Saturday 5 January 2019

There is no such thing as the perfect age gap!

There is just under five years age gap between James and Evelyn, four years and eight months to be more precise.

People often ask why there is such a big age gap and honestly there are a number of reasons, one being that I was so young when I had James, and then suffered with post natal depression and anxiety for quite some time after. The second being I was far to busy soaking in all the new born baby and cheeky toddler moments to even think about having another baby!

Its also one of those questions I see cropping up on various parenting forums and Facebook groups "Is there such a thing as the perfect age gap for siblings?" and honestly I am pretty certain the answer is No!

Just as every baby is different, every parent is different too. Every journey to parenthood and beyond, every parenting choice and the way we bring our children up is different. So to assume there is this magical age gap which suddenly makes parenting more than one child easier seems a little ridiculous right? I mean don't get me wrong I am sure there are "easier" age gaps but lets face it siblings will most probably argue, and bicker and even REALLY dislike each other sometimes, regardless of the age gap or even gender difference.

As I mentioned above there is an almost five year age gap between James and Evelyn with James currently aged 9 and Evelyn aged 4. Like any age gap there have been pro's and con's to such an age gap.

The pro's for us as a family include that such an age gap gave me time to watch both my babies grow up without being pregnant or caring for another baby at the same time. Evelyn was born just before James was heading off for school (in June just before the summer holidays), which meant James had me all to himself right up until that point. I was there to watch him grow, teach him his first words and be all his for almost 5 years. Then when Evelyn came along James was at school five days a week which meant she had lots of one on one time with me, whilst James enjoyed school making new friends and learning new things.

It enabled me to take them both individually to baby groups and swimming sessions as well as some much needed bonding time.

It also gave me time to come to terms with actually being a mum which sounds crazy right, but after really struggling to cope and then being diagnosed with Post Natal Depression I wondered whether I would ever want another baby at all. But time as they say is a great healer and that time allowed me to believe and overcome the fear that it would come back again if I had another baby.

There are most certainly cons though! Now James and Evelyn are a little older it can be really tricky to find "common interests". Everything that James likes Evelyn is a little young for and everything Evelyn loves James thinks is babyish. Finding days out to entertain them both can be tricky and we sometimes have to do things separately so that both of the kids can do the things they love.

Bedtimes are also hard as Evelyn wants to be just like her big brother who adamantly does not want to go to bed at the same time as his four year old sister who needs to be in bed by 7pm to get enough sleep. It really takes some changing, adapting and compromise but I think that would be exactly the same with most age gaps too.

So with that in mind I wanted to see how other parents felt about the age gaps between their children. I asked some other parents and bloggers their opinion on age gaps and asked them to share what age gap they have between their children and the pro's and con's they have found with the age gap. Here is what they said.

Emma - There are 12 years between my son and my daughter. My daughter is now 4 and my son is now 16. The pros are that I could devote all of my time to my son growing up then the same with my daughter, because my son now does his own thing. The cons are that they have nothing in common with one another and when we do 'family' days out we can't cater for both of them (if it's too young for my son then he isn't interested). So he stays home. The other con is starting again for me, pro is now I'm older, I have more experience and patience.

Hollie - There are 18 months in between my boys. The Pro is that we're still in the nappy and sleepless night stage, so it all feels a bit like business as usual. It also means the eldest one isn't really fussed about his little brother. The Con is that they're both so dependant on us that it feels like a constant cycle of babies with nor respite. It can be draining and the lack of sleep is very, very real. No sleeping when the baby sleeps when you have another toddler running around!

Emma I have quite big gaps four years between eldest and middle then six years to youngest. Now this means i have an 18,14 and 9 year old. The pro is that each of mine have had us to themselves at the baby stage so it wasnt too hard on me and I didn’t have two in nursery at same time (cost of that!). The con is that I have been doing the primary school run for 15 years already and still have a few years to go!

Laura - I have 12 months as my shortest age gap and 8 years as my biggest. There are pros and cons to both. Small age gaps make for the best of friends, and large age gaps make for the perfect helpers!

Caryl -   I have 2.5 years between my daughter and my son. My daughter is 4 years old and my son is now 20 months old. The downside to me personally is that I felt as though I was neglecting my daughter when he was born. My son was a breastfed baby and was constantly glued to me and looking back I feel like I’ve missed out on a big chunk out of my daughters life. She is a very happy little girl though with the attitude of a teenager and has the odd tantrum. The pro of having the age gap is that they will now play together by chasing each other around the living room. But neither of them like sharing their toys as much as I try teaching them to share.

Kirsty - I have 4 kids and there are just under 4 years between my eldest and youngest. Numbers 3 and 4 are twins so I actually had 4 under 4. It was and still is chaos!! The cons are 3 in nappies and literally no sleep, but the pros are that they all play together and now I am often surplus to requirements so much so that school holidays are easier for me than when I am trying to get them all ready for school. It is madness but never dull!

As you can see there really are pro's and con's to any age gap and when it comes to the perfect one, it really doesn't exist! As parents we learn, we change and we adapt as our family grows and changes. Yes there will be bickering, tears and hard moments but there will also be those heart warming sibling moments when you catch them playing together and you realise they will have each other through the rest of their lives, someone who they can always turn to, not only a sibling but a best friend.

If you have children, what age gap do you have between your children?



  1. I have 4 years between my older two and it is my favourite age gap as you get one on one time with the baby when the other starts school. My smallest gap is 2 years and that was hard work

  2. My two are 2 years and 4 months apart. They are now 8 and 10. They are either the best of friends or the worst enemies - nothing in between!

  3. I am really thinking a lot about age gaps at the moment and I totally agree with you - there is no perfect age. I had an arbitrary idea that I'd like my children quite close in age, but in reality, things have been very different and even now that my toddler is 2.5 years old - I'm still not ready to get pregnant again!

  4. I totally agree with this, mine are 4.5 years different and there are just so many pro's and con's, sometimes I do with they were closer in age but then again they have a great friendship now

    Laura x