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Ideal Age Difference Between Siblings

Hey ladies! I have a 15 month old son, and my husband and I are discussing when to begin trying for another baby. I am trying to get feedback on ideal age differences. If it were my way, the next baby would arrive shortly after my son turns two. If my husband had it his way, it wouldn't arrive until my son was 2 and a half or 3. We are still compromising, but I wonder what seemed to work for other people. I fear I will force my son to grow up too fast, but yet there is nothing better than the bond of a sibling. I know that ultimately it is in God's hands, but I am just trying to get a little idea of when to begin trying.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks girls! I spoke with my husband about the advice from the posts, and he really seemed to listen to what advice other families have. He understood that the closer in age, the harder it may be, but they may share a closeness they otherwise wouldn't if further apart with different interests. We are still discussing it, but I think we will begin trying the first of the year. Again, God will do what he has planned. I'll just have to wait and see. Thanks for all the input!

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A., Its when YOU are ready. My boys are 22 years old and 11 years old. I couldnt be happier. I have the greatest time with them both. The oldest is on his own and we have always been extrememly close. My youngest is having the time of his life with a brother who keeps a close eye on him and who has already "been there - done that." Ib is so heart warming to see them do things together. And as an added plus if we ever need an extra hand with anything I have the oldest to be there.

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I'm just glad to hear that I'm not the only one who disagrees with their husband on this issue. We are in the almost exact same situation- my daughter is 19 months and I think we'll try to get pregnant in a couple of months so the babies will be about 2 1/2 years apart but my husband wanted them 2 years apart because that's the space between he and his sister. Either way, I've realized that 6 months is nothing. You are absolutely right- put it in God's hands- he'll get it right :)

Good luck!

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my 2 girls are 26 mo apart and I can not be happier. It's a little harder at the begging with 2 small children but it gets easier and easier as they grow and start play together. Just like other moms say, they share clothes, toys and they are best friends....even if they fight. My oldest will be 4 in march and she loves to be the big sister and I don't think she has been pushed to grow faster....I look at them and I am just proud....and thankful..!
good luck

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I know you have already made your decsion by now, but I wanted to share my experience. My mother had four kids, My older sister is three years older than me...we get along great. My younger brother is 2 years younger than me...we get along great. My younger sister is three years younger that me and we also get along great. My older sister and brother are 5 years apart and they don't and never did get along.. My younger two siblings are a year apart from one another and have ever really got along all the great, they do have their times though.
From this I learned that 2-3 years apart was perfect. My second child was born 8 days after my oldest child's 3rd birthday. My youngest is 5 years younger than my second child, she is ignored by my older two children. They love her, but she can't do a lot of the stuff they do so unintentionally she is left out a lot.

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A., Its when YOU are ready. My boys are 22 years old and 11 years old. I couldnt be happier. I have the greatest time with them both. The oldest is on his own and we have always been extrememly close. My youngest is having the time of his life with a brother who keeps a close eye on him and who has already "been there - done that." Ib is so heart warming to see them do things together. And as an added plus if we ever need an extra hand with anything I have the oldest to be there.

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I have two boys and they are exactly 3 1/2 years apart. I have my moments with them. They sometimes play nicest and sometimes they don't get along very well. If I had my way, I would've had them much closer, may be just 2 yrs. apart. I constantly struggle when the younger one has to nap and the older one has outgrown it. The activities that can be done with the older one is not possible for the younger one. Older one has outgrown the choking stage, but I have to constantly keep an eye out for younger one. Older one has to understand and compromise.
This kind of results in older one acting young, and younger one trying to copy his brother is growing up too soon. Its just very time consuming. If they were closer in age, I think these issue can be avoided. I agree that it would be hard to have two babies, but once they get to a certain age they can have activities planned together and may be share some interests.
Regardless of our issues, it is precious to see the siblings together and all those moments (even the testy ones)makes it worthwhile for all the efforts. My best memories revolve around them.

Just my two cents. Good luck.

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I agree with what you said. I have four children - 18, 13, 10, and 5. God planned all of them because I would have had more closer together, but had six miscarriages.

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Well mine are about to be 26 months apart. I am happy with this age gap, although since I'll have one of each sex I am not so sure they will be close friends as if they might have been if they were both the same gender. My nephews are almost exactly 3 years apart, and they are the best of friends. I think you need to consider your lifestyle and the personality of your son. Mine is pretty needy, so I am concerned about trying to breastfeed the baby and keep her safe and well cared for while dealing with a demanding young 2 year old. I know several people who have children 2 years apart. In most cases those with girls first seem to do a little better because girls tend to be more communicative and have an easier time understanding what a new baby means and seem to help out momma a little more. But again, only you know your son and how much time he demands from you. Plus of course he'll change a lot on 9 months, so you can never really know. I would suggest compromising with your hubby. Maybe stop using protection now, but don't actively try to get pregnant for another 6 months or so. As you said, it's all up to God anyhow. I know it took me 7 months of trying to get pregnant again. I had my first on the first try!

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I have 4... My #1 and #2 are 6 yrs apart (not planned that way).. it was great #1 was in kindergarten when #2 came and I had all day to play with #2...they have just now started fighting (13 and 7)...

#2 and #3 are 4 yrs apart...again it was great because #2 was going to preschool when #3 came - #1 and #3 are very close (10 yrs between them) #2 and #3 clash a lot but I think it is more personality than age

#3 and #4 are 12 months 9 days apart...since they are only 33 months and 21 months I have yet to really see how it is going from them.. they play well together, but they really compete for my attention too.

As far as me, having them so close has been really hard for me to adapt...my other children were more self sufficient when the baby came and having two babies has been really hard. I am sure they will end up being very close... All my kids love each other even though they are spread over 11 years...I always worried my older son would be 'left out' because he was so much older, but when they all get together and play it is great. You can feel how much they love each other.

My plans were to have my kids about 3 yrs apart...someone up there had different plans for me...LOL... I was nervous about 3 yrs because my brother and I are 3 yrs apart and don't have a lot to do with each either.. as kids we fought for blood and as adults we are nice to each other but not what I wanted for my kids, so I definately think it is the in how they are raised.

My vote is 3 1/2... (buying diapers for two is a booger as well! :) just because you think the older will be trained when then next one comes doesn't always happen... and when you do it close to a major event - like having a sibling- sometimes they regress..) Hope that helps..

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I have 3 children: 5,3.5,2 The first two are 20 months apart and the difference between the 2nd and 3rd is 16 months. I am so happy that they are so close in age! They play great together. As another mom mentioned you do have to cultivate the relationship by encouraging them to love and not fight. But, once that is set they always have a couple of best friends!
On another note, the closer you have them together the harder it is on your body! If you do this good luck with having a flat tummy. And you can pretty much guarantee quite a few stretch marks. I only gained 26-33 lbs. with each pregnancy which is ideal. Prior to having babies I had an awesome body! After having my third, my stomach muscles were shot! I lost all the weight (sz. 4), but my stomach muscles were separated due to the close pregnancies. The doctor told me the muscle would never repair itself even if I did a 1,000 sit-ups a day. I thought I would let you know, because otherwise you may not know what to expect(?). Your body will not be the same once you have kids. Yes, it is worth it, but it is good to know before you start having children so that you can be mentally prepared for the changes.

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I hate to say this, but I agree with your husband! I would say that 3 years tends to be great because it is VERY hard to juggle two kids in diapers and worse yet it is VERY difficult to potty train one with an infant. I am glad we waited for the 2 year 9 month mark, but we dealt with MAJOR regression from our son in potty training and it was awful! I think if we had waited until our oldest was 3 I think it would have been MUCH easier - now he goes potty by himself, dresses himself, etc and it makes life with two easier. Good luck and remember that they will be close even if they are 4 or more years apart!

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Personally, I think waiting too long between kids would make it painful to get back into the 'baby' mentality. It may sound bad to some, but I was SO happy to be over the 'no sleep' days all at once. Also 2 in diapers didn't last long, waiting just means changing poo pants for more years consecutively. We were in and out in 4.5yrs instead of 6 or 7. Also, there are things like travel considerations and activities. They can ride in the same car seats, participate in the same activities, etc.

My kids are 25mos apart (girl-6 1/2 and boy 4 1/2). They are very close. They fight, but hate being away from each other too. Always a playmate, they are also roommates because they can't stand to sleep in different rooms. They are very different personalities which is great for all of us.

I know from friends that 3+ years can lead to jealousy as child #1 remembers being alone with mom. My DD never had that. From 6mos on they have played together, he walked at 8.5mos to keep up with her. She helps him tie his shoes, he carried her book bag to the car as he likes to be a 'gentleman'. Both are now in school and compare notes.

2 yrs worked for us. As far as #1 child growing up too fast....well, one way or another they will end up helping out. When they are closer in age they benefit from having a BFF and playmate. Ideally, of course!

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My 2 older girls are 22 months apart and I think it is perfect. They are the BEST of friends! It was also very easy for me still being in that baby mode. They are only 1 size apart so it is also nice with clothes toys etc. Still in style when the next one is ready to use it. =) I now have a baby that was born and my 2nd chold was almost 3 baby born in sept. and my 2 year old turn 3 in dec. I feel like they are to far apart. I wish they were closer. I feel like the 2 older will always be close and the 3rd will be off by herself. Plus you just start getting use to being out of baby stage when the next one comes along if you wait that long. I think the just turned 2 is much beter! Good Luck!

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My children are 15 months apart and are now 1 and 2. We are expecting #3 around my youngest's 2nd birthday. My children are the best of friends and love being together. The oldest is a boy and the youngest a girl and I can't imagine doing it any differently. Really it comes down to...what can you and your husband handle? Two in diapers, a double stroller when you go anywhere, etc... For us, it was simple, but for others not to much.

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I'm late joing in this conversation, but I have to say I think you should focus more on what you and your husband can handle and less on what might be the perfect age difference for your children as siblings. I think it probably all works out fine in the end, regardless of the age difference.

Think about all the situations listed below and decide what might be most ideal. For example, for some it might be really hard to juggle two babies at once and for some it might be harder to deal with children at two different levels of capability and communication abilities.

My kids are only 1 year apart and I will tell you that it was hard when they were little. They both needed alot of attention and assistance with everything. It's alot of hard, back breaking work. But they are both 4 right now, one's about to turn 5, and they are really benefiting from having a constant companion they can do everything with. It's absolutely wonderful. As different as they are they are at the same level of capability and that means I don't have to figure out how to manage kids at different capability levels. In just a few short years, it really has gotten easier and I feel I'm seeing the benefit of having siblings close in age. Now that they can do a few things for themselves as well as help me pick up around the house, help set the table, etc. I hardly think about how hard it was in the beginning.

If they are spaced farther apart, one child can feed himself, entertain himself some with toys, possibly even dress himself -- not to mention communication issues. In the beginning I'm imagining it's easier on the parents physically, but then you have adjustment and jealousy issues with the older child often times. And like it was mentioned below, you'll always have the issue of each child having different interests because of their age even as they grow older.

Either way, you don't have a guarantee that your children will be close siblings in the long run. I really think you should think about it more from your own point of view and how much more overwhelming one situation might be over the other as the parent.

Good luck to you.

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I think the last sentence of your request sums it up. my fave quote is "wanna make God laugh? make plans!"

We planned to get pregnant right away after we got married in april 04 and did in june 04. but we lost that baby in august. then the plan was to wait til after the first of the year to try again. but God had other plans and i got pregnant in october 04. our son was born in july 05.

our next plan was to get pg in the fall last year hoping for near 3 years difference, but my body stopped cooperating and now we're going through testing to see if we can even have another (i'm 34, so time is important to us).

had i been able to choose it, i'd have wanted no more than 3 years. at this point, i'm looking at least 3.5 and that's if I got pg now.

I remember reading there should be about a 3-4 year difference between children, not for how it effects them but rather your body. It supposedly takes that long for your body to fully recuperate after the drastic demands on it. Never thought of it that way, eh? I sure didn't.

I am 75 years old, had 4 children, got pregnant when I didn't mean to, and vice-versa. I had a boy, 2 1/2 yrs. later, a girl, 5 years later another boy, then 2 1/2 yrs. later, a girl. The 2 youngest had severe degestive problems, so the older ones were able to help some, had no dryer and cloth diapers, so they hung them outside on the yard fence, for me---did some cooking--helped at least, BUT on the other side, there was 8 years between the boys, and 8 years between the girls, but because the younger 2 had stomach cramps and diarrhea, they did not bond, nor have they since, in the stereotyped manner. However, the oldest boy and then his sister, were close, have similar interests, hunting and fishing, then the younger 2 --the boy oversaw and protected his younger sister with the boys, in high school. So there were pluses and minuses in both sets. When the oldest was 2 1/2 yrs, and his sister was born, he regressed, but I left the baby with my mom, when she was 4 days old, then took the little boy to town, bought him crayons and a coloring book, spent the afternoon with him, and that simple thing seemed to really help!! After that he would acknowledge her, but didn't wet the bed--he wasn't potty trained till he was 3 yrs. anyway, loved to play outside, and did not want to bother to come inside.

There is still a wall between the 2 girls, but I think that there different peresonalities, are responsible, more than the actual age difference---the "baby", feels like the "baby", no matter how hard I tried to keep things equal!!!

My analysis is, as much as I wish that they all had bonded more closely when younger, they are so different in some respects, it probably would not have mattered had they all been the stereotyped 2 yrs, in between each one, it is more on their personalities and how secure they FEEL. And that is not always possible for a mom to achieve, just accept the differences, be glad that now days you have SOME control over when you get pregnant, BUT in the long run, let them be themselves, they will connect at some point, you can NOT control personalities. I am finally accepting the fact that there is some bond, not as strong as I think it should be, but I am an only child and had unrealistic expectations of how children should act and feel! But my mom was one of 10 kids, and always complained about how she was ridiculed as a child, but that was her problem all through life, so I now realize it would not have mattered if her own mom had had access to our current thoughts on child care and development. We are the way we are, no matter when we were born! And sometimes we are our own worst enemy, no matter how dedicated our moms! PR

Hi A.,

I have a 23 month old daughter and I am pregnant with my second due in May. If he is born on his due date, they will be exactly 2 years and 5 months apart. While I don't know how it will turn out yet, I am pretty comfortable with that age difference because my daughter is old enough to "help out", but not too old to want to play with her younger brother. I think if you're talking about a difference of 6 months or so, then it probably won't make that much difference (2 years versus 2 and a half). I think if it goes much over 3-4 years age difference, then they may not have quite as much in common and it may be harder to get them to play together as much (due to safety concerns as well since the toys get smaller as the kids get older).

I think you can compromise and try for somewhere between 2 and 2 and a half years and make everyone happy. As you mentioned, it's in God's hands anyway, so just try to come up with a general timeframe and have fun! My hubby and I were on our last big vacation in Ireland before trying for #2 and came home with our souvenir ;-), so you never know when it's going to happen!

Hi A.,
I just wanted to give you another perspective. Someone had a plan for me because my children are 8 years apart and neither of them was planned, I was on the pill both times. We have had a fantastic life. I was able to give my daughter my full undivided attention for eight years and it was wonderful. When my son was born she was old enough that there were no jealousy issues. She has been the best big sister to him and he adores her. The early baby stages were easier because I didn't have to worry about other little ones and I could really focus on him. Now my daughter is getting ready to go off to college and I will have another nine years to enjoy my son before I have to worry about how to pay his college tuition too!

I have 3 children under 3 right now. And though the 2nd child was a mistake that close I chose to have our third as close(they are all 14 months apart). There's a sense of craziness in our house right now but also a sense of similarity. My middle child (18 months old) sees her "Big" sister( 34 months old) going potty and wants to try (oh please oh please) and yet she is still young enough that the buttons and lights on the exercaucer still stimulate her and so she plays with them to the delight of my 4 month old who is only entertained when her sisters are around laughing and playing. To me it's a bit crazy right now but, when they get out of diapers back to back and can play together with the same toys and (hopefully) have the same interests, I think it will all be worth it.
I say go for it. I love that I can play with my kids right now without having to worry about one of them being bored.

Well i am a mother of 3 children two whom are 13 months apart. i think it was easy. they got along and still do they are now 20 and 19 years old and they get along just great. never really had any problems with them fighting. i also have a lil girl who is now 11 and they are like 10 and 9 years apart and them too get along just great...

A., I just wanted to say... you were right God will give you whatever you need so just pray about it and if it is HIS will it will be. Good Luck... God Bless... S.

My children are 2 years and 4 months apart. I grew being a year older than my brother and I loved being that close in age. Personally, I don't think there is much of a difference between barely turning 2 and 21/2-3. It's still very close but not so close that you won't be able to enjoy each baby.

Being close in age does encourage bonding but that doesn't mean their personalities will...lol. My husband has a sister one year younger than him that he doesn't get along with at all, and a brother 5 years younger who is his best friend.

Happy family planning, but try not to stress over it!
A. Vick

The recommendation is to have them less than 18 months apart or more than 3 years apart. The younger children tend to transition easier into having a sibling, and you are still in the diaper, night feeding, baby mode. The older age gap means that the older child transitions better because they generally have more outside interests and the ability to wait for a minute while you feed the baby, etc. That said, you need to do what works best for you. I am personally in favor of allowing a child some time to be the baby before adding another baby to the family. We were aiming to have our first two children three years apart, but it took us a year to get pregnant with our second child, so we have a four year old and a three month old. We are planning on having one more child and hope to have them a little bit closer together.

I think this is a very important issue. I had mine 18mo. apart and we didn't plan for that but God did! I couldn't have done it better. They are the best of friends and play together all the time. It is amazing to watch them, they love each other and have so much fun together. Yes it was hard while they were little but even then they seemed to entertain each other. I have a boy 5 and a girl 3 1/2, one born a week before christmas (boy) and on the 4th of July (girl). I am truly glad that it happened the way it did. Good luck and whatever happens I am sure that it's going to be wonderful.

I have four children and the first three are all 2 1/2 year apart, and the last one is only 16 months. I think that any where between two and three is a great age differnece, sooner that two and it is very hard on you the mom, & that will make your sone grow up sooner. It has with my #3, because the baby need more help and such. Congrats on trying!

We are in the same boat. We have 15 month old twin boys. We have started talking about possibly having another baby. I would love to start trying now. My hubby thinks we should wait. I think we are going to compromise and wait to start trying until the boys turn two. This way the boys will be close to three when the new baby arrives.

A little about me:
I am a 33yr old mommy of twins. I work part time in sales and I am married to my best friend (the only man to make me laugh so hard I pee my pants!)

I know there is some truth to birth order and spacing BUT I know God's plan and grace superceeds all of that. My first two are 12 months apart and my third will be 14 months apart from my oldest. It's hard but wouldn't do it any other way.
I never planned to have my kiddos so close together but it's been amazing so far.

With that said do what is best for your family. Adding more members of the family will be a challenge no matter what age! It's so worth it though!

There really is no "ideal" age difference. But let me tell you, my two boys are exactly 2 years apart (born on the same day-what are the chances). At first it was a little challenging, but I see how they love each other. Right now they are only 3 1/2 and 18 months, but boy do they play. They also share a room and it is the sweetest sound as I hear them on the monitor playing- instead of sleeping! I can't wait until my youngest can run around better, as all he wants is to be with his older brother and play with him and his friends. And since my oldest is still young, he does not see him as a nuisance who has to bug him all the time. I know, it will come, but I see a bond forming now that I know will carry them through their lives. Do what is right for you. Only you know what you truly want.

Hello my name is D.. All my children are 2-3 years apart.I like that cuz they have more in common.I have 5.1 in college.1 is 18.3 girls 10,12,16.

I don't think there really is an 'ideal' age difference. What's great for some is a nightmare for others...but, I can share my experience! ;)
We have a girl and a boy, 21 months apart. We started 'trying' for #2 when my dd was only 3 months old... I got pregnant a month after I weaned her, when she was a year old. They are now 3 1/2 and 5 and are BEST FRIENDS.
The first 6 months were REALLY hard. My oldest was really still a baby and needed a lot of attention, and my baby was very very demanding due to the fact that he was 5 weeks early. It was tough. But, at the 6 month mark I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and at a year, they really began to play together and life was great. I wouldn't go back and do it any other way.
They LOVE each other, and LOVE playing together.
We are now in the process of adopting 2 children! We'll probably end up having 4 kids under the age of 6. It probably seems crazy to some, but we are all really excited. Whatever works for you! I love having them close together. ;) Good luck!

My boys are 2 months short of 3 years apart and honestly I was told that 3 years apart was ideal....yeah right! In an ideal life maybe! If you have 2 cookie cutter kids, but anyone with children knows there is no such thing! In my case my boys are the light of my life, but they fight all the time, and not necessarily fighting more like teasing, rough housing and antagonizing each other...it usually doesn't come to blows. They're 8 and 11 now and since day 1 of my little guys life he has been trying to keep up with his big brother and the older one was dethroned. I adore both of them and wouldn't change a thing because that would mean I wouldn't have them, but the whole idea that there is a perfect age difference as far as the kids are concerned is a farce...JMO!

I have 3 kids, my oldest daughter just turned 13, my middle daughter is 9 and my son is 11 months. Now, I admit 9 years is quite a difference but it is very nice for him to have his own time with me. As for my girls, I was thankful they are almost exactly 4 years a part. It was so nice for them to have their own identity and not be compared to each other which I think seems to happen when they are closer in age. I do agree though, that the bond is probably stronger when close in age. I hope this is helpful. I can also add that having children at an older age is more wonderful than when I was younger. I'm 40.

I just wanted to let you know that i have a girl and a boy that are 16 months apart. They defend eath and look out for each all the time, even though they fight too. They love each other so much. They are really close. So whatever you and your husband decide to do i'm sure it will be fine.

I have two sons 21 months apart, and a daughter who is 5 years younger than my oldest, and 3 years younger than my second. In my experience, having the two close together is easiest on everyone (except maybe the mom:) The first six months of having two little ones is rough (my summation of that period is that everyone always needed SOMEthing all the time) but now at ages 6.5 and almost 5 my boys are best friends, and I wouldn't trade it. The addition of my second wasn't the least bit traumatic for my oldest, because he was too young to notice. He doesn't remember life without his brother.
On the other hand, the longer span has been more problematic for us. My second son (3 when my daughter was born) totally regressed at her arrival. He wanted to lay prone in my arms and be called the baby. He had been potty trained at night for 8 months and began peeing the bed shortly after her birth (and hasn't stopped) It was very hard for him to be displaced as the baby of the family. I am now pregnant with my fourth, who will be 26 months younger than my daughter. I almost think that if they are not close, then further apart is better. My oldest was 5 when my daughter was born, and he is so great and loving with her (he has a big heart anyway), so for us, the 5 year gap was better than the three year gap. Plus, too much time between pregnancies and the idea of doing it again seems less appealing!

HI A.,

just joined the group and wanted to share i dont think there is an "ideal" age, i know you are right by saying that you will see what God's plan is..That is so true..
To share our family,
my hubby and i have been married for 12yrs and we have been blessed with a 9yr old,7yrold,5yrold,4yrold,2yrold and 3 month old baby..WE have seen each of their faces when we have brought home a new brother or sister,and i do believe that siblings are the greatest gift to each other!


Hey A.,
I am late to the question but thought I would chime in anyway. I read some of the responses and think the response from the developmental Psychologist is on the mark. I have two, two years apart and one seven. It is nice to have the 7 year old but I think a very lonely prepositon for him. Closer together I think is much better to allow them to grow together and have each other. As for them fighting, I feel as a parent you can cultivate the relationship between your children. It is hard work but can be done. Start when there are small teaching them to love each other and not fight. I believe you will see the results later. D.

Hi A.,
I have 4 children, 17 years, almost 16 years, 13 years and 10 years. my oldest two are 20 months apart. When they were young they were close, they spatted as all siblings do, and now they get along. The rest are 3 years apart as I wanted them. My son (only boy) the 17 year old is closest to my 13 year old. My 16 and 17 yr old are somewhat close but my 10 yr old is not close to any of them. She clamors for all of their attention. So it just depends on the family dynamics. I really don't think there is an ideal age difference. It depends on family dynamics.
My prayer are with you, and yes Let God help you,

Hi, A.

I have two sons that are 5 years apart. I chose it that way because I wanted to enjoy them each at their own time and I did. I would never regret it. I remember all the quality time I had with my first son, and since he started preschool when I had my second then I was able to enjoy my second son as much as I did with the first. All situations have their pros and cons - that is up to you and what you really want. My sons are 11 and 6 and they get along great. Although, my youngest doesn't like to play with kids that are not "cool" as his brother - what I mean is that he likes to play with older kids more than his own age but it varies. As I said it has its pros and cons as any other situation. I am now thinking about having a third but my husband doesn't want to start all over again (like if he does all the work!!!!). We'll see!

Sometimes things don't always go as planned. I couldn't agree more with putting it in God's hands. If you're ready in your hearts, then go for it. Don't worry about the age difference.

Personally, I had wanted another one when my daughter turned 3. We had no troubles conceiving her. We started trying shortly after she turned 2. She is now 7 and she still has no sibling. I knew something wasn't right but didn't have the guts to seek help until recently. I've just started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist for secondary infertility and am currently undergoing treatments so hopefully one day my daughter will have a sibling.

Good luck to you!

My two were 21 months apart and it was very much too close. It was very difficult as they were hard to handle for me this close together. It is much more difficult to have two babies than one...not just twice as difficult but many more times more difficult. I would have preferred to have had more individual time to spend with each of them, and with their ages being so close, it was not possible. It was also nearly impossible to take them both to stores alone, etc. At least 3 perhaps even 4 years spacing allows mom to be able to sleep, relax and be human, and the two children to get their needs met. With the ages being so close, there has always been alot of competition between them also.

My two sons, now in their late thirties, were 22 months apart. This span made them pseudo-twins. They had one another to play with, a benefit, but were a "handful" until they were out of the toddler years. I think it was ideal in that it didn't stretch out the parenting years--we were able to have an "early retirement" from parenting. There were no additional sibs.

Hi A.,
I am a developmental psychologist and from what I understand about children's development, parenting, and your own physical wellbeing, I would say that the ideal space between siblings is about 2.5 - 3 years (this means waiting until your son is 22-24 months old before trying for the next). I say this for several reasons.

From a physical standpoint, it really takes your body about two years to recover from pregnancy and birth. For this reason alone many doctors will advise having a two year space between pregnancies.

From a developmental standpoint, if you wait until your older child is 30-36 months when the new baby comes you will be able to be a more sensitive and responsive parent to both your children. A child younger than 30 months has a difficult time understanding why he must wait or share your attention. Unfortunately a baby's needs often must come first and you may risk your son suddenly feeling like his once very responsive and consistent mother is suddenly not so. Once a child reaches 2.5 to 3 years old, they are cognitively more able to understand the needs of his new sibling and also able to help out and feel proud about his role in helping with his little brother/sister. So basically, you are able to be a better parent to both your children when the older one has developed enough cognitively and you can better attend to both of their needs in a responsive and consistent way. Ultimately, consistent responsiveness is the most important element of good parenting, leading to secure and trusting relationships between children and parents.

As for the bonding issue, you can never predict when two children will bond. They could be 1 year apart and not get along very well and have very different personalities. OR they can be 4 years apart and be very close. I always strongly discourage my friends from having the second child close to the first just because they think they will be closer. This is not something that you can control by spacing. It is something that is cultivated as a family, regardless of the age of the children.

So, to sum all this up, I would recommend waiting to "try" for the next until your son is 24 months old.

Hope this helps you in your decision making.


Hi A.-

While I am no expert on this matter, I can share w/you our own experience. I have 2 boys that are 22 months apart and I cannot tel you how close they are. They are as different as night and day mind you, but very, very close. They share that bond you speak of. From my prespective it has been awesome as well- they have a built in buddy to play with, never HAVE to run out looking for someone to play with. When we are on vacation it is especially great-someone to experience Disney with on their own level. Also, I found that a lot of people have children 2 years apart so when the oldest started pre school the youngest made a ton of friends w/the his friends siblings. That being said, I think you will have the same experience whether you have children 2 or 3 years apart. Not that big a difference. Now if we were comparing siblings 5 or more years apart for example, it is all together different experience(with wonderful benefits as well, just different).
One down side is that it is an INCREDIBLE amount of work to have 2 little ones in diapers and just so dependant of you. Somehow though that all works itself out and is a really short phase anyway .Do I fell I cheated the oldest in anyway? Nah, just one more person to love him. It melts my heart to see my 2 buddies growing up together.
Good luck!

I see you already got a ton of responses. But... this caught my eye.

In our case, I wanted only 1 kid, just so I could say I had one. Have to try everything once. I was youngest of four girls, never had enough money to get extras, that kind of thing, so I wanted one to dote on. But my hubby convinced me two was better so they weren't so spoiled. Then I had an idea that it would be great to have twins right off so it would be all done with . I am afraid of pain, so that way I only had to go through childbirth once. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Especially with medication we have these days!
So right after the first one, a boy, we started trying again asap, and I had a girl 14 months later. Just right, now the boy could protect his sister as they grew up. Good in theory. Heh. But really, they are great! I got them through many stages together because my daughter wanted to be just like her brother when they were little. It was like having twins. A lot of people asked me if they were. She grew up and past him in height at about age 12 and 13, but this last year he grew back and is now about three to four inches taller than her again. He went through a rough time, her more mature, and taller, but he's back with a vengeance!
Now they are going on 15 and 16 and I just love them to death. Both are very smart, taking advanced classes in school and getting really good grades. Their teen angst isn't too bad, although trying at times. Like I said, the stages go quicker with them close together. I suffer, but not as long. Both out of diapers around the same time, both off the bottle at the same time... she had to do everything he did, even wore his clothes when they were younger. She's now a size 00 and shapely, so boy clothes just don't cut it, and he wears jeans two sizes too big that tend to droop (the style) so yeah, nothing alike anymore. They are both witty, but he has a heart of gold most of the time and really has to try hard to be mean to her, and pester his sister because she's so much meaner to him. But they love each other too. They get along really well most of the time. He's still such a young free spirit and easily entertained, and she puts him down for it. Girls, they are so mean sometimes.

So all this to say, this worked well for us. I didn't want to struggle for too long, and having them close in age helped a ton! We were glad to get past the expense of diapers. Although, like most boys, my son was lazy wiping so we went through a bunch of underwear for him. She didn't have this problem. Must be a guy thing. I still get grossed out doing his laundry on occassion. He's such a sweaty smelly kid. Very active!

So have fun with your babies! This was the best time of my life raising my kids. I was asked once, "If you could relive a decade of your life which one would you do again?" and I thought about it and the best time for me was playing with my two little toddlers. Soooooo cute! A blondie and a redhead. I dressed them up at Halloween as Bambam and Pebbles from the Flinstones. Adorable. I played with them like they were my toys. (I hated barbies as a kid, but loved having my own kids!) It's tiring, but so rewarding! I helped them all through school too. And in 4th and 5th and 6th grade they were in the same classes, GATE (gifted and talented education) class. It was neat!

Hi! I can't speak personally yet, we only have one child so far, a 3 year old boy, and nothing on the horizon yet. I just wanted to say that my brother and I are 6 1/2 years apart and have always been close. Sure it took a little longer for us to get on equal footing, but there is something about watching him grow up and helping taking care of him that made us very invested in each other. So, I just think that the differences are what you make of them and that you just need to do what is best for your family.

Perhaps it's a good idea to listen to your husband, because his opinion makes more sense. Burton White's THE FIRST THREE YEARS recommends a three year span between siblings. That way the first child has established their own identiy and can go to pre-school and not be threatened or neglected by the arrival of another child. It also spreads out the childcare responsibilities in a more balanced, manageable way. This will help you and your husband feel less overwhelmed. And that is good for your relationship and good for the way you interact with your children. Read THE FIRST THREE YEARS. Good luck!

I have three children under 4. I love it. I don't know if there is a perfect gap, but I think there are advantages and disadvantages to everything. There is more work, and stress involved with having them close, but when I see those three little heads, giggling and acting silly with one another, I am so glad that we had them close. I know that isn't a gaurantee they will always be close, but at least once they are grown, they will have memories of doing most things together.

I have no siblings, and no bond. So my desire for them to have a bond is great.

P.S. Keeping all three quite in church is exhausting.

I got pregnant with my daughter when my son was 17 months old. My husband and I talked about waiting, but changed our minds. I'm glad we did. I think it was easier for my son to transition because he didn't have a super long time to be the "only child". And, he has been wonderful with his little sister and a big help to me. You are right, though, it is in God's hands.

Hi A.,

I am a sahm to 3 girls, 5, 3 and 2 years. My oldest are 28 months apart and the youngest are 13 months apart! At first, I freaked b/c I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to handle 3 children under 4, much less all girls! It has been the best year of my life!!! My girls are so close and play very well together. My oldest is in kinder and the younger girls miss her all day, but play so well together and keep each other company. We love the drama in our house. I am bless and wouldn't have it any other way.

My girls are the closest of sisters and I'm one proud momma!


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