Benefits of 5-6 year age spacing? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dealing with secondary infertility and would really love to hear some positives for this age spacing. I have a twin plus 3 other siblings, dh's family had 9 kids in 12 years, so we only know close ages. Thanks!


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Old 01-19-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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My sisters are six years older than I am  (they are twins) and we had a great relationship growing up and continue to be very close as adults.  There was definitely a lot of idolization, they were always the coolest age (12 when I was 6, 18 when I was 12) were fountains of wisdom and practical advice (how to deal with friends, boys, and school, how to dance, how to choose a college, find a job).  When I was really little I called them the "little mommies" because they were always there to comfort me when my mom was busy with other things like the brother who came only 20 months after me and really left me feeling a little bit of lifelong resentment of the rapidity with which I ceased to be the baby.    I never felt like I ever got the attention from my mother I really needed, ( I think many people who rush to grow their family when their babies are still little don't really consider that many LOs have a real need to be the baby for a good two or three years) and the care and attention of my older sisters went a long way to alleviate some of the feelings that I was just a quick detour on the way to her last (and forever) baby.  

 

And of course, there are the health benefits both to you and your future baby in more liberal spacing.

 

I know secondary infertility is rough, but your baby will come at exactly the right time!  Good luck.

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Old 01-19-2013, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you smile.gif


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Old 03-04-2013, 06:47 PM
 
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My oldest and second are 4 years and 4 months apart in age. Life got very lifey after that. Moves, job change, building a house, ds had multiple food and environmental allergies that required a huge amount of my time. When ds was 8 we decided to try for another and happily conceived another girl. Her and ds are 9 years apart. It's a huge age gap. But as in all family dynamics, it works perfectly. I also agree with the above poster, babies benefit from getting to be the baby. Research also shows this to be true (3-5 years) good luck!

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:43 PM
 
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Older sibling is more independent so can get themselves dressed or fed if you need to feed the baby.

Possibly a bit more self-control so can play with the baby without whacking them on the head or "loving them too hard".

Older child might be at school or mindy so you will be able to spend one-on-one time with the new baby. Second and subsequent children often miss out on this with closer spacing.

Longer gap allows you to optimise your own nutrition and health between pregnancies.

First child doesn't have to grow up faster because there is a new baby while they are still a baby themselves.

5-6yo more likely to have weaned so won't wean early due to milk changes during pregnancy.

Older child more likely to be STTN and/or sleeping in their own bed than a 2-3yo.

Older child able to take a more active role in helping you with the baby which might minimise feelings of jealousy or resentment.

Older child can show off new baby at school - always goes down well :-)

That's all I can think of at the moment. Hugs, Mama. I'm sorry you're having a hard time.

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:03 PM
 
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I love all these replies :) Great answers ladies! There's a lot to be said for being able to focus on the "baby in your arms" and really enjoy their little years before having another.  And the potential benefits on SLEEP for mom are not to be understated!

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:18 PM
 
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DS will be five when his sibling is born in August.  So far, it's been really nice to be able to explain to DS about pregnancy (and limitations on how much I can swing him around now).  He is so, so excited to be a big brother.  And we won't have two kids in college at the same time.  ;)

 

We didn't have fertility problems, just convincing DH problems.  I won.  ;)  But in the end, I think with the dynamics of our lives and families, this will be as close to perfect as life allows.  Two-ish weeks after the baby is born, he'll start full day 5K so I'll have plenty of baby-only time and I'm so excited that I'll be on maternity leave for a while into the school year so I can walk him to school and back home for a while before I go back to work.


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Old 03-05-2013, 12:27 PM
 
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DS1 was 6.5 when our second was born 2 months ago.  I had hoped to have a second one sooner but life happened (no infertility issues) and it was finally time.  I have to say I'm loving the spacing.  DS1 had been asking for a sibling for a few years, so he was and is super excited to have a brother.  I love that he can dress himself, take care of all his potty needs and entertain himself independently when necessary.  And he is a big help with the baby--bringing me things I need, holding him when I need to go to the bathroom or do other things, even wore him in the sling for a while the other day.  I love seeing my big boy learn all these nurturing skills---he's going to make someone a fantastic co-parent some day.

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Old 03-14-2013, 11:26 AM
 
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My kids are 5.2yrs apart. They do hang out together and play despite the age and gender difference. Big brother looks out for his sister which is neat to watch. In the earlier days DS was potty trained and sleeping in his own bed when DD was born. DS got to enjoy the new baby and help out and I felt it was easier to take care of a baby and not have a toddler to take care of at the same time! In the future only 1 will be in college at a time and that will help financially. With the age difference they are into different things and often DS will do something with DH while I do something with DD. It's easier to juggle their extracurricular activities with this age gap as DD isn't involved with school and sports,after school stuff as DS is. I figure when my kids are adults 5 years won't seem like much compared to growing up with 5 years age difference.


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Old 03-14-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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My brother is 5 years older than me. As a child it wasn't too thrilling because I was always the annoying little sister who he wanted nothing to do with. It was only until later in life where I actually started to see the benefit. Because of the age gap, our lives aren't in direct competition. We didn't grow up being compared to eachother, we became unique individuals whereas sometimes siblings closer in age all get put into the same sports or activities due to convenience. We had our own friends, in fact, we didn't have to share anything so it was like having all the benefits of growing up an only child but in the end we still ended up with a sibling. 

 

Edited to add: Since single kids are easier to deal with, with the larger age gap you get to "enjoy" having a newborn again, whereas when you have two close in age you have to worry about things like tandem nursing, assembly-lining diaper changes, etc. With a large age gap the older child is in their own room, being independent and you can spend more time co-sleeping, babywearing, etc.

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Old 03-14-2013, 04:43 PM
 
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There is a 5 year age gap between my two boys and if we conceive when I plan to, DS1 will be 11 and DS2 will be 6 when the new baby is born.  I love the spacing.  Babies get to be babies without the rush to grow up because there's another baby coming.  When we told the boys that we were planning to have another one, they were both beyond thrilled.  I love seeing how excited they are.  It makes my heart happy.


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Old 05-19-2013, 06:06 PM
 
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My son will be 5 by the time we have another baby *fingers crossed*. I think 5 is a good age, although I prefer 3 years apart. That way I haven't been too far removed from the sleepless nights and baby food that I have forgotten LOL


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Old 05-19-2013, 08:18 PM
 
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my sister and i are 5 years apart and are best friends now. even when growing up we were pretty close.  

 

mine are a little over 2 years apart and DD1 was 4.5 when our DS was born.... She is so mature and helpful and loves her brother...DD2 on the other hand is having such a hard time and I can see how nice it would be with larger spacing......


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Old 05-19-2013, 11:37 PM
 
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I've always been the person who said I'd have back to back babies, I think because I was so much older than my siblings(I'm between 11 and 20 years older than them). My first two are 20 months apart and are the best of friends(and also enemies :P) and it just felt right. When I was pregnant with my new baby, I dreaded the spacing(4.5 and 3 years apart) but it has been WONDERFUL. The older 2 can help and love to help with the baby, they can do a lot by themselves or with team work(get a snack, get water, pour juice, put dirty dishes away, etc.), etc. I want one more and I said from day one with that pregnancy I'd want #3 and #4 to have the same age gap as #1 and #2, but now I want to have my 4th more so in 5ish years.

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Old 05-19-2013, 11:37 PM
 
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I've always been the person who said I'd have back to back babies, I think because I was so much older than my siblings(I'm between 11 and 20 years older than them). My first two are 20 months apart and are the best of friends(and also enemies :P) and it just felt right. When I was pregnant with my new baby, I dreaded the spacing(4.5 and 3 years apart) but it has been WONDERFUL. The older 2 can help and love to help with the baby, they can do a lot by themselves or with team work(get a snack, get water, pour juice, put dirty dishes away, etc.), etc. I want one more and I said from day one with that pregnancy I'd want #3 and #4 to have the same age gap as #1 and #2, but now I want to have my 4th more so in 5ish years.

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Old 05-20-2013, 06:09 AM
 
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My brother is 5 years older than me and it was wonderful growing up. I totally idolized him and, probably to his annoyance, was like a shadow. I even played with toy trucks in the mud even though I had zero interest, just to be close to him lol. We're still pretty close as grownups and our girls are 7 months apart. I think a longer interval between kids has a ton of advantages, all I can think of have already been mentioned. DD will be 28 months old when baby comes this summer - definitely ahead of my "schedule" - so I'm actually a little anxious. I would have preferred 3+ years between kiddos but I know that the time for THIS baby is now; if I was pregnant later, it would be a different little person in there. I think families and kids are largely adaptable and whatever the spacing ends up being, things will work out and feel right quickly.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:04 PM
 
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I'm six years older than my next brother and eight years older than my baby brother.  The large gap between me and bro #1 was due to secondary infertility.  Then bro #2 was an oops because my parents assumed they couldn't get pregnant!  orngbiggrin.gif

 

From the older child's perspective, I had no sibling jealousy AT ALL - I was so excited to have siblings!  I helped out a lot - able to change diapers and bottle feed when brother #2 needed to wean to formula.  Knowing my brothers when they were babies/toddlers greatly informs the mother I am today, especially mothering my son.  I have been close to both of my brothers at intervals.  In my college/grad school days I was closer to brother #1 as he finished high school and went off to college.  We maintained a close relationship in spite of living great distances away from each other - we would talk on the phone at least twice a week.  Then I got closer to brother #2 when he came to Colorado to go to college, was able to come over a lot, and chose a course of study almost identical to mine.  We drift closer together and then apart as our lives change.  Right now I feel that I am not so close with either of them because I have moved into parenthood, and though both of them are now married, they are not ready to move into that phase yet.  But each of them is godfather to one of my children.  And we always spend time together as if we'd never been apart.

 

One disadvantage was that I went off to college far away before they started high school, so I feel like I missed a lot of their big events.  I tried to make an effort to come home for things, and I actually did get home to make it to a couple musicals, a state-level voice recital, a few football games.  I felt/feel a little guilty about that, but I did my best.  My parents never guilt tripped me about that or anything - that's all me wanting to support them.

 

I think Brother #1, while he displays some classic middle child characteristics, he also has a lot of firstborn characteristics because of the age gap.  I think this has served him well in life. 

 

My first two are 13 months apart (by accident) and so far I like it more than I thought I would, but it's definitely very different from what I'm used to.  It's more like the relationship my brothers must have had at 19 months apart.  If we go for #3, the age gap will be around 4years/3 years, so sort of in the middle - that schedule capped by the fact that I want to be done having children by a certain age.  But yes, after having two WAY under two, I will look forward to enjoying my next baby's infanthood more and having a tiny bit of help from the older two (or at least having kids that can entertain themselves for 10 minutes while I nurse the baby!!). 

 

I'm pretty sure that I like either very close spacing or a wider spacing, rather than the prevalent "2 year gap."  Being two seems pretty hard!


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Old 06-27-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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My son will be five and a half in a couple of days, and we just started TTC #2 (my second, DH's first). I'm actually super happy that DS will be at least six when the second baby comes around. He's so excited by the throught of being a big brother, and he *loves* babies. He's going to be such a huge help. The thought of chasing down a toddler while managing a newborn, or the thought of chasing around a 13-month old new walker while also running after a two year old, is utterly terrifying to me. It just seems like it must be so much easier this way.

My oldest sister is 7 years older than me, and we're quite close. She spoiled me rotten when I was growing up, and now that I'm in my 30s and she's in her 40s, the age difference doesn't seem so big.


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Old 06-27-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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Oops, double post.


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Old 07-01-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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I wanted 4 back to back to back to back... And it didn't happen. Instead we have two girls who are 3 years apart and I *LOVE* that age gap. Immensely! The 3 year span was due to life circumstances and it taking a year when we did try to actually get pregnant. And then I thought we'd just have one every three years... and so far that hasn't happened. Again some life circumstances, a couple miscarriages and some more life circumstances.

 

We have just started to try again (in two months so far nothing, it's most likely going to take awhile again...) and my youngest will be 5 this month. I'm looking forward to it though. My oldest got me one on one for the most part (limited daycare with family) for 3 years, they got a couple years together and now my youngest has had me one on one for three years! Plus I'm looking forward to a small bit of "me" time when they are both in school next year and then hopefully sooner or later we'll be blessed with a third (and if I'm lucky and DH says yes, then a 4th 3ish years later)!

 

Now I am 5 years older than my brother and for various reasons we fought big time at times and we were ok at other times. But a lot of that had to do with my parents and how we were raised and less to do with the age gap... It was why I said I wanted all my kids a year apart. I wanted them close in age, thinking they'd be close with each other. But I know that's not true either!


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Old 07-13-2013, 01:41 PM
 
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Great thread. I've been wondering the same as we have a 6yo dd and are expecting #2 in September. I am a little worried that they will be so far apart in age, that they won't be close while kids. A good friend of mine is 5 years younger than her sister and says is was great because they were never competing for friends, arguing over clothes etc, and now that they are grown, they are great friends.

I love the fact that dd is so independent! She can get ready in the morning by herself, eat breakfast, play with friends in the neighborhood when she gets home from school. Plus, she is so thrilled to be a big sister. My brother, sister and I were within 2 years of each other and our household was chaotic and lots of fighting. Just my experience!
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:12 PM
 
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I loooove this thread. My son is almost 3 and I have lost 3 since he was born. I have fear of trying again but want to eventually go for it, but was thinking later would be too late because they'd be 5-6 years apart. This makes me feel so much better. 


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