'Best' age spacing - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 41 Old 06-13-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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It seems like people think however they spaced their kids is the best, so luckily that means you'll probably be happy whatever you do. Mine have a big space between them, 7 years, and I love that because the older one got to be the baby for a good long time, and really likes being a big sister and doesn't mind the baby being held all the time, getting so much attention, etc., because she's way past that. They are great together.
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#32 of 41 Old 06-13-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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I always thought 2.5 yrs was the perfect spacing, as this is the space between my sister and I. My sis and I fought a lot as teenagers, but we lived together off-campus for a while during college, and I definitely consider her my best friend now, as an adult.

However, I have been very happy with the 3.5 years between my kids, even though I never intended them to be that far apart. We are talking about a third, and if we have another we are planning to wait until DS is over 2 before we start trying.

ETA: I should add that we have considered trying to space #3 closer than 3.5 yrs- our oldest has a pseudo-sibling (my next door nephew) who is only 9 months younger, and they fought a lot as toddlers, but they are the BEST playmates now that they are 3 and 4, and mostly over their hitting stages! We have talked about closer spacing next time, so that DS can also have a close-in-age playmate, but I honestly don't know if I have the energy for another that soon!

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#33 of 41 Old 06-13-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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3 to 4 yrs is my choice. I would never purposely have them closer. I enjoyed the infant time with each of my boys and only ONE in diapers. We were trying for 3 yrs between the last 2 but it endned up being 5 which also works well.

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#34 of 41 Old 06-14-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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I really see so many benefits to so many different scenarios--it really is one of those things, in my opinion, where you sort of take the good with the bad and just do what works for your family.

That said, there are 21 months between my 5-year-old and my 3.5-year-old, and 33 months between my 3.5-year-old and my 9-month-old. Here's what I like/don't about those gaps:

My first two are close enough that my oldest didn't seem to have a big "transition" when his little sister was born, but quickly accepted our new family. I was still totally in "baby" mode when I got pregnant, so it was easy for me to transition back to having a newborn (I was still diapering my oldest when my second was born, still nursing, he didn't have tiny-pieced-toys yet, et cetera). By the time my third was born, my then-youngest had been potty trained for a year and our house was full of legos and playmobil. While some people would appreciate the break from diapers/baby-stuff, it made it harder for me to go back to it.

On the other hand, I loved experiencing my third pregnancy with two kids who were old enough to "get it." My oldest was nearly 4 when I got pregnant, and we were able to explain it to him and enjoy showing him pictures of fetal development and things, even before there was any "evidence" of the pregnancy. He was fascinated by "actual size" pictures of the developing embryo. My daughter, who had just turned two when we became pregnant, didn't necessarily get it right away, but by the time I started to show a little--and for SURE when she could feel the baby moving--she understood and enjoyed talking about it. I really enjoyed sharing my pregnancy with both of them--especially my oldest.

The hardest thing about the almost-3-year gap was the difficult time my now-middle child had in assimilating to that new role. The baby is 9 months old now, and I still feel like my 3-year-old is "adjusting." Despite a lot of awareness and deliberate effort on our parts to avoid it, I feel like this transition has been really rough on her, and that's been difficult on both practical and emotional levels.

Actually, as I reflect on my own experience with my own kids, I'd say that I see a lot of advantages to having a small gap--say, 2 years or less--and a lot of advantages to having a larger gap--say, 4-5.5 years--but, for me, I think ~3 years is a tough gap. In my opinion, 3 is a difficult age anyway, and in my experience, compounding that difficulty by introducing a new sibling has been rough. (But of course my experience could have everything to do with personalities and little to do with ages.)
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#35 of 41 Old 06-14-2010, 02:49 AM
 
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I agree with previous posters that you can find both advantages/dis for either close or more distant spacing. I was 5 years older than my brother and I helped my mom A LOT! This was good for her as she had health issues. As he got older I was the built-in babysitter. In childhood we played together (my way, of course). We are fairly close now, but during the teen years I just saw him as a bother.

My own three are spaced 28 months apart and it was/is very hard having an infant and a toddler. However, the two boys love playing together now (being close in age) so, it IS easier this time around, thank goodness. Plus my almost-five-yo is very helpful when he's not tearing through the house chasing his brother.

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#36 of 41 Old 06-14-2010, 04:14 AM
 
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Finish the Ph.D. It'll be 20 times harder with 2 little ones.

That being said ,it all depends on your temperament, your children's temperaments (which you might not know), your neighborhood, your family support, and oh about a dozen things that you can't predict right now.

We have a 3 year gap and I like it a lot. Our ds was past the young toddler stage and had some impulse control when dd was born. But they're still close enough in age that they can play. They've gone through waves of playing/not playing, depending on development. They're now at an age where they can play board games together (though dd tends to lose her temper), but they're no longer playing imaginative games as ds, at 9, is starting to move past that.

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#37 of 41 Old 06-14-2010, 05:02 AM
 
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#38 of 41 Old 06-14-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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mine are 2 years 8 months and its great now but it was hard in the beginning. Picture yourself in a grocery store with a toddler and baby...the older one potty training and has an accident ...try to clean him up in bathroom. (pray you remembered an extra pair of pants) Now baby needs to nurse...then needs to be changed. Run out of wipes because there's no way you can keep stock with 2 in diapers. While changing infant older child is sneaking away under the stall and running away...ugh! THAT WAS HARD! The hardest time in my life. Tho now they are BUDS and I love that we can all do stuff together...similar stages and interests. I feel like 3-6 more months apart would have been PERFECT.

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#39 of 41 Old 06-15-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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It depends on what you can handle. My kids are almost 3years apart.

They are close sometimes. Bad days i wish there had been a bigger gap and my daughter had gotten more one on one attention.

we are ttc #3 and at this rate my son might be 5 or older by the time we have another child and i think it will be a better spacing.


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#40 of 41 Old 06-16-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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This is something I've explored a lot and talked with lots of people about, and I have to agree that there are challenges no matter what the age difference. I think individual family circumstances play a big part in what age spacing is best, it's not so much a "one-size fits all" type of decision. I think it largely depends on personalities of all involved and what everyone is willing to take on.

My two are 20 months apart and overall I do really love the age gap. They have become partners in crime It was an adjustment in the beginning and I spent DD's first year parenting alone but it has been a positive experience for us. I found raising two little ones close in age to be extremely easy once there were two of us to take on the task, but even when it was just me DD fit right into our lives and it was business as usual. I can't say I would do it all alone again in a similar fashion but it was manageable. How we space our children is largely dependent on my DH's job and deployment schedule, in addition to frequent moves every few years. We typically only have him for 18 months - 2 years at a time and then he's gone for a year so we have the plan pregnancies and births around that. And then moves every 3-5 years means planning around that as well. We are looking at a similar age gap for #3 but he'll be here for the first year at least, which is fantastic.

I think whatever you decide will work out for you, best of luck

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#41 of 41 Old 06-22-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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Personally I like 2.5 yrs apart (roughly) or more. My first two are 29 months apart and I love that, they are great and I had no problems with them. The next one will be here when dd is about 3.5 yo and I'm so happy about that too! She's toilet trained, she's totally cool with hanging out with other people, even overnight with a Grandma, she's going to love playing "Mommy", it's going to be nice to have that extra spacing!

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