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Monday, August 27, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: What's the best age gap between siblings?


I've noticed something interesting about people...

Now and again, I'll ask a friend, "Ideally, how many years apart would you want to have kids?" And the funny thing is, their answer is almost always the same as the age gap between their own siblings and themselves, back when they were growing up.

Personally, I have a twin sister and a brother who is three years younger. And voila, now that Toby is three-years-minus-nine-months, I'm itching to have a second baby. I think three years feels like a great age gap: you're close enough in age to play together, and you'll cross over in middle school and high school, but you're not so close that your parents will go nuts having two teeny guys in diapers at the same time. :)

But obviously, lots of different age gaps can work beautifully. So, I'm really curious: How far apart would you want to have kids? What's your sibling age gap? Do they match? Or are you an only child? I'd LOVE to hear...

(Top photo by Alpha Smoot of Kendra's adorable little ones, who are five years apart. And bottom photo is of my dad's family growing up)

324 comments:

1 – 200 of 324   Newer›   Newest»
Martha said...

That is interesting! I wanted to have babies three years apart or less, because my older sister and I are 4.5 years apart and I always felt like it was too far. My younger sister and I are three years and four months apart, and we were closer. My son will be three in November and his little sister will be arriving a week before his birthday. We didn't necessarily plan to make them birthday buddies but it worked out with our life schedule!

lkmear said...

I think 2-3 years is a good gap. And yep, that corresponds to my family. My sister's 2.5 years older and my brother's 2.5 years younger.

Punk Rock Mom said...

We wanted our kids to be 2 years apart. So when our oldest turned 1 we started trying for #2. It took us over 3 years to get pregnant and our girls are 5 years apart.

ale norris said...

my older brother & i are almost exactly 3 years apart (he's a june baby and i'm july) - and that's ideally what i'd like to happen for my kids, too. it was a perfect age gap when we got old enough to start actually enjoying each other's company instead of, you know, pulling each other's hair and other sweet sibling things.
-ale

VintageDanielle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VintageDanielle said...

I like 3 to 4 years apart, no two kids are in diapers but still close enough to play with each other and relate.

Kattie said...

Initially I wanted to wait around the same distance as my brother and I (6 years) but everyone acted like that was completely insane. I may have been saying that about a week after giving birth though. :) Now my son is almost three and we plan on trying next year, probably when he's closer to 4. I don't know. That's just us though. I think three years is a pretty perfect age gap.

Sarah Tucker said...

My brother and I are 4 years apart and so is my husband and his sister. I want our kids to be a little closer in age! I feel like my brother and I are, just now, really relating to each other. Growing up we loved each other adn played together, but the age gap made it difficult to "hang out" with one another. We will just have to wait and see what is in store for us :)

Megan said...

If you can control the age difference I think 3-4 years is perfect. I'd like to enjoy each stage of our kids separately. Maybe you'll have twins too:)! Although I think it skips a generation. (I just realized all of my comments in the past I don't think worked... I messed it up hahaha)

Carly said...

My brother and I are five years apart and I've always thought that was just a touch too much; we didn't get along when we were younger and our relationship is still pretty distant. As I get older, I'm realizing that it's really as much to do with personality (my brother would empirically be described as having a "difficult" personality, while I'm a major type-A - bodes well...) as it is with age but am still pretty positive that three years is as much as I'd like to space my children apart... As much as you can control that sort of thing, of course!

rebekah leland said...

we'd planned to have about two years between our children (like our own families), but we have two boys who are EXACTLY 12 months apart (actually, 1 year, 1 day, 1 hour apart). that was a shock!

and now that my second baby is 10 months, we are expecting another. hurray!

Trisha said...

I think the WHO tries to encourage two years between pregnancies, which means the babies would be approx three years apart!

Kristin said...

Right now we're thinking close to 2 years (my husband and I are 1 year, 9 months to each of our closest siblings), but we're due with our first in January and we're open to waiting until it feels right.

Janell Happ said...

I'd have to agree with the whole "sibling gap" theory.. I've always thought the having kids 2 years apart is the ideal gap.. My sister and I were 2 years apart. But at the same time, my brother and I are 8 years apart. Growing up were very close and my years of "playtime" did not intersect with his. I was more interested in clothes and boys by the time he was playing his first game of tag. What I have found, however, is that we are way closer now. Almost closer than my sister and I are. I'm more of a "cool parent" figure for him now that he's in high school and its great.

MotherEarth said...

I am the oldest of 4 kids and the age gaps between me and my siblings are 3 years, 11 years and 15 years. My brother (the 3 yr apart brother) and I fought constantly. The other two, I feel more like an Aunt to them than a sister.

I now have two kiddos and they are 20 months apart. I am not thrilled about the 2 kids in diapers at the same time thing (especially since we use cloth diapers!) and there are a few other things we didn't think of before hand which I really wish we would have, like:

1) making sure the older kiddo is old enough to help a little before the next one comes along

2) waiting long enough in between kids so that I can have a little fun/me time. I've been basically pregnant and breastfeeding for almost 3 years, and will be breastfeeding for another whole year, so I am tied to the kiddos and for us out in the country, means tied to the house!

I'm sure a lot of people like having kids close together.... you just have to make it work!

cmakambi said...

My daughter and son are 6 years apart. She is 7 1/2 and he is 1 1/2. I am 8 years older than my sister and 12 years older than my brother. A wide age gap between my kids made sense to me. It is so much easier to chase a toddler around when big sis is old enough to help. She is so sweet with him too. Just like a second little mama. Just like I was with my brother and sister.

Stacy said...

My kids are 1.5 yrs apart. We didn't intend to do it that way, since it took a year to get pregnant the first time. Nope...it took one month the second time! Oh well! They get along really well and are a year apart in school. We have been pretty happy with the age range. My sister and I were two years apart, which I thought was pretty good. DH and his sister were 5 years apart and he thought that was too much.

Whitney said...

We have a 20 month old, and I'd love it if we could get pregnant in the next year or so with our second! We think that the 2-3 year age gap is great (I have a brother 3 years younger than me, and my husband has a sister 3 years older than him).

Ioana said...

my sister is 2 years younger than me {1 yr, 8 months, actually}. and by the time my mom came home with the new baby, i was potty trained thanks to my grandma. i take all the credit, of course ;))
so, yeah, i guess if i ever have kids, i will want them to be pretty born pretty close.

tammy said...

I'm in the Child Development field and we always say that 3 years is the ideal age gap between siblings! It's not only good for the children, but also for the parents. That way each child receives quality attention as babies

Katie said...

My brother is 15 months older and my sister 15 months younger. It's perfect, we're very close, and all of us are protective of the other two little sisters who are a bit more spread out. We share the same friends, same activities, ect. It's great.

Although I imagine it was difficult for my mother when we were tiny...

Katherine Summers said...

I'm three years older than one sister and five years older than the other. The three-year difference did seem perfect growing up--Emily always seemed like a 'real person,' not too far behind me but not close enough that we overlapped in activities or friend groups or had any reason to be generally competitive about things not involving the front seat of the car or the TV remote. I think five years would've been too much without having someone in between me and Jill--she was only in eighth grade when I left for college, and it wasn't really until I graduated that it felt like we had a real, quasi-adult relationship of our own. But I know she also felt overshadowed by Emily's accomplishments, as they shared a lot of the same teachers, coaches, friends, etc.

So, yeah, I'm coming down in the "three-ish years" camp, too!

macaca grava-por-cima said...

5 years, but everyone says i'm crazy that I should not wait more than 3 years, cause it's easier... But I'll stick with my idea ;-)

Marcy said...

We're hoping for 2 yrs plus a couple of months. I am the youngest in my family by far - my closest sib is 10 yrs older than me - but then I realize that my husband and his sister are 2 yrs and 3 weeks apart so maybe that's where we're getting it.

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

My little brother is four years younger than me and we've always been close... so I really think it depends on personality than years whether siblings become close or not. As for me, I want my kids to be close to each other as possible since I had my first kid at 30 years old and we want four kids... so it's time to get going! #1 is 10 months now and we're working on #2 already, but you never know how these things go...

Plus, I want to go back to work sooner than later and my situation doesn't allow that when I have babies at home!

Carrie said...

Ooh, interesting! Ever since I got married a year ago I've wanted to have kids bam, bam, bam all at once. But I have two younger sisters and we're all 18 months apart so maybe that's why. I'm sure I'll speculate as much as I want as to when everything will happen, but we all know: it never usually works out the way we plan. :)

Ashley said...

My sister and I were only a year apart and the sibling rivalry was INTENSE! My daughter is 4 now, so we have definitely missed that window to have siblings close in age, but I think it's probably for the best.

meet emily said...

i nearly had a conniption earlier this year when my fiance didn't want to meet my demands for an age gap between our son and future babies... because it was the gap between my sister and i, who are incredibly close. ha.

then i came to my senses and realized i was just going crazy because i'd always told myself that was what i wanted... but really we aren't sure if we want to have anymore children... or when. so.

age gaps... tricky bastards.

steph2088 said...

I'm one of 6 and we are all a year apart! I was not repeating that!! After my first son, I wasn't ready to have another so soon. I was too busy enjoying him. We had our second son 3 1/2 years later. I liked only having one in diapers/1 with a bottle at a time. It did mean that the 2nd didn't get the "nap time" routine as we were always on the go but he rolled with the punches. The only down-fall I found was that the 1st was very jealous since he was king of the hill for 3 years. He'll get over it :)
Go for it!

Karmen said...

Two to three years sounds perfect :) there are 13, 14 and 17 years between my siblings and I (I was the surprise baby!-same parents and everything) So I grew up not really close to any of my siblings. The weird thing is, I'm much closer to their children even though I'm their aunt. The oldest nephew will be 22 this September, and I'm just 28. When baby time does come around, both my husband and I plan for 2-3 years apart.

Lizzy said...

my brother and i are three years apart and best friends, so i think 3 years is perfect. although now that i have a newborn, and having him is so fun and so great, i don't know if I can wait that long!

Giulia said...

Mine are 18 months apart and while it was hard to have two in diapers, now I'm so happy that I don't have any diapers anymore, I have two in booster seats, etc.
It was tough at the beginning, but now they are best buddies and life is so much easier ;)
My sisters were 3 and 4 hears younger.

Nataša said...

My brother is 6 years older than me and I never liked that, always felt like I was an only child since he was always in another "zone" :-) My two girls are 3.5 yrs apart, they're not playing together yet since the little one is 2 yrs old and very stubborn, but I think they will be good friends in a year or two. I think the best gap is 2 ysears, though. I wouldn't even think of having another child when my older daughter was 1 and 2 because she was so active and loud :-) But yes, ideally - 2 years.

jackiek said...

i like the three year age gap. my sister and i are a little less then three years apart and we're very close.

Circa Style said...

That's a very interesting point, I've never thought about it.

My sister and I are 17 months apart, which was a lot for my mom to handle when we were little, but now we're so close because we're close in age. We've gone through the same stages of life around the same times and she and I can always relate and understand each other.

That being said- I would never ever ever want two children so close in age! Personally, I don't think I could handle it; way too intense!

I think my fiance and I would probably only have one child, but if we went for another, I think 3 years is perfect. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Mama B said...

My brother is a bit over 3 years younger than me. Hubby has sisters 2 yrs older and 16 years younger than him. Our son is 21 months, and we've decided that we're going to stick with just one kid. We like the idea of getting to devote our attention to only him, plus it will be better financially for us. Everyone is stunned when we tell them that we're not having more kids. (Plus we didn't really get along with our siblings as kids, so that might be influencing our decision. Ha!)

A.Co said...

It's true!! Funny!

I often think about the age gap of my (younger) sister and I (3.5 years) and think that's a good one..

Ciera said...

I used to think that I wanted kids 5 years apart, but as I'm getting older I realize that that may not be possible. I have two younger brothers, one 18 months younger and one 5 years younger. We are very close and now I wonder if we would be as close without my middle brother there to span the gap.

Kelly Utah said...

I love the photo you have for this post. It's exactly what we have going on in our family as our daughter is almost 5 years older than our son. She is a minimom and so much help. She's independent and has had very little jealousy issues. I initially thought that I wanted my children closer together, but now that it's worked out this way I know it was the best for us and the kids.

I think the bottom line is that any way that it happens to work out turns out just fine ;)

stephanie c. said...

My brother and I are 12 years apart. It's a huge gap, but to be honest, we're closer then most siblings I know. I think it's because he always took a lot of responsibility for me when I was younger. Less of a stereotypical brother who picks on his little sister and more of a caretaker, or father figure. Now that we're older, the gap doesn't seem so big and we are truly best friends. When I was young, it was sometimes hard because we were never at an age when we had a ton of things in common, but at the same time, we would never fight because there was never anything to fight or argue about. I think it's less about what the age gap is and more about how you raise your children. My Mom was an only child and since she never had siblings she made it very clear that my brother and I should always try to nurture our relationship, be close and care for one another. And we always have been.

mommamcelwain said...

I came from a family of three and all were 22 months apart. My husband and his sister were 5 years apart. I didn't want them that close or far apart (and I really loved spending quality time with my guy before #2 came along). Our sweet spot was 2.5 years and it worked out perfectly!

chelsea said...

My sister and I are 18 months a part and she is my best friend. She doesn't remember life without me. It is almost as if we were twins. We were even roommates in college. I would not change a thing. And as I start considering having my first, I sort of think I may never go back on birth control. Have one, have another. Get my husband fixed. Wham, bam. Of course, God might have other plans...

Kassie said...

My brother and are 21 months apart, and I love it! But at the same time I think my parents were crazy to want to get pregnant with me while juggling my toddler brother.

Trina said...

My brother is 6.5 years older than I am and I never had a fighting chance, haha. It wasn't until he went away to college and I was in junior high that we began to talk and get along, although he's never really lost his older-brother protectiveness.

I think a three-year age difference between siblings is nice, although I have a friend who just had her second set of twins after her first set turned 2 earlier this year!

simplemittens said...

I have two boys who are 2.5 years apart. I was planning to wait another 3 years to have another but we just found out we're expecting our third child which will make them under two years apart! I'm a little nervous but I know I can make it work because, well, I have to! Three kids under 5!

christie elkins. said...

My 1st and 2nd children are 2 years and 8 months apart, and my 2nd and 3rd children are 15 months apart. My brother and I were 4 years apart, and I wanted my kids to be closer in age than we were. We are best friends now, but growing up, um..not so much :)

That pic of your father's family is lovely. Please tell me it is framed in your home somewhere!

rawketstarling said...

My sister and I are two years apart, which I would recommend AGAINST--we fought a lot, and it seemed like anytime I was coming out of a phase, she was going into it, and didn't want any advice! Plus, the Chinese (and various psychologists) have said that 2 years is the worst age gap because of the competitive streak between the two that may develop. But my brother is 6 years younger than me and that's too far--we're just now getting to be friends. So it sounds like 3 years might be just right!

--r said...

I just had my second almost exactly 3.5 years after my first. Though we started trying when our son was 18 months old, I'm finding that this gap has worked out just right. The older kid is much more independent and has basically mastered his pottying skills, he is old enough to reason with, and he understands how a new baby will fit into the family (one of the benefits of him seeing how his friends at daycare have little brothers and sisters). My son loves his sister and loves to help with her (almost a little TOO much sometimes).

LK said...

I'm the youngest of three girls (poor dad) and my parents had us at 2 year increments. I think it worked well, but when I have kids I'll probably go for an extra year between. I would want my kid to be out of the terrible twos before u added another. So, three years sounds good to me. My mom is a twin and her brothers are a bit older so I think she wanted to have us closer together. And my dads younger brother is a bit younger as well so same thing.

Lindsey McLean said...

This is something I think about constantly!!!! :) I'm one of four and we are really spread out over a fourteen year span. My brother is four years younger than me and my two sisters six and ten years older.
I want my second to come along when my baby turns three or thereabouts. I have several reasons. One, I'm a Montessori teacher and at three children make a huge leap in their development. They're more reliable, they can reason and they are pursuing a new level of independence. We will send our daughter to school mornings five days a week when she's three in a Montessori preschool which will give me time with the newborn one-on-one. Perfect!! So that's one reason. Another is that I have seen lots of friends be excited about having three or four kids (we want four!) call it quits after two when they're spaced two or fewer years apart. I think the difficultly of toddler/newborn vs child(3yrs+)/newborn is much more pronounced. Finally, I want to fully enjoy the baby years with my baby girl before having another one. So there you go. :)

Quiana said...

I am the eldest of 4 and there are 8, 10 and 12 years between me and my siblings and I definitely do not want that for my children (my first and only child just turned 2). I do remember being a "mother's helper" which is really appealing to me now as a mother and I plan on having another before my daughter turns 5. Having an extra set of hands (albeit small!) would be very helpful!

alexandra.leger said...

My sister and me are 13 months apart and I have a brother that is 7 years younger.
I now have two little girls that are 18 months apart.
Hard work, yes. But in the long run it will be great! :)

jackie said...

mhmm i'd love to have babies at the same distance that my sibling and i are, but only if i can control the gender too :)

my brother is 18 months older than me, which is perfect because we're friends and not competitive at all because of the boy/girl thing, and then my sister is 5 years younger than me. and we're super close because I've always looked out for her and she's looked up to me and now that we're 21 and 16, we're the best of friends. i think it's a perfect gap :)

kendra said...

i used to think i would want my kids spread out. but now as i am getting older, and still wanting 3 or so kids, i am thinking i would need them closer together. one of my friends has 4, all 2 years apart. She loves it. the older ones are great helpers, but she almost always had a "baby" around. :)

Erin Hunt said...

SO interesting to read these comments! My sons are 17 months apart and I would love to get pregnant again soon! I feel like it's easier to have a whirlwind of diapers and bottles continuously instead having big gaps in between, only to have to start all over again! I guess to each her own! Good luck! :)

Emily Sledd said...

My older brother and I are 4 years and 2 weeks apart, I've always said once the time comes for my husband and I to have kids we would never purposely wait that long in between. My brother and I were never in school together, other than a year in elementary, and we were never close and still aren't very close.

My husband and his brother are 18 months apart, were always in school together, and still have a very close relationship.

I'm not sure if my brother and I are so distant because of the age difference or the gender difference...I've always wondered if we were close in age if our relationship would have been different.

A very interesting topic!

T said...

I'm one of five, but my two older (step)siblings are 12 and 13 years older than me and were already out of the house when our families joined. I grew up with a a brother two years younger and one five years younger. I am much closer to the brother who is only two years younger. The one who is five years younger still seems like someone I need to take care of (unfairly to him) than a friend, even though we are all adults now. My own kids are 16 months apart and I love this spacing. They are best friends. Now they are five and almost four, and I feel like if we were to have more children we would need to have two, and space them closely so that they can have a similar bond.

Amy Lauree said...

I think that is somewhat true, my sister and I are 19 months apart, and my husband is exactly 2 years apart from his one brother and 4 years from the youngest.
But we felt that 3 years would be a better age gap between our kids. They way life worked out, we had our girls 2.5 yrs apart exactly. It's a nice age gap I have to say. One toddler that is somewhat independent and at the end of the terrible two's (sad to say, but it hasn't been easy!) and a newborn. Tricky at the playground to watch a small toddler and nurse a baby at the same time...but whatever the age gap is, you just make it work I guess!

Ms. Shypoke said...

My brother and I were 18 months apart.. Despite the fact that my mom had to deal with two babies..all while moving once a year because of my dad's deployments.. That age made us good for playmates.. and we were "out of diapers".. not too far apart.. I guess it shortened the total time in diapers.. since we overlapped:)

Mary DelaCruz said...

My brother and I are not even a year apart. I was born August 19th and he August 2nd of the following year. I think that's too close. I have two girls now, one five years and one seven weeks and I am so happy with the two of them. My five year old is now entering kindergarten which is so exciting (for me, not so much for her) but I also get to enjoy all the "baby's first" moments all over again with my newborn. My five year old helps out a lot and it's perfect.

IF we have more children, it'll be a while from now. Call me crazy but I wouldn't mind another in eight years

Jody said...

Such a great post! I'd wager a bet that the people who recommend the age differences that they experienced when they were kiddos probably had happy childhoods!

I am an only child. I have three children. The first two are 18 months apart, and number 3 is 2 1/2 years younger than number 2. So, from top to bottom they are almost exactly 4 years. Boy, girl, girl. It was really hard at various points (someone in diapers for 6 years! two in diapers for...too long!). But now it's amazing. The three of them have such a dynamic, ever changing relationship. I know a lot of people recommend "even" numbers, but I think my trio ebbs and flows in an amazing way!

acp said...

my kids are 19 months apart. it was rough at first but now they are becoming best buddies!

MJ said...

My mother always tells me that after she had my first brother the pediatrician told her to wait as long as possible between siblings. She aimed for 3 1/2 years hoping to have my 2nd brother in the summer, but it took her 6 months and so they are 4 years apart. I was an oopsy with a shoddy form of birth control (contraceptive foam) 22 months after that.

I think ideal distance between kids depends on the relationship you're hoping to have. If you wait longer, you get a longer one-on-one relationship with your oldest and then you get more time overall with kids in the house. I had two solo years with just me and my parents when I was in high school because both of my brothers had gone to college. I loved it. If you think about it cumulatively, my parents had 24 years with kids at home...plus the couple of years we may or may not have lived at home post-college.

My son is now 19 months and for a variety of reasons I do not feel ready for a 2nd child just yet. I know I could do it, but I'm just not there yet...

dot said...

I'm the oldest of five, and we're all about 2-2.5 years apart. I think two years is a great age gap because I can't remember a time before I had siblings--no sibling rivalry that way!

Dani said...

I have a 9 month old and we are going to start trying next month for a couple of reasons: my husband is older than me, 45 to my 31, and doesn't want to be geriatric when the kids are teens :), and secondly I'm staying home now but am eager to get back into the workforce when the kids are in preschool/school, so this way (hopefully anyway!) there won't be a big gap.

I know it will be hard when they're little, but maybe great to knock out diapers and carseats, etc., all at once?

I hadn't really compared it to my own life, but my older brother and I are 20 months apart and were besties growing up.

Janie Kamenar said...

So funny. We're just starting to try for our second; if we conceive right away our little ones will be just as far apart as myself and my older sister.

neilandnikki said...

I have four children, and the oldest has just turned 6 this summer. There have been a couple times where I have had two in diapers- the largest gap between any two children is 2 yrs 3 months. It's been crazy so far, yes, but also amazing. The kids get along famously, everyone works together and helps each other (and me) out. I honestly think it's one of the best things we've done.
And yes, my family is basically the same age gaps! I am the oldest of four and I was six when the youngest joined our family.
Another great thing about small gaps- we're getting all those milestones/hurdles/boring stuff/hard stuff done at the same time, more or less. Yes, we will have been changing someone's diaper for prob 8 yrs before we're finally done, and yes, I've basically been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last seven years, but soon that stuff will be done and overwith, and I'm still young, thank goodness!!

Kitty Fraser said...

My sister is 18 months younger than me and I think that was too close a gap. We were always fighting, and it seemed to breed competition as we got into middle school/high school. To this day our relationship is still strained, sadly. When my husband and I have children I think a 2 1/2-3 year age difference would be perfect!

Kitty Fraser said...

My sister is 18 months younger than me and I think that was too close a gap. We were always fighting, and it seemed to breed competition as we got into middle school/high school. To this day our relationship is still strained, sadly. When my husband and I have children I think a 2 1/2-3 year age difference would be perfect!

Fran said...

My sister and I are six years apart. It seems like a big age difference, but we are best friends.

We grew up with a single mom and had to watch out for each other while my mom worked. I think that kept us close.

We kind of swapped roles as far as birth order goes. She is more like a first born - a little more pragmatic and responsible. While I tend to be more spontaneous and bit more careless at times :)

melissa said...

I'm exactly the opposite. My brother is 12 years younger than me so I want to have mine very close together. We have a 10 1/2 month old and are currently trying for our second. It's going to be a little crazy in our house for awhile, but I'm really excited. <3

rjdecker said...

My sister and I are 11 years apart! My husband and his sister, 7 years. we wanted our kids to be as close in age as possible, 11 months was my goal :) They ended up being 14 months apart and I LOVE how close in age they are. I recommend it to everyone. And yes, they are both still in diapers @ 5 and 19 months ;)

alyson said...

I'm an only child so I don't really have that reference! I think the second Wolf started walking, I itched for a tiny baby again. we're thinking 2.5 to 3 years is a good gap.

nōms: said...

Each of my siblings are 2 years apart (there are 5 of us), besides my sister and I, with 2 years between us. I love it! We're all so close now, and having my sister in middle school and high school with me was so fun. So if I ever have kids, I'll want them to be 2 years apart. Funny how that works :)

Mrs. P Vega said...

My sister and I were just over 4 years apart and I think this is the perfect age since I was transitioning out of college as she was going in :) It was a nice break for my parents.

Sips and Spoonfuls said...

Quite interesting that. I have one sister 4 years older anf one 7 years younger. When my first baby was 9 months, I was ready for number two- CRAZY I know! But I wanted a small age gap. But I got diagnosed with lymphome when she was six months so baby number two had to be postponed. I just had him eght months ago and there is an age gap of three years! PERFECT :) I wouldn't have it any other way.

Ali Masterson said...

I am a middle child of three girls. I'm three years younger than the oldest and four years older than the youngest (so 7 years between the two of them). My husband is the youngest of two boys and their age difference is just around two years. I have an almost two year old son and am pregnant with a little girl - due end of September, so they'll be just about two years apart. If I was a few years younger than I am now, I may have waited an additional year to have our second (and have them be three years a apart). The push for our second as early as it is completely relates to my personal philosophy that I'm not getting any younger and will be better off being sleep deprived at my current age than in another year or so.

Daniela said...

My sister and I are 19 months apart and, funnily enough, so is my husband and my brother-in-law. I, however, think that, as great as it was and still is to have such a small age gap between me and my sis, it must have been crazy for my parents and I would therefore prefer to have kids a bit more apart. I think anything under 4 years would be cool.

ragamuffin_girl said...

My sister and I are 19 months apart and were almost like twins growing up. It probably didn't help that my mom gave us the same Dorothy Hamill/mushroom haircut. Yikes.

Just a year's difference in school, we had many of the same friends and have always been best of friends (besides the inevitable moments of clothing fights as teenagers!). It was ideal for us and I would hope the same for my future kids. My sister just had her second child...17 months younger than her first, and my husband and I are hoping for the same situation. I definitely think that a lot of it has to do with how you were brought up.

Being in my mid-thirties, one also has to thinking about the timing of a second child with a lot less time in-between because of the obvious physical reasons. We also have the task of the logistical...living in a tiny space in Los Angeles. The option of storing away baby stuff for years until number two comes, doesn't really exist. Lots to consider! First task...having number one.

Deeds said...

My husband and I don't have kids yet, but I've given this some thought...
My brother and I are 2 years and 5 days apart, and my sister and I are 5.5 years apart. I'd say I'm closer to my sister because of personality (rather than age), but as a whole our family was very tightly knit and I enjoyed having both of them as companions on family vacations. I think having a relatively tight age gap between the three of us allowed my family to do some really cool stuff together, like skiing, camping, surfing, hiking, sailing, etc.
On the flip side, my husband is the oldest of six (!) spread out over 10 years. It was much harder for them to do activities all together because by the time the youngest was old enough to take along on more active vacations, my husband was getting ready to leave for college.
Based on that I'd rather have a tighter age gap. Also, it leaves time for you and your spouse to spend quality years together after the kiddos are out of the house (seeing my parents enjoy their empty nest has been eye-opening ~ they were great parents but they're having an awesome time by themselves after 25 years of having kids around).

Jessica said...

My first two are 3 minutes apart. My third is 7 years younger. My fourth will be 29 months younger than #3. We didn't have much to do with the planning since the first two and the fourth were surprises, and it took a year to have #3. If I could paint the perfect picture, I'd have 3 1/2 years between each child.

H said...

My sister is five years older than me and I always loved it, especially when I was younger! She was (and still is) my hero, she was the one I always went and ask for help, she always knew the right answers and I felt so safe and protected by her!

But I know it wasn't always easy for her, being the older sibling, because my parents always kind of expected it from her taking care of me and acting responsible in front of me (because, well, she was five years older than me and my parents were VERY strict!), and every now and then I "feel guilty" that she had to carry that kind of "burden" when she was young.

I'm not sure which age difference would be the best, but maybe I'm still too young to really know (I'm only 21...).

Anyway, great post!

Maria said...

My sister and I are 6 years apart and I don't recommend it, it didn't work out well for us. I was too old to relate and too young to be patient with her annoying childish phases. It's better being older but it's not the close relationship I would like. I think they say if the kids are more than 4 years apart it's like having 2 only children? I'd aim for 2-3 years apart.

Danielle said...

My sister is just over two and a half years younger than me, and I completely agree that three-ish is a great ideal. We always had a built-in playmate during our toddler/elementary years, had a couple of rough years when we were around middle school age, but have been super close since she got to high school (I was a senior when she was a freshman). We've never felt like we were the same age, but we also never felt like we couldn't relate to one another (and I think siblings with too much of an age difference do... I have a couple of close friends who are 5-15(!) years younger or older than their siblings, and someone inevitably feels more like an adult, and thus, an aunt/uncle).

pinkbracelet7 said...

I think a couple years apart would be an ideal gap between siblings. My sister and I are exactly a year and a half apart, which was infuriating at times when we were younger, but my mom said she was so grateful that's how it worked out because we played together and kept ourselves occupied so much of the time. My husband has a full 9 years between him and his next sibling, which totally changes the relationship dynamic, and was a weird adjustment for me to experience when I met his family.

Amanda said...

Interesting. I never gave it thought in advance. My sister and I are 5.5 years apart. We had our first and when she was 10 months old I wanted another. It didn't take long so the first 2 are 20 months apart. Our third was a bit of a surprise, she was born two weeks before her sister's 2nd birthday.

I imagine trying for a certain spread would be a bit more pressure than I'd have wanted. I'll be so thrilled when we hear you are expecting another!

Unknown said...

Unlike your post, I must disagree with wanting to have kids apart just like you, yourself are between your siblings.

My sister and I are two years apart. Although it was nice to have someone close to you (i am the oldest) to play with, I remember it being really annoying as an older sibling. I would have to "be nice" and "share" with my sister. We would have to share every thinng, and if I was playing with something, I would have to give it up completely just so my sister would stop crying. As we grew up older, my friends became also my sisters friends. Although it was cool 'cause we would all hang out, it just felt like I never just had friends of my own. College became the same, she would want me to stop everything just to be there with her and always wanted me to be by her side. In a way, she became dependent on me and I noticed it even more. Although I understand that this situation may not apply to everyone who is 2 yrs apart, it has for me... and most people don't see it the way I have. As the comments above show, they see it as a nice way for siblings to grow together, sharing a bond. Because of my experience as an older child and the close years we have apart, I think I would want to wait 4 years. Just so, as a mother I can give enough attention to the oldest one as the youngest one. So that they are able to develop independently in their own stage, but at the same time enjoy the years apart (the process of aging apart). I think 4 yrs is a stable time, by that point they'll be going to daycare and trying to do things on their own. They will be far apart, therefore each need within their own stage can be identified and dealt with as they are a little person of their own. They will also be far apart for each to like a certain stage of toys/play, interaction with friends and people. Oh by the way, don't get me wrong, I don't hate my sister, it's just looking back, I would of changed certain things. What do you think? has this happened to you?

Meadow said...

Haven't had kids yet... right now I just want ONE child, but I think ideally I'd want to have a 2-3 year gap as well, if I did decide to have another kid.

After 2-3 years you're in a routine, you know that having a kid isn't *that* hard, and you're also not so far removed that you can't imagine doing the diapers thing again.

My sister and I are 4 years apart. It worked for us, for the most part.. we always played together and in some ways my sister is more mature than me (she's the younger one lol) so it balanced out. Really the only problems we had were that I'd be a bit jealous later on because my sister would get so many things that I didn't, and at a younger age too. Not exactly a big issue in the grand scheme of things, though.

And I'm finding now that I'm in my late 20s, four years into my career, university long gone, etc. and I am thinking more about kids, marriage, etc. while she is just out of university, our priorities are completely different and she thinks I'm boring. I tried explaining to her that in a few years she'll be in the same boat.

tinajo said...

I have 2 years and 5 months between mine, I´m happy about that since it worked out so smoothly. :-)

Courtney said...

I totally agree with you. I think three years is ideal, and that's exactly how my family is spaced.
I felt a lot of pressure to have my kids two years apart-- when my daughter turned one everyone kept asking me if I was going to have another baby soon, and I would always respond, "uhh... *this* is my baby."
Now my daughter is 4 1/2 and we've had a tough time getting pregnant (one miscarriage + some months of re-regulating and trying). It has been really so difficult to adjust to the thought that my children will be 5+ years apart. That seems like way too far apart! I try to remind myself they will still be friends when they are adults even if not when they're kids. :( oh well. it will work out great in the end, I'm sure!

Amanda said...

I have a 10-year-old son and 8-year-old triplets, which is really just more like having 4 kids the same age because of their maturity levels. Of course the baby and toddler stages were crazy, but it's great because they have their own little "pack" now and do everything together. It's awesome how protective of one another they are, but also how they're growing in their own independence. I was an only child, so it's really been a learning process for me for me to see that kind of interaction.

Jenny said...

My kiddos are almost 7 years apart and it works beautifully for our family. My daughter is now going into 2nd grade and the time I had with just her was so invaluable (and something I wish I had had with my mom-I'm the oldest of 4). Now that my son is here, I get to have a lot of time with just him while she's at school. It's what's best for our family and I think that's the case for spacing siblings or just having one child: it's a personal choice based on what's best for your family.

Red Panda said...

I'm an only child, and I find that's left me questioning whether I actually want to have kids or not. Being an only child was lonely at times, and left a lot of pressure on me when I flew the coup for college. If I do have children, I would love to have them two to three years apart.

Jo said...

My younger brother and I are 2.5 years apart, and although we didn't always get along, I feel like that's really the perfect time between babies! My younger sister and I are 7.5 years apart and although we are still close, it mostly just made for a lot of babysitting when I was younger! I almost feel like we're part of different generations.

Heather said...

My sister and I are almost 3 years apart and my younger brother and I are almost 5 years apart. My husband has a 2 year difference with his sister. We've decided to start trying again when our current little one is 9-10 months old since we may not conceive right away. I realize 2 under 2 might seem like insanity, but we're in our early 30s and don't want to risk waiting too long. We'd rather have our kids as close in age as we can stand, not only for their sake, but for ours. Conceiving our first wasn't super easy and I know it often just gets more complicated the older you get, so to be on the safe side, we're okay with a 18-19 month age difference if that's how it happens.

Janan said...

In my family of 8 I was 5th and the majority of us were 2 years apart. I now have 4 kids all from 18 months to 28 months apart. We can't have more though I wish for 2 more! I had my first at 20 and my last at 26. Sooo all the kiddos will be gone when I'm about 45. If I were to do it all again and could get those two more kids I would..
Have the first 2 about 2 years apart then wait 3 years and have the next 2 - 2 years apart then wait 3...you get the idea. Anyway I would have been 32 when I had my sixth and all the kids gone at 51, still not bad.
Anyway...I liked having siblings close in age and I love my kids having siblings close in age, why extend a bit? Time-cause I can never get enough of the little ones, from baby to pre-school is awesome time! and Number of kids -cause who can get enough? They are magical:)

j said...

My mom had 8 kids and she had us all 1.5 years-2 years apart! whoa! she was basically pregnant for 10 straight years.

Julie said...

I am a twin and I don't have any brothers or sisters besides my twin brother. I LOVED growing up with a twin- always having a built in play-mate, experiencing the same moments in life like our first day of college (where we both attended the same school). It may have been easer being twins with a boy because there was less competition between the both of us. Granted you can't really control if you are going to have twins or not, but I would love to if I could. However, I have always wished for a younger sister!

Aya said...

My sister and I are 4.5 years apart, so of course I think this is best.We had our distance growing up, she could always look after me and once she went to college the years started to shrink. Now that we're 28 and 33 (today! HB sister!) it seems like nothing!

domonique matthews said...

3 years is perfect! my oldest 2 are just shy of 3 years apart and my youngest are 3 1/2 years apart. it's been the perfect balance for me. I loved being able to truly enjoy each for who they are and where they are! my oldest are almost 6 1/2 years apart and adore each other somethin' fierce!
love these questions joanna. keep 'em comin'

honeymelon said...

I'm the youngest of five children, and I was a big oopsy. Hahaha! My oldest brother is 31, my other brother is 29, my oldest sister is 28, my other sister is 25, and I'm 18.

They're all a few or less years apart from each other. Since there's such a big age gap with me, I'm definitely the baby, but I think we're all pretty close to each other.

Ideally, I'd like maybe 4 years or less between my children in the future.

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

My husband's family and my family are very similar and all over the map with ages. Hubs is the youngest of 7, his next oldest sibling is 8 years older, his oldest sibling is 17 years older. He is closer to some siblings rather than others.

I am the youngest of three, my brother is 12 years older and we're really not that close; my sister is 8 years older than me and she is one of my best friends.

So it really wouldn't matter to us about the age gaps or not because we're used to the age gaps.

My brother's two kids are 1.5 years apart, my sister's kids are 4 years apart, which is the same age gap as my brother and sister.

Christian said...

My kids are 3 years and 6 weeks apart - a fantastic age spread now at 6.5 and 3.5- they are BEST FRIENDS.

Something no one told me until I was pregnant though - barely three is a really tough age. Super emotional. Super normal. Super hard with a newborn.

I wouldn't change it for the world though now, though then it was excruciatingly difficult.

I was the youngest with a sister 5 years older and one 9 years older. I am and was always closer to the one who is 9 years older. It really has to do personality in our case.

When I read siblings without rivalry my takeaway was that the biggest factor for sibling harmony is genetic personality. Something we have NO control over!

Alexa said...

i am one of two and our parents spaced us nearly 10 years apart! so now i am post-college, while my brother is early-high school. i was always more of a little mama to him than a sister, and we've obviously never been in the same place in life (and it will be a while yet until we are!).

not only do i want to have my children much, much closer together, i want to have a large family.

Li said...

My sister and I are 1.5 years apart, and I would never intentionally duplicate that. We never got along growing up, and I assume it's because she never stopped resenting me for stealing all her attention when she was still a baby!

stephanie said...

My son and daughter are 2 years 10 months apart and i have Loved it! They are now 14 (she just turned 14 yesterday) and my son is 16 turning 17 in november. ANyway, i LOVE that she just started high school this year and her brother is there at the school as a junior. I wish I would have had a big brother:)

sian said...

there's 12 year between my auntie and my mum (the second world war happened in between) and my auntie says it's the perfect gap!

my other auntie has a 10 month gap between offspring 6 and 7 - utter madness.

i read somewhere that the 'natural' gap (as a result of suppressed fertility due to breast feeding) is 3 years. that's the gap we ended up with between our tiddlers, give or take a few months. it's working out well so far, mama nature knows what she's doing!

Lisa Johnson said...

Great question! I have one sibling, a younger brother, and we're 3 1/2 years apart. I think you're onto something here! : )

sunshineanddesign said...

Ha, you're spot on -- my sister and I are 20 months apart, and that's what I hope for my baby son and the next one. :)

Lan said...

My boy and gal are almost exactly 3 years apart!! best thing ever!! he was excited to help and it wasn't so overwhelming. Of course, sometimes people cannot plan these things - however it works out is a blessing :)

michelle said...

Joanna, I'm a classic case for your theory.

am one of four children, we're all between 17 months-21 months apart. And I want four kids, all under two years.

I have three so far, spaced 20 months and 21 months apart, two girls then a boy. My pregnancy with my son was terrible, I was nauseas the entire time. When he turned one years old, I wasn't ready to get pregnant again. So we waited. Now he just turned 18 months and I'm ready. In fact, I'm baby-hungry-ready. So I'm hoping our last child will have a gap of about 2.5 years.

For us, the spacing has been great. My daughters play well together, but because of naps, it's allowed individual time too. My oldest just started kindergarten and now I'll have more time with the younger two. My kids feel like they're a team, they always have someone to play with but we are very respectful of "privacy" and "alone time." I have one child who really wants to be by herself when she gets upset so you just accommodate for each child what they need...

In response to Anonymous about her sister being 2 years apart: I had a sister just one year apart from me. We never had this issue. We had a few similar friends, but we had plenty of different friends, different interests, etc. We both did student council together but played different sports. We ended up at the same college but only took one class together. We're very close, but I never resented her at all because of how she affected me. Sure we fought when we were teenagers, but we were also good friends who enjoyed hanging out too. I think it's just about balance. People who have twins could have the same problem, it's just how you handle it.

Heather said...

My brother is almost 2.5 years younger than me. It was absolutely perfect. He was three grades behind me in school, so we didn't share friends, but if no other kids were around, we played together just fine. I'm not having kids of my own, but if I did, I would aim to space them three years apart. My boyfriend's sisters are 5 and 10 years younger than him and he never felt like he had anything in common with them until they were adults.

Julia said...

our 2 kids are 20 months apart. It was crazy at first, but they have a lot of fun together now. I am 6+7 years younger than my brothers and in a lot of ways felt like an only child. So I'm happy to have them close :)

michelle said...

one other thing: I think however anyone chooses to space their kids, there are pros and cons. Even though I've chosen to do it with a smaller gap, I've never felt that there was one magic or perfect spacing.

Erika Rocio said...

My sister and I are 7.5 years apart and we are super close. This happened kind of later in life tho... she was kind of an emo teenager. LoL

Anywho, I'd love to have kids that are closer in age: 4 years? But even when you try and plan things out, life surprises us and changes things!

Jennifer Bridges said...

I wanted to wait about 3 years, but thanks to birth control failure, my fault (oops) they are 2 years apart and that seems perfect. You just make it work however it happens.

milliandjoshvincent said...

Ideally, I think 3-4 years between children is great. I have a brother who is 5 years older than me and a sister who is 9.5 years younger than me. So quite different from my ideal!

belle said...

With an older sister of 4 years and a younger sister of a year and a half, I have to say that I am much closer to my sister with the smaller age gap. And, yes, this did affect my choice of age gap in my own children. When the new baby arrives in Feb, they will be a year and 9 months apart. :)
www.petitebiet.com

eRin said...

I'm 5 years older than my sister, and 7 years older than my brother, and that felt like too much to me. It matters less as you get older, but it's also harder to forge really close relationships as you get older. It's always seemed to me that the people who have the closest relationships with their siblings, growing up and as adults, were less than three years apart.

Our oldest will be 2.5 when her younger sister is born, and I'm hoping that their closeness in age will help them develop a very close relationship as little girls that will see them through adolescence and adult-hood.

Cheyenne said...

I found this to be extremely interesting because it made me realize that the reason why I want my kids all close in age is because my brothers and I were all so close in age too. My oldest brother is only 3 years older than me and then my next brother is only 17 months older than me. So my mom had 3 kids under the age of 5 but we grew up to be SO close and still are! We hung out together and had all the same friends and I think my mom liked it because she knew that wherever we were we would watch out for each other

Alexandra said...

My sisters and I are 5 years apart 10,15,20. I always wish we were a little closer in age because I do notice some age differences, but we all get along!

Lauren Knight said...

What an interesting (and true) observation! My older sister is 7 years older than me, and I have a younger brother who is only 20 months younger. Based on our closeness growing up, I vowed to have mine close together, and I did! My 3 boys are almost exactly 2 years apart and it is hard at times, but the older two are sooooooo close, they entertain each other nonstop, which makes it easier to care for the baby. Now that baby is one, he is already starting to hang out with them and that is a real blast!

hannah_byrd said...

I'm only 16 years old, but I when that time comes much, much (much) later down the road, I think I want to have my kids two years apart. My brother and I are two years apart ( he's the older sibling), and I love it! We are absolutely best friends. We have an inseparable bond, and a great understanding and love for one another. We did go through a bit of an awkward stage in our relationship when he was in junior high and I was in intermediate school ( 4th & 5th). And when he was in high school and I was in junior high. But ever since I entered high school, ( I will be a junior this year), we have been best friends again, just like when we were little. My mom and her sister are 4 years apart and she felt it was too large of a gap to ever form a close relationship with one another.

hannah_byrd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moonlight said...

3 years is what's between me and my sister.
sure, there is an awkward phase, where you feel like everything is embarrassing, mostly when you are in adolescence and you feel embarrassed by anything, but that's it!
other than that both kids enjoy their siblings as children, as well as adults!
2-4 years is my recommendation then!

Emily said...

I am an only child and my husband and his siblings are all 4 years apart. We had originally intended on waiting until our son was 2.5-3 to start trying for another, but low and behold, he is about to be 15 months and I am just over 8 weeks pregnant with our 2nd! I am still a bit in a state of panic (2 under 2!! 2 in cloth diapers!!), plus my baby still seems like such a "baby" if you know what I mean. Im sure the 20 month age gap will be fun in the long run as they will have close playmates in each other, but ideally I wanted to wait a bit longer!

Shannon said...

My boys are that 2 3/4 years apart. If we had to do it over again, my husband and I agree we would have had them closer together. Our main reason - our oldest would have done great with a sibling closer in age.

Amy said...

My brother and I were 18 months apart and although we could play together, we were never really close.

My oldest turned 5 in March and my youngest was born in May. So far, it's been a wonderful spread! 5 y/o is very understanding/respectful of her baby sister and her needs and she's the perfect age to help fetch things for us when we're tied up with the baby. It's also great having one in a stroller & one out and able to walk and follow directions.

Shan said...

My younger brother and I are two years apart, and it felt like a perfect gap. We played together constantly as kids, and as we got older we always had each others' backs. I drove him to school once I had my license, so he never had to ride the bus as a high schooler. He loved me for that! We even threw a party together once at 18 and 16 when my parents were out of town, and we still laugh about it today. (But don't worry, moms, it was pretty harmless overall! :)

I think an important thing to consider though is gender and personality-- things you can't really control! I feel like we didn't argue that often because we were different genders, into different things, and had different friends. There was never an opportunity for jealousy or competition because we were so totally different. I bet with two girls or two boys two years could be more difficult. Maybe when I have kids I will aim for three years. Good topic!

Lisa said...

I have to brothers, 2 years on either side of me, and for the longest time I had it in my head that pretty much everyone was 2 years apart from their siblings, because it just seemed "normal" to me. So I was so surprised when my husband mentioned that he'd rather have 3 years between children! It still seems far apart to me, but your reasoning makes a lot of sense.

Maria Baker said...

My sisters are 10 and 17 years younger than me!! That's a bit too far!! My husbands sister is 6 years older than him and they're not close. He really wanted our kids to be closer together so our girls are almost exactly 2 years apart. It's perfect for us. They're buddies and hopefully will always be the best of friends.
*fingers crossed!!*

Morgan said...

I did the exact opposite of my parents, on purpose. I have one sister who is seven years younger. We never played together, never went to school together, and I always wanted that. Now, I have a big family. We have four kids all super close in age. Their age gaps are 18 months, 24 months, and 20 months. I love that they do all play together and will grow up together.

Maria Baker said...

I should say my hubby and his sister weren't close growing up. As adults they get along great, but the age dif when they were kids seemed to cause a lot of distance b/twn them.

Unknown said...

My daughters will be 18 months apart when my second is born this year. My brother is 18 months older than me and my sister is 15 months younger than I am.

abigail said...

lol, I agree! I hear the same thing from parents and everyone when it comes to the age difference- everyone thinks that their experience was the best and recommend it. Which is comforting since it just proves that whatever one chooses for themselves/ happens to happen to them- is the right fit!

We were shooting for two years (I wanted 3) but it didn't happen right away but we will thankfully be having a 2.5 yr age difference! (we recently found out!!) Which sounds great to me! I'm with yah on the diapers, I hope she's out of them by the spring!

Unknown said...

I didn't want a second child, but my husband did. However, my grandmother told me not to leave my oldest son by himself. That really struck a chord with me. If something happened to my husband and me, I wanted him to have that sibling relationship like I have with my sister.
But, I knew that there was no way that I could have them close together. Therefore, ours are 6 years apart, and I wouldn't change a thing. They are close, and I have a built-in babysitter (they are 14 and 8). My youngest actually follows his brother's instruction better than ours and really looks up to him. And, it has really made the oldest one alot more mature as he sees himself as a role model.

Seem said...

My boys are 22 months apart and I love it. They are best buds. It is a bit maddening at times but we had little problems with jealousy and love that they will grow up together. The only thing I would say is that I went from pregnant with my first to nursing for 13 months, to getting pregnant when he was 13 months, to pregnant to nursing for another year. I felt a bit lost and underwater for a while. It took me until my younger son was about a year old to start to feel myself again...and now it is wonderful.

M.M. said...

Reading this I was totally reminded of the movie Parenthood and how the educationally-driven father has a heated conversation with his wife about how the kids have to be five years apart to both excel equally in school. I wonder if there's any truth to that?

-- Nevermind the Mom was pregnant by the end of the film :)

Mia Stizzo said...

my sister and i are 4 years apart, almost to the day. my mom said she did it that way because she thought it'd be a good idea for me to be starting school when the new baby came. my boyfriend and his brother are less than 2 years apart. we have an 8 month old now. i'd like to wait 3 - 5 years before having another, and he'd like our boy to be our only child! we'll see...

Alicia Marie said...

I think it really depends on the child. My boys are 2 years and 3 weeks apart. It worked perfectly. My oldest was so good when I was nursing. Now they are best buds and play ALL day long together. It really is so much easier to have a 2 and 4 year old than just a 2 year old. BUT my second is a bit more "wild". We waited a bit longer with him. Our third will arrive a few months before his 3rd birthday. He needs that time to grow a bit and learn before a baby comes.... So it depends on your child, I think.

Sharon Beesley said...

that photo!!!! soooo cute. stella is truly in love with her little sis.

Andrew and Maria said...

I'm from a family of 11 and my husband is from a family of 10. Both of our parents came from equally big families. In each of mine and my husbands families, everyone is about 2 years apart. There are a couple about 3 years apart. The biggest difference is that the closer they are in age, the better playmates they are as children. Three years apart in childhood years was a vast gap and siblings weren't as close playmate-wise. It is a little harder in the begining when they are babies, but soon they are entertaining each other. I have three that are all about 2 years apart and they are the best of friends. Just a perspective. ;)

Lisamarie said...

I think that the age of the mom unfortunately dictates - to some degree - the spacing of children. I will be 30 in October and haven't started trying yet. I would like as many kids as I can reasonably afford to raise but I don't want them too close in age. My sister and I are six years apart. While we weren't close growing up, I feel no loss about that fact. My sister and I are great friends now and my mom really loved having the time with each of her children that she did. However, at 30 or older, I won't have the time to space my kids six years apart. I am hoping to space them 3 years apart. But gees... that puts me at being a bit of an older mom if I want more than two... Oh this is a dilemma....

Mama Smith said...

Oh wow this is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm an only child, but I used to want kid's 2 years apart and then I had one and that seemed.... well ambitious! Now my son is 21 months and I am thinking hard about another. We are in such a good place now that I don't want to Rick the boat, but I also don't want a giant age gap... decisions decisions!

-Lilly

Jackie said...

My boys are 15 months apart and it is actually easier then I thought! They are currently 1and 2! My brothers (twins) and I were 3 years and we always got along!

Jennifer of JennySue Makeup said...

I'm an only child, and actually really liked it:) Everyone asks me if I was lonely growing up w no siblings- um no, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Valentine's day, it was always about me!! However, I now have 3 kids of my own and see that having multiple siblings is really cool and exciting!! Mine are all miraculously 2 years apart and despite having to buy diapers every year since 2006, holy cow, I wouldn't change anything.

theanthropologieconnoisseur said...

I'm nowhere near ready to have kids, but when I do, I think I went them to be pretty close in age. My sister and I were 3.5 years apart (4 years on the school calendar), and although we definitely got individual attention/ability to be nurtured (if that makes sense...), I'm frustrated with the relationship, to be flat-out honest. I feel like being closer in age would have been beyond annoying at times growing up, but as adults, I think you would have a closer relationship. When I took a child guidance class, I learned experts recommend 4 years though...

Maybe it's just the whole "the grass is always greener" phenomenon! :)

Colleen said...

I get along best with my youngest sister, who is twelve years younger than I am. I don't have a favorable relationship with my sister who is closest to me in age (we're 20 months apart). I know of other people who get along with their closer in age siblings.

Ruth Homberg said...

My sister and I are 5 years apart, and are really close. One of the best things about the age gap is that I clearly remember really, really wanting a little sister. I remember what life was like before she came along, and all the ups and downs that came with her. I'm 32, so not sure a gap that big will work for me, but that's my 2 cents.

madeline said...

Well, my siblings and I are all 7 years apart. As the youngest, I was lonely. So when I had my children 15 months apart (ok, not on purpose obviously) I was actually really happy because they would be so close and would always have a friend.But then I also find myself thinking that maybe in 7 years.. I might be able to do it again! Also my parents were older parents, and my husband and I are young, 24 and 26.

Unknown said...

My children are a little less than 3 1/2 years apart. My daughter was born just four months ago and I am so glad we waited to have our second child despite pressure to have another child sooner. I was able to give my son my undivided attention during his baby years and, now, he's mostly independent and able to help me with the baby from time to time.

Corrie Anne said...

I love the 3-year gap between my siblings and me. My husband is not a fan of how much younger he is than his older brothers.... he's the baby by about 5 years. And he felt kind of like an only child.

kristen said...

i have 5 kids, all two years (or under) apart. it worked out so nice for me, since i was in the "baby mode" i was okay with having two (or more) still in diapers. my baby now (my last) is almost 2 and i am so grateful i had so many so close. (it's been nice to in the sharing clothes department! everything stays pretty much in the closet at once!) yes, it has been a bit crazy at times, but so worth it always.

my siblings and i are all 4 years apart. (there are 4 of us) and personally, that is too far apart! so i halved it, and it worked great.

to each their own.

Mad Max and Family said...

Max is going to be 22 months older than his sister, Sadie. I was hoping they would be around 2 years apart ...it had more to do w/ my age than anything else (34 now!).

My sister and I are 5 years apart ...which works fine now, but it was a pretty big gap growing up!

-Tara
http://madmaxandfamily.blogspot.com
http://blog.chron.com/madabouttown/

Sarah said...

my sister is 4 years older exactly and brother 3 years younger...i actually think a little closer together is better. we were in such different stages we really didn't play together much. 2.5-3 years apart is as much as i would like to go.
my baby is 21 months and i'm in your same boat--thinking of babies!

Erica @ Acire Adventures said...

When our son was born, my partner and I both really wanted him to have a sibling 2-3 years younger than him because - surprise - we both have a sibling older than us by 2 years. But when the time came when we would have had to start trying, it just wasn't right for us. We're really enjoying the one child thing still and our son is 3 and a half. We hope to have another by the time he's 5, but we'll see. Now that he's as old as he is, I like the idea of the age gap they will have. And since it is a lot different from our own experiences it will be all new and we will go into it with few expectations.

Sian said...

I have a gap of 4.5 years between me and one sister (the other is two years younger still). I found the gap was too big from the time I was about ten. Now we are all grown up, the other two are still much closer to each other than I am to either of them.

So I would like a smaller gap between my children. I would also have two children rather than three so nobody feels left out!

I feel like I was an only child with two younger sisters if that makes sense! I haven't fell out with my sisters or anything but I couldn't turn to them about anything personal.. I think that's sad. They do to each other, I know.

Amy said...

my girls are 2 years apart (now 1.5 & 3.5). Although i think they'll enjoy being close in age, my first year with a 2 year old and a new baby remains a blur. It was an overwhelming year - joyous, but overwhelming. Our next will likely be between 3-4 years, so we can thoroughly enjoy (and remember!) it.

Benedicte said...

Ideally, I would have like my kids to be very close (one year gap), but in the real life (with a full time job and my husband travelling a lot), it would have been too exhausting, so there is a gap of 2 years and 9 months, which is nice too.

Kat said...

My sister and I are 18 months apart. I would prefer to have a maximum of 2 years age gap but in saying that I am still awaiting the arrival of #1 (due in 6 weeks) so my mind may change after she is born.

Ash said...

i have a half brother and a half sister- they are 15 years my senior! sooooo basically, i grew up an only child /:

but i would love to have my future children be close in age- maybe 18-24 months apart- i guess i want them to be friends, since i never really had that opportunity growing up (:

*** KITSCH *** said...

I would like to have another baby, my son is 3 now, but my husband does not want to... it is a little problem

http://mykitschworld.blogspot.com.es

Ana F. said...

I'm 3,5 years older than my sister, but my husband is only 1 year and 11 months older than his brother. I think two little ones so close in age can be quite hard to handle. I don't have any yet and I try not think about planning too much. It will all depend on finances, where we're living...

Audrie said...

My twin sisters are 6 yrs younger and even though we're the best of friends now, it wasn't that way growing up because the age difference was so big. Ideally I think 2-4 yrs in between but I'll have one before I decide if there'll be another haha

Jessica said...

I'm an only child, so this is a question I think about a lot. If we don't have more than one, I think I'll feel bad since he/she will only have one aunt and probably very few cousins. On the other hand I have no experience with siblings and wonder how I'll referee between more than one.

Marie said...

my sister and i are are excatly two years apart. I was her birthday present. Both born on January 3rd.

my brother and i are about 1 year and some apart. i have a stronger relationship with my brother.

i would love to have my kids at least 2years apart. it seem like a good age gap.

Imogen Eve said...

Just after I'd had my firstborn, my partner asked the midwife what she believed the ideal age between siblings was, interestingly she said 3 years. She reasoned that it is enough time for the mum's body to fully recover and a three year old is easier to reason with than a younger child. Strangely my grandmother said exactly the same thing.

I didn't listen to either of them and had my two 18 months apart. Debate still happening over whether we can handle a third!

Mommy Lauren said...

5 years and 9 months between my bother and I and i always disliked it, but I found out later in life it is because my mom miscarried twice between us. We are going for 2 1/2 year age difference, that way if it doesn't happen right away or I miscarry, there is plenty of time still, but if it happen right at 2 1/2 I'd def be ok with it...I think! Guess you don't know till the baby is here!

Gabriella Ricketts said...

I'm an only child, and while it can be lonely sometimes, especially since I was raised by a single mother who worked a lot and there weren't many children in my neighborhood, I'm mostly glad I don't have siblings. There are no sibling rivalries, I never had to share attention or a room, and being on my own really let my imagination run wile, because that's where most of my entertainment came from.

At one point, though, I did long for an older brother or twin (and still do, kinda.) When I was seven or eight, my mom asked how I felt about siblings, to which I responded, "Okay, but only if it's an older brother!" I don't think she was happy to hear that.

Now that I'm in my twenties, I realize that the only thing that makes me sad about being an only child is that I can't have any nieces or nephews!

Molly W. said...

There were 3 of us girls in my family growing up and we were all 3years apart. I liked it! I only have 1 child who is almost 6, but if I had decided to have another I would have ideally wanted them about 3ish years apart.

abigail jane schrag said...

This is such a coincidental post. I just found out I am pregnant. Again. I have a nine month old daughter and my IUD expelled. I'm not trying to scare anyone. My best age gap though was 4 years. I wanted a long time with my daughter. And now I am forced to accept a 16 month age gap. It makes me sad. But I can't choose to be sad about this. I have to choose to want and love this new baby. But it makes it really difficult not to be jealous of the time I will lose with my daughter. However, on the bright side, my mom noted that our 2 (we are done after this one) kids will be out of the house at close ages and there will be no wait time for empty nest. I'm looking forward to that second youth with my husband.

Full Pockets said...

I'm a quadruplet (all girls) so our age gap is...say a few seconds to minutes :) Its funny how it all turns out. Birth order still took over. The youngest is still definitely the youngest. Growing up together was a blast. We ALWAYS had a playmate. High school was tough but then we all went our separate ways in college which was one of the biggest blessings for our relationships. Now we're recent grads and enjoying sharing the challenges & joys of life together from different parts of the country.

IDEFIX said...

My sister and I, from mother and father,are 10 years apart. And then my half siblings (courtesy of my dad) and I are 19-22 years apart, which means there is also a 10-12 year gap between my younger sister and my half siblings. Honestly it's not in any way the most ideal age gap. Growing up I felt like an only child even with a little sister. And don't even get me started on my half sibling....its hard enough connecting with my sister when there is a 10 year gap, much less now that I'm a young adult with a toddler and my youngest sister is a year younger than him! Can you say YIKES!

Mariely said...

My brother and I are 5 years apart and I would like my kids to be about 2 to 3 years apart.
Xo
www.stylegodblog.blogspot.com

willow said...

I think about this a lot. I am close in age to my sister, and while we always had a lot in common, we fought constantly. My son, meanwhile, is still an only child at age four. He doesn't seem lonely, and I know we have missed the window to have two close together, but in a lot of ways I feel happy that he has had a lot of time to himself, with just our attention.

I am frankly often shocked by people who decide two (or three) is the plan and carry it out quickly without really considering the temperament of the first. While there are probably plenty of children whose lives are enriched by having a sibling close in age, I think that a lot also are forced out of the role of "baby" before they are really ready. To all the parents out there amazed at how "big" their two-year-old is, I offer this: a two-year-old is still a baby. If you have a second, you will have two babies at the same time.

Thanks for asking these questions! I love to think that the Internet is forcing parents to be more conscientious and thoughtful about parenting choices.

witandspice.blogspot.com said...

That's very interesting. I've always wanted to have my kids close together, but never thought of that being related to how close in age my siblings and I are. My mother had four children in 3.5years (there's a set of twins in there). My brothers and sisters and I were extremely close and still are. Sometimes I wonder how my mother didn't go insane with three children in diapers for years and four hoodlums running around! But there's still something nice about having a sibling close in age, I think.

Roxy said...

Here in the South I notice people don't like to wait too long. I've seen so many couples that just had a baby and 3-4 months later she gets pregnant again. I thought it's not even very safe from a medical point of view, but I guess I was wrong.

Lexie said...

my mom had four children in 2 yr stair steps! i am second born, and the biggest gap is between my older brother and younger sister (8 yrs!!!)... that one is kind of unfortunate because they spent the least amount of time together! i am five years apart from my sister and it's a really good gap, too. i don't feel like a 'nother mother', but i feel like i have a special interest and influence with her!

Caitlin said...

I am the opposite of what most people are saying. My brother and i are 4 years apart and my parents did this so they would be sure my brother was done potty training when they were dealing with me. However, i have never felt very close to my brother, and i think that's because he was always in such a different place than i was, when he was a junior, i was still barely a teen and he didn't want me around. In the future i'd want 2-3 years apart, but not 4 like i had

Faye said...

I have two little girls, 3 years and 5 days apart! We didn't want another baby in quick succession as our first was a surprise and I was still fairly young (24) when she was born and still getting my head around it all. We planned for a two and a half year gap and I fell pregnant quickly but had an early miscarriage. I was however lucky enough to fall pregnant again in a couple of months so we ended up with a three year gap instead. with hindsight, this has worked so much better. Our eldest was fully potty trained, eager to help and pretty independent when her little sister was born. Now my baby is 15 months they are starting to play together a bit and enjoy each others company. If we end up having a third, I will definitely go for (as much as you can plan!) another three year gap.

plaisirs simples said...

3 years!

Emily Lauren said...

my oldest brother is 8 years older than me and my middle brother is 3 years older. i love them both more than practically anyone, but ironically, my oldest brother and i have the closest relationship. that might be just because we're so alike though! :)

Emily Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Lauren said...
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Josephine said...

Chuckles to herself... I gave birth to my second son 10 days ago, which is 2 years and 3 months after his older brother arrived. I am the eldest of 3, and all of us are 2 years and 2 months apart!

Kristian said...

The gap theory must be true- I think 3 years is a good distance and that's what my sister and I are. Though, I must say part of this comes from seeing how other families function. My sister and I were best friends with another pair of sisters but they were only two years apart and as I grew older I realized it seemed like that was not always a large enough age gap for perspective (either for the older child to be more considerate of the younger one or for the younger one to always, shall we say, cede to any authority the parents might give to the older one). But on the other end of things, my father was six years older than his brother and they weren't very close for that reason. My cousin's are also six years apart and while close, it is not a sibling relationship so much as a mothering one.

I guess there's a fine line in my mind better having perspective with your sibling and feeling their on a whole other life stage/role thank you! I'd never really consider that before...

mme said...

my siblings and I are nearly exactly 2 years apart. Before I had kids, I thought that's what I would want, too. However, once my daughter was 8 weeks old I was already itching to have another baby. Life circumstances prevented us from trying until she was 6 months old. I found out I was preggo again on her 1st birthday. They are 20 months apart.

Marie-Eve said...

My sons are 3 1/2 years apart and that's been great ! When I got the younger one, the older was somehow more independant, wich helped a lot ! For me that was perfect, but that's just a personnal preference I think !

My Blog - A Pretty Nest

Laura Zizzo said...

I'd love to talk to your mom Joanna, as I have twin girls who are 16 months old and am starting to think it's time to start thinking about number 3 (hopefully just 3, as two sets of twins is a little much - but if that what we get, we'll happily deal with it). I just don't feel like my family is complete even though we only really discussed 2 kids before getting pregnant. I'd love to hear anecdotes of having a 3rd child after twins - maybe a guest motherhood monday post?? 3 years sounds perfect!! We're over the stress of having newborns but they are still young enough to be close growing up.

Jennifer said...

I have noticed the same thing! My little girl is the age (19 months) that I was when my sister was born. My sister and I are super-close now (we had our moments growing up), but I seriously can't imagine having a newborn right now! Sheesh.

Jessica said...

i always thought 3 years was good - for all those reasons you mentioned. i have two younger sisters and we're 25, 21, and 19 but we are all very close. when my youngest sis was still in elementary and i was in high school, there wasn't too much common ground, but now that we're all a little older it's great

Dominique said...

My brother and I are 3 and a half years apart exactly. I really liked how we were friends growing up and how I got to be a big sister at the same time. I say, 3ish is a great aim.

dc said...

My brother and I are 11 months apart and I think it was great growing up, we hung out with the same group of kids, went to the same schools most of the time and when we were teenagers we had parties together. We're still very close, in fact he and his family live block away from us after moving back from 4 years overseas!

Angela Spann said...

interesting! i was the opposite. i have a brother who is 7 years older than me, and a sister who is 4 years younger. i always knew i wanted my own children to be closer in years. my kids are 23 months apart. people (strangers, mostly) would tell me that i was crazy, when i was big & preggers with a toddler in tow. but as soon as my oldest was a year, i was ready for another! i say get the hard stuff (diapers, lack of sleep, etc) out of the way. and, being that i have both a boy and a girl, they are close enough in age that they share the same interests. they are best friends! xo

Amy said...

I doubt that you get all the way down here, but there seem to be few only children replying so I will. I'm an only child - only grandchild and I think it's got advantages. I think I benefitted from more financial resources that few of my peers have; more maturity as I never spent much time with my peers; more independence as I always had to play alone; and more studious due to the lack of playmates. Negatives: I have a hard time making friends with people exactly my age (always favor older friends); harder time with social situations like marrying into a family of 4 siblings and I'm really sensitive because no one roughed me up = bullying.

While I'd ideally want to have 2 kids myself, I have to say that being an only child the financial aspect of it is incredibly important - especially now, in a recession, not burdening your kids with high student loans is something to be considered. My spouse and his brothers all had to pay their way through school, which worked out for them due to high salaries, but is hard on most...

Mooie said...

Wow i think three years is a huge gap. But then again I am a twin and have a younger brother by only 18 month. I have a three year gap with my sister and we are not close compare to me and my brothers. People always say we all seem really close to each other and we are while people think my sister is often the mom. But l love my sibling all.

mabe said...

I'm an only child and I have always been a little jealous about my friends having brothers because I've never have that someone to share everyday stuff. But I have I say that I LOVE been an only child because you get everything and don't have to share anything (which can be a little problem if you don't encourage the sharing thing much).
Experiencing the age gap between my friends brothers, as and outsider, I believe that 3 to 4 years is the perfect amount of years to wait in between siblings (too much years of difference can be a little difficult to handle)
Hope this helps!

cassy diane said...

Ha! That's funny because I instantly thought of my brother and me and said, "2 years, because it's close enough in age where you can be friends, but apart enough to where you don't fight constantly."

Kate said...

My older siblings are 20+ years older than I am, my younger sib is 22 months younger. We planned our babes 5 years apart. Our son was born in 2005 and our daughter in 2010. Perfect. (For us.)

Ingrid said...

I tried for a four year gap (my sister and I are 10 years apart.) But it was almost 14 years between my first and second daughter, and five years after that that my third daughter was born. My girls are all close now that they are grown, and there was never any rivality between any of them. As others have said, personality and parenting are sometimes more important than the spacing of years between siblings. I always encouraged my daughters to appreciate each other, and they still do.

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