What Age Difference Works For you?

I'm sure most of you know that my children are two years apart. Evan celebrated his 2nd birthday on August 3rd and Isabella was born on August 5th. I love their age gap. I was able to have enough one-on-one time with Evan before she came, and he was starting to be a little more independent.


This picture was taken today-Isabella adores Evan and vice versa. I'll write a post about their outfits soon-they're from The Children's Place.

We've decided(I've talked my husband into) having another baby. Not yet-don't get excited. BUT, I am starting to think about how far apart I want the baby and Isabella to be. I know that ultimately it is up to God, but we can at least start trying at a certain time.

The next one will most likely be our last, and I think I'm OK with that. I don't want to rush into it and I want the pregnancy not to fly by. If we do a 2 year age gap again, that would mean starting to try at the end of this year. I don't think that I'm ready for that yet because I'm not ready to be done having babies so soon. I think that I want to wait until the end of next year and have a 3 year age gap. But is 3 years too much? I know it is only a year more and I'm probably over thinking this.

So I want to know. What works for you? What doesn't work for you? How many children do you have and what are their age gaps?

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53 comments:

Mighty M said...

I don't think there is any right gap, but I don't think 3 years is too much! Mine are 2.5 years apart and that is a good distance too. :)

Kelli @ RTSM said...

#1 and #2 are 16 months apart, which is really close in age...but I actually think I like their age gap better than #2 and #3 who are almost exactly 3 years apart. 3 years is just a huge age difference, especially when they are little. We were actually trying for about a 2 1/2 year gap...but that obviously didn't work out! I would say closer is better than further apart, but a 3 year gap isn't terrible...I know what you mean about not being ready to be done having babies:)

Jo said...

Well, at the moment I have 1 so no gaps to speak of - my husband and I are discussing #2 and depending on his military stuff we might try for that one in April/May giving Aiden and #2 a 2.5 year gap. My brother and I were a 3.5 year gap and we fought off and on from me in Jr. High on (I was older) - BUT I found that probably would have occurred regardless. I think though it was GREAT for him in HS. I graduated before he went - so he got to make his own path and not be in my shadow.

I totally understand not wanting to rush to get pregnant if it's your last - I think we are only going to have two and that makes me sad to think that I'm almost done! But then not at the same time - oh this stuff is all a bag of craziness :)

PS no posting about our pending baby plans on my page ;-) family reads that - I don't *think* my family following me on my commenting trail ;-)

PPS - that picture is FLIPPIN ADORABLE!

The Gosfam said...

well...I don't think 3 yrs is too far apart, but I do think 4 is :) My youngest will be 4 in July, and my hubby is not ready for another baby yet. I am REALLY trying to get him to go along with it, but he is in HIGH level college courses. Anyways I feel like if my 3rd child ends up being like 5 yrs apart then I will have to have another one 2-3 yrs after the 3rd so they can be friends :) am I rambling?

Lindsay said...

My #1 and #2 are 16 months apart and I love their age gap! They're such good friends! My #2 and #3/4 (twins) are 20 months apart and again I like that age gap. They are all getting to be so close, I looove it! The only thing I think is going to be a bit touch and go is going to be when all 4 of them are in high school at the same time! We had 4 babies within 2 years and 11 months! I do have to say that I saw much more jealousy with my then 3 year old when my twins were born. You'll get pregnant when it's the perfect time for your family!

Whimsical Creations said...

I have 2 & there is 5.5yrs in-between them. We had a hard time getting pregnant both times. The first time it took us 10mths and the second time it took us 1.5yrs. I think we would have tried earlier for #2, but #1 was a terrible sleeper.

HT said...

I have twin three year old daughters and we struggled for six years to have them and I don't think we will have anymore children.

kpmattingly said...

We have 2 and their age gap is 3 years and 7 months. We waited awhile before trying again because my first pregnancy was really hard and my first has a genetic disorder and I was learning to get that handled and wasn't sure I wanted to have to do it again. I think their gap is good, although we have a long way to go to really know as #2 is just now 5 months old. #1 seems to love and adore #2 though and is very helpful. It also helps that he is able to do a lot on his own while I need to tend to #2. We'll see how they do once they get older!

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

My older two are 20 months apart and that works out so well for us. They're close enough to really play together and be friends, especially since they're both girls. Our oldest really, really needed someone to play with at all times, so I always say that the best thing I ever did for her was to give her a sister. :)

There are just over 3 years between our 2nd and 3rd and that's been both good and bad. They're both girls again but there's just a big enough gap that they really aren't at the same maturity level to be able to really play well together. But on the other hand, it was nice to not have 3 kids so little all at the same time and we were almost diaper-free by the time our youngest came along. The biggest downside is that her older sisters have each other to play and be friends with and she's kind of stuck by herself. I wish we'd been able to have a 4th afterward, but that wasn't in the cards.

You've got different genders, so it's hard to say - just decide what you think is best for you and your family, and it'll be the right decision. :) Good luck!

Smoochiefrog said...

I guess I'll be the different duck here.

My children are 17, 13, 8, and 4. I'm sure you can see the age differences there.

Only 1 of the 4 was planned; the 8 year old. The difference between the eldest 2 involved a divorce and a new marriage, so that difference couldn't be helped.

We tried for almost a year before I got pregnant with the now 8 year old, so that difference couldn't be helped.

The 4 year old actually came 2 years after a miscarriage, and she was a surprise blessing.

I think the age differences between my children has both good and bad elements. If I could do it all again, I don't really think I'd change a thing. Then again, ask me we I start paying for college and the reality that I'll be doing it for 16 years straight sinks in. :)

brandy c said...

my daughter and son are two years and 15 days apart. i actually had the same due date with them both. my daughter just decided to come 3 wks early. after my son i had my tubes tied. we just can't afford another one and my husband already has a 5 yr old from a previous marriage. i dont think there is a magic # for a gap. you do what is best for your family.

b

Jenna said...

Great question! I've often wondered people's thoughts/experiences on this topic. Our kids are spread out the same as your two (almost exactly 2 years...both have November birthdays). We want a third baby and have decided that we'd like it if they were around 2 years apart too. We've really liked the age gap of 2 years.

LaVonne said...

My own Isabella is 27 months, and I am thinking of having another. Have not decided when for sure. But I can honestly say that I am scared to have another. :)

Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby said...

I have 4 little munchkins 11 months to 6 years, and for us, it works very well. 1 and 2 are 19 months apart, 2 and 3 are 23 months apart, and 3 and 4 are 18 months apart. I actually like the shorter gap...I've never been out of the habit of diapers, nursing, baby wearing, feeding training, potty training, etc...and the kids are close enough in age to be into similar things.

Natalie said...

I think there are pros & cons for every age difference. I think it's super hard when they're very close together. Although, it might get easier as they get older. My first two (who I had when I was VERY young) are only 29 months apart. And although very challenging is great for them now. I waited awhile & did it right hte last time. My baby is 6 & 8 years younger than her brothers. And although I'm stil plenty young young to continue having kisd (I'm only 30), I know we're done. I would have loved to have another, but the difference between the first & last would've been too much for me.

Alison said...

My 2 children a abit over 2 years apart. May 2nd is the first one's birthday and than 2nd's is Sept 21st.

I like that age gap.

I hated my brothers and mine's age gap... 5 1/2 years. He took the spot light off me being a princess. LOL But it may be different if they aren't an only child already.

I really really want to have a 3rd. But it probably won't be till we buy our own house, which we are planning to do in 5 years. And now that I'm thinking of it... it will be nice to have a big age difference. I can totally focus on the newborn and the older children will be in school. And I'll still be under 30 lol

Sorry for rambling! Your children are gorgeous!!

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

Funny - our boys are 20months apart and we love that age gap. WE too would like to have a 3rd, and had decided that we wanted more than 2 years between them. Jack will be 2 on Saturday so we decided to start trying. That will put a little less than 3 years between them. We figure it will be a little easier on us that way (plus that puts Tommy almost in Kindergarten which will help too)

Jayme said...

My three oldest boys were within three years- there's 17 months between the first two and 18 months between #2 and #3.
I love that they are into the same stuff at the same time, but with three, it often turns into two against one when they fight.

My girls are 2.5 years apart, and at 7 and 5 just LOVE each other and play together fabulously.

The twins are 8 months. If I'd had a singleton, I'd be sad, because he'd have no one, but thankfully they have each other. I didn't want a five year gap, but we had two losses. If Elora had lived, she would have been two years younger than my 5 year old, which is how we'd planned it- and she would have been our last.

Double Duty Mommy said...

Am I doing math wrong because if you wait till Fall 2011 then that'd be 4 years in between the new baby and your son. I'm not seeing 3 years. But regardless...

My daughter is 5 and the baby we are expecting now has an EDD (funnily enough...) of Aug 4 (right in the middle of your kids, lol). And then my daughter will be 6 3mo later.

Don't get my wrong I wish my kids ages were closer but 3, 4 year age difference is not a big deal. I like it. Plus, your son can be the big protective brother. I love that.

Heather said...

Such a gorgeous picture! My kids actually have big differences in ages. I cannot imagine having several little ones at once:) Mine are good friends, but it is different, as they do not have the same friends together...if you have the energy...:)

cutiepiescustomcreations said...

Well, mine probably aren't going to help you, lol. #1 and #2 are 18 mos apart, which I have LOVED, and #2 and #3 are 26 mos apart, which makes the oldest & youngest just over 3.5 yrs apart. I have not been crazy about the 2 yr age gap between #2/3...if I thought I could have handled it, I would have done 18 mos again... it wasn;t bad in the beginning with the baby but since #3 hit toddler-age, he and #2 have fought constantly. Also, #3 tends to want to tag along and do everything the bigger kids do, so I would not want the space between to be that big. I am on the closer is better side :D but thats just what works for me. My brother and I are 7 yrs apart, which is part of the reason I wanted my kids close in age.

silverneon2000 said...

We have 2 boys. The oldest he is 12and youngest is 5.
Both were planned.
Our first son was not always easy and when you have kids and work it can be hard.
Our second son has been a tough cookie also. More so than our oldest.
There is good and bad any time.
Pros for our age difference is learning independance with no sibling for along time for our oldest.
They do play with eachother lego, cars, and so on.
But they also don't always get along.
My oldest can help looking after our youngest son sometimes also.
They do have ther close times but also not close times.
Would i change things if i could.
I don't think so. This is how our life was i think to be.
As long as my boys get along when they get older and can talk to one another i will be happy.
I think it up to you and your husband to figure out when you want to start planning.
As we all get older and want to be able to enjoy our children and still be able to get down and play with them and some day to see them grow up and have children of there own.
Enough with my talking.
Sorry
Good luck on your choice.

Bonita12 said...

My boys are a little over 2 yrs apart (4 and 6). We planned them both thru IVF and frozen embryo transplant and I think it has worked out great.

Now that the 4 yr old seems a little older they are starting to play together - well when they aren't fighting :)

Sarah said...

My son was 8 when I had my daughter. She is now almost 3 and he's 11. He has always been so good with her. He loved holding her when she was so tiny. Now she tends to get into his things and want his attention all the time. He's deals with it well but sometimes gets upset with her.

I don't know what the perfect age gap is. I am the baby of 6. My oldest sibling was 17 when I was born. I got along great with my sisters and brother and still do.

Beth P. said...

Ugh. This is such a difficult thing for me too! My son is 18 months and my hubs and I always talked about having two about three years apart. I am ready for another, now, though. Our situation really doesn't lend itself to having another now, but hopefully it'll be sooner rather than later.

Heather M said...

I wish my Fiance was on the same page as I am. My Avery will be 3 in May, and still no second baby for me!
We're getting married in November and We're thinking of trying then. That means 4 years difference

Fiance knows my reasoning for smaller age gap. His sister and him NEVER got along and they were just under 5 years apart. My brother and I were just over 7 years apart and he molested me for 2 years straight.

I wanted my children to get along, I also want all 3-4 of my children before I'm 30. I'm 20. I know I have time but not that much. If they're all 3 years apart and I have 4 children there's my 30 right there!!

Fiance's not on that page though. I wanted mine 3 years apart, but here I am 3 months away from 3 and not even a slight little bean. I'm kind of sad... But things will work out!

I think 2-3 years is ideal! IMO anyway! Good Luck Dee!

Heather McDougle said...

OMG that picture is so freaking adorable! I love it! My boys are 18 months apart and I love it. They adore each other and so good with each other!

Stephanie said...

This picture is just precious!!! I have an Isabella too :)

Lady V dZine said...

We have two. Zane turned two in December. Selah turned one in February. 14 months and 7 days between them. Boy, am I busy. But seriously, I don't think there is a "right" amount of time between siblings.

alissa4illustration said...

My kids are 2.5 years apart. I liked that because I got my oldest potty trained and he was able to get on and off the toilet by himself. He was also out of a crib before Isaak was born.

My kids are close now, but weren't then. My sister's kids are the same ages as my kids, and they were much closer. I think it just depends on the kid.

I'm 5 years older then my youngest sister, and 1.5 years younger then my oldest sister. I'm actually closer to the younger one because we share more common interests. Plus I loved showing her how to play.

Andrea said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately too. It's good to plan such a big decision carefully! My Evan was born August 23 and I'm already starting to think about TTC again! We want our kids to be close in age. My brother and I were 18 months apart and we were best friends as kids, teens, and adults. :-) My sister came 5 years after me and 3 years after my brother. It was too far apart from us. The 2 of us were friends and she was left out just because of her age difference. We're all close now, but it took a long time before we could all relate. And she'll never have those fun childhood memories of hanging out with siblings like my brother and I have. :-( Anyway, that's my experience.

Matt and I actually want to adopt many years on down the road, but it'll basically be like starting over for us then. That way I won't be DONE having kids so soon. If we didn't plan to adopt I might try spacing our biological children out more to make it last longer. :-)

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

My son is 7 1/2 years older than my daughter. Although it wasn't my "plan" to have that space between them, I have really enjoyed it. (I had always wanted 3 in 5 years) At the very least, I won't have 2 in college at the same time :)

Jingle said...

It will be what it will be. I don't actually have children, but my sister and I are eight full years apart and we are just fine for it! Their relationship will develop differently depending on the age gap, but it will also develop based on personality and other factors, so really, you can do what you feel most comfortable doing without worrying too much about the time between them.

Melissa said...

I read in a book that has great advice that 3 years is the perfect age difference. I can't wait that long so we are going to start trying next month which would make our kids 2 years apart. I'm glad you have had a good experence with that time frame.

Jenn Murray said...

My boys' age gap is 1 minute, twins. First pregnany, double blessing. That being said, we are done. Our family is complete.

Lori said...

My kids are 2 years and eight months apart. It works pretty well except for the fighting! Hopefully you won't have that problem once Isabella hits two...

Krystyn said...

First, what a super sweet picture.

Second, my girls are two years apart (exactly..well, one day different) and it's worked out really well. I'm thinking the next one (if there is one), we'd like to be like 2.5 years apart. Just a little more, mostly for the sake of diapers:)

Anissa said...

We wanted a 3-5 year age gap as by 3 kids are (usually) out of diapers and able to help more and w/ a 5 year gap they aren't in the same school so can be more of an individual. My sister and I were 4 years apart (but 5 in school as she turned 5 after the cutoff date for kindergarden) and we were close still. Our kids ended up 3 years apart and I'm very happy w/ how it's working so far :)

Annie said...

It is definitely a per child basis. I had David when Lizzie was 22 months old and looking back I would have preferred a bigger gap since she requires so much of my attention. (She just needs me...I can't explain it) With David I want to wait until he is at least mostly weaned from breastfeeding before getting pregnant again. I tandem nursed Lizzie and David and won't do it again. It was great for the first couple weeks but then she was weaned and FAST. I think the gap next time will be 3 years :)

Sarah said...

My daughter and son are 21 mos apart and I think it is great. My daughter is independant enough that I can pay attention to my son (who is very needy!) and she is great with him. I wouldn't want them any farther apart. I think it is a great age gap. Another thing to think of is that you never know how long it will take to get pregnant so if you are even thinking about it ponder how far apart would be okay if it takes awhile to get pregnant. Just some thoughts...now I feel like I'm rambling haah.

-Sarah
www.minnesotamamasmusthaves.com

EmmysBoosAndRawrs said...

I don't normally comment on posts with SO many comments, but I read a few and I seem to disagree with the majority so I thought I'd chime in.

I have always felt bad for kids who are between 1 and 2.5 or 3 years apart, particularly for the older one. For example, I have a nephews who are just over 2 years apart, and my older nephew is not quite 4 now, but I've felt really bad for him ever since the baby got to where he was standing up/walking (the older one was 2.5-3 at this time) because my brother and his wife are constantly saying "LUKE. GIVE THAT BACK. LUKE, YOU HAVE TO SHARE. LUKE, GIVE THAT TO YOUR BROTHER"

and although I understand that YES, kids have to share, and it's a hard thing for toddlers to learn, I think it's a bit much for children of that age to have to share EVERYTHING all the time. My nephew who is almost 4 has gotten where he hides/hoards things EVERYWHERE.

I feel that my brother/his wife are very good parents in almost every way, but this has bothered me pretty badly. It's weird to me that they haven't realized that the older one needs things that are "just his" and it's a clear sign that he doesn't feel like he has stuff thats just his when he hoards things everywhere. Instead of taking this as a sign, and making up a system where he could have one or two special things or something, they just get annoyed that they can't find the things he hides. I dunno.

So I've always thought that I want my kids to be around 4 years apart, even though most people think that's crazy. I think it gives them more time to be the baby, and to be more of an individual because with the larger age gap, they won't be nearly as likely to be paired up as "one" with their sibling all the time. I dunno. Just my thoughts!

midwest mama said...

There's almost 4 years between my oldest and my 2nd child, 20 months between the 2nd and 3rd and 3-1/2 years between the 3rd and 4th.

There's a lot to be said for a bigger gap between kiddos. A little bit of time without diapers. Siblings who are a little more mature can help out with the baby and don't resent it quite as much when they have to share. In fact they don't really have to share with the baby because their "stuff" isn't baby friendly, kwim?

Personally, I prefer a little more space between the children, it gives me more time to develop a relationship with each child separately when their older sibs are not as needy and offers more opportunities for doing special things with each child as they get older (you don't feel like everybody has to do the same things). And there is something endearing about an older child giving a treasured toy that they've outgrown to a younger child instead of fighting for possession!

So the short answer is: No, waiting is not a bad idea.

Beana said...

My first two are three years a part, and it's great! The oldest was potty-trained, fully verbal, understanding everything going on. Good one on one time with the baby too. And now they are 6 and 3 and they play together wonderfully!

My middle and youngest are 22 months apart and that was more challenging, although I survived. I know they will be close pals b/c they are close in age.

So...don't worry about waiting...3 yrs is a great gap :)

Messy Mommy said...

I know what you mean. We have 3 and they're all 3 years apart, which has been PERFECT! I'm 99.99% sure we're done, but I can't believe I'm already done at 25 years old!

Tired Mom Tésa said...

My two are 14 months apart, so I'm on the opposite end of the age gap. It was really tough the first year to two years with them being so close together, but now they are best friends and play together all the time. They both like the same things and almost never fight. If they do they're over it in 10 seconds and are back to playing again. Even though it was so hard in the beginning I would do it again, to be at the point we are now.
Good luck in your decision. It's a tough but exciting one!

punkinmama said...

I only have one child, but he's 3 1/2. By the time we have another one, Punkin will be 4 1/2 or older. I think that age gap will work for us. Too bad if it doesn't, because we can't shorten the gap! I think any gap can work! Good luck!

Cjengo said...

My kids are almost exactly 10 years apart, and I LOVE IT!!! Emily is an amazing little sitter, such a big helper. Plus Jude gets tons of attention because she is older and is taking care of herself. It's just amazing. Plus seeing how he is special needs there is NO way I could have functioned correctly with them close together after him suffering his stroke.

Heather said...

Between my oldest and youngest are exactly 10 years - to the day.

Jordan is 11 (Feb 23)
Katiana is 5 (Apr 6)
Alyce is 3 (Dec 2)
Christiano is 1 (Feb 23)

Honestly, I'm glad I had the bigger gap between the oldest 2. Jordan has been a tremendous help with the youngest 2. Katiana is now helping a lot more with the youngest 2 also. I can say I have been pregnant or nursing nonstop pretty much for the last, well, it'll be 6 years 9 months tomorrow. I'm kind of sort of ready to have my body back.

I also can say, my oldest one doesn't fight at all with the youngest 2, but my middle one fights with the 2 youngest and my 3 year old fights with the 1 on either side of her. LOL It's noisy at my house. Now that the baby is 1, my 3 year old and him play together the most and my 5 year old plays with the 11 and 3 year old more.

Was that too long? LOL Good luck!

Heather said...

not tomorrow - I'm off - it'll be April 6 when it will be 6 years 9 months of nursing. LOL Sorry!

Also, to make it longer, there are 11 1/2 years between my sister and I and we have never ever fought. There are 3 1/2 years between my one brother and I and 5 1/2 between my other brother and I and we fought all the time. Good news is we all get a long now, but my sister is my best friend.

Christa said...

My first is only 5 weeks old and my situation doesn't really even allow me to think of age gaps but I always thought two years was a nice gap. Now that I'm home and watching my 3 1/2 year old brother, my 2 year old sister AND Mason I've come to the conclusion that for me I would prefer more of a 3 year age gap.

My brothers and sisters and I all have different WAY different age gaps between us, My closet sibling is six years from me and the furthest is 21 years younger than me. I don't recommend 21 years lol

tiff snedaker said...

Thanks for coming to leave a comment. Funny that you just posted this not that long ago. Your two really are 2 years on the dot, aren't they? That picture of them is adorable. I love the 2 year gap, but I need my sanity too. I look at some of my friend's kids who are really mild mannered, and I think I could have another one closer if my kids were not so active and all over the place. I know what you mean about not being in a rush to be done either. I am only 27 and still have lots of baby years left in me. :)

Kristen said...

My son (8) & daughter (5) are exactly 3 yrs apart (same birthday) and I wouldn't change a thing! My son was an active little monster so the idea of having a newborn in the same house during that phase was unthinkable. By the time my daughter was born, he was ready to be a "big boy". He was more independent and was more than willing to be mommies helper. We were able to send him to pre-school two days a week for 3 hrs a day which allowed him to interact with other kids and for my daughter & I to have uninterrupted time.
Still today, my kids get along wonderfully but I don't think that has anything to do with their age difference. I believe it's because of their down to earth and caring personalities. Good Luck & best wishes!

Coupon Clippin' Mommy said...

Mine are two years and one month apart and I really like that gap. We too are talking about having another one and although I love being pregnant I am actually ready to be done with children as I am getting "older" as they would say at the doctors.

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