How did you space your kids out – pros and cons

posted 2 years ago in Babies
  • poll: How many years between your first and second?
    1 : (4 votes)
    9 %
    2 : (19 votes)
    44 %
    3 : (8 votes)
    19 %
    >3 : (12 votes)
    28 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    7819 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    My kids are 14, 6.5 and turning 1 next week. My oldest is from my first marriage, but my 2nd and 3rd were far apart because we hadn’t really decided on a 3rd and then eventually we did and a good deal of time had passed. They are all in very different stages- I am registering my oldest for high school while still nursing my youngest. Many people assume one (or more) of the girls were accidents- but nope- all planned. But it works for us.  I don’t know that they are really any negatives.

    Post # 17
    Member
    6771 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    Number one and number two were two years apart, number two and number three were three years apart. Three years apart was a bit more sane but they are still close enough together to enjoy each others’ company, even as teenagers. I have friends who have siblings five or more years apart and they really didn’t have much in common growing up. 

    Post # 18
    Member
    83 posts
    Worker bee

    I’m not sure what’s best from a parenting angle.  What I can say is that in my friend group, I’ve noticed that siblings who are close together in age (3 years or less) are all or nothing.  Either they’re super close or they don’t like each other at all.  The ones with a 4-5 year difference consistently get along the best.  More than 6 years and they’re more like aunt/uncle relationship.

    Ideally, I’d like 2 kids about four years apart.

    Post # 19
    Member
    9580 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2016

    From the kids POV.. my brother is 6 years younger than me (he was supposed to be 2 yrs younger but my parents had issues ttc) and honestly it sucked. 

    Basically my moms PPD turned in to full blown depression. My brother was a handful.  My childhood was suddenly filled with a lot of screaming and crying (from both my mom and brother) and I was suddenly responsible for the behavior of a kid my parents couldn’t handle, either. I never really adjusted.

    the screaming and crying from both mom and brother never really stopped, though, so long as I lived in that house, which I do think is unique to my specific family.

    Bottom line: If I have a second kid it will be within 2 yrs of the first, so they can both be kids, and to hopefully make adjustment easier. I’ll probably just have one though.

    Post # 20
    Member
    2238 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

    dtbm01 :  NyQuil usually worked pretty well…

    Sorry, couldn’t resist…

    I only had one, but my sisters and I are all about 3 years apart. It worked pretty well in that by 3 a toddler is able to help with diapers, usually a little easier to reason with, etc

    My youngest sister is 6 years younger, and though we didn’t have a ton in common as kids, we are pretty tight as adults. We actually get along a bit better because we were never competing for the same resources.

    A good friend of mine had a brother who was 5 years younger. Her mother said it was great because the older was just getting old enough to go to preschool/kindergarten so she could have alone time with the baby, and the older one didn’t feel so ignored. She was old enough to really understand babies needed more and special attention, but it didn’t feel like such a big gap that it would seem too long on the other end. 

    If I’d had my way, I was shooting for 2-3 years. Hoping they’d be besties. 

    Post # 21
    Member
    83 posts
    Worker bee

    amanda1988 :  It’s funny how different people’s perspectives are.  My brother was a year younger than I am and a very difficult child.  I never got a moment of quiet or to myself.  

    He was such a trouble maker!  My teachers at school used to all tell me that I was lucky that I came through them first.  He insisted on being in the middle of everything I did.  

    Now, as adults, I wish I could say we were close, but we’re not at all.  I guess it’s always a lottery.

    Post # 22
    Member
    9580 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2016

    pennysanddimes :  yeah not close with mine either.

    So really I think what we can say is: if your sibling is a handful it sucks no matter what lol.

     But yes it is true I had a few years to myself, and perhaps that was valuable. It’s hard to remember time I took for granted. (Plus I was pretty young)

    Post # 23
    Member
    83 posts
    Worker bee

    amanda1988 :  I guess the main takeaway is unruly younger brothers are never fun, no matter what the age difference!

    Post # 24
    Member
    1112 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    dtbm01 :  when you have 2 kids close in age, you really have 2 kids together. When you have 2 kids farther apart, it’s like having 1 kid, twice.

    Post # 25
    Member
    2657 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2016

    We’re expecting our first in early July, so this is something that we have been thinking about a little of late. Ideally, I’d like there to be around a 2 year gap between our kids but I don’t think I’d like there to be any more than 3. At this stage, we’re planning to start TTC #2 around the time this LO turns 1 (probably a few months after).

    There are some big age gaps in my family (only 2 between me and sis1, but then 13 between me and sis2, 18 between me and bro1 and 21 between me and bro2 – my brothers are half brothers but still) and I don’t want this for my own kids. I often felt like more of a parent to the younger 3 than a sister, and I know they still view me as more of a parental figure in their lives. Plus, as other PPs have mentioned, once a stage is done it’s done (no coming back to nappies or toilet training in a few years).

    Post # 26
    Member
    1663 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    We’re aiming for a 3 year gap. We will start ttc when our first is two. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    485 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Originally we want 3y gap as my first was a colicky baby and I need to get back my sane first. I’m currently pregnant and they will have almost 4y gap. So far I love it because my first is big enough to understand I carry her baby brother and wants to help (but she is always old for her age lol), she is sooo happy and kisses/talk to my belly all the time, no jealousy!! Hope it stays that way and they will have wonderful relationship.

    Post # 28
    Member
    7039 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I always envisioned I’d have kids about 3 years apart (brother and I are almost 3.5 years apart) but then reality of conception set in. It took us a long time to get pregnant and we had two losses in there. I also envisioned myself having my kids in my mid 20’s, yet here I am 32 and just now pregnant with my first. ALL of my friends pretty much are done having kids and I’m just getting started, I don’t want to be having kids in my late 30’s and 40’s. I think that more than likely I’ll want to start trying when this baby is a year old. 

    Post # 29
    Member
    9504 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Dd just turned 2.5 and we plan to try this spring/summer. So hopefully no more than a 4 year gap. There’s no guarantee kids will be close regardless of age, so that wasn’t really a big concern to me.

    Two kids in daycare is brutal, so that was a major factor. We also wanted dd to be a little more self sufficient before we had to deal with a newborn again. Plus thinking about college costs, insurance, etc…I’d rather have them a little spaced out.

    But yeah going back through the newborn stage is going to be hard.

    Post # 30
    Member
    236 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    I don’t have any children yet, but I think 3 years between kiddos would be ideal.  My brother and I are 19 months apart and it was really difficult growing up with him. He was the handful and I was always the “good” one, and I feel like he always resented me. He constantly picked on me, which was even more difficult since we were always around the same life stage and ended up spending a lot of time together.  I think it would have been a little easier if he were a few years older and had more of his own life/identity.

    Also like PP said, if one could be in preschool that would help financially.

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