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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?!


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.

GeorgianMumto5 Tue 02-Oct-12 23:29:16

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.

sagelynodding Tue 02-Oct-12 23:31:52

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!

HoratiaWinwood Tue 02-Oct-12 23:35:28

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.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 03-Oct-12 00:13:23

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

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