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What is it like with a 5-6yr age gap? Honest answers appreciated.

(30 Posts)
Mrstumbletap Mon 29-May-17 18:55:43

Hi all, about to send first one to school in September and it has me thinking is it time for another?

I think it's so nice when they are potty trained, can talk, put their shoes on and sleep at night time.

Would we be mad to go through all the craziness of sleepless nights and nappies again with such a big gap?

Are they likely to be friends/get on as the gap is so big. Will the little one demand so much attention the bigger one misses out? Will DH and I essentially have to parent separately as one of us will be putting a baby to bed while the other helps with homework?

I need honest advice from you more experienced mumsnetters.

firawla Mon 29-May-17 19:03:21

I have 4 dcs but there's a 5 year gap between dc3 and dc4. It's actually really nice to have the one to one time with baby while older siblings are in school for the day, makes it easy to do baby activities / classes and all of that

We've not had any jealousy so far, the gap is big so obviously different interests but my older ones love baby dd and it's working out fine so far

I do parts of the bedtime routine with them together, some bits separately. If you can get your older one to be a bit independant it will really help (e.g., my 5 yr old and older ones all do own showers now) - it would be really handy if you can take one each with your dh, but not essential, you'll get good at multi tasking.

LedaP Mon 29-May-17 19:04:49

I am totally on the fence.

I have 6 years and spent the pregnancy thinking i must be mad.

Tbh like all age gaps it has good bits and bad bits. Dd was old enough to help out and old enough to understand if i needed to concentrate on ds.

The hardest bit was when ds was 18 months to 3. Trying to find stuff that suited both of them.

Now (they are 6 and 12) we go to the cinema, trampoline parks, laser quest etc and even found a soft play thats aimed at 5 upwards including adults. So we all go in it.

They have a wonderful bond. Ds often gets in bed with dd if he wakes up in the night and they spend a lot if time together out of choice

Dbro has 2 kids 14 months apart and has found there are hard bits as well. Its just different issues.

Both kids seem to love the age gap. Dd feels she has been involved in caring and teaching ds and ds feels close to her because she did teach him things.

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Mon 29-May-17 19:05:12

I can't answer you q as such as have 2 dc in between but my 7 yo adores my almost 2yo (and vice versa). She has spent this afternoon reading him every book he gave to her then chasing him with balloons. So so far I'd say yes it's possible for them to get on well. From my perspective having 4, routine is key for making sure everyone gets individual attention & that's always seemed to help stop any major issues re attention, particularly in the early days. I've always used feeding time as an opportunity to listen to the older ones read or to read them a nice story.

LedaP Mon 29-May-17 19:06:15

Oh and my brothers kids are 6 and 5 and really dislike eachother.

But i dont think thr age gap is the reason. Its just how they are.

I dont think any age gap can predict the relationship between siblings.

Whatsername17 Mon 29-May-17 19:06:43

Dd1 is 6 in July and dd2 is 18.5 weeks. I love it. Dd1 is old enough to understand why I have to split my attention, most of the time she gets involved and is very helpful with the baby. Me and dd2 get alone time in the day just like I had with dd1. I couldn't have coped with a baby and a toddler. Going back to sleepless nights is tough, but having an almost 6yo who will snuggle and watch a movie or entertain herself when we are knackered makes it easier.

MillieMoodle Mon 29-May-17 19:18:46

There's 5.5 years between my two; DS1 is 6 and DS2 is 8 months. We were aiming for a 4.5 year gap but it wasn't to be. So far it's been great, they adore each other. We tend to do bedtime at the same time for both, so I sort one DS and DH sorts the other, then the next night we swap. They have a bath together which they both love. DS2 is very easy going which probably helps.

The sleepless nights weren't really a shock for us as DS1 never slept through the night until recently. The nappies, feeding, weaning etc - I was amazed how quickly it all came back to me.

DS1 does have to keep himself entertained at home sometimes, but then DS2 gets carted off to all DS1's football practice/matches so its swings and roundabouts really. It's lovely having one to one time with DS2 while DS1 is at school. We try to make sure DS1 gets some time on his own with each of us too.

podstick Mon 29-May-17 19:26:53

There is both good and bad to be said for having a gap. I have 4 DCs, the first 3 within 4 years then a 7 year gap til the next one. At the time it was lovely to be able to lavish all that attention on just one baby and the older kids were great with DC4, but now they are all older I find myself with 3 young adults at home and one preteen and that can be tricky. The older ones find the younger one cramps their style and the younger one seems older than her years due to growing up with older siblings. I sometimes worry that the youngest one is missing out on having close siblings despite there being 3 others.

GreenGoblin0 Mon 29-May-17 19:37:16

my DD is 5 in a few weeks and I have a 7 week old Dd2 so far it has been a dream - no hint of jealousy. she is really proud to be a big sister and if has actually helped her confidence. she is genuinely helpful with baby and really loves her.
school run is a bit stressful but other than that I can spend all day with baby whilst DD at school.

there is also 5 years between dd1 and dss2. they do compete with each other for dad's attention but it is a different dynamic as DSS doesn't live here FT. however when they are getting on they play really well together.

there are obv drawbacks to this age gap but it does partly depend on personalities and not just the age gap. if you want another child I wouldn't let the age gap put you off

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Mon 29-May-17 19:48:52

DS is nearly 7 DD is nearly 2, birthdays are very very close. It's worked out great for us. With DS in school I get plenty of time with DD and spend less time splitting my attention. DD goes to bed an hour before DS so that our is our time for homework,reading and cuddles (DP and I work shifts so rarely do bed time with both parents)
It took some time getting DS used to not having our full attention (DD came in summer holidays,so no school) but was great being able to leave him to play/read/watch a movie while I napped on the sofa sorted out the baby. They're great together now and DS has come on leaps and bounds in him self confidence wise since becoming a big brother. Couldn't imagine a different age gap to be honest

Laniakea Mon 29-May-17 19:53:40

I have 4dc & an almost exactly 6 year age gap between my eldest two (the others are 3 & 2 years apart). It is brilliant! I can honestly say they have never fought or bickered (unlike my youngest two, two years apart and determined to kill one another) & now at 10 & 16 are still close and actually chose to do things together.

My dc are home educated so I didn't have one at school but I have such fond memories of the early years with dc1 & 2 ... it was so easy & pleasant compared to multiple under 5s!

umberellaonesie Mon 29-May-17 19:57:19

I have 3 dc 5 years between each.
We started young so it has been great, I have one in college, one in secondary l, Obe in primary.
Only ever 1 in childcare at a time and now oldest babysit and picks up childcare occasionally.
Worked well for us. Although it does mean if they all go to.uni I will be paying for it consecutively forever

NeverTwerkNaked Mon 29-May-17 20:01:32

We have a 10 year old and a 3 year old (2 6 year olds as well). They get on really well most of the time and really love each other.
The main difficulty is making sure they each have time doing stuff that is just right for their own age as well, so taking the 10 year old off to watch older movies etc . But that would apply even if they were two children close in age who liked very different things.

banannabreadforme Mon 29-May-17 20:13:36

I am 5 years older than my brother. (My mum had a stillborn baby in between) we get on very well. I remember him being born and was involved in all the new baby things. We didn't know any different. It's not a problem

Mrstumbletap Tue 30-May-17 13:36:44

Thanks for the replies. I think DH and I are going to have to read these together. One being at school would make it easier to manage in the daytime, but getting up for the school run on no sleep that is going to be a struggle.

MrsJayy Tue 30-May-17 13:41:05

I have 5 years between mine it was brilliant had baby in february dd went to school in August i didnt want baby toddler combo i couldn't have coped growing up the got on then didnt then did like most siblings really

user1496147688 Tue 30-May-17 13:42:26

Hi, my parents had a seven year gap between me and my brother!
It was really good

HoneyDragon Tue 30-May-17 13:43:05

Seven years between mine. Everyone told me I was mad but it's been brilliant.

Anditstartsagain Tue 30-May-17 14:45:27

I only have 4.5 years but ds1 started school as ds2 came along attention wise its been good the baby gets me during the day then after school and weekends we do things ds1 likes. They are very close so far love to kiss and hug and I can leave them both in while i get jobs done (ds2 in the playpen) as long as ds1 is there he will be happy. Ds1 is great with him patient caring and old enough to understand when he needs to wait. I think the age gap will keep jealously and sibling rivalry to a minimum.

We do have to do a certain amount of seperate parenting but I think you need to no matter what age gap. We just try to make sure we share jobs so we each get time with each child. Ds1 more of less sorts himself for bed so it means 1 of us has the baby and the other can relax with the big one for a while. We each have 2 nights a week out at bedtime and manage fine alone with 2 since ds1 is able to wait or get things for himself if the baby isn't settling.

I wouldn't change the age gap tbh I feel the both have so much attention if i also had a toddler theres no way I could give them all the same attention.

HandbagKrabby Tue 30-May-17 14:56:28

5 year gap here and it's fine so far! Dc love each other and older one plays with baby really nicely. Might change a bit once baby is mobile but we'll see smile Everyone seems to have an opinion on age gaps, I imagine personalities are as much a part of it as ages.

fabbradoodle Tue 30-May-17 14:58:24

Seven year gap here between dd1 and dd2, honestly it was fab and they get on really well. In fact we are about to have a 5yr age gap between dd2 and dc3 as and not worried at all smile

HerRoyalFattyness Tue 30-May-17 15:08:08

I'm a single mum to 3. My oldest is 8. He is 5 years older than DD who is 3 then there's 19 months between her and DS2 (nearly 2)

I love the bigger gap
He's a brilliant big brother.
He reads his books to them, he shares his toys, he is old enough to be a bit more independent and when DD was born he was old enough to understand that sometimes he had to wait a little bit, but that I would make time for him.
And the little 2 adore him.
He's on holiday with my mum at the minute and they've both been asking every day for him and DS2 isn't sleeping very well as he usually climbs in dS1s bed during the night. DS1 doesn't mind this and has been known to climb in DS2s bed sometimes to cuddle him. grin

It can be hectic but if you establish a good routine you soon get into the swing of things.
I'll do bedtime for the little 2 while DS1 gets on with homework (I tell him if he gets stuck to leave it and then go back to it when I'm downstairs to help, but I've been very lucky that he never needs a lot of help)

Floralnomad Tue 30-May-17 15:16:35

I have a 6.5 yr age gap and mine barely tolerate each other and it's never been any different ( they are currently 24 & 17) . They are boy / girl in that order, ds never wanted a sibling and dd would be happy to get on but he makes it incredibly difficult and always has , although now he's older he has improved and can be really thoughtful about presents for her . The only thing we didn't have issues with were holidays and entertainment as we stuck to Disney and theme parks which could suit all ages and they both like sightseeing and culture so city breaks were / are ok . I actually don't think the age gap has anything to do with it , ds wouldn't have made life easy if the gap had been 6 yrs or 2 yrs .

drinkingtea Tue 30-May-17 15:26:06

I have a 5.5 year gap between dc1 and 3, though there is dc2 in between.

DC1 and 3 have a great relationship, but it is an utterly different relationship to the one between dc1 and 2, who are very close in age and were an inseperable little unit when they were small, played together as equals very early, have each others back, liked the same stuff at the same time esp when under 10 etc.

DC1 has always seemed very grown up compared to dc3, and DC3 has dc1 wrapped around his little finger.

The plus is dc1 and 3 have never fought and adore each other - my closer in age kids do bicker. The minus is that for years I had to keep dc3 out of DC1's way when she was playing with something he might trash - that phase is far longer with a big gap. DC1 also spoils dc3 rotten and he plays up the "cute" baby role with her and she does stuff for him he could and should do himself! Also they have different interests so days out are always a compromise for one child.

I don't think the gap matters in the long run - siblings with any gap can love or hate or be indifferent to one another.

mummabubs Tue 30-May-17 15:57:33

Can't answer from a parent perspective but there's 5 and 3/4 years between me and my youngest sister and we are so close. I know my mum says she found it helpful when I was able to play and comfort my sis in a way that no one else in the family could- I think the age gap played a big role in this smile

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