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Thread: How did you decide age gaps between kids?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default How did you decide age gaps between kids?

    Dh and I always said 2 children was our limit, esp after my horrible pregnancy with #2 but immediately after I had him we changed our minds and decided that we'd like 3 (Id like 4 but DH drew the line at 3).

    Im having trouble deciding on the age gap between #2 and #3 though. Our first 2 are 15mths apart and it was a little hard having a pregnancy with numerous hospital stays & bedrest due to threatened pre term labour but otherwise we like the gap. At first I said I wanted to wait 3 or 4 years but now I think that thats a bit too big of an age gap esp considering how close the first two are. We have to use fert medication to get pregnant too so thats another factor in the decision - it may take us quite a few months to get pregnant so if we leave it til #2 is 2/2.5 they could end up being 3-4yrs apart. I feel like I just want to get it over with, have #3 and then get past the baby stage which is the hardest for me.
    We definately wont be able to start TTC til August as we are moving interstate (Vic to Nth Qld) at the end of this month so if I allow for moving time, settling in time, finding a specialist etc it will be atleast August if not later before I can start the meds and that gives us a min 18mth age gap.

    • How did you decided on the age gap between your kids?
    • Did it change between #2 and #3 and so on? Why?
    • If you have your kids all within 2yrs of each other, how did you manage with 3 or 4 little ones under 5?
    • If there was a 2yr age gap, what were the pro's and con's of it? Ive heard 2yrs old is the hardest age to introduce a new sibling.

    Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!
    Last edited by Freya; June 11th, 2008 at 02:24 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    i chose 3 years between 1 & 2 coz my MIL's youngest were 3 years apart. They were 4 & 7 when I met them & got on really well.
    On top of that I wanted 1 toilet trained & sleeping well in her own bed before I had 2.
    Between 2 & 3 I raelly only chose 3 years again because I wanted the same for them all.
    DD1 was alot more grown up mentally than DD2 though & handled it alot better. DD2 is still a bit out of sorts, but she's getting there.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW


    I chose to have a large age gap between my 1st and 2nd children. My 1st was unexpected and I found myself very isolated (no family support)... it just took a lot of adjusting to. No BellyBelly back then (1994). So when number 1 was 2yo I returned to work and then study (uni) as I felt my daughter was ready to go into care. Once I had completed my degree we decided to try for number 2. I remember being very morning sick at my graduation ceremony so it didn't take very long to conceive. There was a 9 year age difference between 1st and 2nd. This worked really well. As I had worked in childcare i felt sooo much more prepared to be a parent and after studying so hard I really felt ready to be a home-body for a few years and relax the academic part of my brain. After having number 2 (a son) we just cruised along not really thinking about more children until he was at least a year old... I swayed between having more but didn't want them to be too close in age because persoanlly I would have found that to be too chaotic... and we still don't have much family support. it would have been different if I'd had grandparents to help out. I also didn't want to leave it too late as I was in my late 30's and I didn't want to take it for granted that I would remian fertile. Anyhow number 3 (second son) came along when my 2nd child was 2.5yo. This worked fine. My 2yo is by nature a placid child and such a good eater and sleeper that bringing a new baby into the house was smooth. My eldest child was 11.5 yo and very capable... old enough to be trusted to keep an eye on my toddler. This worked really well... it would have been trickier to do thing like breastfeed for long periods and "nap when the newborn naps" if I didn't have an older child to help out.... once again because we don't have extended family i relied on her more.

    There are so many factors to determining age gaps. Looking back the biggest factors were the support of extended family and my age. We may have gone for a 4th child (my DH was really supportive of this) but I have ongoing health complications due to pregnancy and there is a strong risk of problems and my desire to have more children isn't strong enough to risk that.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Melbourne, ready to meet peeps IRL


    we have 3 year gaps with my lot and I love it, as a 3 yr old is normally TT and sleeps well and has own bed, no more waking in the night... But saying that I didnt have a choice as we didnt use anything between babies and this is just the way my body does the gaps...

    I can see pro's and con's for all age gaps, when they are big like mine you are over the baby part so while preg you kinda freak out a bit wondering if you can do it all again lol, while with the smaller gaps your still doing all the baby stuff so the newborn just slips right into the rotine...

    But with the bigger gap you have the older children who are old enough to entertain themselves while you deal with a newborn and morningsickness while PG and are always very willing to get nappys and so forth, while with smaller gaps you have basicly 2 babies...

    Not that any of this will help your decion best of luck with whatever you decide....

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    I have a three year gap between my boys. The only reason for this is because I just wasn't ready any sooner. I had health issues that caused low energy and I feared I wouldn't cope. I also run a small business from home which I love and I knew I couldn't run it the same way with a newborn so I wasn't willing to give that up for a while. The three year gap is great, DS1 is toilet trained and plays happily while I b'feed. He runs off to get me things when I have my hands full with the bub which is so handy!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Sunshine Coast


    We are planning 3 kids (I am on pregnancy number 2 at the moment) and are planning the gaps based on my own experience. I was one of 3 and there are 3.5 years between me and my sister and another 2.5 years between her and my brother. I decided at a fairly young age that I wanted my kids closer together than that because I always wished my siblings were not so much younger and that we were going through the same things together. Being the eldest by what I consider to be a fairly large gap, I often felt the pressure of being the trailblazer (ie the first one to do things, push the boundaries etc etc). I think they feel the same way, none of us were ever at the same stage in our lives.

    I find even now that I am in my 30s that the gap has still not been bridged because we are all at different stages of our lives. I am always a bit jealous of people who have siblings closer together. Because my siblings aren't at the point of having kids yet, I am also very aware that my kids will be much older than their cousins. (I only have 4 cousins who are all much younger than me, which I think added to my feeling of being isolated as the oldest growing up). My siblings and I do get along well though.

    There will be 2 years between my first 2 children and we are aiming for about the same (ie 18 months to 2 years) between number 2 and 3. We know it will be difficult for a few years but for want of a better way of putting it, we think of it as short term pain for long term gain. We believe it will suit our kids better to be closer in age and it suits us too - I am a SAHM and we have decided that these are the "baby years" but from my own point of view I do miss work and want to minimise my time out of the workforce. When my youngest goes to school, I will go back to work and the next stage of our lives will commence.

    Something my mum pointed out also stuck with me - from when I was a baby to when my brother finally went to school totalled 11 years of having little kids around. That is too long for me personally.

    I am not sure whether a certain age gap guarantees a better relationship between siblings - I think it comes down to personalities in the end.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Boyne Island


    To answer this I will go from number 2 onwards due to the age gaps.. We didn't start trying for number 2 till Ds1 was 18 months old.. anyways

    * How did you decided on the age gap between your kids? After 2 we just started trying right away cus it has taken us a year or more before to fall pg but wanted more sooner rather then later
    * Did it change between #2 and #3 and so on? Why? 2 to 3 wasn't a huge deal.. but 3 to 4 has taken us a while to bounce back.. We had 3 under 5. isaac was only just 4, Jacob just 2 and we had olivia. Isaac was and still is a pretty easy going kid. I think we found number 4 a struggle to begin with as number 3 is a headstrong non reasoning with child

    * If you have your kids all within 2yrs of each other, how did you manage with 3 or 4 little ones under 5? The biggest thing I find hard is getting things done around the house. I don't find going out and about that difficult to be honest. one is always in the pram.. and the other 2 just walk along with me.. yes they run off from time to time but they eventually get whats going on and behave
    * If there was a 2yr age gap, what were the pro's and con's of it? Ive heard 2yrs old is the hardest age to introduce a new sibling. my son Isaac was just under 2 when we had Jacob.. Jacob was just over 2 when we had Olivia.. introducing the kids hasn't been the challenge.. If anything I am finding having a 4yr old and 2 yr old harder then a newborn and a 2 yr old

    But in saying that I know that Ds2 and 3 reall enjoy each others company and I know as they grow they will become even better mates..

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    How did you decided on the age gap between your kids?
    DH had to study for a promotion, which meant we couldnt TTC till DD#1 was 20mths old - i would have liked a closer age gap. But sooooo glad it turned out this way
    Did it change between #2 and #3 and so on? Why? We had a oopsie with DD#3- she wasnt planned, i was fully breastfeeding and on minipill - mother nature had other idea.
    [B]If you have your kids all within 2yrs of each other, how did you manage with 3 or 4 little ones under 5?I have 3 under 5. My DH is a firefighter, so works shift work. So home alot . He has a motorbike biz, so is in the garage most days, but if i need him for something (doc appts, hair done, ducking up to the shops etc) he usually can mind 1 or 2 of the girls. I dunno how i would have gone if DH had a 9-5 job and was away MOn- Fri....i dont think i would have had 3 children and be a SAHM....but thats another lifetime isnt it???
    If there was a 2yr age gap, what were the pro's and con's of it? Ive heard 2yrs old is the hardest age to introduce a new sibling. Dd#2 and DD#3 there is 19mth age gap. I cant really say it was hard - DD#2 is our dream child, will eat anything you put infront of her, will sleep 12hrs a day,and is generally a real cutie. She would fit in any situation. Lucky too she had DD#1 whom was just on 4 when DD#3 was born. Them two entertained each other whilst i attend to the newborn.

    Good luck, it sounds like youve got your handful with 15mths apart b/w your sons...but hey, you know the pros and cons of it all i guess. Good luck....

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