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Talk to me about 4 year age gaps

(33 Posts)
PisforPeter Tue 27-Oct-15 13:02:18

Am expecting DC2 next May so will have exactly 4 yr age gap as DD turns 4 in May. Had originally planned a 3 yr gap as was nice for me as a child with my younger sister but it hasn't worked out that way. I'm hoping the fact that DD will be at pre-school/school will help as will have some 1:1 time with baby & maybe go to baby massage classes etc which I really enjoyed last time. Decided against a smaller age gap as we have zero family support & think I would have struggled with baby toddler combo. Positive stories please!!

GlassWalls Tue 27-Oct-15 13:06:51

My DB has a 4 year age gap between their children. They love it. They can still give lots of one to one attention to DC1 whilst spending quality time with baby when DC1 goes to school. Also at that age kids like to "help" with looking after the baby. It will be great. Good luck.

LemonBreeland Tue 27-Oct-15 13:09:19

I have three Dc and there are 4 year gaps between each, they are now 12, 8, and 4. It has worked very well for me as we also had little family support when they were smaller. There have still been the fights over toys etc. but they can get on very well too. It was nice to have time with the new baby with the older ones being at nursery and school etc.

The only downside as they get older is finding things to do that will suit all of them, but that is probably more to do with the 8 years between my eldest and youngest.

And congratulations on your pregnancy.

Iloveonionchutney Tue 27-Oct-15 13:14:17

I'm sat here with a 2 week old dd and a 4yr old dd (turns 5 in December) and so far it's been great. Older dd loves to help so is great at running around fetching things. It's half term this week so she's home but last week it was lovely having the day with just the baby and dh and our older dd had loved the attention when she gets home from school. She's living telling everyone all about her babysitter. I always wanted her to be in school before we had another so I would have all day with the baby.

OffMyAyersRocker Tue 27-Oct-15 13:18:11

I have a 5 week old and dd1 will be 5 in January. Agree it's lovely having the days with dd2 while dd1 is at school. And then some proper company when she gets home. Seems the best of both worlds smile

Utterlyclueless Tue 27-Oct-15 13:18:46

My younger sister is 4 years younger than me & we're like best friends in closer to her than my siblings who are 2 years older than me! And my oldest sister is 4 years older than my oldest brother and they're really close too.

My mum said 4 years seems to be the perfect age gap.

Kuriusoranj Tue 27-Oct-15 13:22:38

I'd planned a smaller gap, but it didn't work out that way - we have 4 1/2 years between our two. It has been fantastic for us. I was on maternity leave when no. 1 started school, so I was able to get really involved with that, whilst spending all day with the baby. They've always wanted different types of attention, so I've had very few episodes of sibling rivalry. The older one was able (and desperate) to fetch and carry stuff for me at the beginning, and really got involved.

They're now (almost) 9 and 4 and get on really well. It probably helps that my older child is quite emotionally immature, so they still want to play the same endlessly convoluted Playmobil games together. They're also fond of making things for one another - they're genuinely affectionate towards one another. There's the odd moment of finding the different levels a bit difficult to take - my older one laments "why doesn't she have to follow the rules properly?", whilst the younger one can't always understand why she can't stay up till the same time, or have friends over in the same way. I'd assume that happens with most age differences though.

Generally, it's been a breeze for us. It'll be great - congratulations!

ShelaghTurner Tue 27-Oct-15 13:31:03

Four years to the day here. Also didn't plan it like that but it's worked well so far. Up till a year ago maybe it was plain sailing. Now they're 7.4 and 3.5 they're squabbling lots, but I'm sure that's the case whatever the age gap. Essentially they get on very well and DD1 is very caring with her little sister. As age gaps go I'd recommend it.

Andro Tue 27-Oct-15 14:51:58

4years here, older boy and younger girl. They love each other, they'll look out for each other but they have absolutely no common interests or likes outside of food.

PisforPeter Tue 27-Oct-15 14:55:15

Eldest is a girl & loves babies so I'm hoping that's a good start??

MissCalamity Tue 27-Oct-15 18:18:13

4.4 years gap between mine, I think it's worked out well. DS was at pre school for 2.5 days when Dd arrived so it gave me one on one time with her. Also DS helped out with his big brother duties, fetching things for me whilst I was feeding.
DD is now 18 months so into everything, DS sometimes gets annoyed if she messes up something he is playing with but will generally play nicely with her (for now wink!)

WimpyArseWanks Tue 27-Oct-15 18:21:15

My DS have a 4 year age gap and they get along fine, I think it's quite a good gap to have because one is at school and the other is at home and like you say you get that 1:1 with baby.

Good luck and congratulations.

Naty1 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:00:45

3yr gap here. downsides are dd1 at nursery 2 day a week so have to wake baby. next yr she will be at school so wont get to play with 1yo dd2.
also that dd has been ill since starting nursery and gives it to dd2.
just had hand foot and mouth, which luckily dd2 hasnt caught. but she does have a nasty cough.

FourForYouGlenCoco Tue 27-Oct-15 19:25:21

I'm so happy I stumbled on this thread!! We are attempting #2 and have had a lot of heartbreak along the way. DD will now definitely be 4 before we have another (provided we actually manage it of course) and I was feeling really down about it. This thread has made me feel so much better! I know that's not the point so sorry Peter for hijacking a bit and good luck with your second; I'm sure your DD will love the new baby smile

PisforPeter Tue 27-Oct-15 20:19:50

Aw, fingers crossed for you too coco x

WorkingBling Tue 27-Oct-15 20:34:35

I can't speak for when they are older but it's brilliant at the young age. Time with the baby etc. But also the older one understands better and is able to deal with waiting a bit for attention etc. Also, people told me it would take longer for them to play together but now that dd is interacting and sitting up, ds loves to play with her and spends ages building towers for her to knock down or helping her do sing songs like row row row your boat. It's adorable!!

Jenijena Tue 27-Oct-15 20:38:11

Would have liked a two year, but getting a four year age gap here. I'm very excited about the lack of double whammy nursery fees. Also DS is very excited...

StrawberrytallCake Tue 27-Oct-15 20:47:42

I have 2 dds who are 4 years apart, almost exactly. I loved having the baby years with each of them - having the time and space to fall asleep with dd2 in the day and look after myself was wonderful. I also felt like dd2 didn't miss out on my time because we had so much time together.

I think it was difficult for dd1 to adjust, although she was really looking forward to it and is ridiculously caring, she is also very attached to me and struggled a bit to share me.

Now - 3 years on - they get on very well and miss each other when they aren't together, the issues I have are with dd1 telling dd2 what to do and trying to be the 3rd parent. It all comes from a good place but being the younger sister myself I stop her immediately because I want dd2 to have the freedom dd1 had.

Another plus is that dd1 wants to go to bed at bedtime and if dd2 is a bit rubbish at bed time (like tonight) she is on her own and sees what her sister is doing as the right thing to do. Oooh dd1 also helped with potty training and takes dd2 to the toilet and gets really excited about milestones she hits, which is lovely.

BertrandRussell Tue 27-Oct-15 20:48:30

I have a nearly 5 year gap. Apart from a shaky patch when they were about 10 and about 14 it's been great. It's a bit sad for DS now as did is away at university, but he's old enough to go and visit her by himself, which they both love. It's helped that he is much cleverer than she is and always has been. And he was aware from day one (this is true, I swear) that it was her he had to win over. So she got first smile, first laugh, first kiss- his first word was an attempt at her name, he first walked to was worse than an election campaign! And for me, the good thing was that she was reasonable with and bribeable when he was a baby, so jealousy was easily manageable. In fact, she used to tell me off for neglecting him when input her first!

CoffeeChocolateWine Tue 27-Oct-15 20:52:32

I have a 3.8 year age gap. My DS is 6.11 and my DD is 3.3. It was a bigger gap than we wanted but it took a while to conceive DD. It's worked out brilliantly. My children adore each other and get on really well. My son looks out for his sister and is very protective of her. It's a small enough gap that they still play together really nicely but big enough that there's not too much rivalry between them. They squabble a bit but not nearly as much as friends whose children are closer in age...not sure if this is to do with the age gap or just the children though! When DD was born DS was able to 'help' and get involved in looking after her which he loved. The only thing I sometimes find difficult is thinking of activities to entertain both of them which might not have been the case with a smaller gap.

Good luck and congratulations!

SellFridges Tue 27-Oct-15 20:55:58

It's working we'll for us - I work full time and have really valued being off work while DD has started school. DS does get lumped around to all her activities though which I suspect will have to change when he gets mobile. That'd be the same with any age gap really though.

PisforPeter Wed 28-Oct-15 19:59:38


JimmyGreavesMoustache Wed 28-Oct-15 20:05:02

3.8 years between my two
TBH they fight like cat and dog, but I really believe that's a personality thing rather than an age gap thing
For me, I've found it a really managable gap. Big enough that their needs for you/from you are usually a little different, and so it's easier to accommodate both at once. But not so big a gap that they want to do totally different things - we can still manage to enjoy the same films and the same days out.

Redberrypie Wed 28-Oct-15 20:11:13

4 years between my sister and I, we are very close. I have always really looked up to her. We played great games growing up, she had great imagination and I gave her an excuse to use it grin. We're late 30's, early 40's now and still get on great.

SparklyTinselTits Wed 28-Oct-15 20:15:25

There's a 4 year age gap between my older sister and I (now 21 and 25). When we were little it was great! We always had someone to play with, and we were more or less interested in the same things. One year we got a joint Christmas present....The Barbie Dreamhouse! Best Christmas ever. But then as we got older it was harder.
When I was 8 and my sister was 12, I still played with my dolls and did colouring, but my sister didn't want to play with me anymore sad and we didn't get on at all. Argued constantly!
But then when I reached 15/16, we became really good friends, and still are smile and her DS adores my DD smile

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