20 answers

Four Year Age Difference Between Kids

Hello ladies,

I am currently pregnant with number 2 who will be four years and two months younger than DS. I am looking for mama's out there who have children about four years apart. How did you like it? Can you give me some pros and cons? I guess I'm just a little worried about the age difference....I would have preferred about 3 years but things don't always work out the way you want them to! Thanks!

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My boys are 4 years and one month apart and I love the age gap! My oldest was a "big boy" when his brother was born and could help out with taking care of the baby. I had 4 years with the oldest and b/c my oldest is pretty independant I get some quality time with the youngest. My little guy adores his big brother and is his little shadow and although he complains occasionally the oldest relishes in it :)
The one con I find is that my little one is growing up faster than his brother did. Does that make sense? At 2 my oldest loved Sesame Street and Elmo but my now 2 y/o likes Bakugans and football b/c that's what his big brother is into.
I think the age gap is nice b/c my oldest has a sense of needing to "take care" of his little brother and is very protective of him when we are in groups or with cousins, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 5 y/o and I am 3 months along with my second. This seems like a match made in heaven. My daughter is pretty much self sufficient - if she had to be, 100% potty trained, about to be in her own room and bed, and going to kindergarten. She's been very loving and helpful to me in the past when I was a Nanny or Babysitter and she's excited about a new sibling.

The age difference couldn't have worked out better!! Each of my children will have 'one on one time' with their Mommy.

1 mom found this helpful

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My boys are 4 years and one month apart and I love the age gap! My oldest was a "big boy" when his brother was born and could help out with taking care of the baby. I had 4 years with the oldest and b/c my oldest is pretty independant I get some quality time with the youngest. My little guy adores his big brother and is his little shadow and although he complains occasionally the oldest relishes in it :)
The one con I find is that my little one is growing up faster than his brother did. Does that make sense? At 2 my oldest loved Sesame Street and Elmo but my now 2 y/o likes Bakugans and football b/c that's what his big brother is into.
I think the age gap is nice b/c my oldest has a sense of needing to "take care" of his little brother and is very protective of him when we are in groups or with cousins, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 5 y/o and I am 3 months along with my second. This seems like a match made in heaven. My daughter is pretty much self sufficient - if she had to be, 100% potty trained, about to be in her own room and bed, and going to kindergarten. She's been very loving and helpful to me in the past when I was a Nanny or Babysitter and she's excited about a new sibling.

The age difference couldn't have worked out better!! Each of my children will have 'one on one time' with their Mommy.

1 mom found this helpful

My girls are 4y5m apart, now (almost) 8.5 and 4 years old. When the baby came along, my older was a "big" girl--potty trained, talking, sleeping through, etc. and was able to prepare and help with the baby. Through the years they have grown very close and are best friends, but also fight quite a lot now that they are a bit older. However, their fights are about very sibling-y things--if she's going to do that then I'm going to do this!, she's copying me! (which is also a game they play), why can't I have what she's having!, I only want to play with whatever you're playing with!--those kind of things. My older one teaches the younger SO many things, reads to her, helps her with everything and the younger one loves her sister to death. I know that the fights they have now they will grow out of, and they will cycle into new and different disagreements as they get older, but the bond they have will last forever.

My husband and I are ready to try for #2 in the next few months and are hoping to have our little ones around 4 yrs apart. Think about it...
- 1 on the potty 1 in a diaper
- 1 set of braces at a time
- 1 college tuition at a time
- "big boy" who may understand having a new baby a little bit better

Maybe it's just our rationalization, but we agree that this is a good age span!

My sister and I are 4 years apart and didn't play together a whole lot when we were little. It's a big gap in some ways. But, that meant that we each had a lot of 1:1 in our very early years with our mom since she was in school when I was born.

You can't change the difference so just try to only listen to the positives in their age difference!

Well I am four months along with #2 and dd will be almost five when the baby is born in July. I am looking forward to being able to spend all that special one on one time with the baby that I got to spend with my dd. DD will be in school full time so I will just have the baby during the day which I think is great. Also I know my dd will be a big help and more than anything she is old enough to understand more, is not completely self-centered like a toddler, and is looking forward to being the "big" sister---that has its privileges =) I think the best thing you can do is realize that this time around you may need to be a little more go with the flow. With dd I was very strict with schedules and nap times, but this time I plan to be a bit more flexible. I will need to be attending things for my older child, so baby will need to adjust to that--I guess the baby will learn to sleep on the go lol!

My kids are 6 years apart and I love it! There was (and sometimes still is) some jealousy from the older one because the baby gets more attention, but now that they're older (3 and 9), it's easier because they can chat and work things out for themselves better.
My next one will be at least 4 years younger than my youngest and it's not how I planned it either, but I know they'll be fine. My siblings and I are 23, 25, 28, 34, and 36 and we all love each other to pieces. :)

My kids are 5 years apart and so far I think it is wonderful. I used to worry too, but I relaxed and just enjoy watching them together. My son who is 6 now has the impulse control to not do anything rash when his sister (1 yr) is acting like a toddler! They just love each other. She adores him and wants to copy everything he does. He just loves her and is very proud to show off his little sis to his friends. They play "chase" around the house, he pulls her in her wagon, he helps her to do things, and she is always giving him hugs, which he loves! I have time alone with her when he is at school and I take her to the toddler activities around town in the mornings. We can put her to bed at 7 and then have an hour of time with just our son each evening which he thinks is special bc he thinks he staying up late. There are pros and cons to every age gap!

We wanted our kids about 22 months apart, but when it came time, I wasn't ready. Our sons are 3.5 years apart and are BEST FRIENDS. Our next 2 are 23 months apart and are like oil and water, we really have to work to keep them happy with each other. The next one (#4) will be 3 years from the 3rd.

The oldest one LOVES to help. That distance between them is wonderful. We were worried, but it turned out great. He teaches him everything! He reads to him. Our oldest is out of a car seat, so one less to carry around when we travel. At one point, we had 3 car seats to fly on a plane with...OMG....what a nightmere.

Breathe. It will be great. Once this one is born, you'll look at your oldest and suddenly, he'll love a TON older.

Out of my 6 children, the two that had a 4 year gap are probably the closest of them all. And, they are a boy/girl combo to boot. Of course, I also have a very close set that are 12 years apart. They are nearly inseparable. He used to hold her for all her naps when she was a baby (they have the other two I mentioned in between them + one more). I guess my point is that the age gap shouldn't matter. Teach them to love each other. Build strong bonds between siblings by expecting it and encouraging it. Never let outsiders take higher precidence in their lives ("You can't play in my room because my friend is over." etc.). Enjoy!

Hi--
My kids are 3 years 8 months apart. The oldest was potty trained and ready for pre-school when the youngest was born, so I got quiet time with just the baby. The oldest outgrew the baby stage naturally rather than being forced to grow up, so I think it was healthier for him. He's always been helpful with the little one. They are now 6 1/2 and nearly 3. They play together all day long and mostly get along great. The only drawback is that sometimes the older one is ready for things (like movies and books) for which the younger one is not. Sometimes I feel like the older one is getting cheated because we have to do thing that everyone in the family can do. We try to split it up--my husband takes the little one out so I can read Harry Potter to the older one--things like that. But I wouldn't want them any closer together. I think it's perfect. (I did miscarry in between, and I think it was for the best for all of us. The timing has been better this way.)
Since you won't know any difference anyway, your family will feel perfect to you as well.
Good luck!
J.

My nieces are 4yrs apart, and the older one was a HUGE help to my SIL after the younger was born. She was old enough to understand when mommy needed to be alone with the baby, old enough to go get a bottle and diapers, and old enough to actually sit and entertain the little one when mom needs a minute. You don't get that when the first is younger.

She teaches the younger one a lot on her own, so the little one has developed more quickly from wanting to mimick her.

4 years is GREAT! My son is 4 (5 in April) and my daughter is 7 months.My son is a joy. No jealousy. He looks after his sister and just wants to teach her everything. I thought it would be hard because he used to get all the attention, but that wasn't the case. We praise him as the best big brother and he's so proud to have a sister.
And as someone told me "4 years apart is great because you will only have one child in college at a time"! So you won't have that huge cost all at once. I never thought of that, but he was right!
Congrats!

My oldest was 4 1/2 when #2 came along. My oldest is a girl, and my second is a boy. I LOVE the age difference! They still play together ever day, but agruements NEVER turn physical. My daughter was old enough that I could nap during my pregnancy, sleep in with my new baby, shower while she babysat (baby in playpen or exersaucer). She is old enough still to put him to bed sometimes. My second will be 5 in June, the same month baby #3 is due.

My sister is 4 years and 3 months younger than me, and my mom said that worked out great. I was a very mature 4-year-old and was able to help her watch my sister; when we were older I was able to babysit so our mom could work part-time.

And we have both been very close our whole lives. I wouldn't have it any other way!

My kiddos are 4 years and 3 months apart. My daughter is now 8 and my son is now 4. I really thought it was a good thing. Like you, if I had gotten pregnant when I wanted to, they probably would have only been 3 years apart, but life had to wait. The pros were: Our daughter was reasonably self-sufficient at that point, so she could entertain herself when I was nursing or putting her brother down for a nap. It was good for me to have a fun four-year-old to hang out with when her brother was sleeping. And, though he wasn't a good napper as an infant, it didn't matter as much as it did when I only had one because I wasn't having "me time" anyway. Our daughter really didn't experience jealousy when he was a baby, though now she frequently thinks he gets treated more leniently. Despite their age difference, they play surprisingly well together (that said, they also fight). Another pro is that our daughter went into school at 5 and as a stay at home mom, I was able to spend some one-on-one time with my little one.
Cons are: There is no simultaneous napping, just when your four-year-old is becoming able to do more fun, crafty-type projects, your crawler/walker is going to want to make a mess out of it. I don't think we painted at all during this time! When he was a baby and she was four or five, they didn't have much to fight about because they weren't playing with the same toys at all. Now that they're older, the fighting can be difficult. When our daughter hits back (hard) she thinks their punishment should be the same even though, at twice his age, she should know better.
Over all it was a great age split. Everything I've read says that whether siblings get along or not has nothing to do with age and everything to do with personality, so cross your fingers... and enjoy your pregnancy!

My children are 5 years apart. There is little to fight over and no problems with one wanting to go to sleep at the same hour as the other one or why can't I have what my sister has. The age difference is sufficient so that each child is a total individual. Of course they can't be read the same book. About the time the younger one is six they can and do play together on a more or less equal footing. I also found that they made friends with sisters in other families whose age difference was about the same.

Both my DH & I were 4+ years apart from our sibs and we have the same age difference with our kids. We love it. They still play together... which is great but because the older one has "skills" the older one tends to be more patient with the younger one. With the older one having their own thing going on (like preschool, kindergarten, etc) the little one gets some good one on one time.

My nephews are the only kids in our family that have a 4 year age gap....and they do not get along very well. Right now the oldest is 15, a freshman in HS and starting driving classes....while the youngest is 11 and in elementary school still...they do not have anything in common and haven't for quite a few years now. *You have to keep in mind that individual personality plays a big part in this though.

~Everything will work out for you and your family as it should so try not to stress about it...like you said things don't always work out the way we want them....but that doesn't mean that it will be bad. My sister loved the fact that she got so much time with each of them individually when they were little, not like mine who are all 2 years apart, you feel kinda of like the older ones are still babies- which they are!

Congrats on #2!

My kids are 4 years apart. Just so happens.
They LOVE it and we LOVE it!
it is perfect.
My eldest is a girl, and my youngest a boy.
I have NO 'cons' about their age difference at all.... nor would they. They are 2 peas in a pod.... and very close and very very much close siblings. They will always say things like "I'm glad I have my brother..." or "I'm glad I have my sister... " etc.

For me, 4 years apart is just right, as well.

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