Monday, February 6, 2012

Sibling age gap - What's best?

Okay, so this has been on my mind for a few weeks now... I've thinking a lot about the ideal time between babies. And, No! I'm not pregnant or wanting to be right now! Just thinking.

We know we want to have another child at some point, but the question is, when? And I know you can't always plan things perfectly but when should we even aim to start trying again?

Lila is nearing her first birthday and I'd love for her to have a brother or sister relatively close to her age. My brother is 2.5 years younger than me and although we tormented each other at times we have gotten along pretty well our whole lives. From what I hear, 2-3 years apart is pretty ideal.

My hopes with the spacing:

- The kids can play together well

- Lila kind of knows what is going on when the new baby comes

- Lila is potty trained or close to it when we have a newborn

- The kids will both attend the same schools some of the time: 1st and 4th grade, or freshman and senior

I'd also like to avoid a June - October baby because of work reasons (my busiest time is August - October). And again, I know this is hard to plan. But ideally, I'd like a winter or spring baby.

So that said, is 2.5 years apart the best? Is 3.5 too much? Is there really much of a difference? Does it have more to do with the older child's temperament than age?

Let's just say we achieve a 2.5 year age gap exactly. Lila will be 2.5 on August 23, 2013. Since I'd like to avoid that time of year to have a baby it will probably be sooner than that. Or later?

An April 2013 baby would make the kiddos 26 months apart. Is that too close? And I'd need to be pregnant again this coming July! Am I even ready for that?! Since I'm absolutely terrified to go into labor again...Methinks... NO.

A little bit over a 3 year age gap would be April or May of 2014. Lila will likely be potty trained by then and old enough to kind of know what's going on. But if we aim for that time, what if it takes us awhile to get pregnant? It's not the end of the world but would a 4 year age gap be too much?

What I'm thinking now is trying for another baby right around Lila's 2nd birthday in February of 2013. Hopefully I'll be pregnant before summer and will be having a baby in late Fall 2013 or Winter/Spring of 2014. On the early end that'd be an October baby and Lila would be a bit over 2.5. On the later end, she'd get a sibling right after her 3rd birthday.

The only downside I see to this is that I'd be pregnant on my 30th birthday in September 2013! I totally wanted to be in Vegas or on a cruise!

It helped to think that out "on paper"... but in the end I know you can't always plan things like this. I guess we will know when we are ready to add to our family and it will happen when it happens! Anyone have any insights into the best sibling age gap?


  1. I have a little insight.... I think what you are planning would be ideal. Having a newborn with the older sibling being about 3 would be the best. Carter is a little over 2 1/2 and I finally think that this would have been the best age for him to welcome a sibling into his life. Like you said, potty training is done, they understand everything, they are able to communicate well, and are at the age where if you walk out of the room you can trust them (for the most part ;)). BUT you are dealing with tantrums and meltdowns (as to be expected). Even so, I think you have the right idea because any closer (speaking from experience, ha!) life will be chaos for a while! I'm thinking in the long run it will be a little easier?!

  2. I think that since you have a girl as the older sibling having them only 2 years apart is good. Devon and Jensen are a little less than 26 months apart. This has been awesome because she (even at 2) has been a super helper. She gets diapers, binkies, wipes, blankets etc. for us. I'd say that now at 3 she's less helpful because her imagination has comepletely taken off and she is too busy playing and being independent. In fact, at 3 her tantrums are worse then at 2. In retrospect I'm extremely happy that we had Jensen when she was 2 rather than 3. He is less needy now and she requires a bit more attention whereas when she was 2 and he was a newborn it was the reverse. I cannot imagine dealing with Devon and a newborn now.

    That being said, whatever you decide to do will inevitably be the best decision. You'll make it work! I do hope my experience helps a little to answer the questions you had! ~Stefanie Trigstad

  3. My sister and I are 5.5 years apart, and we are best friends. I had just started kindergarten when she was born. We played together as kids, and as adults we are the very best of friends - we don't even feel the age difference. I would say we felt it the most when I was in middle school/early high school (13-14 years old) and she was still in elementary school (7-8 years old). We were just going through very different things in our lives during those ages!

    Whatever happens will work out perfectly for your family, but do not fear the age gap. It will work out! :)

  4. Holy Moly, Lindsay! I didn't realize what a huge planner you were! Well, to say the least, if you are putting this much thought into it, then I am sure you will make the best decision for you and your beautiful family. Lila is such a good, easy baby. I think that any age difference would be fine. She will never let you give that baby more attention than her without a fight! My kids are about 3 years apart and it is perfect for us. Brooklyn has always been very mature. She was potty trained before she turned two. Her mentality has always been beyond her years. She was always helpful with Hunter. Even now, with their age difference, they play so well together. They hardly fight, and they have an overall great relationship. Having a girl first has definitely worked to your advantage. Girls are much more mature and helpful when it comes to new babies. I think you are right to wait until Lila has a little bit of an understanding as to what is going on. It will only be more enjoyable for both of you to get to experience that with her.

    Also, I read your blog about your pregnancy with Lila. That is very scary! However, since it has happened, your doctors will be aware of the possibility of things like that happening again, so I am sure you will be fine. I can't wait for you to have another baby. Can you imagine Lila potty training? Holy Cow!

  5. This is so interesting to read so thanks for sharing. As Jack is almost one, I've started to think about this because I know I want to have another baby. But I have no idea when to do it! I'm sure I'm over-thinking it because, no matter what the age difference, people just make it work. But still, I'd like to make it as easy as possible on myself. :)