Kids close together or far apart?

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I’m only just pregnant with my first, but I’ll give you my opinion so far anyways. Almost everyone I know had two years between siblings, that includes my faily and cousins my DH’s family and a lot of his cousins and many of our friends’ kids are spaced this way. That means they got pregnant again when their first babies were around 16 months. No one ever said it was crazy difficult with this spacing.

Most people seem to like this spacing as the kids are close enough to play with eachother but the oldest is able to walk, listen to mom and sort of talk at two.

People spaced 3-4 years apart have tended to not be as close as younger siblings because play is so much different with the age gap, but they became closer as they reached later teens/early twenties.

The closest siblings I’ve met seem to be about a year apart, but that comes with its own challenges of raising two infants at the same time basically.

Post # 3
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Lol, I have 2. A 13 year old daughter, and a 2 year old son. Their bdays are in March and January, respectively. My daughter LOVES her baby brother and is a huge help. He’s her “Bubba”. 🙂

It kinda runs in my family though. I’m almost 33, and I have 14 year old, and 10 year sisters.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  hippopotamus.
Post # 4
2047 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

s2bmzbrown:  it depends.

Im pregnant with my first and Im of the mind “if we decide to have another we will” but I’ve never been one of those “I need a min of 2 kids” which is how my DH was raised (I say brainwashed lol). The thing is we’ve been talking about it and he was saying how he cant imagine not having his sister but Im an only child and say the same…cant imagine what its like WITH one!

DH has always (until now) been hell bent on 2 kids. I asked him why. He said because they will be buddies and play together….which is the usual answer people give you. BUT really…. that would depend on WHEN you had them. You have to think about whether you want another because you and DH just want one and it really doesnt matter if they’re 10 years apart or If your reason for having another is because you more or less dont want your first to be lonely and have someone to play with then IMO it needs to be soon after…..

if you do the math say you have a 3 year old…. and you start trying and it takes (lets just throw out) 3 months to get prego and then of course you  have 9+ months of pregnancy… your child will then be min 4 when its born. A 4 year old cant “play” with a baby (in that sense) yet…a baby is a blob lol…. I wouldnt even really say a 1 year old. A 1 year old is just starting to learn how to walk, not talking….. they can play a little but still not a lot of stuff…. a 1 year old is still a baby in a lot of ways, the older kid will be 5 at that point. When the baby hits 2 then they will be able to do more stuff together but at that point the older child is 6….and in grade 1!!!! They will be making friends and learning to ride bikes possibly in sports etc…. and will only want to play with the 2 year old stuff for a small amount of time before they get bored. (I had this myself with my little cousin who was like a sister to me). when your hitting 4 years plus as a gap its starting to get too big to claim “we’re having 2 so they will play together”. At that point they probably wont connect in that way until the youngest is a little older and can take part in more big kid stuff with the older one.

My DH and his sister are 3.5 years apart and he says they were basically too far for the little kid playing….when they got older yes and of course he cant imagine life without her but he said in terms of the mentality his parents had? it was too late. He was into rough and tough games and running around with his friends by the time his sister was big enough to do anything with.

So…. if we do decide to go for 2 then chances are it would be the year I come back to work after mat leave once I’ve built up enough time again (1 year mat leave in canada). I guess the point is… you really need to think about the reasons your having another and the dynamic you want your kids to have…. if it IS mainly for the other child then I vote sooner the better. Not to say gaps are bad… but if its far apart then chances are they may not be as close as one would like/assume (different relationship until they are older)!

Post # 5
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

s2bmzbrown:  I’m not a parent, but here is another perspective. I was the youngest of three girls and actually was much closer to my oldest sister who was six years older than me. She was my role model and I looked up to her so much. My middle sister and I fought a lotttt growing up – well, she picked on me haha. But we were 22 months apart.

Post # 6
1242 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

s2bmzbrown:  I personally like closer in age. They always have a built in playmate.I feel like the further in age they are from each other, the more it’s like raising two (or three) only children.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  MangoSong.
Post # 7
6668 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I have two girls who are 8 years apart- they are 11 and 3 now. They get along really well and don’t fight- older girl is into One Direction and the other is into My Little Pony- not fighting over clothes or toys or boys! I had the first at 26 and the second at 34- I am 37 now. Interestingly, my husband is 8 years and 11 years in spacing from his siblings- and it has not affected their adult relationship, they get along great.

this picture is them holding hands on an amusement park ride 2 weeks ago:

Post # 9
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Alright. I’m not a parent, but I am a big sister, so I’m going to put in something from that perspective. 

I am 9 & 11 years older than my siblings. With my family, that means I was the babysitter. A lot. My mom still thinks I can babysit at the drop of a hat, though I’m establishing my own household, work two jobs, and go to school. There was actually a time where my younger sisters called me Mom often on accident, because I’d be the one dropping them off, etc etc. It got really old, really fast. Now, we never ever fought because we had nothing to fight over, which I’m sure was nice. But if you have a large gap, please make sure that that older child gets a chance to be the older child. 

My sisters are only two years apart, and they fight constantly and loudly. I’m not saying that siblings should never fight, but they are absolutely ridiculous. Personally, I think that 10 ish years is way too much, and 2 years too little. 

FI and his sister are 5 years apart. They used to fight a bit, but the normal amount for siblings. They are pretty close and usually have been. They depend on each other for support at times, but are still independent and their own people. To me, from what I’ve experienced, that 4-5 year age gap seems good. I know some people want to build in a playmate by having them really close in age, but that’s not really a good strategy – if they have completely opposite personalities, they’re not going to want to necessarily be playmates, or they get so close to each other they don’t necessarily make other friends. 

I know I’m not a mom, but I acted like half mom/half big sister for a while. My sisters will come to me more than their mom. *shrug* Just my two cents worth. 

Post # 10
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m not a mom yet, but I am the oldest child in my family, with 3 brothers who are 2, 5, and 10 years younger than me.  Me and my first 2 brothers have always been inseparable.  We played together constantly.  Sure, we fought, but what siblings don’t?  I feel bad sometimes that my youngest brother is left out of a lot of things.  But as we’re getting older, we’re starting to get closer to him as well.  My husband is also the oldest of 4 with 3 younger brothers that are even closer in age – they’re 2, 4, and 7 years younger.  They are very close as well.  We hope to have 3 kids close in age too. 

Now even though the spacing worked out great in our families, I don’t think that necessarily matters.  I’ve seen a lot of siblings close in age that are besties, and some that don’t get along at ALL.  I think the personalities of the kids determine friendships more than ages.  So you never know what you’re going to get! 

Post # 11
2578 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We only have one child who will be 10 in about 2 weeks. We would like another child (have for years), but we’re not actively trying… much to my dismay. I hate that we’ve waitedso long to add to our family, and am very worried about having such a huge age gap between our children, but I guess it could work out in our favour, as DD would love the opportunity to help out, given the chance.

Post # 12
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

1) how many children do you have: We have 1 and plan to TTC #2 in November

2) how far apart are they: They will be at least 17 years apart! We also plan to TTC #3 when child #2 is 9-12 months old, so we will have 2 that are very close in age if everything goes as planned (and I just tempted fate with that sentence).

3) how old are you and how does your setup work for you with your children?” We are 34. I have no idea how the set-up will work in practice. I’ll have a newborn and a kid in his senior year of high school. DS will have his license and be pretty independent by that time, so I’m not too worried about it. As for the plan to have 2 LOs under 2, a nanny will be our sanity saver. I’m still not sure how we will simultaneously pay for DS’s college bills and a nanny, but we’ll make it work.


Post # 13
5935 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

Not a parent but my brother and I are 7 years apart and I really think it affected our relationship. It’s hard for a brother and a sister to have things in common and hang out with such a big age gap. I think it might be slightly easier if the kids were the gender but I still think it would be difficult. My brother and I don’t have a bad relationship but we’re definitely not very close. So, obviously, I’d rather have my kids closer together. Either 2 or 3 years apart.


Post # 14
998 posts
Busy bee

I’m not a parent, either, but I am the youngest of four children. My sister is 31, my oldest brother is 29, my other older brother will be 23 next month, and I’m 20. Generally, my sister is closest to my oldest brother, and I interact most with the brother closest to my age, with there being more emotional distance between the siblings of the same gender.

On the other hand, my dad is also a youngest child, and he is quite close to his older sister, my aunt. She is about 13 years older than my dad, and they talk twice a day on the phone. I mainly attribute this to them being coworkers until my aunt retired, as well as the way that my aunt often looked after my dad when he was a baby. However, I also have two uncles on that side of the family that are closer to age to my aunt, but she isn’t as close to her older brothers. One of them is around 17-18 years older than my father; the other is nearly 20 years older than my dad.

Basically, in my experience with siblings, I believe that different spacings work for different families. If you want your children to be close, I’d only try to avoid spacing them so that they wouldn’t grow up together, as was the case with my dad and his brothers. If the siblings never live in the same household and the oldest is old enough to be the other’s parent, cultivating a traditional “siblingly” relationship will be a challenge.

Post # 15
3047 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Pregnant with our first child and I’ll definitely don’t want a second one anytime close. Partly because I think it sucks to be pregnant, but also because I’ve heard from so many friends that kids that are close in age fight a lot and that the older child doesn’t take the new addition very well. That said, if we do have a second child I don’t want it to be too much older either. It’s 6 years between my brother and me and that was too long for us. I thought he was pointless/annoying growing up and he was constantly frustrated, as he couldn’t do the same things as I. It wasn’t a good dynamic at all. I’m thinking 3-4 years might be what we aim for if we’ll try to have a second child.

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