6.02.2016

The Best Age Gap In Between Babies

{brothers :) from our 3D ultrasound last week}

One of the most common questions that I get, and also see other parents asking other parents about, is what is the best age gap in between babies. I think it's natural that every parent wants to find that truly perfect age gap so that the transition can be the best that it can be, but I don't think there is a right answer out there. I really don't!

I believe every age gap has it's pros and cons, and instead of focusing on finding the best age gap according to other people and their beliefs (I think everyone sort of thinks they have the best age gap, so your answers will be totally mixed!), the best thing to do is decide what works best for you and your family and what you want.

For us, we've always known that we wanted kids close in age. Camden and baby #2 (counting down the days until I can share his name) will be 18 months apart. A lot of people would call us bat shit crazy for wanting and planning it this way, but then others (the other "bat shit crazy" parents that also have this age gap most likely) have nothing but amazing things to say about this age gap. Before trying for our second and even before Camden was born, we would casually talk about the pros of having kids close in age, and we were both on the same page that they definitely outweighed any cons that we came up with. Obviously I have absolutely no experience with 2 kids yet, so I'm writing this post simply to share the pros and cons we came up with. It'll be fun to write a similar post once baby brother is here to see how much of this held true once I have actual experience (and to see if any of our feelings change...)

PROS:

1. Closeness in age means being able to play games/sports together, growing up in the same schools, and in general just being in close 'stages' in life. They have a playmate and best friend for life!

2. Getting through the baby stage rather quickly. I don't like saying getting it over with, but that's technically what I'm saying right...? I guess it is, ha. By having kids close in age, you are familiar with those newborn days...the lack of sleep...the constant changing diapers...etc. You're already in the routine of it all.

3. This goes with #2...Strolling through pregnancies like a boss. Some might consider being pregnant back to back a con, but for me it's a pro. I would much rather go through my pregnancies now than when I'm older when I might not be able to handle them as well. Let's say you want 3 kids and space them out 3 years apart...you're pretty much pregnant on and off for 10 years. Or what if you take an even bigger break and then have a really hard time with the thought of being pregnant again / going through all the body changes?

4. You might be able to get them on the same schedule! Hello, NAPS! Your oldest is probably still taking 1 (or 2) naps, so if you can get baby on the same schedule you might have a solid hour 10 minutes to yourself, after you're done picking up the house and putting things away.

5. Your oldest won’t remember life as an only child, the days you spent nursing baby #2 over playing with him/her, and will (hopefully) learn to share.


CONS:

1. Two kids in diapers. I actually don't really consider this a con (only because I would rather get them completely out of the way rather then go back to them down the road), but I think most people do so I'm listing it as one mainly because of the expense. Also, I'm sure it'll be challenging to change two babies when out and about, and always having to pack two sets of diapers for each child.

2. Less sleep. More craziness. Get used to the chaos!

3. Your oldest probably won't be old enough to truly help with the baby. Sure, they may be able to grab a diaper here and there (or 10) but I imagine having, let's say a 5 or 6 year old, would be a lot more helpful.

4. IT'S EXPENSIVE!! The bills pile on up: hospital bills...daycare costs...oy vey!

5. Your body is pretty much out of your control for awhile. You are probably either nursing (or pumping) or pregnant. It's not easy.

What might be a pro to me could be a con to you-everyone is different! Now I'm interested in hearing from you guys-do you think there is a "perfect" age gap? What helped you make your decision when expanding your family? And if this post totally bored you, feel free to comment about that too. :)

PS: If you missed my post yesterday with a promotion on the cutest Father's Day gifts, go check it out here!

14 comments :

  1. My two little ones are three years apart and it has been amazing for us. When going for number two I always heard 2.5 years was the magical age difference:). I got pregnant and we were going to have two babies that age difference apart and then I had a miscarriage. Devastating for many, many reasons but one of those in my mind was that magical age difference was no longer. Now looking back I can see how this plan for our family was even greater than I could have imagined. That six months was huge for my son's development plus I got 3 whole years with just him! When he goes off to Kindergarten I will have three years with just my daughter during the day which I think will be perfect too.

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  2. I have two boys, 13 months apart and the pros far outweigh the cons. The first few months were really hard and the biggest transition for us. I was unsuccessful at nursing baby #2 because I had 1 year old terrorizing while trying to nurse / pump. I had no time to eat because of said 1 year old and newborn, therefore, breastfeeding was unsuccessful. That along with the pure insanity that comes with having babies a year apart it has been amazing and they are now at 2.5 and 1.5 the best of friends. Once you get past the baby stage with #2, it is SO MUCH FUN. And you're right. Camden will be unlikely to help or really care about baby brother because he's pretty much still a baby himself! Good luck!

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  3. Our boys are 2 years + 1.5 month apart and I love it. Love it so much that I want to have our third before out littlest turns 2. So then we would have a 3 almost 4 year old, 1.5 year old new born. All your pros is what my husband and I have talked about. I have friends who spaced them far apart and now don't want to think about a 3rd because of missing out on stuff with the oldest (sporting events, always on the go with different things). I agree 100% that every family is different and how you space your kids is your decisions and what works for your family.

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  4. My sister and I are 3 years apart and I always liked that age gap, we were super close but far enough apart in school that we had our own things going on. I think if we were just planning on two, I probably would have waited a little longer before trying for baby #2, but since Cam and I are thinking about (hopefully) having (at least) three, so that was a big motivator for wanting to have kids closer in age. Plus, since I'm at home full time with Henry, it also kind of just made sense for us to not drag out the baby stage since if I'm home changing one diaper, I can change two...ha! We find out the gender of baby #2 this afternoon, I can't wait!

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  5. I say embrace the crazy!! I don't want to get used to sleeping through the night then have to go through this again, hahh! G is only two months and we are already weighing our pros and cons! So excited to see Cam's brother!

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  6. My little ones are 20 months apart and we absolutely love it. I love the fact that my eldest won't remember me spending more or less time with her. They will just grow up together as if it was always that way☺️ We have has zero issues with jealousy and she loves her sissy so much she just wants her around her all the time. It is the sweetest ever. If I were to go for a third I would pick the same age difference.

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  7. I have to chime in and offer a differing point of view.

    For many people--myself included--struggles with infertility make it a challenge to have a baby at all, let alone plan the age gap between any that you're able to have. My husband and I have been married for almost ten years, and it took seven years to have our son. He's 2.5 now, and I would love for him to have a sibling, but so far that hasn't happened. Hopefully soon it will!

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    1. So sorry for your struggles, Megan. I completely understand where you're coming from. This post wasn't meant to be insensitive to that, just meant to be for fun to compare different age gaps. I know that if we had struggles that a specific gap would be the last thing on our minds, too. Praying for you and your family!

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    2. I understand what you meant, Katie! It is definitely fun to compare and contrast the different scenarios and possibilities. Before we knew that having kids would be a challenge, I used to think I wanted two or three close in age. But now, the older Max gets, the more I think that a 4ish year age gap will be good for us. He's really independent and does well playing on his own, which will of course be an asset if/when we have baby #2.

      Do we have to wait until little brother is born to know his name or will you be revealing that soon?!

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    3. I agree-that would be so nice! Will be thinking of you!

      ha yes, we are waiting until his birth day to share his name. Less than 2 months until I don't have to call him baby #2 or baby brother anymore!! :)

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  8. I don't have kids yet but my sister and I are 18 months apart and my mom will tell you it was the best for her! My sister and I didn't have the same friends, interests or hobbies but we did go to the same school, start driving around the same time and hit some milestones together. For me, it really was nice having someone in the room next to me who understood whatever traumatic high school melt down I was having at the time ;)

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  9. I couldn't agree more sweet friend, every age gap works for that family. We always said a 2.5 year gap would be perfect (sounds universal for most) but our 2 year gap has been the best for us and so amazing for our girls who are best friends!! Thinking about number 3 has made us think that 2 years would have been too close for us so we are waiting a while... My SIL has a 13 month gap and it is very hectic, she is making it work but it would never work for our family!

    I just know your boys are going to be the best of friends - and that is awesome with a smaller age gap!
    x

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  10. I have two kids with age gap of 4 year, our second child actually came as a surprise because of my wife's weight issue. Still in an adjusting period because the eldest is not yet old enough to help with the baby, that's why I am struggling in my CV writing because of the chaos at home.

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