I'm hoping those with large age gaps like this can weigh in on the awesomeness of it and the less good parts. Realistically this is what our family is looking at for #2 and I'd like to get some perspective.
5 years is the difference we want between our kids. I'd like for our little man to be weaned and out of our bed before we get pregnant again. And, he'll be old enough to go with Daddy for the day so Mommy can sleep all day during the first trimester like I wanted to last time!
I would like to see what everyone else says though. My older sister has three kids and they are all only about 2-3 years apart. She says that's the best way but her oldest two weaned before they were two because she got pregnant again and I don't want DS to wean too early.
best thing I ever did was deciding on a 3rd even though my girls were 5 and 7. Now they are 10 and 8 with a 2 year old brother and they are the best mini mom helpers! No jealousy. Meanwhile, the two of them being so close in age fight like cats and need to be "equal" even though they aren' the "same". Plus when DS is ready for extra curricular expenses and college, we will be done with the ones for my girls.
I don't have anything to add because I'm in the same boat. My DD will probably be 10 before I have another one. My dh and I have no kids together and we don't plan to have one (possibly two) for a few more years yet. There's a part of me that is considering not having another just because the age gap is so big. I worry about silly things like how will dd feel if I have two that are closer together in age and she's so much older than they are. Anyway, I'm interested to read what other people have to say.
Interesting for sure! I've thought about the (hopefully) minimal jealousy aspect, the fact that DD will be weaned & (again, hopefully) in her own bed/room, much more self sufficient, etc. It seems like a prettily painted picture, so I'm just wondering if there even is a downside? lol.
Jenn - can you tell me about returning to infant/toddlerhood after having already passed out of it? So many friends who have close age gaps speak about "getting it overwith" all at once and I can see their point. The idea of going back through the sleep deprivation, tantrums, etc. when they are finally done with...
I'm also worried about siblings w/that big of an age gap being very close - mostly from my own experience of being very close w/my sister (17 months older) and very distant w/my brother (3 yrs younger). I wonder how much of that was our family dynamics & individual personalities and how much was the age gaps.
We're looking at this too. DS is 7. DP and I just started TTC. At minimum there will be about an 8 year age gap between ds and any other kid. For us and our family, I think this is ideal. DS has autism and there was no. way. I could have had another child before now. My sanity wouldn't have allowed it Now ds is in a much better place and he actually has been asking for a sibling for about 6 months now. But dp and I do wonder about starting all over (he is not ds's bio-dad so he's never done the baby thing). Our hope is that we get pregnant soon and get the infant stage over with quickly (if we are lucky to have another baby it will be our last).
Mine are 7 years apart and it's great. Not much jealousy, the older one is a huge help with the younger one and loves to help with her, they play together all the time and have a blast. The first one's neediest period was long gone by the time the second one came. I'm glad we waited so long!
Really glad to see this thread! DS will be five years old by the time our next baby comes (we're going to TTC in September). I was hoping for a smaller gap, but seeing how well things are going with DS, I am so glad we didn't rush it in an attempt to "get it over with". I love spending this time with DS and am so pleased that there's no pressure to wean. When our next baby comes, DS will be in kindergarten, which will allow me to have some time for just me and the new baby. Plus, waiting has given me time to get my body into shape for a pregnancy (my first and only pregnancy went to hell in a handbasket) and I am really pleased with my results (100+ pounds lost so far). I'd take a larger age gap in return for a healthier pregnancy and healthier body any day!
I'm really excited about how this turned out. Of course, I'll be a whopping ol' 35 years old by then, but I'm completely okay with that trade-off.
Well, I tried to quote a few of the other parents but I can't figure it out LOL.
Anyway, I have a 10 yr old, 8 yr old and 18 mo old. My youngest was 5 when we TTC and 6 when I had the new baby. It's been AWESOME. They are like little helpers, especially my 10 yr old. It's nice to be able to shower and to have 2 other baby-holders and entertainers on hand! They are such a help and the baby adores them. They totally adore her too, she makes us all smile.
My first 2 are very close and play/fight quite a bit but both love to help with the baby. I'm very happy with the age difference. Plus I'm home during the day with the baby while the big kids are at school, so she also gets a lot of attention from just me.
Adding---I'm also AMA, and I enjoy being an "older" mom at 37. :)
We have a 5.5 year gap. I'm happy with our gap, DS1 is very in love with his brother and we've had hardly any jealousy. I keep looking at people with smaller gaps and wondering how they manage. DS1 is in school for most of the day, so DS2 gets me all to himself- I've never felt torn between them kwim?
* little/no jealousy
* mama's little helper (as PP said, I can shower and know that ds1 is entertaining baby in bouncy seat)
* get to shop for baby stuff all over again the new stuff is so cool lol
* both kids are in diff spots in life and easier to divide your time
* older child understands a lot more
* buying new baby stuff is expensive!
* sleep - ds1 had been sleeping through for 4.5 years, i'd forgotten about sleep deprivation
Lol. I have been toting around DS' baby stuff for 3.5 years now and I'm just about ready to sell it off and start anew. Such a pain to have it take up space in my garage. But since I'm a very firm believer in not having baby showers for every child, I think I'm going to just have to keep all this stuff so I won't have to buy new stuff for the next one. I'm secretly hoping that it all gets taken back in some sort of mass recall and I'll have no choie but to start over.
One of my main concerns has been about sleep loss. It is so, so nice to sleep all night and I'm not sure I want to go back down the sleepless road again. But really, that time is so fleeting. And we coselpt, which helped immensely. I'm going to be a SAHM and doing my PhD when our next one is born, so that is going to be a bit scary.
Anyway, thanks for your pros and cons list- it helped!
I love this thread!
Right now my daughters are 4 and 6, and I have caught the baby bug hard. DH has always wanted a #3. I thought that maybe I was good with just the two, but then my youngest weaned about a month ago and I have been thinking non-stop about another baby ever since then.
I graduate nursing school in May, so that's my count down date to start ttc #3. That would make my girls 5 and 7 if we conceived right away.
I am so encourage by all the good experiences that people have had with the 5-7 year age gap!
Very interesting to read these replies! We're going to have a larger gap, although it wasn't planned - it's just taking us much, much longer to get PG this time around. We conceived DS the first month we tried, and we've now been trying for 2 years to get PG with baby #2. I've had many of the worries listed above, but also reassured myself with many of the positives too. DS is a very cautious, slow-to-warm child, and I'm happy that we've been able to focus on his needs all this time. I'm sure we would have managed if we'd had another baby sooner, but I do think it worked out well for DS's personality. As well, I think he will be a great big brother, and more helpful/understanding than he would have been if we'd had a baby earlier. As others have mentioned, I like that he will likely be in school by the time a sibling comes along, which means I will have a lot of one-on-one time to spend with the new baby. Oh, and I also was able to nurse DS until he was 3.5 y/o, and we had a very gentle and easy weaning experience. So there are definitely many benefits to a bigger gap. However, I do worry that they won't be close because of an age difference - but I imagine that has more to do with personality than age gap. Another concern that I haven't seen mentioned is planning family trips and activities. For example, there were 2.5 years between me and my brother. My parents wanted to wait until my brother was old enough to appreciate Disneyland before they took us there - which meant I was bordering on kind of being too old to do a family trip to Disneyland. With a bigger gap, it's almost like you need to plan two trips, one when it's age appropriate for the older child, and then another when it's age appropriate for the younger child. I have no idea if that makes sense to anyone else - but I know that I dream of doing a family trip to Europe, and it seems like by the time our younger child would be old enough to appreciate it, DS might be past the age where he'd enjoy a family trip like that. But it's not really a trip we could do twice - so would we do it when baby #2 is an infant and won't remember it, or when DS is a teenager and maybe less interested? Anyways, it might all be silly to worry about, but for some reason that idea is in my head and concerns me.
What a good thread to stumble upon. DD will be 6-7 #2 is born. I was sad at first, worried that DD would miss out on sibling experiences, but I do think she'll be just fine. I really enjoy having so much quality time to spend with her. I will space my next 2-3 children with at least 3-5 years between as well!
I have a 6 year old and a 6 month old and I love the age gap. So far, they are a pleasure to watch play together and it really seems like my older one is able to really enjoy having a baby around. I also really like having the opportunity to be on mat leave with a 6 year old. We are having an amazing time. I really think that this year will be one of her fondest childhood memory.
The only negative aspect I can think of is that when I go back to work, I will have to juggle the school schedule with the daycare schedule and my work but that may be more of a single mother thing than an age difference thing.
I am considering the wisdom of having another baby in the future and am worried about smaller age gaps but it seems a bit much to wait another 5 years and end up with a newborn, a 5yo and an 11yo.
I got pg with dd2 when dd1 was 5, and she was 6 when she was born.
I really felt like I fully enjoyed both girls' babyhoods, (dd1 was in kindy when I had the new babe at home, and I loved that time)
I nursed dd1 for 4 years and for me having the break to get 'myself' back a little was really a good thing.
The space was good for marriage reasons
The time with just one was so fun.
Dd1 was so ready to be helpful in my pregnancy and with the baby/toddler
Now at 2 and 8 they play together beautifully
I wouldn't say there is no jealousy, but nowhere near friends with closely spaced kids
I didn't mind having the diaper years far apart.
The activities Dd1 does are just worlds different. I can't figure out how to blend their worlds often. But i think this would be hard for me with 2 years apart kids too, because the younger one always wants to do what the older is doing. At least now I can say to dd1, "Please go eat that/play that etc in the other room or during dd's nap"
My patience has been tried with dd2 because I am sort of used to an older child's independence.
It's hard to find things for a whole family to do that are good for a preschooler and an almost 9 year old... we do manage though!
Hard to 'protect' dd2 from some mildly inappropriate things for her age. Even snack foods, TV shows, etc.
Overall I'd say it's been really good. We're thinking about #3 now who would be 3 years apart, so maybe I'll have something to compare it to, lol.
My kids are 7 years apart. I had baby fever something awful when my daughter was about 4 years old, but at the time I was in Art School. I found out I was pregnant with #2 just days before I graduated.
I I had my DD at 20 so I had a lot of time to spread them out. I know personally, I am not a very patient person and I would not do well with a toddler and a newborn. Now my kids are 3 and (almost)10. MY DD is the older and she is a great help to her brother, but she also picks on him a lot. I think it is hard for her because he is cute and can do no wrong and isn't disciplined the same way she is. I think if we have another we would do so when my son is 5. My brothers and I are all 5 years apart, with me in the middle.
It was nice to be able to spend time with a new baby while my older kid went to school. That way the new baby gets almost as much one on one time as your first born, Plus then you can nap when the baby does.
I also am happy that they won't all be leaving the nest at the same time in the future, It will be a gradual thing. I am already worried about empty nest syndrome. Since I have been a mom since i was 20, it will be a very different way of life,
I had my first baby, then had the next one 6.5 years after that. Baby #3 came 8 years after that. Then, I've had several kids just under 2 yrs apart, so I can share my own experience on the difference with the large age gaps compared to the small.
The pros of the large age gaps:
~ I could relax easily during pregnancy- my older child could fetch their own simple snacks & entertain themselves.
~ Same thing with post partum. I could lie on the couch half the day & my older could manage fine, and even hand me things I needed, bring me a glass of water, etc.
~ The older one understood a lot more, so I could explain the interesting facts about pregnancy & birth, and they could be at their siblings birth & have a good understanding of the process.
~ Having one baby/toddler at a time is plain easier, physically. Like, I only had to carry one kid on my hip, carry one kid's diaper bag, strap one kid in & out of the car seat, only have to deal with one toddler at the grocery store.
The cons of the large age gaps:
~ The kids have little in common. They're on totally different pages. I still was the #1 playmate for each kid. I couldn't leave them to play together. My kids close in age? They play together all day long! They will always have built in board game, etc., buddies their whole childhoods. My older kids never had that. *I* had to be the board game buddy.
~ I actually have a little guilt about that. A waste of time, I know, but I see my 12 yr old (my 2nd child, with no close siblings at all), and wish that he could have had a childhood full of playmates like his close-in-age siblings have. My 12 yo would love to have built in board/video/computer game buddies. I have zero interest in playing shoot 'em up computer games with him. LOL It would have been neat for him to have had siblings to play with.
~ It was impossible to bring my large age spaced kids to one place that would entertain them all. Their interests were too far apart. I had to do twice the traveling to get them to different places/classes/playdates/events.
~ We homeschool and my wide spaced kids can never share curriculum. I have/had to teach them separately in every single subject. Definitely time consuming!
~ My brother and I are 6.5 yrs apart also. We've never been close. We too were always on completely different pages. Although, it was different for us because we were in public schools, so rarely ever saw each other.
My oldest is going to be 20 before this belly babe is born! LOL Talk about wide age space, haha. :p She had already moved out of the house when her nearest sibling was just 10. I had all those kids in between though. I actually have a friend that also has a 19 yr old DD, and gave birth not too long ago to her 2nd DD. An 18 year age gap! :) Can you imagine!
Anyway, that's been my experience. :) Somtimes, you just gotta deal with what life gives you! I would never suggest to someone that they should avoid having kids at all just to avoid a large age spread. Babies are still awesome no matter when they're sent!