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Does anyone have a 4 year age gap with their DC? What's it like?

(41 Posts)
Mrstumbletap Wed 16-Mar-16 16:12:03

Could you give me a few pros/cons?

Is it such a gap that they just don't get on and have nothing in common? Example take them to zoo or theme park they can't go on the same rides?

Does one parent spend all their time with one and the other with the other? Does it ever feel like a unit of four?

Think I may want another, but the age gap will be 4 years, and worried that gap will be hard on the DC.

Would love your thoughts or experiences!

wigwam33 Wed 16-Mar-16 16:40:14

I have this gap and it's worked really well so far (5.5DS and 1.5DD). Older one is more sensitive and gentler. Younger one is tougher and more boisterous. They do play rough and tumble together and get on really well. For us a bigger gap has meant that the older one doesn't feel too threatened by the younger one but the younger one absolutely adores him and is developing really fast.

We had a bit of sibling rivalry between 6 and 12months when DD starting crawling, becoming more active and grabbing DS's toys but I think you get that at some point whatever the age gap.

We do things all together as a family - spend lots of time outside in parks and it's fine, DS plays football and enjoys 'teaching' younger sibling how to throw a ball. DD loves watching older brother and of course wants to do everything he does. She'll probably be onto a balance bike long before her brother was! We don't do a lot of theme parks etc.. at present, saving that for when they can both enjoy it and TBH DS enjoys the free places just as much at this age.

Like you, I was a bit concerned about the big gap but big brother loves to 'look after' younger sister and it's working well for us.

madmother1 Wed 16-Mar-16 16:44:21

It was no problem. Mine are 15 and 19. It's nice to have their nearly adult stuff staggered. Exams, driving lessons etc. Also 18th and 21st birthdays not being on the same year. It was a bit expensive when they both went to different schools in the same year but apart from that they are very individual people. I actually remember loving my time with each child on their own. The little one just tagged along. When they were 6 and 10 the gap didn't seem too bad as the youngest was very confident.

snozzlemaid Wed 16-Mar-16 16:46:19

Mine are 18 and 14 and we've never had any problems with that age gap.

Toomanycats99 Wed 16-Mar-16 16:48:42

I have a 3yr 10 month gap. In many ways it's great. I was on maternity with dd2 when dd1 started school. So had time with the baby alone but was was still around to do pickups. The oldest was sensible enough that you could leave them together in the same room while you are elsewhere and not worry. They are now 8 and 4 and love each other to bits. Main pIn I guess is with activities the youngest maybe spent more time than she would being dragged places for oldest. Also going out for the day the oldest likes museums but youngest but really got them yet!

GrimmauldPlace Wed 16-Mar-16 16:55:13

Mine are 4 years apart. I think, for me, it's been the perfect age gap. When I had the newborn (DD), older child (DS) was at school all day so I got quality time with baby and got to sleep when she did etc. Then when DS came home, dad took over baby duties and I spent quality time with him. As DD got older, especially when she started playing with toys etc there was a little sibling rivalry I suppose but no more so, I think, than if they were closer in age. We spend a lot of time doing things as a family. Although sometimes I do feel a bit limited in where we can go. Finding things for a 7 and a 3 year old to do can be difficult. But that really is a minor thing, especially as the younger one gets older.

mawbroon Wed 16-Mar-16 17:39:56

My 2 are 4yrs and 4months apart.

Ds1 was jealous from day 1 and it was a nightmare.

Yes to splitting into two groups a lot and things being too baby for the older one and too old for the wee one.

It also doesn't help that mine have completely different characters and interests, but even if they did, it would be unlikely that they would both be in the same class (eg football) at the same time.

They fight all the bloody time and it drives me mental.

Sorry, it all sounds a bit negative re the age gap. Who knows, it would quite possibly be the same with a different gap.

mawbroon Wed 16-Mar-16 17:40:51

Mine are 6 and 10 now btw

jellyjiggles Wed 16-Mar-16 17:44:55

5 years difference. Been great. The only issues are the younger one gets frustrated when she can't do what the older one is doing. The older one likes peace and there's very little with my youngest about but I think that's due to character.

They generally get on really well. Their characters are the right way round. Had my youngest been born first it would be a very different story.

eternalopt Wed 16-Mar-16 17:51:25

Not dc, but 4 yr gap between me and my sister. Very happy memories or being taken under my sisters wing and her playing school with me etc.. (Which have me a massive head start in school as it happens). Gap only seemed big when she was say 16/17 and starting to go out and stuff, and I was 12/13 and stuck at home. There's no perfect age gap though. Each has pros and cons. If you want another, go for it

Juanbablo Wed 16-Mar-16 19:43:33

I have a 4 year gap between dcs 2 and 3. Dc2 is very hands on and loving but can get a bit too much. Even now they are 6 and 2 and she still wants to be all over him all the time!

LittleRedTealight Wed 16-Mar-16 19:48:31

I don't have DC, but there is a four-year age gap between me and DSis, and we are the best of friends. grin

Jitterybug Wed 16-Mar-16 19:56:31

There are 5 years between ds and dsd, they're very close and play for hours together, ds has developed an older style of imaginative play due to her and he gives her an outlet to still play make believe. It works really well (the majority of the time).

There is a bit of him being too young for certain things, but it doesn't come up often.

There are 4 years between me and my dsis, we've always been very close too.

ChilliMum Wed 16-Mar-16 20:23:51

There are 4.5 years between my 2 and they are different sexes and different personalities. I won't lie to you at the moment (10 and 5) they are worlds apart and squabbling is a constant.

However, it is a fairly recent development and before this they adored each other. I am hoping it is a phase that will pass.

On the positives dc1 started school just before dc2 arrived and it meant I could do all the lovely baby activities and groups with dc2, it was like having a pfb all over again but without all the first time anxiety. We do lots as a family, it's not that difficult zoos, museums, cycling, hiking, skiing, swimming but we also try to do some 1 2 1 days out that are age appropriate especially for Dc1 who does sometimes get fed up of things that are suitable for 5 years. I also believe it teaches them empathy and compassion. They have to consider each other and what is fair.

Some days I feel a little envious of my friend who has 2 dds a year apart and the ease with which she can organise them, same swim class, both like the same movies etc... but that said, I wouldn't swap what I have for the world.

Obs2016 Wed 16-Mar-16 20:30:21

Just under 5 years here. Sometimes loving and caring, sometimes they really fight. But I can't see much difference between this and any other age difference!

GunShotResidue Wed 16-Mar-16 20:33:54

As others have said, there's 4 years (and 4 months) between me and my sister. Mum wanted kids closer together but had health problems inbetween. We never really argued, I've always been a bit maternal towards her and now she's my closest friend.

DH's friend has a bigger gap and loves it, one is in school so she gets loads of time with the younger and is able to do all the baby groups and stuff like baby massage. There's going to be a 2 year gap between mine and I do feel guilty that I won't be able to do as much with the younger as I did with PFB.

Topsy34 Thu 17-Mar-16 07:52:50

6 years difference and its fab so far, ds1 is 6.5 and ds2 5 months.
Ds1 is really helpful and kind toward ds2

DurhamDurham Thu 17-Mar-16 08:13:22

My two girls are 18 and 22, I think four years is a great age gap. My oldest daughter was out of nappies, sleeping well, enjoying playgroup and very excited about the arrival of her little sister. It was easy, she was keen to help, maybe a bit too keen sometimes......she once walked down the stairs with her three week sister after she had woken......in a pair of princess slippers shock

I've always been surprised at just how close the girls are,they always enjoyed playing with each other when they were little but I used to think that when they were 8 and 12 they wouldn't have much in common, or when they were 12 and 16, or 16 and 20 but they have remained v close. This is despite them being very different in looks and personality.
They consider each other to be their best friend, they have some mutual and some different friends. They spend a lot of time together, one works full time and the other is at Uni. When my 18 year old went to Uni she moved to the same street where my oldest lives, this does make it easier to go and visit them. We do one for lunch and the other for dinner smile

I can't see any cons, some people prefer babies closer in age to get the whole nappies and potty training out of the way quickly but I didn't think either of those things were anything to stress about.

MyBreadIsEggy Thu 17-Mar-16 08:20:48

There's four years between me and my sister smile
It worked when we were little, because we would happily play together, and watched the same to programmes and stuff. But as we got a bit older eg. I was 8, Dsis was 12, that's when the problems began! I still wanted to play Barbies and colouring, but my sister didn't want to play with me anymore! It was made even more difficult as we shared a bedroom.
But when we got past that stage, I got to about 15, and sister was 19, our relationship got way better. Now as adults, the age gap is nice and we are definitely friends now.

TarteAbricot Thu 17-Mar-16 08:25:23

4.5 year gap between my two and its actually rather good. When DS was a baby, 4/5 year old DD couldn't do enough to help and they have a very strong bond, DS is fiercely proud of his big sister.

Having a gap worked well at school too. The DC went to the same primary and it was lovely for DS to have his sister in the older classes to look out for him when he was in reception, Y1 and Y2 but it's also been great that now DD has moved on the secondary he has to stand on his own two feet. This pattern will repeat if we can get DS into the same secondary (fingers crossed).

Jenijena Thu 17-Mar-16 08:33:20

Following this thread as going to have a 3 yr 11 month age gap between my two when this one is cooked. Its wider than I would have liked, but babies don't come to demand. The oldest one is already really excited - and he got to go in the loft to look for baby things, which he thought was very cool. He's taken on responsibility to teach the baby to share and talk hopefully baby's first word won't be fartypants and is very very sweet when talking about it. I'm fully expecting the first few weeks to be a nightmare, but he's had a lot of experience of babies now and is very clear about what he will and won't be doing, which must be easier (I hope) than having two closer in age...

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Thu 17-Mar-16 08:35:12

These are my two.... This morning they have been burglars, played in a tent and made whipped cream from some wooden food in a metallic tin hmm. They are 8 & 4 and have played well together since 6 & 2. We have DS who is 6 but he is disabled. Our plan was 2 years between them but it didn't work out that way. We worried that they wouldn't get on but it's been fine X

Peebles1 Thu 17-Mar-16 09:16:23

Agree about planned age gaps not always working. 4 years between me and my big sis. DM had a son in between us but he died as a baby. I also have a DB 1 year younger than me, so there are 3 of us. The age gap between me and DSis was no problem. I remember lots of family picnics and cinema trips. We slept in the same room as we were girls, and used to stroke each other's arms to get to sleep. When she was a teen I wasn't as close to her as I was too little, but she looked out for me when I started secondary. Then I became a teen and we were close again. She's a lovely sis, I'd have no qualms about a 4 yr gap.

ElviraCondomine Thu 17-Mar-16 10:22:50

4.5 years between mine (5 school years)
When they were younger there was an element of divide and conquer on trips/holidays etc (DH tended to do the playgrounds with DD2 while I took DD1 to castles etc) but as soon as DD2 was about 5 everything got a lot easier. For the first couple of years DD2 really had to just go along with what we'd planned for DD1, but babies are very portable so that was fine too.

I find DD1 liked the excuse to play 'younger' games and watch her old Disney dvds with her little sister. Now they are 12 and 16 and get on really well - bake together, like a lot of the same tv (admittedly DD2 has grown up a bit faster than I'd like, but I think that's the same with all 2nd DC) and even share clothes.

DD2 is however looking forward to DD1 leaving for university next year as she'll finally get the bigger bedroom.

TeenAndTween Thu 17-Mar-16 13:26:00

5 years age gap here, 6 school years, both girls.

Mainly it has been fine at least up until age 10/15 years. Theme parks, zoos, holidays all OK. Good for after school activities, as DD2 was too young when DD1 was in primary, and by the time DD2 started doing things, DD1 was more independent.

This year DD1 is in 6th form, and DD2 is still at primary, and the gap seems to be widening. But I expect it will close again over the next couple of years.

Museums we have needed 1-1 to ensure DDs get value out of experience.

DVDs - if DD1 wants to watch an older film she goes to another room or waits until DD2 isn't around. Also we hardly go to cinema as a whole family.

They have a lovely bond. smile

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