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Pros and Cons of 4 year age gap between siblings

(16 Posts)
CB89 Wed 07-Oct-20 19:17:40

Hi everyone,

New on here - so apologies if this is the wrong chat or been asked before.

Anyone with a 4 yr age gap between siblings, pros and cons?!

Thanks, Claire

OP’s posts: |
33goingon64 Wed 07-Oct-20 19:28:09

Yes, 4 years 5 months. They are now 9 and 5. Works brilliantly for us. DC 1 started school a month after his brother was born so I had 6 hours a day to enjoy bonding with new born. DC 1 was mature enough not to feel threatened or jealous and the age gap means there are obvious differences both of them understand, like bedtimes, DC 1 having stuff like an iPod and a watch, being allowed to watch older tv shows, go roller skating etc. They are quite happy together but also different enough personalities and at different stages that they will go off and do things separately too. They get on very well 90% of the time but of course there are clashes, just far fewer than we expected.

IRememberSoIDo Wed 07-Oct-20 19:31:36

Yes 4.5 years here, two girls. Get on brilliantly for the most part bar normal sibling stuff. Both alpha females so definitely able to deal with each other. Starting to notice the gap now that eldest is nearly 13 but because of their personalities it works. She's the softer, more amenable and patient one. If the roles were reversed I'm not sure it would have been as successful, dd2 far less forgiving 🤣

Khajit Wed 07-Oct-20 19:32:28

My brother is 4 years younger than me. I think this kept me from being too jealous and we never fought over toys etc, though it also meant we didn't have much in common til he was well into his teens. We got on well after that though.

BackforGood Wed 07-Oct-20 19:37:03

From a parents' pov, the chances of them both needing to be financially supported through university at the same time are reduced.

Also unlikely to be taking public exams at the same time (it can be a tense time in many a household)

From the dcs' pov, nice that they are unlikely to be in the same class / groups as siblings (things like Brownies or Cubs) they get to be 'their own person' - though I see that logistically it is more collecting / taking etc for parents

Financially, the expensive kit that you buy them over the years that is outgrown before being out worn (football boots, hiking boots, wet suits, ski wear) will be outgrown by one before the next one needs it

Financially one will be leaving FT childcare before the other one starts.

Itsalwayssunnyupnorth Wed 07-Oct-20 19:41:25

4 years 0 months works really well for us. DC1 in full time school nursery so plenty of one on one time with DC2. Oldest is old enough to understand what’s going on/not really jealous of the baby/happy to independent play etc. From my point of view I had a couple of years back in work climbing a bit further up the ladder which was good for me and the family as a whole. Not going to need to pay nursery bill for 2 at the same time. Had lots of quality time with DC1 before DC2 showed up. Being completely honest don’t think I could have handled any smaller gap 🤦🏼‍♀️

GottaPlanStan Wed 07-Oct-20 19:44:06

Pros: Not close enough in age to feel as though they're competing with each other.

The older one is usually already school-age when the younger one arrives, which gives you more of an opportunity to spend 1:1 time with the little one.

Con: Just as the eldest is finally leaving the worst of the teenage angst and stroppiness behind them, the youngest is just starting.


Toomanycats99 Wed 07-Oct-20 19:49:55

3.10 here.

Pros: oldest had started school so for time with baby, oldest sensible enough to leave in the same place while you hopped in another room.

Drawback so thi late as they get older. As a single parent needing to pick oldest up from places she really youngest should be in bed.
Film tastes bit different if you want to go to cinema
Oldest wants to be in the main
Pool for a swimming and youngest in the baby pool!

Oldest is 13 now so it's easier as she does a lot independently.

coastergirl Wed 07-Oct-20 20:51:27

Different perspective from me. Eldest is about to be diagnosed with autism but no learning disabilities. Age gap 4 years 2 months. Absolute nightmare. Long enough that eldest very much used to having me to himself and liked it that way. But also not mature enough to help, to understand the differences between him and his brother. Also hadn't really grown out of being a very destructive and demanding toddler yet. We're 16 months in now and it's getting better. They enjoy each other a lot, but eldest still resents the youngest at times and it can be difficult. I feel like a smaller or larger age gap would have been easier, but who knows?

NoFilterAllowed Thu 08-Oct-20 10:06:57

I don't have a 4 year age gap (i actually have a 11 year gap lol)
but for me the pro's would be that the older DC is in school so plenty of time in the day for bonding with baby/sleeping when they sleep! My oldest was in school and i really relished having an afternoon nap when baby slept if i'd had a rough night, those with smaller age gaps don't get to do that and it must be incredibly hard.
I suppose the cons are that they are both going to be at a different age of what they want to play/do and the older one won't want to do babyish things and the younger wont be old enough to do things the older child does.
But that said i didnt think my then 11 year old would have anything in common with his little sister and they get along so well. He is the perfect mix of responsible but still has a childish side about him that she absolutely loves. It's beautiful watching them together.

TheGriffle Thu 08-Oct-20 10:23:53

Dd2 was born 5 days before dd1’s 4th birthday.

I got 1-1 time with the baby as dd1 was in nursery 3 days a week then started school when baby was 6 months old (and meant I was still on maternity to help the eldest get used to school)

The older one was able to understand and help a little bit with her sister and it’s lovely to see them play nicely together.

However it has been hard. It felt like starting all over again and each stage dd1 grows out of you know you will be there again just 4 years later.

You’d think with the age gap they wouldn’t fight over toys but bloody hell they do! Dd1 doesn’t like her sister touching her things but wants dd2 to share all her toys.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Thu 08-Oct-20 10:28:39

I have two five year gaps, which were great in lots of ways when they were all young (the older one/s able to understand that you can't just drop the baby to go and deal with something), and pretty much OK as teens/pre-teens, but has caused some issues now that they're all adult, as when you're not living at home, it's not always easy to adjust to the fact that your baby sibling isn't twelve any more, and is more than capable of choosing their own university degree subject without running it past you first.

However, in the same way as eldest being in school when new baby arrived meant that you had loads of time to baby snuggle without resentment from the older one, as they've gone through teenager-ness, I've been able to develop great individual relationships with them.

I wouldn't necessarily have chosen the bigger age gaps (and in an ideal world I wouldn't have started having DC at 21) but for us it's worked out great.

SaffyWall Thu 08-Oct-20 10:39:12

There's a 4 1/2 year age gap between my two (currently 12 and 8) and whilst it wasn't what we planned (several miscarriages) it has worked out brilliantly so far.

DS2 was born on DS1's first day of school which wasn't ideal but otherwise I have nothing but positive things to say. They get on brilliantly so far, and I feel like we've had plenty of time with each of them whilst they were young.

crazychemist Thu 08-Oct-20 12:54:06

About to have twins, have a DD that has jut turned 4.

Although we haven’t actually had the twins yet, I’m enormously relieved that we have a slightly larger age gap than we’d initially aimed for. Potty training is completely out the way, and DD can take herself completely independently (admittedly, she often requests company if she needs a poo...). She can dress herself with little assistance, so won’t require as much support with morning routine, which is great as I’ll need my hands! She can get herself in and out of the car (but does need help with fastening). She entertains herself for quite prolonged periods of time without much support. She can tidy up reasonably effectively (still with guidance though, but that doesn’t actually require my hands).

Basically, although there’s still lots she needs me to be present for and she still wants my company, she doesn’t need very much physical help. I’m so relieved by this!

She also has a good understanding of what the baby will be like as she has met plenty of younger siblings, so she has a much more realistic picture than I think lots of kids with a smaller gap have. She’s mature enough to understand that I can’t always help her immediately, and she will wait (not for all that long!).

crazychemist Thu 08-Oct-20 12:56:28

Cons: they obviously won’t be playmates for a very long time if ever. I hope they’ll get on, but I had a 3.5 year gap between me and my sister, and she seemed worlds apart from me basically until we had both left home.

Work - I’ve stayed part time since I had DD. The larger gap than planned has meant not making the progress with my career that I probably would have been hoping for if I’d had a smaller gap. Obviously also means less money in total over time if you stay on reduced hours longer.

I’m 4 years older than I was.... wonder how I’m going to deal with the sleepless nights compared to last time....

Zenab12 Thu 08-Oct-20 18:11:44

I have an 22 month age gap between my daughter and son, they are currently 5 and 3.
We planned them close together, it's hard at times but they are very close in age and like best friends.
But honestly, looking back and my daughter being the age is now ( just literally turned 5) I would have loved to have had my little boy whilst my daughter was at this age, just because having a close age gap is lovely but very hard at times and if I did have any future children I wpild probably leave a 4 or 5 year age gap.
My son has just turned 3 in july and we have absolutely no plans for another.. That's how traumatic it was for my hubby having 2 close together it's completely put him of more kids 😂

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