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Ideal sibling age difference?

(41 Posts)
Sunisshining12 Tue 28-Nov-17 18:32:38

DH & I plan to have 3 (if we are lucky enough to be able to do so).

We have 1 DS who is 9 months. DH suggested we try for another now so that I can be home with them whilst they are really little, and not have to take too much of a career break. My work/finances aren't a big issue in the decision. I'm more concerned about having a small age gap. He seems to think it's better for the children as they will be closer/have more in common. But what about me lol! Is this true in reality? What are the pros & cons of 18 months (ish) apart? Is 2-3 years better?

Would it be better to have a smaller gap between DC 1 & 2, or should I enjoy my baby for a few years then plan another? Where does a 3rd baby slot in! To add, we've just moved house & have a lot of work to do to this house (full renovation). We have the money set aside for this but DH will be doing a lot himself, we guess it will take 2 years, so that's DH spare time taken up (we have renovated twice so know what it's like). I'm 31 so not old but with the hope to have 3 it is at the back of my mind.

There's 26 months between my sibling & i. We are best friends & talk every day. There's 8 years between DH & his, they arent close at all, which i suspect is influencing this.

Would welcome your opinions/experiences!

(Ps - I'm talking in a perfect hypothetical world where you could click your fingers & have children as/when you liked - what would be your ideal?)

Sunisshining12 Wed 29-Nov-17 07:55:15


Meeep Wed 29-Nov-17 08:00:16

Go for three years each time. Then the older one can play more independently for when you're stuck feeding and they can join in and "help" you by fetching nappies and wipes etc. Plus s/he is at nursery for the afternoons and you can have a bit of newborn baby focused time every weekday.

Ecureuil Wed 29-Nov-17 08:03:29

19 months between mine. The first 6 months were awful, but I had two absolutely horrific sleepers. They’re just 4 and 2.5 now and it’s really, really nice. They get on so well, enjoy the same things, play together all day.
I’d like a third but as they both now sleep through the night I’m not sure I can bring myself to go back to sleeplessness!

AtlanticWaves Wed 29-Nov-17 08:07:44

There is no ideal gap.

Close gaps can be best of friends or worst enemies (I know someone whose brothers couldn't be left alone in the house even when they were teenagers. They literally broke the house and each other's limbs)

Mine have 2.7 years between them because DS1 was so hard I couldn't face a smaller gap.

We debated a 3rd but I'm struggling with 2 so we're stopping there.

They play really well together. And occasionally squabble.

GentlyGentlyOhDear Wed 29-Nov-17 08:16:59

I have 3 years between my two and it works really well, due to the reasons mentioned about about eldest being more independent and getting three full years of my attention, then youngest has had plenty of one-on-one too as eldest was at nursery and now school. We have debated having another and would do 3-4 year gap again. I had my eldest at 27 though, so haven't had to think too much about 'getting on with it'!

I think having them closer would get the baby stages over and done with more quickly, so it would be a couple of hard years then get easier more quickly, but I really enjoyed the 'easier' ride I had initially by having a larger gap. There is also 18 months between me and my brother and we did not get along at all - so much jealousy and sibling rivalry, so I wanted to avoid that by having a bigger gap. Though I think personality is more important than age gap, really.

Sunisshining12 Wed 29-Nov-17 09:50:51

It's so hard to know what to do! I don't feel particularly ready to have another. Do you get that 'feeling' with a second?

I know this is selfish but from a work point of view is it better to have them closer or wider? Obviously I want to get back to my job earn money etc. I'm very lucky it's a family friendly place. But if I go back & announce I'm pregnant again how would that go down!

I think it has a lot to do with personalities & possibly sexes?

Ecu, if you could turn back the clock would you keep that age gap?

bettybyebye Wed 29-Nov-17 09:55:35

I think you should wait until you feel ready! I could not even think of having another until my DS was about 18/19 months old but then as soon as I was ready I wanted to be pg immediately. Luckily it didn't take too long and we have a 2yr8mth gap, which has been great for us.

ZigZagandDustin Wed 29-Nov-17 09:58:05

My gaps are 19mths, 15 maths and 2 yrs. They are very hard work but I look forward to a few years from now when they are older. I can already see the close gap is great for similar interests etc.

Ecureuil Wed 29-Nov-17 09:59:52

Yes I would Sunisshining12. It had its really tough points but is so easy now. I think I would have struggled to make the decision to have another once we’d got out of the baby stage.

CappuccinoCake Wed 29-Nov-17 10:06:26

I think about 3 years is perfect (ours is 2 yr 10 months) as there has never been a difficult stage and the first few months were brilliant- elder one excited and old enough to understand what was going on. No jealousy or really competing.

But real life isn't the same as perfect. Few people conceive instantly or on demand and i tgink whatever the gap people work it out.

I'm v v glad we didn't go for v close gaps having seen how we had it and how others have found it difficult.

CappuccinoCake Wed 29-Nov-17 10:08:14

Gently - similar story here and 18mont between me and my brother which really didn't work. I think it's the worse if both worlds so actively didn't want 18month gap!

Ecureuil Wed 29-Nov-17 10:10:52

I'm v v glad we didn't go for v close gaps having seen how we had it and how others have found it difficult

We didn’t ‘go for’ a close gap, it was a contraception failure (I was on the mini pill as still breastfeeding). I’m glad it happened though!

Ecureuil Wed 29-Nov-17 10:11:56

I have a close friend with 4 DC and her biggest age gap is 16 months. She would say that there wasn’t a tough period at all, all hers have slept like dreams and just slotted in. It’s very child dependent!

AJPTaylor Wed 29-Nov-17 10:15:07

I had 2.5 years between 1and 2 (and then 10 years between 2 and 3).
In hindsight i think nearer the 3 years mark would have been better. Having 2 in nappies and then a toddler potty training wasnt ideal! At 9 months i couldnt picture a second. At 18 months i was broody!

isittheholidaysyet Wed 29-Nov-17 10:19:22

Mine are 25months, 27months and 20 months.

Works for me. They are close enough in age to have similar interests to a sibling.
Close enough that I don't have 4 kids going in different directions. (2 in scouts together, 2 in youth group together, for instance)

I liked that as a new baby arrived I wasn't trying to potty train one child. It was one nappy then the others nappy.
We could go to a toddler group and all 2 or 3 kids would be happy.

I think I would have found a big gap harder.

PoncyCanapes Wed 29-Nov-17 10:25:29

I don't think there is an ideal gap. Pros and cons to everything.

Me and my sister have 14 mths between us and have grown up incredibly close. Its been lovely having a sibling so close in age and we have always felt almost like twins. My mum also said it was great for her as she 'got her baby days out of the way' in a fairly short space of time, and she was able to retrain in a new career and become quite successful once we were both at school.

However, there is 3 years 9 months between my two and that has worked really nicely for us. DS started school not long after DD was born, so I only had the baby at home during the week, and at weekends he was old enough to entertain himself for short periods while I cared for DD.

No advice about going for a third, but I suppose it depends on how you see the next 10 years? If you had a 3 year gap between each child you'll be parenting babies for the next decade. If you had three in 5 years, your life in 10 years will look quite different, with school age children, iyswim?

Backhometothenorth Wed 29-Nov-17 10:26:35

We were thinking of a two/three year gap but had a couple of Mmc's and then were blessed with dd2 with four and a bit year gap. There's been a few moments here and there with jealousy over breastfeeding and so on but it's been fab on the whole- dd1 started full-time school shortly after her sister was born which game me lots of time with newborn and her older sister got lots of fuss at school about the new baby. They play really well now.

Go for it whenever you feel ready thanks

teaplease906 Wed 29-Nov-17 10:31:15

We have 4 years between eldest & middle and 5 years between middle and youngest. 9 years between my first & last.

Sometimes I wish they were closer in age but it is what it is, I have pcos and few miscarriages inbetween each child.

Halfdrankbrew Wed 29-Nov-17 13:53:26

We have exactly 18 months between our dd and ds. We also want to have another. Our youngest is only just about to turn 5 months so we are in the thick of what is meant to be the difficult stage.

I obviously couldn't comment on having a different age gap but for us it has worked out well. I love the age gap even though it is difficult at times. I'm breastfeeding the youngest so I often feel like I need to saw myself in 2 when our toddler wants me too. Our small age gap was an accident really if I'm honest, the plan was to have the second about 2 1/2 maybe 3 years after the first and then a small gap between 2 and 3. We're very happy we've done it this way, I feel less pressure with time now (I'm mid 30s).

If I could chose I'd actually have the 3rd with the same age gap, 18 months (maybe I've just lost my mind?), but I need to get my career back on track now. I was back in work less than 6 months between pregnancies, I don't think another so close would go down too well if I'm honest.

AtlanticWaves Wed 29-Nov-17 14:32:05

Before having DC I wanted 3 with a 2 year age gap each time. So oldest to youngest only 4 years and still close enough in age to like the same things.

In reality I couldn't face being pregnant with DC2 until DC1 was 20 months old and we didn't TTC until he was 22 months old.

And I cannot face having a 3rd.

Sunisshining12 Wed 29-Nov-17 14:38:40

Loving these comments ladies lots to think about :-)

ShiveryTimbers Wed 29-Nov-17 14:39:39

It might depend on your age as parents, too. If you're in your mid-thirties, go for it right now rather than waiting, as you never know how TTC will go.

Otherwise... I am loving a four-year age gap right now, with a new born -- my eldest is so much more independent than she was even a year ago. It's so so so much easier than it would have been earlier. There's a similar gap between me and my sister and we are good friends now (and were growing up).

ShiveryTimbers Wed 29-Nov-17 14:41:49

And yes, overall I'll have been parenting babies for longer than somebody who had them close together -- but I feel good about the level of attention I'll be able to give each of them. #1 because she had no competition... and #2 because the eldest is now full-time at preschool so I can also give her a similar amount of attention during the day...

Sunisshining12 Wed 29-Nov-17 17:17:10

I'm 31 so not mega old but not mega young either?!

Today I feel 50-50 about it, like you say fors and againsts.

Those of you with the smaller age gaps did you find it really hard? Do you wish in hindsight the gap was bigger?

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