Is There An Ideal Age Difference Between Siblings?
My kids are 20 months apart. I have a lot of friends that are about to have their second child or are considering it and I have been asked this question a lot. Is there an ideal age difference between siblings? Would you do it this way again, they ask?
Well, since I didn’t know any other way it’s hard to say, but if I really take a closer look now that my son is about to turn 4 and my daughter is 2, I do have some perspective to share.
Since I didn’t have my first until I was 33 I knew I wasn’t going to wait too long to have my secondnd, but I wouldn’t have minded maybe a few more months between breastfeeding and pregnancy. Yes, I finally weaned my son and then a few weeks later discovered I was pregnant again. But I was just thankful to be able to have another.
For the last few years I have either been pregnant, breastfeeding, waking up in the middle of the night, changing diapers etc. I’m finally starting to come out of the mom fog as my children become a little more independent each day.
So yes, having them close together has been a little more intense because they were very young and both needed my full care and attention. I think back to the newborn days with my second trying juggle everything, it was definitely busy, but you make it through just like every stage of motherhood.
While I wouldn’t change it, I do wonder what it would have been like if my son was just bit a older when I had my second. I have to admit I was a bit jealous seeing the mom’s with newborns and the calm helpful older sibling. While I was chasing my active toddler son around with my newborn strapped to my chest in a baby carrier trying to breastfeed, change diapers and go grocery shopping. My son has always been very loving, but they were both so young I could never really leave them alone together. I was always playing referee.` Also I was pregnant for most of my son’s second year.
In the past month my son has matured a lot, it’s weird it’s like all of a sudden there was this shift. He is so calm, loving and helpful and has really taken on the big brother role, not that he didn’t try before, he just usually ended up tackling her and loving her a little too much which usually ended in tears and me trying to break them up. So maybe there is a better time.
I think if I were to have a baby now it may have been a bit easier on me since he is much more independent, but not necessarily better for the kids. Maybe there would be more jealously and transition because he was used to being the only child already. Maybe they wouldn’t be as close as they are now. My brother and I were 8 years apart, I think that is a little long. I always wanted a little brother and sister, but when my parents finally had one I was already very independent, I was more like a mom than just a sister. In the end it doesn’t really matter. Things happen when they happen and you live your life and do what works for your family, but if you were asked do you think you would have a preference?