely age gap, dd2 has just started school and its lovely having some time alone with dd3. Dd1 is great with dd3 too but she's gone a bit hair flickey at the minute grin and lots of things are soooooo babyish (she's 7 btw grin)

youbethemummylion Tue 02-Oct-12 22:14:46

I have a 3 year and a few days age gap between my two sons. They get along fantastically. DS1 is DS2's playmate, protector and teacher. and DS2 brings my shy, quiet DS1 out of his shell.

Mumofjz Tue 02-Oct-12 22:17:25

3yrs 7mth bewteen DD10 and DS7 and they get on like a house on fire (most of the time) Once DS was at an age where he could play with DD rather than along the side of her, their relationship went from strength to srength. DD mothers DS (he lets her) and she really looks out for him.. Wouldn't have it any other way - and mine were planned smile

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 02-Oct-12 22:19:26

3.2 between my two daughters and so far it's been great! They love each other to bits and like someone else said, the older child can do a lot of things for herself, so takes a bit of pressure off. She is also at nursery five mornings so I have some time for the baby as well.

StaceeJaxx Tue 02-Oct-12 22:21:11

3.5 between my 2. When dd2 was born dd1 wasn't really interested. Once she started to walk dd1 became interested, and they started to play together. Now at 9 and 6 they always play together. They share a room and fight like cat and dog, but also play really well together, they're very close. DD2 said to me the other day, "I love daddy, and I love you the best mummy, but I love dd1 more than you because she's my sister and we sisters together." grin

Catsmamma Tue 02-Oct-12 22:22:10

I have a three year gap between ds1 and dd and then a two year gap between dd and ds2

I found that 3 year gap was much much better, ds1 was big enough to be helpful, self aware enough to realise that his new baby sister getting lots of attention was just temporary.

Dd took the arrival of her baby brother as a personal affront and it took her six months to get over it!!

maxmillie Tue 02-Oct-12 22:22:32

I have 3 boys with 3 years between each and I think it works really well. The closest ones do bicker a bit but they all play together happily. The middle one is particularly "flexible" as, at just turned 5, he will play DS, Wii, Lego with the nearly 8 year old but is equally happy to play with trains, cars etc with the nearly 2 year old.

Personally I find 2 years a bit close and prefer 3 years (not that I planned it that way, just how it worked out!)

Happygirl77 Tue 02-Oct-12 23:14:36

2.8 years between dd1 and dd2 and 2.8 years between dd2 and ds!

I could not have been one of those mins who only has 2 years between their kids (though I know many like that who make it work). I like that the elder child is potty trained before the next one comes along, that they can talk and converse with me and others, that they are a bit more independent and a bit less tantrum-prone. And that they start preschool a few months after getting a new baby sibling! smile

My girls (6.1 and 3.5) play together so well now, they share a room and adore each other! They'll often get up and play on a school morning while I'm feeding the baby. It really works well for us.

blueshoes Tue 02-Oct-12 23:21:13

There is no more perfect age gap than 3 years old IMO. The older one is old enough to appreciate the birth of a sibling but the age gap is still close enough for them to play with each other.

My dd 9 and ds 6 get on like a house on fire (with occasional squabbles but they are otherwise inseparable). They spend all day role playing with each other, doing drawing and craft, playing with their toys, lego ... So many other parents have remarked on their special relationship.

They started playing together properly since ds was 2.

Really sorry to hear about your MMC, IWantToGoToThere. I have 2 dc, with a gap of 3 years 1 month between them. The age gap has always worked well. They get on and have played together for as long as I can remember. They keep each other entertained and dd is just abut old enough now, at 9, to keep an eye on ds outside or to read him the occasional bedtime story. Ds, at 6, is marginally more sensible on some matters, so he acts as secret backup. I highly recommend that gap.

BackforGood Tue 02-Oct-12 23:30:29

I've got 2y4m between dc1 and dc2 and then 2y10 1/2m between 2 and 3.
They are each 3 school years apart (currently in Yrs 12, 9, and 6).

dcs 2 and 3 have always got on better / played better / not fought as much as dcs 1 and 2. Not sure what it proves of course - could just be their personalities.
I really think it would be very sad if you get yourself worked up about some mythical "ideal" age gap which might not have any relevance to your individual children, when you could be looking forward to the new baby and all the love and joy that will bring.

Almost exactly a 3 year gap here (-4 days, same due date)!

At first it was hard, but of course it depends on your children. My PFB DS1 took a fair while to adapt to having to wait for me to respond to his every whim...

Now it is brilliant! At almost 5 and almost 2 they mostly play really well together, hug each other, wash eachother's hair in the bath, share food and sweets without being asked. DS2 is crazy about his big brother, and misses him when he isn't there. DS1 is happy to always have a willing playmate/victim/bit character in his games!

It is what you make of it.

nipersvest Tue 02-Oct-12 23:34:39

mine are 3.5 years apart in age. we tried for the gap to be closer, but 2 m/c's meant the gap became bigger. they have a really good relationship, youngest is a ds, and although he does get on dd's nerves occasionally, on the whole, they get on. they were snuggled together under a blanket on the sofa watching tv after tea today, quite cute really until ds trumped!

2.10 between mine (and planning 2.3-2.5 between DC2 and the next, fertility permitting). Like you I'd planned for closer but suffered early loss.

When dc2 arrived, DC1 was fluent and confident. He had an understanding of what was going on, but hadn't had too long on his own to resent a newcomer.

Now they are 4.4 and 1.6 and can play together. There are frustrations but they definitely have a large overlap of interests.

KiwiKat Tue 02-Oct-12 23:39:11

4.5 years between DS, now 6, and DD, just turning 2. They adore each other, annoy each other, and become better buddies every day. They are so gorgeous together - I can't believe how lucky we are!

Startailoforangeandgold Tue 02-Oct-12 23:45:07

It's perfect (3,1) between my DDs
They are 14 and 11 and play together fine.
Still do.

It's down to character and circumstance as much as age.

We live in the country, they have to play together or be lonely.

DD1 is dyslexic and DD2 is totally not. For some games and activities that closes the gap.

My DSIS and I are 2.5 years apart and we fought horribly. We could always fall out and play with neighbours.

My sister is lovely and friendly. I like my head in a book. We drove each other mad.

Born2bemild Tue 02-Oct-12 23:50:54

Brilliant here. My older child got to have full attention in baby years, rather than having a new baby whilst still little herself. Then younger got the same when older had time in nursery and was that bit more independent. They adore each other.

Born2bemild Tue 02-Oct-12 23:56:13

Had genuinely never thought of separate University times! Fantastic! Might be able to afford to help one at a time.

whendidigetold Wed 03-Oct-12 00:00:21

3.10 between my dd's they have always adored each other yes there have been arguments and falling out but they would do anything for each other and always look out for each other. It has been like this since dd2 was born they are now 30 and 26.

There is 3 years 7 weeks between my two and they get on fine.

It took a while for DS1 to really bother about DS2. He didn't appear jealous or anything and in fact didn't like it if I gave DS2 to anybody outside the family to hold. He wanted me to take DS2 back. However, it wasn't until DS2 started walking and talking that DS1 started to take a real interest. Now they are 12 and 9 and although they are very different people they have a couple of common interests (football and computer games) and they get on just fine. They do have their rows but they make up pretty quickly.

I had thought I would have a smaller gap between them but it didn't work out that way for various reasons and actually things are just fine as they are.

CaseyShraeger Wed 03-Oct-12 00:37:44

I have 3.2 years between DS and DD1, then 2.11 years between DD1 and DD2.

I think it works well as an age gap - each time when the new baby arrived the elder child was old enough not to feel pushed out and also wanted to be helpful and go and fetch things and so forth. And DS and DD1 do play together - and I often find when I go to bed that they've snuggled together into one or other of their beds. It's not perfect in every way, obviously - there is a gap in interest level between them that wouldn't be so obvious if there were only an 18-24 month gap, and they fight and argue a fair bit in between the heart-melting snuggling.

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 13:53:03

This is the age gap between dd and ds, they are now at secondary school (15 and 12) and I don't think I've ever known two siblings to be better friends. He tells her things he doesn't dare to tell us, they go into town together, they snuggle up together to watch tedious TV programmes.

It was hard work when ds was newborn because dd was one of those very full-on children and I had to watch her constantly for the first few months to make sure she didn't break him, but it's been sooo worth it.

We've been through some very tough times as a family and they have been such a support for each other.

rhetorician Wed 03-Oct-12 15:21:36

these are such lovely stories - I don't know of anyone in my circle of friends with this kind of gap that regrets it; and you know OP, you have what you have. We too would have gone for smaller one, but circumstances didn't permit that. We are lucky to have 2 lovely DDs.

Baaartimaeus Wed 03-Oct-12 15:39:59

This is a lovely thread and very reassuring for me. I would have liked 2 - 2.5 years gap between DS and the next baby but for work reasons (my next promotion) it's more likely to be 2.10 at best (i.e. if TTC works as quickly as the first time around!).

I want a shorter gap purely because it's what I've got with my DB and we get on really well. But this thread has shown me that it's really not an issue damn my mum for saying a 3 year gap is awful and making me question everything

MistyB Wed 03-Oct-12 15:45:31

4.5 years between DS1 and DS2 (DD in the middle). The boys are like twins born 4.5 years apart. Well, not at all obviously but they love each other and are very close.

shelley72 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:59:18

we have an age gap of 2.9 (would have been less if not for MC between). they are now 5 and 2 and they adore each other, always have. they (mostly) play together nicely - DS has recently started school and DD misses him so much. he is wanting a bit more 'peace and quiet' now and doesnt want her always knocking down his lego buildings etc and they do squabble over wanting the exact same crayon but on the whole they are lovely with each other.
i think you will be fine. and anyway, you cant change the gaps you are given can you grin

AngelDog Wed 03-Oct-12 17:48:47

Ours will be 2.10 years once DC2 arrives in a month's time. So many people have told me lovely stories aobut how good a gap it was, including MIL.

There is no way I could have coped with DS1 and a baby 12 or even 6 months ago. Now I can reason with him, get him to do jobs for me and he is happy to wait for a bit if I need to do something else when he's wanting attention.

IWantToGoToThere Wed 03-Oct-12 20:05:45

Wow, thanks everyone. So many responses! I thought the 3 year gap was quite unusual as everyone seems to have a 2 year gap, but I see it's more common than I thought.

It sounds like, personality dependant, the two should get on just fine which makes me feel really relieved. I was really envisaging family holidays ahead where DH would have to take 1 and I'd take the other to do activities as there would be nothing that would hold a common interest. Sounds like that won't be the case which makes me very happy grin

I guess I just need to let go the idea of the family I always imagined I'd have and look forward to the family I will have - which is much more special as it will be MY family. Thanks to everyone who shared!

Born2bemild Wed 03-Oct-12 20:19:41

Honestly, no need to worry. I don't even think of it as a big gap at all. Lots of luck!

rhetorician Wed 03-Oct-12 21:58:31

well the split parenting will happen to some extent for a while, esp if you will be breastfeeding, but won't last forever

AuntySib Wed 03-Oct-12 22:05:23

Not a problem. I have nearly 3 years between the first two, and then a 5 year gap between DS2 & DS3. there were logistical problems when they were very small, swimming was a problem, but otherwise all good. They're now nearly 20, 17 and 11, and get on really well. DS1 &2 played together from a very young age and are each others best mates.

zipzap Wed 03-Oct-12 22:18:22

I would have loved an 18 month age gap (me and sis are 14 months apart) - ended up with a 3 year age gap, currently 7 and 4. And whilst ds1 and ds2 can be each other's best friend at times, they can go within moments to being best of enemies too.

ds1 is good at being gentle with ds2 most of the time, but he does also see himself as his 3 parent sometimes, so is quick to try to step in and tell him off if he thinks he is being naughty or upsets him! But he also likes to watch stuff on tv that's not suitable for ds2, some of which ds2 likes and ends up being a little whirling dangerous karate munchkin because he has seen it on tv, other times he doesn't like stuff and then there are arguments about what to watch. ds2 likes to try to keep up with his brother (doesn't help that he is naturally a late going to sleep kid, awake for much longer than ds1) and not as athletic so struggles with that side of things. Also means that ds2 is used to standing up for himself (and his big brother!) and doesn't hesitate to step in as hard as he can if necessary.

Downsides are also things like schools - they are at different schools (infant and junior) so for the next 3 years it's going to be horrid - a dash from one to the other for drop off and pick up (not such a big deal if you have a primary school) whereas if they were closer together in age it wouldn't be for so long.

however, there are a lot of siblings out there with a three year gap between them - I was really surprised because I always assumed that people would want them just over a year apart so they were at least in consecutive school years - I don't know that many people with a 2 year gap.

Yes. And Yes. 3 Year Age gap is good.

lagartija Wed 03-Oct-12 22:46:15

I think it depends on their personalities. I have exactly that gap and they are now 17 months and 4 and a half and they love each other terribly.

Baaartimaeus Thu 04-Oct-12 13:44:48

"I guess I just need to let go the idea of the family I always imagined I'd have and look forward to the family I will have"

I can totally relate to this. I always wanted to copy what my parents had as it worked so well. It wasn't until I was pregnant that I realised that I can't control what happens.

dippywhentired Thu 04-Oct-12 16:55:45

2years and 8 months between my DDs, love each other to bits and play very well together (now 5 and 2). Exactly 3 years between my sister and me, have always been very close. Enjoy!

BeaWheesht Thu 04-Oct-12 16:57:44

There are 3y9m between mine - a boy and then a girl. They are now two and five and adore each other

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