What do you think is the best spacing between children? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What do you think is the best spacing between children?
one year 1 2.38%
two years 10 23.81%
three years 18 42.86%
other (please explain) 13 30.95%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 27 Old 02-06-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
Administrator
 
cynthia mosher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Arabia!
Posts: 38,756
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)

My children are all about two years apart and that has worked out pretty well for our family. The kids always had someone close to their age to play with, they got along well, and they went in close stages to school together. 

 

I, however, was alone for the first six years of my life before any siblings came along. I found it hard. I felt the gap. It made a difference between my two brothers and sisters and me as we were growing up.

 

What about you? What do you think is the best spacing between children? I thought I'd do a poll to find out but feel free to share your whys too. smile.gif


cynthia mosher is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 27 Old 02-06-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Red Pajama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: climbing a mountain of laundry
Posts: 1,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My sister and I are three years apart. we were not close in school, and I don't remember playing much with her. We are close now, and I very much enjoy being at a similar life-stage as my sister.

 

My husband's siblings are all at about a 2 year spacing. Some are closer than others, but it's hard to relate to the siblings that are much younger than we are.  As kids, I know that the youngest two were raised by committee. That might make it easier on the parents, but it certainly hasn't done his youngest brother any favors.

 

My own children are twins plus a younger sister. SHe is less than 3 years younger, but not by much. THey play so very well together.  I think  much of that is just dumb luck and kid personalities. What ever caused it, I'm grateful.

 

So my vote for ideal spacing is about 2 1/2-3 years apart. Unless you get twins. wink1.gif


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
Red Pajama is offline  
#3 of 27 Old 02-06-2013, 08:21 PM
 
mkksmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,562
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Before I had my kids, I would have said 3 years. However, that plan didn't work out for me, and my girls are 5 years apart. Now, I wouldn't wish for anything else. My girls aren't as competitive with each other as my friends's kids who are closer in age. Now,we are stopping at 2 because I don't want my older dd to be off on her own. But I often hear them telling one another how much they love each other. My older dd loves having a little sister to play with, and they really do play well together. I'm not saying that they never argue, but not as much as I fought with my brother who is just about 2.5 years younger than I am. Also a couple of my good friends have younger brothers who are 5 years younger, and they are very close as adults. My 1 friend talks to her brother at least a few times per week. I love my brother, but we don't talk to one other even weekly.

Mom to: Honey (6/04) and Bunny (9/09)
mkksmom is offline  
#4 of 27 Old 02-07-2013, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
Administrator
 
cynthia mosher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Arabia!
Posts: 38,756
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)

Raised  by committee? Do you mean older siblings did much of the caring for the younger ones with directives from the parents? Kind of Duggar style? 

 

The competition factor is worth considering. But on the flip side I find the older child with a sibling several years younger goes through a good bit of jealousy and frustration with the new little one taking up more of mom's time.  That probably occurs for most all children to an extent but seems to be amplified for an older child who has had a longer period of not having a younger sibling around. 


cynthia mosher is online now  
#5 of 27 Old 02-07-2013, 06:02 AM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

My kids are seven years apart, almost to the day, and the older one didn't have any trouble with jealousy when the younger one was born. I don't know if it's her specific personality, or if that's enough years that it was easier.

 

I think there are positives and negatives to either choice. I'm only 14 months apart from one of my siblings, and we fought tons when kids, but we get along well now. And we did always have another kid our own age to play with, although my kids enjoy playing with each other despite the age difference. My older one is at an age where playing with little kids is fun. But it is a different style of play.

 

One good thing is that the older was not interested in co-sleeping anymore even occasionally at 7, so I had an easy time co-sleeping with the baby, but OTOH I know a lot of kids still like to co-sleep at 7.

 

And it would be great to be done with diapers early, but then again it's easier to be diapering just one than two. And the older one is old enough to take the little one to the potty with her if we're out and it's inconvenient to drop everything to go to the potty.

 

They don't fight over toys because they are interested in completely different toys at their ages.

mamazee is offline  
#6 of 27 Old 02-07-2013, 06:30 AM
 
Red Pajama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: climbing a mountain of laundry
Posts: 1,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

In "rasied by committee" I don't mean the parents abdicated decisions. I mean there was both a lot of sibling help (good) and sibling meddling (not so good). Older siblings, weather justified or not, felt that they had authority over the youngest brother. So he retreated into his room, and hid on the computer. And that's pretty much were he still is, 15+ years later.

 

 

In the idea of older sibling jealousy of younger sibling's arrival, I think that's where age and luck play a part. I've been told stories about how my sister (3 years older) handled it when I arrived-- she offered my grandfather (a dairy farmer) a trade: me for a calf. He declined. She re-offered: me for a dead calf.  Ha!  At least she likes me now!   


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
Red Pajama is offline  
#7 of 27 Old 02-07-2013, 07:19 AM
 
bmcneal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: in my own little world
Posts: 2,047
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My DD and my DS are almost exactly 3 years apart. It's worked pretty well for us. They are close enough that they like to play together, but far enough apart that they don't always want to play with the exact same thing at the exact same time.

 

DS and this new baby will be a bit more than 4 years apart. It'll be interesting to see what their dynamics are. smile.gif


sleeping.gifMama to DD dust.gif(12.2005), DS1 sleepytime.gif (01.2009), DS2 babyboy.gif (04.28.2013) with DH heartbeat.gif04.10.13!!heartbeat.gif namaste.gif

bmcneal is offline  
#8 of 27 Old 02-07-2013, 07:56 AM
 
marsupial-mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 807
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I think 3-4 years is ideal. That way they each get a lot of individual attention.
marsupial-mom is offline  
#9 of 27 Old 02-07-2013, 04:05 PM
 
Asiago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,804
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)

I like the idea of natural birth spacing, or interbirth interval, of 3-5 years, or 3.5 to 6 years, (depending upon source).

Asiago is online now  
#10 of 27 Old 02-12-2013, 07:42 AM
 
mambera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,297
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I think the children's relationships will be mostly shaped by their individual personalities and how they happen to mesh.  Some sibling pairs will do better with a closer spacing, others with a larger one.  Since one can't predict how this will work out a priori, I think it's pointless to try to select for any particular sibling spacing other than the one that works best for the needs/schedule/ability of the family as a whole.


Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.

Vaccines save lives.

mambera is offline  
#11 of 27 Old 02-12-2013, 12:57 PM
 
sparklefairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

At least an arm's length apart. Further if either is holding something that can reach the other, including as a projectile.

sparklefairy is offline  
#12 of 27 Old 02-12-2013, 01:02 PM
 
sparklefairy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Mine are two years apart. It's great in some ways. Challenging in other ways. And I was completely joking above. I loved watching mine play together when they were little love.gif

sparklefairy is offline  
#13 of 27 Old 02-12-2013, 01:56 PM
 
RebeccaJF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

In "rasied by committee" I don't mean the parents abdicated decisions. I mean there was both a lot of sibling help (good) and sibling meddling (not so good). Older siblings, weather justified or not, felt that they had authority over the youngest brother. So he retreated into his room, and hid on the computer. And that's pretty much were he still is, 15+ years later.

I was raised in a big family as well - I was the oldest. My parents were very picky about what the older siblings were allowed/not allowed to do for the younger siblings. I got in trouble when I tried to use "authority" I hadn't been given. I really think that the issue is with the parents not the older siblings.

 

I don't know that there are any "right" ways to decide spacing of kids. Personally, my three boys are around 2 years apart mostly because at a certain point, my husband and I started yearning for another onesmile.gif. I firmly believe that the addition of each child does not diminish the love you have for your existing child/ren, instead, it causes your heart to grow with more love. This thought has also allowed us to foster 8 children in the past 5 years while we are raising our bio kids and have enough love to go around.

RebeccaJF is offline  
#14 of 27 Old 02-14-2013, 07:48 AM
 
onlyzombiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 7,237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I voted 2 years.

I only have one child and if we had another baby somehow there would now be a 13 year age gap. I think there can be good things about any spacing or family size but that seems a bit much to me for kids to really feel like they are siblings.

Dh and I both have siblings with different age gaps.

My two siblings were born 1 year apart and then I came along 3 years after. I think because they were closer in age and the first boy and the first girl that they were more equal. They went through stages very close together. They knew the same people at school. They did not like to play with or hang out with me very much growing up because I was 3 or 4 years younger.

Dh has a sibling who is a couple of years older, a sibling who was 8 years younger, 2 siblings who are about 20 years younger and a sibling who is about 30 years younger. I think he shared more experiences with the sibling who is closest in age. I think the  8 year gap created more responsibility from dh for the younger sibling... maybe felt more like a mentor/babysitter than a playmate. He was not as close to her as he would have liked to have been. The 20 and 30 year gap make the kids more like nieces or nephews than siblings. I suppose an advantage of the larger gap is kids not going off to college all at once and having the older child to help with the younger ones as another parent type figure.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

onlyzombiecat is offline  
#15 of 27 Old 02-14-2013, 10:06 AM
 
phathui5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

2-3 years is my preference. I like it when the older kid can do things like walk and maybe even go to the bathroom. 


Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
phathui5 is offline  
#16 of 27 Old 02-16-2013, 08:05 PM
 
LariVP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Russia
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'll say is 2 years, that is what has worked for us. There's an almost 5 year age gap between DD1 and DD2 and DD1 could careless about her little sisters, she will play sometimes with DD2, I guess that's just the way she is, I hope this changes as they get older. 

LariVP is offline  
#17 of 27 Old 02-17-2013, 07:34 PM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)

Mine are 2 yrs 9mos apart. I would have preferred 2.5 yrs, but for various reasons 2 yrs 9 mo is what worked out. We have two girls and they play great together. They have much of the same interests and really enjoy being with each other.

 

Not sure about the details of "natural birth spacing", but I nursed dd1 until she was 5 and tandemed with the two of them. 

 

I am 6.5 and 9 yrs distant from my sibs and am not very close to either of them. I wouldn't mind seeing more of my sister (and less of my brother!). The kids in DH's family of origin are 3 yrs apart. He's the youngest of 3 and isn't particularly close to his sibs either. His family was boy girl boy and mine was boy girl girl. 


Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is offline  
#18 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 02:01 PM
 
Quinalla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DD will be 3.5 when the twins arrive. I don't know if it is best for them, but it certainly seems like good spacing to me as DD is independent enough, sleeping through the night, etc. that I can conceive of adding infants to the mix again. For me, I wouldn't want to space any closer than 2.5 years, and 3 or so seems pretty great to me. I am getting twins though too, so zero spacing there, should be interesting smile.gif

My siblings and I were ~1.5 years apart. I liked it, but then we got along well and from what I've seen most siblings don't. We are are all even closer now that we are adults. My Mom said it was very hard when we were all little, but she said it was actually great once she got through that as we entertained each other very well.

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

Quinalla is offline  
#19 of 27 Old 02-24-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Evari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think there is an optimal spacing. I have an only child and if she's to have a sibling at all, she'll be 12+. She's almost 10 as is and I have no intent of having another right now, so for me to decide to have another, plan, and then carry through with either and adoption or a pregnancy as a single parent would be at least a couple years' process. And by that time it'd be almost like two only children, which I'm totally cool with.

 

IF I were to have chosen to have another child when she was younger, I'd have ideally chosen 1-2 years gaps, just for convenience sake. Get the diapers and baby stuff out of the way in one big fell swoop. And besides that they'd be either really good playmates, or spectacularly terrible squabblers. If it's the latter, the age that they could be reasoned with and the behaviour taken care of would be in the same time frame too, due to the closeness in age, so the worst years would be over quicker!

Evari is offline  
#20 of 27 Old 02-24-2013, 12:46 PM
 
chel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: lost in a cornfield
Posts: 4,207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'll give a positive shout out for large age gaps. My kids are almost 10yrs apart.
Not planned, but I knew I never wanted kids close together. My oldest was very high needs and I had little outside support.

Overall I love the spacing. My oldest loved being an only, but also loves her little sister. Not sure if the gender of the youngest really matters, but I think having an older girl brings out a nurturing role when the younger comes along.
While the oldest babysits, she is mostly at school and the off with friends.

The youngest loves all the one on one time, but also loves tagging along to big kid stuff like band concerts, school sports, etc.

Personally, I have siblings between 20m and 9yr spacing. I'm closest to my sibling of the same gender, next would be similar personality, last would be age.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
chel is offline  
#21 of 27 Old 02-25-2013, 09:21 PM
 
berry987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I voted 2 years because my kids are two years apart (except the last two, who are 3 years apart) - 8, 6, 4 and 1 - and that's what I know. But honestly, it's hard. I love how close they all are, how they go outside together and plan games and build forts and share secrets. But they all are still so young and require so much of us and it is exhausting. I am sandwiched 18 months between my two sisters and we were very close as kids and still are...best friends, really. I wanted that for my kids too. So I guess it depends on your priorities. There are some intense years with kids so close in age but there are big positives too.

berry987 is offline  
#22 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 09:19 AM
 
ilovemygirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

I voted other. I think this is going to vary greatly for each individual family. It depends on the parents, the kids, genders, personalities, etc. The idea that kids will be close just because they are close in age has no merit in my book. I have a brother who is just a year older than me. We were not close as kids, rarely played together and we never speak now. I have a sister who is six years younger than me and we weren't really close as kids either but are close now. 

There will be a big gap between my dd and my twins. I didn't plan it that way but I'm kind of happy it turned out like that. The years we have spent together as a family of three have been amazing and very special. I couldn't imagine not having that for any of us. 


mama to three little ladies
ilovemygirl is offline  
#23 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 10:03 AM
 
owlhowl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 351
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I voted 2 years, because my kids are all two years apart. I can apprecitate families who have a larger gap! It's sometimes a challenge, especially with a newborn and a 2 year old. Now that the kids are older (2, 4 & almost 6) it's awesome and their dynamic is great! After DS3 was born though, I said if we did want #4, I would need a larger gap...3 pregnancies "in a row" was a challenge on my body.
owlhowl is offline  
#24 of 27 Old 02-28-2013, 06:43 PM
 
kittyhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 851
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i know a bunch of families with kids two years apart, and it is nice that the kids are close in age.  but mine are three years and a few months apart, and they play together well...

we waited until the first was two to start trying for a second because it was important to us that our first son be able to nurse for two years at least, and it was good that i did because my pregnancy cause him to wean.  plus the first was out of diapers before the second was born, i cant imagine having two in diapers!

kittyhead is offline  
#25 of 27 Old 04-05-2013, 10:31 AM
 
proudMoMmy2634's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think 2 but I'm making it 4...lol.. DH is not with us(working with us), so it will really help if DD can already be count on / or can understand before having a new one.


Living is great but being a MOM is even better

proudMoMmy2634 is offline  
#26 of 27 Old 04-05-2013, 01:54 PM
 
meowmix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post

At least an arm's length apart. Further if either is holding something that can reach the other, including as a projectile.


ROTFLMAO.gifThat cracked me up! 

 

My oldest and middle child are almost exactly two years apart.  My middle and youngest are 18 months apart.  I like the 2 year thereabouts spacing.  I'm sure part of it is personality, but they all get along wonderfully.  But really, it wasn't like I planned on that spacing.  It just worked out that way. 


Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
meowmix is online now  
#27 of 27 Old 04-05-2013, 01:57 PM
 
meowmix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by owlhowl View Post

I voted 2 years, because my kids are all two years apart. I can apprecitate families who have a larger gap! It's sometimes a challenge, especially with a newborn and a 2 year old. Now that the kids are older (2, 4 & almost 6) it's awesome and their dynamic is great! After DS3 was born though, I said if we did want #4, I would need a larger gap...3 pregnancies "in a row" was a challenge on my body.

 



I love this!  For a while, when there were 3 kids under 5, that was exhausting!  But now that they are 11, 9 and 8, it is really fantastic.  Their dynamic together rocks.  I wonder how much of it has to do with spacing and how much is inherent personality.  We stopped after 3 and now I think 8 years is too big a gap for me to think about a 4th.  It would totally reset that "when all the kids are out of the house" clock.


Married, part time work from home mom to DS (13 and homeschooling), DD1 (11) and DD2 (9) and a giant dopey newfoundland, a crazy border collie mix, 3 black cats and a cute rat.
meowmix is online now  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off