thread: Anyone with a small then a large age gap?

  1. #1
    Matryoshka Guest

    Anyone with a small then a large age gap?

    So i've been thinking about things after talking with a friend, and i've been wondering if its fair to have a small age gap between 1&2, followed by a large age gap between 2&3. So for example 2 years age gap, then something like 5 years age gap.

    Does anyone have a family like this? how does the interaction work? Are you happy with it? Did you plan it this way?

    My assumtion would be that the 3rd child would be rather isolated, and left out by the other two as the developmental stages would be so far apart that they would never play together. Would the third be sort of like an only child, as the older two would be in school. Could this be a good thing?



    Would love to hear your thoughts please.

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Sunny Qld
    14,682

    Hey hon

    My brother was born in 1970 - my sister in 1972 - then me in 1977

    So there is 4.5 years between me and her - and nearly 7 between me and my brother.

    I hated it growing up. I was always left out of things, pushed around, bullied, dragged across the floor by my hair etc - I just never felt close to either of them.

    Plus - my brother's friends were way too old for me to perve on them (well, I still had a perve but nothing would have ever happened!!)

    But - I am really close to my mum - so thats a good thing?

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Oct 2006
    Adelaide, SA
    3,962

    I only have 1 for now, so I can't help too much but there is a big age gap between my brothers and I. They are 11 and 13 years older, so 2 years between them and then me.
    I grew up like an only child and it was good most of the time, but then sometimes I wish I'd had a sibling closer in age to me.
    It's a much bigger age gap than what you're talking about though.
    My brother had his children 4.5 years apart, but there's only 2 of them so I'm not sure how it would work in terms of the younger one being left out.
    Sorry I can't be of much help to you!

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW
    6,975

    I know my situation doesn't fit your query but I have the reverse: Large gap between my first and second then a small gap between my 2nd and 3rd. This was kinda planned and works really well on the whole. Our 1st (DD) has said that she feels that the younger boys get all the attention now but I think you would get that to a certain degree anyhow... and it's just that she gets a different kind of attention.

    A lot depends on how YOU handle the dynamics. I think with the right approach almost any combination of gap, genders etc can work in a loving family.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    Our house, in the middle of our street
    1,996

    Hi there - There is an 18 month age gap between my older girls, and then a 4 year gap to my youngest. At this stage in our lives it is fantastic. The older girls love Hannah and are fantastic with her. I worry how things will be in the future - especially as I haven't ever put the girls into daycare - and haven't thought of doing it with Hannah. Yet. I know that i can take her to playgroups and other activities to stimulate her mind and for her to socialise. I guess i'll just take it as it comes. I do wish we could have had another - just so that Hannah had a playmate as well.

  6. #6
    Matryoshka Guest

    Hey hon

    My brother was born in 1970 - my sister in 1972 - then me in 1977

    So there is 4.5 years between me and her - and nearly 7 between me and my brother.

    I hated it growing up. I was always left out of things, pushed around, bullied, dragged across the floor by my hair etc - I just never felt close to either of them.

    Plus - my brother's friends were way too old for me to perve on them (well, I still had a perve but nothing would have ever happened!!)

    But - I am really close to my mum - so thats a good thing?

    Thanks Mel - YOUR experience is exactly why i didn't want this gap. Those were the things i was worried about, them not being able to relate, connect, the roles of the brothers being more carers than siblings iykwim??

    For instance, this is huger, but theres a 9 year gap between myself and half siblings, me being the oldest by 9 years. And honestly, they never did and still don't feel like siblings but more children i helped with and babysat a lot. I know 5 years is less but still it would be 7 between 1&3.

    I guess i had totally ruled out a third child as there is no way i can have another baby any time soon or even in the next couple of years. I just don't have the support to go through another traumatic pregnancy, take care of another severe relflux baby and worst of all risk PND again.

    But DH had always wanted to keep a third on the cards for later in life, in 5-7 years. Though i feel this kind of age gap is unfair, and i can't see any benefit in it apart from being easier, as only one at home, two older etc.

    So i dunno, i guess i was hoping to hear a really positive experience about it....

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Add Marlene on Facebook

    Jul 2007
    Dapto, Illawarra...NSW
    2,009

    We have 2.5 year gap, then a 6 year gap, then an 8 year gap.

    My two girls were the ones that were close together...and they have never gotten along (but I think that has a lot to do with my oldest DD's personality) .
    Having my first DS at home on his own was wonderful, but I have found it has made him a little bit jealous of our new DS as he was the baby for so long (with the girls at school). Now I love having Jack at home on his own..it is lovely to be able to give then that one on one attention.
    It is sort of hard to tell the "effect" these age gaps will have as my kids are still kids, lol, but they really do seem to enjoy it. The baby gets LOTS of attention from the other kids, and they love playing with him. My 13 year old DD does help out a lot...but she does it because she loves to, not just when I ask...so I do hope (after reading your post) that she won't feel like a carer to him.
    I am trying to decide if we should have another bub or not and what sort of age gap to have....I like that big age gap and would like to do that again but I am getting a bit older now and wondering if I should do it sooner rather than later.
    Last edited by Marlene; April 2nd, 2009 at 08:44 AM.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Apr 2007
    Inner South East suburbs Melbourne
    1,213

    My first two daughters are fourteen months apart. Then there is a six year gap between #2 and #3. This wasn't something I planned - my first marriage broke up, and #3 was with my then new dh. (Now he's my old dh )

    The pros - the girls were old enough to really understand what was happening, right from the beginning of the pregnancy. It wasn't hard to explain or reason with them. They became fantastic big sisters and were very helpful when the baby was born, as well as quite independent. We only had one child waking at night when dd#3 was born, only one bottom to change!

    The cons - dd#2 had been used to being the baby for such a long time that she was very resentful of giving that up. The fact that this baby was between me and dd2's stepdad complicated things also. I had also forgotten a lot so that it almost felt like I was a first time mum again!! The older girls had a bit of trouble understanding at times why a twoyear old was allowed to "get away with things" that they weren't allowed to get away with.

    We now have massive age gaps all over the place - my kids range from 19 down to nearly-born, and the range of needs is really challenging at times. If one kid isn't getting toddler night terrors, another one is hitting puberty, or one is going through leaving-the-nest-anxiety. I feel like I have to be incredibly flexible and diverse in my parenting. The benefit is that the little ones have awesome big sisters - the three little ones even go and stay with their eldest sister sometimes who loves playing mummy with them - and the older girls all get to know how to look after a baby, something I never had the benefit of.

    HTH! I think the thing is that any arrangement has its challenges and its benefits, and as parents, we're all pretty canny at navigating them.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber & MPM

    Feb 2007
    Melbourne
    5,462

    I was born into pretty much the exact same situation as Arimeh. My brother was born in 1970, my sister was born in 1972 and I was born in 1977. My sister was almost 5 when I arrived and she absolutely resented me because after a long time as the youngest, she no longer was, and I took a lot of mum's attention. She resented me for years, but was also very protective of me. We did play (when she'd let me LOL), my brother and I played a lot too. Over the years my sister and I started getting along better and now we are the best of friends, the age gap means nothing. I did always wish I had a sibling close to me in age, but I really didn't know any different so it was OK.

    I think it all depends on your children's personalities and how you as the parent deal with the situation. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have a large age gap, I'm sure it works really well for other families .

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Apr 2007
    Inner South East suburbs Melbourne
    1,213

    My 13 year old DD does help out a lot...but she does it because she loves to, not just when I ask...so I do hope (after reading your post) that she won't feel like a carer to him.
    We struggle with this too. At the end of this pregnancy I've probably relied on the older kids a bit too much and I feel badly about that. It's hard when the kids actually *love* helping out with their little siblings. For instance, dd#4 (who is 9) loves reading bedtime stories to her little sister (who is 5) and that's at a time of day when I am absolutely wrecked, so I've been allowing her to do that... and then I feel awfully guilty that I'm outsourcing my little girl's bedtimes stories to her sister . They often sleep together in the same bed though and are very close, so I guess there's no issue where they are concerned.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Dec 2008
    8,986

    I have an 18mth age gap between my 1st 2 and then a 4 year gap between 2 and 3.

    It's not too bad. If I knew I'd have 3 I would have had htem all 18mths apart.

    THey are now 11, 10 and 5. The youngest one can't understand why she can't do all the things hte older 2 get to do. She's not old enough to ride her bike around the block or walk to school on her own. She gets quite upset about it and doesn't understand that when they were her age they couldn't do those things either.

    On the up side...the older 2 just adore her. They look out for her at school and are only too willing to sit there doing things she likes to do. The older 2 fight like cat and dog but never fight or argue with the youngest.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Apr 2007
    Inner South East suburbs Melbourne
    1,213

    THey are now 11, 10 and 5. The youngest one can't understand why she can't do all the things hte older 2 get to do. She's not old enough to ride her bike around the block or walk to school on her own. She gets quite upset about it and doesn't understand that when they were her age they couldn't do those things either. .
    I forgot about that bit! Yes, we definitely noticed the same thing with dds 3 and 5 whose next oldest siblings were quite a bit older. They walked early, talked early, and were determined to keep up as best they could! Clare has massive tantrums because, for instance, Izzy is allowed to ride her bike around the block by herself, but Clare isn't. She doesn't get "you are too little".

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Mar 2007
    on cloud 9.....
    2,105

    I have got a gap of 16 months between the first two and then it's a 3 year gap. Poor old Harry, the youngest gets so much crap now from the older ones it's not funny.
    When the first two were younger, they were like two peas in a pod. When the 3rd came along, it was cool, but as they got older they fought heaps and still do

    LOL, now I have a 10 year gap, but that's a different story altogether

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    Our house, in the middle of our street
    1,996

    I'd say go for it. Children are beautiful and are a real blessing. Every day I look at my 3 girls and think how lucky I am. Sure as they grow older , the 2 older girls aren't going to want Hannah hanging around them - but she will have her own friends and interests to. We will cross that bridge when we get to it. In the mean time, we'll enjoy every moment that we have them - especially while they are getting on so beautifully.

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005
    Sydney
    2,121

    I think when your older (i.e teens and twenties and so on) it depends on your personality too....not the closeness in age thing.

    There is 10mths b/w me and my sister. So we go 1975,1976,1978 and 1981.....im probably personality wise closest to sister #3 (1981)....there is a 6 yr age gap here. We've travelled to UK together, and generally have the same likes and dislikes....my other two sisters....well i love them of course, but if they werent my sisters, i dont think they would be the kinda people i hang out with...so what im saying is, sometimes it does work, the larger age gap.....esp in later life.

    ETA: This is based on a family with all girls.....i dont have any brothers. I dont know how a brother would have gone in this equation.....i.e what if your #3 was a girl with a 4-5 yr age gap...??? Something to think about....

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2007
    3,734

    well i am an only child myself and just about to have number 2 (22 mnths apart)... but my plan is then to have a bit of a break (maybe 3 yrs) and then have another 1 or 2. I see all the pts above but hope that we will be able to overcome issues with parenting and the family enviornment.
    my mum is 1 of 3. she is 10 yrs younger than her brother (one born pre war and one after) and then 18 months older than her sister. she is v close with her borther but has not spoken to her sister in prob 15 years.... personality and parenting imo is much more relevant than age gaps...