View Full Version : Spacing out the Kids
Jessica at Parenting.com
02-10-2009, 09:27 PM
We want to know: What's the right split for you?
If you have two or more kids, the number of years between #1 and #2 can make a big difference. Did you have two under 2? A 3-year split? Or 4 years between them?
Reply to this message and share your stories about the nitty-gritty of sibling spacing: unexpected challenges and joys, what you'd do differently, how you get out the door and dinner on the table, or keep them entertained.
Your story could end up in a future issue of the magazine!
02-11-2009, 04:17 PM
I have three kids. The third was was not planned, but has truly been a blessing to our family. There is almost 3 years between each of our children. I think that the spacing is perfect (for us) because the previous sibling was out of diapers and potty trained. The oldest is 6, the middle child is 3 and the youngest is 5 months. I think that no matter what the ages, when you have multiple children it can be tough "getting out the door" but having a pretty good routine helps to get you through your day with little incident!
02-11-2009, 06:36 PM
We have two kids, 2 1/4 years apart. In an ideal world, and by that I mean a world where we have a house with more than two bedrooms and a toddler who slept through the night sooner than at 16 months, we would already be expecting our 3rd so the spacing would be the same for all three.
I love how my daughters are close, but not too close in age. They play so nicely together and we can plan activities that entertain both. Bed times are the same and their food preferences are compatible. That said, it is nice to have just one in diapers! It's also nice to have an older one who can be a bit more responsible, especially when it comes to not running out into the street while we load the baby!
We're on the fence about having a third, but if we have to wait a while I'd like to have two more close in age so that we wouldn't end up with one poor lonely child who doesn't have anyone to share the first two's closeness.
02-12-2009, 02:34 PM
I have 3 boys- 6.5,4.5,2 years, 4months. My kids are spaced 2 years apart and 2 year 4 months apart. I think 2 years between children is the perfect spacing because they will group up and have more activities in common and it is easier to move out of the baby years if you have your kids closer together. email@example.com
02-22-2009, 01:38 PM
I'm a mother of two wonderful boys, one is eleven years old and the other is five months. I was a single mother with my first and got married when he was ten years old so for his baby/child years I was his whole world and he was mine, everything I had was doted solely upon him. When I first met my husband there was jealousy already apparent but he loved the fact that someone was there to have 'guy days' where they would leave and talk, play ball, or find other things to do while I had my own time but he didn't like the fact we were going to get married and was very persistent about not approving until I became pregnant during our wedding planning. (oops!) After he heard that he was very accepting and excited to have a baby brother and would help me around the house or let me rest when I needed to. We never saw any of the rivalry or jealousy until our youngest was roughly a month old when he began to realize that the world no longer shifted around him and we weren't there to entertain, play games on my husbands days off, or even make dinner some nights when he'd have to make something quick himself.
The constant crying, the constant attention needed to soothe baby brother bothered him and now that it's been five months you can see he tries to seek for attention. We try to set days aside for him, my husband still tries to do 'guy days' when possible, we try to set movie nights or game nights but sometimes it doesn't work out and the baby is sick, the baby stays up late, the baby the baby the baby he says. So you begin seeing the rivalry in small things like when we say "you are getting so big!" and the eldest will retort with, "i'm already big he'll never be as big as me!" He always has to be bigger, can say more words, eat better things, or his shows are better than the baby's shows which he'll make constant fun of.
But those are the negative points, the positives are all beneath the surface and sometimes when we are not looking. There are days when he'll play with him, watch spongebob and dance or sing for his baby brother. He's very helpful when I need him to be and loves to pick him up even though he would never admit to it. He gets scared for him when he cries and tries really hard to make him laugh and talks about when he can play games with him or have someone to play outside with since he doesn't have many friends.
There is also the benefit that he can see how difficult it is to raise a child, that the constant attention and lack of sleep is tiring and stressful that he knows that he is in no hurry to do that himself, especially when teenagers think they are ready for grownup things. He sees the benefit, and has spoken to me about it, in being married when you have a child and how different it is to have both the mother and the father present and how important since he didn't have that growing up.
For my husband and I however, there was the partial difficulty in knowing we were giving up our soon-to-be freedom just around the corner of seven-eight years. It's hard to start all over from scratch when you have a ten/eleven year old boy that already can take care of himself. But we see in my eldest son the things he is missing, the understanding of sharing, the compassion for another persons feelings, the close friendship that siblings share all their lives that he may not find in his baby brother (though we are hopeful) since they are eleven years apart. We talked at length about having another child close at age to our youngest so that they can have all those things but we know that it would also take away the benefits of being "essentially" a first and only child since once my eleven year old turns eighteen and moves out the baby will only be seven years old and will have the benefits of our full and complete attention/love as my eldest did. A "second-first".
Although there are the benefits of having an older child that can take care of himself and help around the house and with the baby, I would say that the best space for children would still be no more than a year / two years so that they can have that long and deep friendship that every sibling has and that I had being the middle of five children only 1.5 years apart. I can only hope my children find this bond through the large gap between them.
02-22-2009, 09:03 PM
I have a 27 month old and a 3 month old. I wouldn't change them. I do wish they were closer to 3 yrs apart instead of 2 yrs apart mainly due to my older one regressing, she was almost completely potty trained before sister was born. Now she is back to pullups full time. But when it comes down to it- I couldnt be happier!!
03-01-2009, 11:53 AM
I had planned to have my kids 3 years apart, so I could have the first one potty-trained before the new baby arrived. Instead they are 17 months apart. I'm not gonna lie, that first few months was rough, but now the boys are best friends. They play together and Ethan tries to "teach" Alex different things, it's so cute. I wouldn't change the age gap for anything.
03-22-2009, 12:26 AM
My 1st and 2nd are almost 4 years apart. I would have liked them closer but miscarried between... My 2nd and now 3rd will be 2.8 years apart. My son was EVERYONE's whole world for almost 4 years so I was very worried about a new baby.... but we've been VERY lucky! He's extremely helpfull and adores his little sister. When we tell her 'no', she runs to him. lol So I just hope they maintain such a great relationship as they grow..... Now, I'm a little more concerned about how my daughter will react to a full time baby around. She's very much a mama's girl and VERY dramatic about everything! So we're trying to prepare her as best we can. I'm now thinking I might have liked them a little more spaced out... maybe more like 3 years. However, I do think my son will play a huge role in buffering the situation. Crossing our fingers.. =0)
03-22-2009, 03:25 PM
We have two girls. Our oldest is 8 years old (9 in October) and our youngest is almost 2 years old (turns 2 in May). Our second was our "surprise" baby, we didn't want anymore after our first until we found out we were pregnant again ;-). I love their age differences. I was able to enjoy all of the "first" with our youngest just as I was with our oldest. And we are able to do multiple things with them both, not just changing diapers at the same time or playing with blocks. We can be read to by our oldest, but still have the chance to read to our youngest.
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