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To ask what the best age gap is? Re children

(51 Posts)
smallbaby53 Sat 09-Jul-16 16:15:55

I have a baby who is 1. What is a good age gap? Some days I think 3 then sometimes I think 7, etc.

I wouldn't have any before a 3 year age gap I don't think, as I'd like my baby to have started nursery... I kind of wish I leave it for 7 too. What's the best age?

Ditsy4 Sat 09-Jul-16 16:19:30

I think 7 is too long I had two years and eight months it was perfect. They were friends and still are. Youngest two had six years and they hardly speak to each other now. They didn't have much in common ever!

PreviouslyBannedToaster Sat 09-Jul-16 16:22:29

Factoring everything else out e.g. finances, conception issues, employment issues, housing etc then I'd say 2-3 years is good.

PopcornFiend Sat 09-Jul-16 16:31:11

I think about 2 years is most people's preference.

But bear in mind you can't necessarily plan for it! DH and I had wanted a 2 yr gap but due to job changes and house moving, DD1 was 3.5 when we fell pregnant again, but sadly it ended in miscarriage.

We conceived again and DD2 was born and there is now a 4.5 yr age gap.

Although not what we originally planned for, it's been a brilliant age gap so far as DD1 started school just before DD2 arrived so our childcare costs have been hugely reduced. DD1 is also old enough to love helping out with her baby sister and not be throwing tantrums or potty training or any of the other toddler hassles!

OlennasWimple Sat 09-Jul-16 16:35:15

What Popcorn said!

I had wanted 2 years, for various reasons we ended up with a 5 year gap and it works well for us.

Birdsgottafly Sat 09-Jul-16 16:36:19

It's what you can manage.

I had a ten year age gap, because of miscarriage and infertility and then I couldn't chance leaving a gap, so there was a 22 month gap between my youngest two.

My eldest and my middle DD, now at 31 and 21, are very close.

I've seen all different age gaps and they're isn't an ideal that suits everyone.

My DD has chosen to do her Degree, since having my GD, so her gap is going to be at least six years.

EllaHen Sat 09-Jul-16 16:37:03

I am one of four and am way closer to my brother who's 18 months younger than me than either of my other siblings.

However, my 2 are 4.9 years apart and it's great. Number 2 arrived just as number 1 started school so both mat leaves were calm.

They adore each other which is lovely.

Maybebabybee Sat 09-Jul-16 16:37:43

I personally think 2 years is way too short, but I honestly couldn't deal with a newborn and a toddler, 2 kids in nappies etc etc.

I don't buy the argument that kids with larger gaps won't be close etc etc. There are four, nearly five years between each of my siblings and we all adore each other. 12 years between my brother and I and we're very close.

I had DS young (ish) at 26 so I had room for a big gap. I want at least four years. Probably more.

SteviebunsBottrittrundle Sat 09-Jul-16 16:42:46

I'm closer to my brother than my sister despite (or maybe because of) there being a bigger age gap between us. Mind you, my brother and sister are even less close than my sister and me and they have the biggest age gap (with me in the middle).

I have one DD. We are planning to TTC next year when she will be two and a bit years old, so the youngest she could be would be about three when our hypothetical DC2 would be born. Any smaller gap I think we would really struggle with, but we have little help from family and friends as we don't live near them. Also I am a SAHP now, but even when working I don't make very much money so we would also struggle financially.

Delta1411 Sat 09-Jul-16 17:00:20

I had 3 under 4. It's intense, but in 5 years time all of mine will be old enough to get themselves dressed, I won't be starting over again and all of the things I got to re use were very current! There's pros and cons to everything!

Daytona79 Sat 09-Jul-16 17:02:47

There was 5 years between me and my sisters and in think it's too large, we have never been close, 5 then a 10 year gap with oldest

I think ideal is 2 years. Friends I see with this size gap the children seem to play lots

I'm about to have 23 months between my two as baby due in 4 weeks

DeathStare Sat 09-Jul-16 17:07:14

Too late. You've missed it. A year is a perfect gap grin

Seriously though all children are individuals as are all parents. For some a ten month gap is perfect for others it's 30 years. Stop worrying about it and try to have a second DC when you feel ready. Remember also that trying could take one month or ten years. There are some things you really can't plan so stop over-thinking it.

TooGood2BeFalse Sat 09-Jul-16 17:09:13

I always wanted 2-3 years between my kids, but my DH and I were having problems when my son turned 2 so we avoided conceiving.

He is now 4.5 and I gave birth to DS no.2 two days ago grin (typing from hospital bed haha!) so I am HOPING that 4.5 years is a good age gap...we'll see when I'm home!

fusionconfusion Sat 09-Jul-16 17:09:55

I have 3, 2.6 years between 1 and 2 and 21 months between 2 and 3. I found the shorter age gap much better and the children are absolute best buddies.. though birth order probably comes into that too.

I think it doesn't really matter so much, though there is 7 years between my sibling and I and I don't think that worked brilliantly, we never really had much to do with eachother as kids and it was more like being an only child. Still is, in many ways.

branofthemist Sat 09-Jul-16 17:28:47

There is no 'perfect' age gap.

I have 7 years. Easy in some ways, hard in others. Has its advantages and disadvantage.

Dbro has 13 months between his. Again it's easy in some ways, hard in others. Has its advantages and disadvantages.

I love the bigger age gap and dbro loves the smaller one. We don't know any different so it's hard to say what I would think of a smaller one.

Gingefringe Sat 09-Jul-16 17:40:35

Two years exactly between my two. Financially this has been quite tough - both were at full time nursery for a couple of years which wiped out my salary almost completely.

When they were 18 and 16 they were both doing important exams at the same time so our household was quite fraught at the time.

They're now 19 and 17 - The eldest is at Uni and hopefully the youngest will be going to Uni next year so another tough couple of years ahead of us financially.

If i could chose again I would go for 3 years between them.

nooka Sat 09-Jul-16 17:54:01

I doubt there is really any 'best' gap, and best for who anyway? I have an accidental 16mth gap, my sister has an accidental 4.5 years gap (we had an accidental conception, she didn't get pregnant for a long time).

Pros and cons, babies close together is incredibly hard work, but can avoid sibling rivalry (ds can't remember life without dd). Babies further apart can be logistically easier at the beginning, but then harder later as they get into different things (my two did the same activities when small so that was easy). Close in age children can be closer, but according to my children they are very unusual in liking each other at all!

My experience of having siblings who were closer in age to each other than me is that I was left out of a lot of things/ was very annoying. But I think that probably more about being the youngest. My cousin had the same age gap as the oldest and a totally different experience.

RosaBee Sat 09-Jul-16 18:12:11

I have 18 months between first two. Planned and loved the small gap, no sibling rivalry, both very close and Into the same things. I then have 3.5 years between 2 and 3 so 5 years between oldest and youngest. I love this gap too as the older two are at school now so I have time with my baby and my middle one loves her baby. Only issue is it's very hard to find things that appeal to both my oldest and youngest.
For example I'd love to go to Legoland but everyone says don't until they can all enjoy it, only if I do that the oldest will probably be too old by then.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 09-Jul-16 18:18:19

Ours are 23 months apart (10 and 12) and I would say it's a very good gap. Most of my friends have two year gaps, or three at the most. It was expensive when both were in nursery but that was a short time in the grand scheme of things. A small gap means we are all happy doing the same days out, holidays, films and TV etc and it got all the career disruption caused by maternity leaves out of the way relatively quickly.

dietcokeandwine Sat 09-Jul-16 18:29:26

In theory there's no perfect age gap, but based on my own experience and that of friends I'd say that 3 years is about as perfect as you're going to get. If your fertility allows you to of course (I had secondary infertility which has had a profound effect on the shape and structure of our family).

That said, though, if you manage a 3 year gap you avoid that 'toddler and baby' full on stress, oldest child will generally be out of nappies / attending preschool / have more developed speech and understanding / be better able to occupy themselves safely for short periods etc etc. But the gap is still small enough that they can play together and grow up together.

Smaller gaps can be lovely in the longer term but a bit painful and full on in the early years.

Much larger gaps can be lovely in the early years (plenty of time to devote to baby as older children at school etc) but a bit painful in the longer term (hard to find activities that everyone will enjoy).

I have 3.3 years between DC2 and DC3 and it's been lovely. 5.3 years between DC1 and DC2 which wasn't planned (infertility) which was ok but hard as they grew older as they didn't really have enough in common to play. And 8.5 years between DC1 and DC3 which was fine when they were 8.5, 3 and a baby but a logistical nightmare now they are 11, 6 and 3. I wouldn't recommend a gap bigger than 5 years to anyone BUT I would add that my eldest has some SEN which adds to the complications of family life anyway.

But if you're asking for the age gap with the most pros and fewest cons, I'd say 3 years every time.

Mov1ngOn Sat 09-Jul-16 18:38:14

3 years and a truly brilliant gap. First is out of nappies and old enough not to be jealous/understands so much more.

They play together brilliantly but not so close they compete.

Dogsmom Sat 09-Jul-16 18:52:22

We've got a planned 2 year gap between our two dd's who are aged 1 and 3 and so far it's working out great, yes there was a time I was changing 2 sets of nappies but it's no big deal.

When dd2 was born dd1 was at an age where she sort of understood but didn't really take much notice and took it all in her stride, no jealousy, no trying to mother the baby.

Now dd2 is a toddler and able to play they have a fantastic bond, because they're not too far apart they're happy to play with the same toys and it's very easy to organise trips out as they're into the same things.

I also didn't feel like I was sacrificing anything when I got pregnant with dd2 as we hadn't yet got much normality back into our lives and we were well used to the odd sleepless night, pooey nappies and sound of crying.

Thingsthatmakeugoummmm Sat 09-Jul-16 18:58:15

I also feel 2 years is too short. I couldn't imagine thinking of another baby whilst first born was only one. I have 4.5 years between mine. It worked for us as DD1 was starting school when DS was born.

BettyOBarley Sat 09-Jul-16 19:06:40

There was 5 years between me and my sister and for us that was too much, we had nothing in common, didn't go to school together etc.

DD will be 2.10 when this baby is born, more by luck then management but I think it'll be a nice age gap as only one in a buggy, in nappies etc.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 09-Jul-16 19:10:33

I'm the other way round Things - I could not have imagined getting all the way through the baby and pre-school years and then starting again with a new baby when DC1 started school, I was really happy (and still am 10 years later) with my 23 month gap.

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