Gaps in age between kids - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-09-2013, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I am having my third and I am concerned that my youngest will not bond with his/her siblings because of the age gap. My DS will be 8 and DD will be 5 when the baby is born. I loved that my first two were so close and played their imaginary games together, took on the world together, fought like wild things together. I'm worried that this child will not have a similar bond with his/her siblings. Can someone give me some insight that has 5 or more years between kids?

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Old 10-09-2013, 12:22 PM
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My oldest was 9 and a half when I had #4. Granted LO is only 7 months old, but these 2 have an amazing bond, they truly adore each other! #2 was 7, and she is such a little mommy to him. #3 was 4 and a half, he's such a spirited child, if these 2 youngest were any closer #3 would not have been ready to be a big bro, or just not to be the baby. He's awesome with the baby, but if it was a year earlier I think he would have had some resentment issues. I honestly don't think age gap plays a big role, if any at all in siblings bonding. My sister is 15 years older than me, and were really close. Even when I was little, because she made an effort to have a close relationship. She would have me over for slumber parties, and bake cookies with me, and paint nails. Even when I was a teen, and she was married, we still hung out all the time, and had slumber parties. And now that we're both moms, we can relate even better.

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Old 10-09-2013, 03:20 PM
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I was almost 10 when my youngest sister was born. I loved taking care of her and playing with her, and I used to pretend she was my baby. After my mom had her I was constantly begging my parents to have more babies because I loved babies so much. When I became a teenager I decided I was too cool to hang out with my younger siblings, and when my little sister was a teenager she thought I was old and boring, so there was a period when we didn't talk much. Now that we're all grown up I'm very close to both my sisters (my other sister is 5 years younger than me), but I hardly talk to my brother at all I'm only 2 years older than him.

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Old 10-09-2013, 05:29 PM
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I had my kids pretty close together, but since there are a bunch of them there's a good age range. My 11yo and 5yo sons are very close, and so are my 15yo and 8yo daughters. This baby will be 5 years younger than my current youngest, but the kids are all so excited that I really don't think it will be an issue.

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Old 10-09-2013, 10:57 PM
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I use to be super worried about the age gap situation, but after I had my daughter I talked to a ton of people about how the age gap between them and their sibling effected their relationship.


I found that unless it was a pretty big gap (10+ or more years) that it really has more to do with personality types and how they where raised  For example if you spend a lot of time together as a family, the children tend to be closer.  


 My sister and I are very close in age. We are exactly one year apart. No really, we even have the same B-day.  We are close in the sense that we see each other often, talk often, love each other's kids to pieces, but it is also a love/hate relationship.  We fight all the time, even as adults.  Not just little spats either.  It has a lot to do with there being no respect, and a lot to do with a strong sibling rivalry on my sister's part.  


With my daughter and this new little one, I planned on the age gap of five years.   I knew myself well enough to know that I couldn't handle two kiddos by myself all the time, so we waited to TTC until my daughter started pre-school.


It may take a little longer for them to be close though, Lilly will have to wait until the new baby can walk and talk before they can form that sibling relationship vs. going through those stages at roughly the same time.  So I guess there is that to think about.

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Old 10-10-2013, 09:46 AM
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Subbing - Due in Jan and my other two are 6 and 4. I knew that if we had another one that it wouldn't have been until after DS was 4 due to his first year pretty much being a colicky crying mess. I'm just now wondering about the age gap too. Yes the 6 and 4 year old fight a LOT but they are close.

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Old 10-12-2013, 06:51 AM
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my brothers are 6 and 8 years younger than me, my mother was very good when we were little at encouraging us to think as a family unit. I adored them both as babies, and they looked up to me. Now of course as i moved into my teen years, and then they did, as someone else mentioned we weren't as close during that time. but today we are as close as our very different lifestyles really allow.


now this baby is due in march and will be 11 and 8 years younger than our living children, i expect there to be differences since there are age differences but we plan on actively encouraging our children to have a familial bond as much as we can. I don't expect them to be the best friends ever but i do have hopes that they will be close.

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Old 10-12-2013, 12:18 PM
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I'm on baby #6 and there will be 22.5 years between my oldest and youngest. However, my current youngest is 3 and there are 7 years between her and the next child in line. He adores his sister as does my 15 yo who was 12 when she was born.

We are a family who are together much of the time. I do think there is much to the belief that familial closeness makes a difference more than age gaps.


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Old 10-13-2013, 12:56 PM
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There are six years between me (oldest) and my youngest sister. We're very close as adults, and never fought as kids! I wouldn't worry.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:06 PM
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Data indicates that 3-5 years between births is optimal spacing for maternal and child's health, so 5 years apart would be right there. It is also a very natural spacing, or inter birth interval, for the human species according to anthropological studies. It would apparently be a very normal natural span between siblings.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:18 PM
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All of my children are spaced out.  My dd is 5 years older than my oldest ds and he is almost 4 years older than my second ds.  There will be 10 years between this baby and my youngest.  Don't worry about bonding - they will.  My sister has two boys that are 12 years apart (now 16 and 4) and they argue and fight and play all the time.  Being close in age does not always make a strong bond.  I have two examples in my family of brothers born 2 yrs or less apart and in both cases the brothers had terrible relationships until they became adults with children of their own.

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Old 10-19-2013, 11:18 AM
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i believe its about personalities more than age...  I have a sister who is 20 years older than me, and while we didn't grow up together she visited often and really wanted a relationship with all the younger kids.  We talk on a daily basis now, and are very close.


My other sibs are also a lot older than me (closest one is 8 years older)  We are all close.


My mom has a sister who is  only 18 months older than her.  People used to think they were twins.   NEVER. GOT. ALONG.


Oh, and edited to add--  don't worry, I always fought with my siblings, age didn't matter :rotflmao

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Old 10-22-2013, 09:13 AM
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I'm sure there are tons of stories of older girls bonding with babies, but I wanted to give an example of an older boy. My nephew is 8 years older than his last sister (there were 3). With the first and second sister, he has a typical sibling relationship -- fighting, maybe playing, etc. But, with the third sister he has a very special relationship -- he was always very caring and sweet with her, and never experienced that fighting stage. He acts almost as a dad sometimes, which is so, so sweet! And your 5 year old girl will most likely have a natural inclination towards caregiving, as girls often do already at that age. So, I think you won't have any trouble at all! Of course, ultimately it does depend on everyone's personalities, but there is no way to predict that! I say no need to worry -- most likely, they will bond well!

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Old 10-22-2013, 11:42 AM
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That was the exact age spread between my older boys and my younger daughter and I can tell you, their bond is absolutely the sweetest and most amazing thing I have ever witnessed. Sure, their bond is different than the boys bond with each other. But oh my mama! the love between the older ones and my daughter, it's just breathtaking! They're really able to understand and appreciate so much more than they could with each other. Best of luck mama! and enjoy it :)

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Old 10-22-2013, 01:01 PM
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I am approaching it like it will just be a different kind of bonding. My first two are just shy of 3 years apart, so this is a totally different ballgame for me. But we have made a point of keeping them very involved from the beginning, and they are both excited. The nature of the age gap will mean different interactions, for sure, but we are a close family and I think they will each have their own way of relating to their sibling.

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Old 10-22-2013, 01:27 PM
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I don't have any 5 year gaps with no kids, but my kids range from 13 to 1 so there is a big range. I think they all get a long pretty well. My oldest is my only boy and he helps out a lot with the youngers. He is my baby whisperer and takes her when she is cranky and will walk with her in the Ergo until she falls asleep. When the seven year old was about 3-4, her and the boy were practically inseparable.


My hubby is also the youngest of 7. He gets a long better with some of his siblings more than the others, not really age-related though. 

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