What is it like with kids who have an age gap of 5-6 years between them?

(40 Posts)
SebastianTheCrab Sun 10-Jan-21 15:57:10

I have one DC and am massively on the fence about another but if we do go ahead the age gap will likely be about 5-6 years. The one thing that makes me sad is the thought they probably won't play together.

If you have DC with that age gap what's life like? (Especially Pre pandemic). Did it present problems with play dates/places you can go etc? How do they interact? Do their sexes make a difference (e.g. same sex siblings vs mixed sex)? Do you wish you'd had DC2 earlier? (Not much of an option for us at this point anyway though).

OP’s posts: |
Bookaholic73 Sun 10-Jan-21 15:59:20

There are 5 years between my 2 boys. They’ve always played together, although it helped that my older boy was quite a gentle little boy.

They are now 16 and 21 and still play computer games together!

Santaiscovidfree Sun 10-Jan-21 15:59:33

6 year gap between my last dc. Get on really well. Always have. Currently still sharing a room at 12 +6.. Room being sorted soon for 12 yo due to older sibling leaving home! Both boys.

QuantumQuality Sun 10-Jan-21 16:00:36

Mine do play together. For the first couple of years it was great, they adored each other and the older one was old enough to understand why the baby needed attention. Now they also argue a lot and it’s difficult to find activities that they can both do. But they have made up games they play together and are quite close.

QuantumQuality Sun 10-Jan-21 16:01:47

Actually the arguing only started during lockdown. Without all that too much time together, it might not have done.

SebastianTheCrab Sun 10-Jan-21 16:02:56

Thanks - these are nice responses. I wonder if both kids being the same sex makes things a bit easier in terms of interests.

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ShowOfHands Sun 10-Jan-21 16:03:42

We have a little less than 5yrs between DD and DS. They're thick as thieves. Eldest is 13 now and adores her little brother. They're currently constructing a Minecraft village together and singing Hamilton songs. They've always liked each other enormously and they're very different people in myriad ways.

I liked the age gap. Eldest was at school and independent when her brother arrived and I had plenty of one on one time with DS while DD had the maturity to understand the changes.

Of course there are ways in which it's tough in terms of activities for them both but that's true of any two children with different personalities and interests. Age isn't the only barrier to whole family activities.

Do you want another child? That's the question.


IRememberSoIDo Sun 10-Jan-21 16:05:58

4.5 years between my two girls now 13 and 8. The gap has never been an issue. At the moment eldest is starting to branch out a little (well as much as she can thanks to Covid) but she's equally happy to play younger games with her sister as well as video chat her friends. If the personalities were the other way around it might have been different as dd2 is much more street wise 😂

Lyonesse2020 Sun 10-Jan-21 16:06:42

DS9 and DD4 here. They adore each other, and are pretty good at playing together. It can be DS instructing DD about what to do when they're playing with toys or games, but they both enjoy themselves, and DD often sets the rules for pretend play.

boredinthouse Sun 10-Jan-21 16:09:15

I've DC that have a 6 year age gap. They don't really play together but the elder one has ASD so doesn't really play anyway. My DD though really looks up to her older brother and he teaches her all about his current interests.

higglepiggley Sun 10-Jan-21 16:10:13

Following this
I have DD who is 5 next month and I'm currently almost 19 weeks with dc2

SabrinaThwaite Sun 10-Jan-21 16:55:15

I have 7 years between my two boys.

Eldest got a lot of kudos at school for having a new baby brother, and was old enough to enjoy getting involved and helping out. He was also good at not spilling the beans about Santa etc.

As they grew older they drifted apart a bit (around 13/14 and 6/7) and the eldest knew how to press the youngest’s buttons, but by that point they each had their own sets of friends and the eldest was pretty independent. Holidays were tricky when one was 9 and the other a toddler, but became much easier once the youngest was able to keep up with everyone (we did get them both into family activities from the outset).

Now they’re older they’re good mates, play Xbox together, keep in touch via WhatsApp etc. Youngest is planning to visit his brother at uni when he gets the chance.

TBH, you play the hand you’re dealt. I’d have found it much harder with 2 under the age of 4 for instance.

ivykaty44 Sun 10-Jan-21 16:57:38

They will be siblings forever - not just as children

mine are very close as they are older, they have there moments and fall out but even though they live in different cities they are close. Age doesn't determined how close sibling will be personality does

Aria2015 Sun 10-Jan-21 17:06:46

Still early days for me as dc 2 is just a few months old, but so far it's been great (5 year gap). Older dc adores his baby sister and constantly says how he can't wait for her to grow so they can play.

I think generally, in the absence of any other options, most siblings will play together. My brother was 5 years older than me, of course he'd choose playing with his friends over me generally, but at home and on holiday etc... when his fiends weren't about we'd play together.

From a parenting perspective it's been a good gap. No jealousy and less pressure as just have the baby while the older one is at school. Also the older one is fairly independent, out of nappies, sleeping well and often super helpful getting me nappies, water etc... I think I'd have struggled with a smaller age gap so I'm happy how things turned out.

doadeer Sun 10-Jan-21 17:08:00

12 years between me and my brother! We are very close ❤️

PivotPivotPivottt Sun 10-Jan-21 17:11:15

5.5 years between mine. My oldest has always doted on her sister but would always say she wished she was old enough to play with her. Now they play together a lot at 9 and almost 4. And they fight too 🙄

FlatterNow Sun 10-Jan-21 17:13:01

6 years between DS (11) and DD (5). While DS often goes off to his room for some peace, they do also get on well and play together. I have considered getting a t-shirt made that says 'DS, stop winding DD up' on one side and "DD, stop overreacting' on the other! But I think that's just older and younger siblings rather than the gap.

PivotPivotPivottt Sun 10-Jan-21 17:14:13

Also agree with PP that it's a good age gap from a parenting perspective. I was a single parent when my youngest was born and having an older child that could dress herself etc made it a lot easier than it would have been with a toddler and newborn. She was always wanting to help too.

SebastianTheCrab Sun 10-Jan-21 17:29:15

These are really encouraging, thank you. I found the baby stage (and toddler stage) incredibly hard. We had no family help, a non sleeping, non-feeding baby for the first few months, and I think tbh I had PND because it was just a dreadful first few years. Only now is it starting to settle and I can even think about #2 but equally don't know if I can face it all again. This thread feels like I still have a bit of time to decide though, so thank you.

OP’s posts: |
ExTeacherNowJustMom Sun 10-Jan-21 17:41:15

There’s 7 years difference between my ds and dd. They play together, even now at 14 and 7. I found that the the second time round was easier, especially the first year as the school run and commitments meant I didn’t have hours and hours of time every day where it was just baby and me at home. Also, baby has to fit in with routines so may nap at more set times. My older child loves being able to teach the younger one things and enjoys being in the know with things like Santa and tooth fairy.

The only downside of a big gap that I’ve found is that you are stuck doing play areas, soft play and age appropriate days out for longer whereas with children of similar age you move through it in phases.You also have to try and choose days out which will suit both ages.

We ttc for many years until we had our dd and the age gap really didn’t worry us one bit, we just were happy to add to our family.

Mrstwiddle Sun 10-Jan-21 17:44:00

I don’t think it’s ideal, but it does depend a lot on the children themselves. I know I really resented my younger brother when he was born after a 5 year gap, don’t remember playing with him and are barely in contact now.

humhumit Sun 10-Jan-21 17:51:56

My friends has a 6 year old DD and she adores her new baby brother. I was expecting some major jealousy as she's was very much given all the attention previously and been spoilt. She's been fine, and loves helping with him. Although my DS was ok with his new sister until she started touching his toys and crashing through his games ( we have a 4 year age gap) 🙄

I think a younger sibling, keeps the older one younger and makes the younger one grow up quicker.

We probably wouldn't be singing so many nursery rhymes now my DS is at school but his baby sister loves them, and so he joins in.

I wouldn't put on paw patrol for my baby my oldest didn't watch any tv until 18 months as I just didn't even think of it, as I don't watch it much but she watches it with her brother .

OliviaKeeling Sun 10-Jan-21 17:52:58

5 years between my older sister and I - we fought like cat and dog as children and don't contact each other as adults. My younger sister (7 years between her and my older sister) are bosom buddies. Always allies against me.

I'm aware that not every family is like mine! grin

Frequentflier Sun 10-Jan-21 17:56:21

I have nearly 5 years between DD and DS. They didn't play together, but on the plus side they never fought and they ( quietly ) adore each other. They don;t have common interests- one is sporty, one not- but always stick up for each other. Personally, the gap was great because both were terrible sleepers and I could not have endured sleepless nights for that long. Also, both got plenty of attention.

Couchpotato3 Sun 10-Jan-21 17:56:40

I had DS1 and DD1 11 months apart followed by DS2 6.5 years later. I never really worried about the gap, but I guess it could have been a problem as the older two were always very close. However they all got on really well, played a lot together, and now, as adults each of them is still very close to the other two and I'm so glad that it has all worked out so well. I'm aware that we've been incredibly lucky, but to be honest, I think it is way more to do with personalities rather than age gaps that determines whether siblings get on well together. It's a lottery!

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