The Circle of Moms site will be discontinued on March 1st, 2020. Head to POPSUGAR Family's Facebook page for more community discussions.

Let's Go >>

Age difference between children......

Lacye - posted on 01/11/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )




How much age difference should be between siblings? I see so many posts in some of the other communities but I don't think we have talked about it in here.

I guess I will go first. I think the perfect amount of time between siblings is at least 6 years. I grew up with 2 older sisters and 2 older step brothers. To be honest I get along better with my siblings that are a lot older than me than I do with the one that is only 2 years older. I'm waiting until Lily gets to be at least 6 years old before I even think about having another child.

What do you ladies think?


April - posted on 01/13/2011




i think it depends on the first child, sometimes too. in my case, i am still nursing our son and did not want to chance my milk drying up during a pregnancy. i wanted to make it to natural duration first, before attempting to get pregnant again. The minimum age for natural weaning is 2.5, which he'll be in June. Milk production slows down around the 4th month of pregnancy. We'll be trying for #2 , in June and hopefully there will be plenty of milk to last through the summer :)

[deleted account]

I agree with Sara what works for one family won't work for another. I always wanted my children fairly close in age as there is only 15 months between my brother and I, we had a ball playing together because we are so close in age. My son will be 20 months ish when our next is born, I think that is quite nice because he will be getting a little more independance just as I get another child who relies on me constantly. Sara has it bang on that it is about personalities not age gaps.

[deleted account]

I don't think there is a perfect age. I think siblings getting along and being friends has more to do with personalities. My sister and I are three years apart...and we are best friends.

Anyway, it's a decision that should be made by the parents based on their current situation. Some parents have a difficult child, and that child needs to grow up a little before the parents have another (for their own sanity). Some parents have a special needs child, and taking on raising another child should be put off for a while (in the best interest of the child they already have). Some parents cannot afford to bring another child into the world. Some parents are older and need to have their children closer in age, before they can no longer have children.

Then of course, sometimes parents have no control over it. "Accidents" happen. Miscarriages and difficulty conceiving happens. I wanted my children to be no more than two years apart. Didn't work out like that. They'll be almost three years apart. But that age difference worked well in my family, so I'm not worried about it.


View replies by

Daydreamer226 - posted on 02/03/2017




I had all my kids 2 yrs apart. They are all very close, and I think it's because they're on close in age. Not that it was easy at 20, with a 4 yr old, 2 yrs old and a newborn. But now that I'm 41, and my kids are 22, 24, and 26, it's nice.

Cyndel - posted on 01/25/2011




I think it is different for every family. I would have prefered having this child a little sooner, my son is 3. But it isn't to bad, at least Gabriel will be old enough to help out a little here and there, fetch diapers, socks, an apple, etc. he is a good helper.

I would like to have my children 2-3 years apart. My son will be in the latter half of his 3rd year when this baby is born.

But I guess most of us won't know what we prefer until our kids are grown and we know the pros and cons of different age differences. I'll just take what we get as it comes.

My brother and I were 17months apart (a complete accident, the were using barrier method and spermicide). We were raised like twins, we have a great relationship. I however wouldn't want my children that close together. That is hard on the body. both because of the two pregnancies so close together, and because of the stress of a baby/toddler to look after.

[deleted account]

LOL, Lacye. I have two children, and they are 6 years apart. And I have to say it is the perfect age span! It was tough to go back to babyhood again, but my older child had her time in the spotlight and was perfectly fine with my focus on the new baby. No sibling rivalry! And #1 is at school all day, busy, so I have a lot of alone time with #2 without the guilt of "ignoring" the oldest.

I don't know what the "perfect" age difference is, but I'm loving what I have.

Johnny - posted on 01/22/2011




Like others have said, I think it all depends on what works the best for each family. There is no right or wrong answer, except to make a choice like this simply because of what other people think you should do. A lot of my friends, whose kids are a little younger than my daughter have recently had a second or are pregnant right now. Two of them are also going through in-vitro to conceive a second. I am the only person I know IRL with a kid who doesn't currently have a second, is pregnant, or trying to conceive. For me and my husband, we feel that 3 1/2 to 4 years apart is right in our house. We will likely start trying to conceive again in late summer, which is right around our daughter's 3rd birthday. I was told before conceiving her that I wasn't going to be able to have children, so she was a pleasant surprise. If it doesn't happen the next time, she'll just be an only child, we won't be taking extra steps to conceive with fertility treatments.

I was an only child. I liked it just fine. My husband was the youngest of 3. His sister is 13 years older than him and his brother is 2 years older. His sister basically raised him, as his brother was a nightmare child and took all his mother's attention. That being said, he is very close with both his sister and brother (who turned into a very nice guy) now. The funny thing about it is that my daughter's cousins are 29, 26, 17, and 13. So there are these huge age gaps in the generations. My daughter's cousins are much more like aunties. But our family is still very close, so I personally think these things come down to personality type way more than age spread.

Rochelle - posted on 01/22/2011




my children are 8 years apart and IT IS WONDERFUL!! at the moment anyways. we tried for another when our first was 5 but didnt come into play for 3 years. We were worried at first about the age gap but they adore one another and i get to enjoy my 18 month old like i did(for the most part) my 9 1/2 year old when she was an only child! it has been wonderful, she even helps me by changing wet diapers and getting him from his crib, and its because she wants to. she is at an age where she wants to learn this stuff. she wants to help and she understands its not ALL about her!! no animosity!!

[deleted account]

My sister and I are 4 years apart and we were best friend until she hit puberty, then I was the annoying little sister. Then she moved away for college (and hour away from home) and all of a sudden we were best friends again - talking on the phone all the time, staying up late when she would come home for a weekend, etc.

My little brother is 2.5 years younger than me and we have always got along. He's truly one of my best friends and I love that kid (now 22 - on my goodness!) so much.

Saying that, my oldest daughter is 5 years older than my middle daughter and my middle daughter is only 16 months older than my youngest daughter. They're all great pals now, but my 8 year-old is starting the emotional changes of puberty (God help us! lol) and, while she's still really great with her sisters, she is choosing to be by herself more often (going into her room to read, playing on the computer, etc.).

I don't know if there is a "perfect" age difference, but I do see pros and cons of both large gaps and small gaps. :)

Merry - posted on 01/20/2011




I read a family book that said that if there is more then 5 years apart in age then it's considered a 'new family'
As the siblings are not going to respond like siblings to each other. I am ten years older then my brother and I am more like a mom to him. My other brother is 8 years older then the same little brother and they never had much of a relationship at all. Now that the little one is entering teen years he is finally connecting with his older brother but until now nothing much. And my sister is 12 years older then the little one and they only started having a relationship when the little one was about ten cuz she doesn't like little kids!
So in my family it's obvious that closer age siblings click better. Yeah we fought, yeah we had times where we hated each other but the three older ones always got along well over all.
For my family I'm creating now I want 2-3 years in between siblings. My son will be 2 when our daughter is born and I this this is a good age gap, but it has been hard to see Eric frustrated with my pregnancy drying up my milk so I'm considering more like a 2.5-3 year gap next time so our girl doesn't have to be forced out of her breastmilk as fast as Eric has. So, that said, the world health organization says optimum age difference is 2 years before conceiving, this is to make sure that each child gets a minimum of two years of breastmilk.
Also, research has shown that siblings closer in age then 2 years makes the younger one more at risk for autism and other learning disabilities or delays. The thought is that the momsbody needs adequate time to recover from one birth before being pregnant with another child.
So I think 2 years minimum, and 4 years maximum would tend to be the best age gaps between siblings.

Brandi - posted on 01/17/2011




I personally don't think there is a perfect amount of time between siblings and I've never understood this topic, really. It isn't about the amount of time between siblings, to me. It's about when it is reasonable to have another child at all.

Krista - posted on 01/17/2011




I think about 3 years is a good range -- close enough that they can share some interests. Of course, like everybody else says, it depends on the personalities. My two nephews are two years apart, and they're like chalk and cheese. They don't get along at ALL.

Part of me wishes I could have given Sam a sibling closer to his age. I see him playing with his sitter's grandson, who is 7 months old, and it's just really sweet. But by the same token, it's so hard on your body being pregnant twice in a row with virtually no rest in between.

We're considering trying this spring, and if I get pregnant by late summer, then Sam will be almost three when his sibling is born, which is pretty good, I'd say.

And at least he can still play with his sitter's grandson whenever he wants, without me having had to deal with two babies that close in age! Win-win!

Sarah - posted on 01/17/2011




I always thought I wanted my kids 2 years apart, but that would mean I'd need to get pregnant NOW. I don't think I have the energy yet lol. My son will be 16 months old tomorrow and now I'm thinking that 2 1/2 - 3 years is a good age difference. I reeeeallly want a Spring baby this go around, so that means I'd need to get pregnant around Julyish when Ethan is 22 months old. We'll see how I'm feeling then. :)

Ez - posted on 01/16/2011




I definitely like the idea of spacing my kids out a bit lol. 4-ish years sounds good, which considering I'm a single mum now, is probably wishful thinking. But in an ideal world, that would be my plan.

I always thought a 2yr gap was good, until I had Milla. She will be 2 in a couple of weeks, and is so unbelievably full on. I can't imagine either being pregnant or having a newborn and trying to look after her too! So it totally depends on the first child. If the first kid is mellow and easy-going, bringing home a new baby within 2 years probably won't be a drama. With a high maintenance little firecracker like mine? I am confident it would be a disaster lol.

Tah - posted on 01/16/2011




My oldest 4 sisters are all one - one and half years they are from 38-42. My parents waited 8 years and has me..3 years brother..3 years...little sister. My children are all 5 years apart that was a good time for me...

Brie - posted on 01/16/2011




I think it depends on how others think... its different for everyone... My husband is the baby in his family and his oldest sibling is in her late 30's and he is in his late 20's... I am 23 and i have two little bro's and they are 13 and 14... my hubby has a son who is 8 and we have a son who is 16 months... ideally for me i want another child before our son turns 3 at the very least to be pregnant before he turns 3... there are all kinds of age gaps in my family from 11 months (my brothers) to 10+ years!! i think it just depends and i don't think there is any set perfect amount of time!!

[deleted account]

Well I think I agree with everyone. It's different for every family. My sister and I are 22 months apart. We have always been very close. My brother is almost 4 years younger than me. He and I fought a lot when we were younger, then we were pretty close and now I've moved so I don't hear from him much (he's too cool for phone calls). My husband's family is spaced out very oddly. There's 2 older boys then ten years later my husband was born, two years after that his younger brother was born then 3 years later his younger sister. He's pretty close to all of his siblings even with the age gap. Now, his brother (number 2) has two boys. They are ten and a half MONTHS apart!! AAHHH! They were born in the same year! So IMO, that's too close (and I think their parents agree lol).

[deleted account]

I don't think there is a right answer -- I think it depends on the family and the kids. My brother is two years older than me -- we aren't remotely close. My sister is two years younger than me -- we are extremely close. My brother and sister, who are 4 years apart, are also close to each other. Hard to say what is best.

[deleted account]

ugh.. all my siblings are really close, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 19, 17, two 16 and 8. i hated having my siblings so close to my age, i had no room to grow. Now my sister who is a year younger is my best friend. We were even pregnant together :) Its hard being young and not having time to figure out who you are because of sibling too close to your age.I think that 3 years is a good difference. I always got along better with my siblings who are a great deal younger as a child.

Jayde - posted on 01/12/2011




One of my sisters & i are 22months apart & we were best friends when we were babies then when we turned 6ish we fought like nothing else. Now we're best friends & its great. I think we just needed space - we use to share a room with eachother i was a neat freak & she was a slob. I was also a bit of a bossy kid too. Anywho we have two younger sisters again youngest is 10years younger & i treat her more like a daughter than a sister sometimes cos i use to help mum look after her.

I really want 2 children & for them to be 2 &1/2 -3years age difference. I wanted 1 year apart but now that i've waited i've been so happy tohave so much one on one with her :) She's ready for a sister (fingers crossed) though i can see it.
I agree that it depends on peoples personalities not just the age

[deleted account]

My personal preference is about 3 years. That was the age difference between me and my brother and I think it was a good one.

In my situation though.... since there was only a 5 minute difference between kid 1 and kid 2.... I wanted a 4-5 year age difference between 2 and 3. It's what I tried for, but God had other plans so there is a 6.25 year age difference between the girls and their brother.

September - posted on 01/12/2011




I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. I think it's more about knowing when you're ready to have more children. I always envisioned having children that are 2 years apart, our son is almost 2.5 and we are not ready to have another just yet. So we will wait until we are. I grew up with a sister that is 2 years young than me and we are very close and always have been.

Amy - posted on 01/12/2011




I like the 2 year gap, my sister and I didn't get along the best when growing up but now we are best friends for the most part. My husband has 3 other syblings and he gets along with his youngest sister the best most of the time (3 years younger than him).

Also, my son at 2 was showing signs of really wanting someone to play with. Our kids are 2 1/2 years apart and he just loves his little sister. I know they won't always be best friends but in general I think they'll still have a close relationship.

Amber - posted on 01/12/2011




It really depends on the family. My best friend has several children that are very close in age, but my children will be about 5-6 years apart (if we can get pregnant this year).
The close ages worked for her family and they love their lives. But we wanted more individual time at home with each child. And I won't have two or three in diapers at the same time.
There are pros and cons either way, it's just personal preference, IMO.

I have 5 siblings and we are each two years apart. We didn't all grow up together because we have two different moms. I'm closer with my oldest half-sister (8years older than me) than I am with my other siblings.

Celeste - posted on 01/12/2011




I think it really depends, and I don't think one's better than the other..

I have siblings that are close in age and others that are 6-7 years apart. When I was younger, I probably got along with my brother that is 2 years younger better than my other siblings.

Now as an adult, I'm closer with my sister than anyone else (she's 7 years apart)

My kids, my daughter was 4 when her twin brothers were born. I actually like the age difference. She's 8 now and her brothers are 4 and she is a huge help (though at the beginning it was rough). She's independent where she can get herself dressed, make her own breakfast, etc. She helps around the house, etc.

Anyway, those are my thoughts

LaCi - posted on 01/12/2011




They now say that having children more than 3 years apart significantly reduces the risk of the next child being autistic.

I think there are benefits to having them close together, and there are other benefits to having them further apart. It depends on the family.

I do feel really horrible about not having one right after I had nico. When he's playing, all alone, on the playground and there should be a sibling there playing with him. :/

Too late now. So whatever.

[deleted account]

My children are all fairly close in age. My SD is 9 my oldest boy is 5, next boy is 4, next boy is 1. They all have their different dynamics and relate to eachother differently based on their personalities I find rather than their age. Although the baby is pretty much black listed right now because he is not old enough to be "fun" yet for the middle 2. His sister pays a bit more attention to him then they do. I have to say I prefer the 18 month age gap between number 2 and 3 to the others. They are interested in the same things and it's easy to get movies, toys, games etc that will interest both of them.

I personally only have 1 sister who is 6 years younger than me and we have never been close. But, we also are extremely different people. Night and day. So, I think that has more to do with it.

Candi - posted on 01/11/2011




Since I had to have fertility treatments, my husband and I planned our first two down to the month! They are 16 months apart. We wanted them close together. We were happy with our boy and girl and our little family of 4...then a 15 month deployment came....and my plumbing started working(somewhat) and we had another one. She came along 5 yrs later. I love the age range. They all have their own interests, but we can enjoy things as a family with 5 different perspectives! I wouldn't change a thing about the age gap of my kids!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms