How Far Apart? (JFF - Curious)

Updated on February 05, 2013
M.P. asks from De Pere, WI
30 answers

How far apart (in age) are you and your siblings? Do you think your age difference affected your relationship with siblings?

How far apart are your children? How do their age differences affect how they get along?

Pros/Cons of having children "close together" (2 years apart or less)?

Pros/Cons of having children further apart (3/4/5 years)?

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answers from Bellingham on

My first two are 14 months apart, and my second two are 19 months apart. Which means that for a short time I had three children under three. The pros of having them so close together are that they can share clothes, toys, friends, rooms, beds etc. The con is that I didn't sleep for five years.

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answers from Seattle on

I am a year younger than my eldest sibling and I'm 11 years older than my youngest sibling. I was raised with only 2 of my 6 siblings so I was closer to them growing up however these days I'm only close to two of my younger siblings - one I was raised with and the other I've gotten to know as an adult.

My children are 3 years apart. They get along quite well. My son's autism affects their relationship the most not their age difference. My daughter is the oldest and my son the youngest and for them I believe it works out quite well.

In my opinion there are too many variables to give a list of pros and cons to either having children close together or far apart.

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answers from New York on

I am 3 years apart from my sister. We were very close growing up and I missed her sorely when she went to college. We're still close despite the fact that she lives across the country.

My nephew and niece are 7 years apart. They're not close as in play together close but I think the fact that my nephew was self-sufficient when my niece was born was great for mom and dad. He also helped out a lot too.

I don't think the years apart make a difference as much as the personalities.

My daughter will be a one and only but her friends/cousins will be her "siblings."

It's all "relative" so to speak

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answers from Washington DC on

My sister and I are 7 years.
My brother and I are 5 years.

it was tough growing up because as the baby of the family - I wanted to do what they were doing...

My kids?
First marriage - 13 years 5 months
Second marriage - 2 years 4 months

You can make anything work, if you want to!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

There were four of us born within 4 1/2 years. We were pretty close as children, then not, now in our 50s like each other enough to get together regularly and make sure our kids do.

My daughters are 17 years apart (11 & 28) and are very close. They have a better sister relationship than I ever did with mine, whom I shared a room with and was 2 years older than.

I don't believe ages matter much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There is 3 years between myself and my oldest. My parents had all 3 of us in three years. We are not close, and never were. Simply different people, no animosity.

My husband and his sibling are almost 6 years apart. They have never been close. (Age difference.) They see each other a few times a year, for a few hours each.

I think there are many pros and cons. In my life, the families that I've known...none of the kids far a part were close. Most of the kids who were close together were closer. As adults now, I know far more people who haven't been close to their siblings since they were children. I don't actually know many siblings that have ever been REALLY close. I can't think of any, in fact. I don't know anyone who would consider a sibling their good friend, and they are all from good families. Weird, and sad!!

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answers from New York on

My kids are 4 years apart. This spacing was intentional and I like it! They are now 17 and 13. My daughter adored her baby brother. There were no jealousy issues and I didn't have two demanding babies at once. During their childhood years, they weren't really playmates but that was okay with me. My own two oldest sisters were 17 months apart and not best friends! Now that my kids are teens, they spend more time together again, going to Starbucks and the movies together. I like that my daughter can remember being the only, and that I'll get 4 years alone with my son while daughter is away at college. I like that I didn't have to pay fulltime daycare for two for a long time, that I didn't have to pay for two in braces at once, that I won't have two in college at once.

My own sisters are 9 and almost 11 years older than me. Now that we are adults, we are pretty close, but I have more in common with each of them than they have with each other.

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answers from Portland on

My half brothers are 12 & 14 years older. My sister is 5 years younger than me.

I really didn't see my brothers much growing up since they lived with their mom. My sister & I weren't close till the last few years.

My daughter will be 18 when the baby is born. I'm guessing they won't have a super close relationship, but who knows. It's just the way things worked out.

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answers from St. Louis on

Brother is 6 years older than me and sister is 14 years younger than me. My brother and I were close when he was in Jr/High school but have gotten closer as adults even though he lives a few states away. Actually, us each having kids has caused us to grow closer.

Sister and I have always been extremely close and even more so now that she is in college.

Kids are 2 years 10 days apart. I love having them that close. I think the pro is that you go through the younger stages together. The con is that we had two in diapers and the older one could not always do her 'own' thing if I needed to attend to her baby brother.


answers from Washington DC on

I am one of 5 kids, the second in line. By years, we are all 2 apart...but it boils down to a little more or less when you look at months. My older sister and I are 5 days shy of being 2 years apart. We grew up as best friends. We are still close now, even though we live 8 hours apart. We manage to see each other every few months.

The rest of my siblings live here. I'm closer to my sister's than my brothers, but that's because we have common interests. I see my brothers mostly for sports events (which we all LOVE) or big family gatherings. Sometimes lunch out.

My one brother is the best in my family about being there for my kids events, he is 19 months younger than I am.

My kids are all 2 years apart as well (the first two are 22 months and the second two are 23 monhs). They are all close. They remind me a lot of my childhood and relationships with my siblings. They have similar friends, all get along, and I wouldn't change it for a minute. I can't imagine doing anymore than 3 or so years between kids, but that's just me. My younger sister will have at least 4 years between kids. She is getting married in May and her baby is 3.5 now, so yea, probably more like 5 or 6. I don't know how I would handle starting all over.


answers from Minneapolis on

My brother and I are almost 5 years apart. He graduated and moved out when I was in 7th grade so I really was an only child for Junior High and High School. We didn't really do a lot together because of the age difference, but we're really close now.

My kids are 23 months apart, are close and do a lot of things together. My SSs are 5 years apart. When we're at my parents' cabin I really see the age gap with them. My kids do a lot of activities together: fishing, swimming, boating, jet skiing, etc. and five years is a big difference in interests and abilities. All current ages are 17, 15, 14 and 9. the 17, 15 and 14 yo do a lot together - even playing cards and board games. The 9 year old wants to play, but just doesn't understand their strategy. The same applies for movies.



answers from Redding on

My little sister and I are 3 years and 11 days apart.

We get along much better now as adults. I really adore her, but as kids, it was treacherous. My parents expected me to be the older and responsible one, my sister was hell on wheels. I often got in trouble because of the things she did. I guess they thought I should have been able to stop her, but she thought that me being only 3 years older meant she didn't have to listen to me.

I even ran away once and left my mom a note saying that I was tired of getting punished for my sister getting in trouble. I thought my mom would be pissed, but she actually wasn't.

My sister and I did not get along as children. We do now.

My own children are just shy of 10 years apart. I didn't plan it that way, but I wouldn't change anything. They were very close as children and didn't compete with each other on any same level. They are 26 and 17 now and love each other. It's kind of cool because they have a relationship completely separate from me. They do their own thing even though we all get together for visits, holidays, etc. They just do random things together.

I think siblings work it out regardless of their age differences or they don't.

I'm glad my kids weren't close together because my daughter graduated high school at 17 and moved out soon after. I wasn't ready to be done having a kid in the house. Thank God I still had my little boy.

Just my opinion.



answers from St. Cloud on

I am one of 4, the first three are girls I am the third, we are all just a couple of years apart, our brother is 4 years younger than I am and 8 years between the oldest and the youngest. We all tolerate each other, some are closer and some aren't...we all have very strong personalities and opinions. We gained two more "sisters" as young adults when a very close family friend passed away... that puts two others between me and my next older sister. I am not sure why but I get a long with them much better than the rest, even though I have known them nearly my entire life. My parents had the benefit of us girls all being in the same activities so they didn't have to split. Which leads me to my family....

My kids are 17, 8, 2 and 1, girl, boy, girl, boy. It has been nice to be able to get to go to all of my oldests activities without having to "split up" the parents to be able to be there for all of the kids. We won't have to do that with my son either, but we will with the next two. I LOVE to attend their events so I am not looking forward to that.

I worry about the age difference, I would really like my girls to be able to rely on each other. I think that it will work itself out. My 2 year old couldn't say her sister's name for a long time so she was mommy and I was mama...sort of suited the roles. They have a really close bond now, but next year starts college (cry!) and she won't be here every day.

We have made it clear that family is important and she will have to work to create the bonds with her sibilings... she loves them so I think it won't be a problem. She will probably take on a different role than the typical sister but maybe that is good too....I had/have lots of "moms" that have helped me through the years....another Mom in your pocket never hurts!



answers from Minneapolis on

My brother and I are nine months apart. He and I were very close growing up, not so much now. I'm lucky if he comes to say "hi" when we go back home for vacations. My sister and I are four and a half years apart. She and I weren't close until I hit the teen years, now we're best friends even though we live 1200 miles apart.

My girls are ten years apart. This has not gone well. My seven year old has behavior issues (ADHD & ODD) and sees her sister as her arch nemesis. My seventeen year old tries to parent her sister often, which results in more animosity between them. But, with a child that constantly needs correcting, I'm glad to have reinforcements. I'm hopeful that they'll start to be as close as my sister and I are when the little one matures a bit.



answers from New York on

4 years apart with two of y siblings. i am the middle child. my kids are 1 min apart. i am very friendly with my sister but not super close. it is not due to age difference it's due to personality.
my kids get along great, and then not so great. they have a constant playmate and a constant punching bag, depending on the day.


answers from Grand Forks on

My twin brother and sister were 16 years older than me and my other brother was 14 years older than me. They all spoiled me. It was pretty great.

My boys are 3 years (and one week) apart. I would say it was the perfect age difference. By the time I had a new baby I had an independent, potty trained three year old who was ready to start nursery school and could "help" me look after and entertain the baby. He no longer needed naps or a crib or a stroller. It wasn't a big enough age gap that I had to replace any of the baby gear, and I have been able to use hand-me-downs all along because nothing has gone out of style by the time my younger son gets it. They are still close enough that they enjoy playing together (for the most part) and have many of the same interests. Of course, as my ten year old reaches adolescence I imagine this will change. My boys seem closer in age because my 7 year old is big for his age and my 10 year old is small for his age. (They are often asked if they are twins.) And very soon I will have a built-in babysitter!



answers from St. Louis on

it's not the age, it's the temperament + personality of each child.

There's 5 years between my Dad/his brother, & 5 years between my Mom/her brother. My Dad/brother were competitive & somewhat combative til the day my Dad died. Not violent, just simply not as close as they could be. But they did love each other & proclaimed it....just couldn't stop the conflict.

On the otherhand, my Mom/brother enjoy each other's company, tell each other the Full Truth, & are totally supportive of each other. They work well as a partnership & look forward to seeing each other....almost every freakin' day!

My sis & I are 2 years apart, & we have actively chosen to emulate Mom/Uncle's relationship. After years & years of witnessing Dad/Uncle's ignorant plays....we applaud & celebrate Mom/Uncle. I think we made a great choice!

My sons are 9 years apart (16 & 25). It's been interesting to watch the dynamics change/develop thru the years. They are judgmental of each other, protective....& occasionally defer to each other. While they do share many interests, their passions are far is their "take" on the world. One thrives on helping himself & one/all, the other does not & tends to self-destruct. This tendency does cause issue between my sons, but I do have to applaud their relationship.

I will also say that my older son's teen years were Hell & that took a huge toll on their life together. To see their chosen togetherness now....well, it makes me smile! My younger son was off school yesterday, & he chose to ride with his brother while he made deliveries on the road. They enjoyed their day together & even hit Cabela's. :)

Hope this helps truly breaks down to the individual child's temperament!



answers from Eau Claire on

I have a brother 2 years younger and a sister 9 years younger. I never really got to be friends with my sister until we were older. We were in 2 different worlds.

My kids are 17,14, and 6. The older 2 have really never known life without each other. They mainly get along well. The older kids at times will try to "parent" the younger one. Other times, they will pick fights with him.



answers from Youngstown on

In my family my sister is 4 years older than me and my brother is 2 years older than me. I got a long great with my brother when we were little and we played well together. My sister and I got along but the age difference made playing together more difficult. My sister and I get along wonderfully now. We talk all the time, usually 3-4 times a week. My brother and I get along fine we just don't talk all that much.

My kids are 7, 5 & 17 months. A girl and 2 boys. The older two get a long great except for when they are fighting lol. They both love and help take care of the baby.



answers from Dallas on

My sis is 3 1/2 yrs older and that's not that old but our personalities and choices have put distance between us. She chose to marry right out of high school and have her kids 10 yrs before I had mine. It really has felt since then that she was 10 yrs older than me. We are just always at different life stages. I have one child getting out of college and one getting out of high school, while she has 6 grandkids up to age 12!

It's pretty good for 3 1/2 yrs or 4 yrs I between because you don't have two in college at the same time!



answers from Washington DC on

My sister and I are 21 months apart. We fought constantly as children, became super close as teenagers well into young adulthood, and now are not really that close at all. I think the age gap is too small. Growing up, we were always in each other's business, and there was too much competition. As an adult, there is too much expectation that the one will be like the other, because we're so close in age, when in fact we are very different people.

My kids are 3 years and 5 months apart. I feel that (so far) it's a perfect gap. They rarely fight. They are close enough that they play together but far enough apart that there is little direct competition (the fact that they are different genders also helps in this regard). My son was old enough to really understand what was going on and be truly invested in his little sister from the beginning. It's awesome.

The one con I can think of was that he was old enough to have an opinion on everything when I was pregnant. He essentially named his sister. He got stuck on one of the names on our short list and told us he wouldn't love her if we called her anything else. Thankfully, he chose a beautiful name. :)


answers from Tulsa on

My sister and I are almost 10 years apart. I went off to college when she was in 3rd grade. We aren't that close and I think it's due to our age difference and personalities. We are just different people. She's social, I'm not. I'm much more independent than my sister.

I think as we get older, we'll probably become closer (or at least not fight as much!) than we are now. Stuff we argue about now is mainly due to our age differences. She's 20 and I'm 29. I have a job, a house, and a child and she is still going to college and living at home. Two totally different mindsets and how we view life.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have 5 sisters we are all 5 years apart, give or take. Except the last two who are twins. We are all equally close. Except the twins. They share a bizarre closeness the rest of us know we are not really in on. But Anyway, the age difference was good. I like that we all had each stage of our life to ourselves. Like, I didn't have to share high school or college years with anyone. We all had our own friends and activities, never shared. My hubby has one brother, less than 2 years apart, and they still share a lot of the same friends and same activities. My oldest sister is 21 years older than the youngest (the twins). Actually she is closer in age to our mom because our mom had her when she was 19. But I think their sister relationship is just as close and special as any of the rest of us who are closer in age. Oh and yes we all have the same parents. They just decided to spread us out. My mom said she never went for the next baby until the previous was heading to kindergarten. I think it was kind of smart and it worked for her.

I aimed for 3 years apart for my 2 girls. I couldn't imagine having them any closer, but I didn't feel I should wait too long because we ladies get started later this day and age and I am not sure how many I might want to fit in during what's left of my reproductive years :) I really regretted 3 years apart at first. It was really hard that first year. My 1st daughter was old enough to understand and be affected by a new baby but not quite old enough to have much of her own thing going. It got a lot better when she went to preschool. She had her own life separate from being our baby. I see why my mom waited til we were in school to have the next baby each time. It's all good now though, they are 2 and 5 and play together and get along so well. It's such a blessing!
Next time I'm aiming for 4 years apart :)

I don't think the age difference affects the closeness of the siblings. I think it affects the parenting experience though. There are pros and cons of having siblings close together or far apart. I look forward to reading the other responses!



answers from New York on

im an only child.. my fiance is techincally an only child but has a half brother who is 8yrs younger and a half sister who is 13 yrs younger.. not sure why but we decided that as long as all is well financialy we would love to try to have another child so that my daughter will be 3(give or take a few months) when the new little one is born.. heres my opinon.. its good to have them close but not too close.. i cant imagine having 2 or more kids in diapers at the same time! .. my cousins kids are 6 years apart and she thinks its perfect because once her oldest started to "grow up" she had a little baby again.. a friend of ours has 3 kids -youngest and middle are13months apart and middle and oldest are14months apart and she thinks its perfect.. she said its great because they entertain eachother and never get bored, but on the other hand she said she didnt sleep much for like 4years .. to me, right in between would be perfect

-my neighbors twins are 5 years younger than her older son and she always says "thank god" her son wasnt any younger when the twins were born or she didnt know how she wouldve handled it!

-as far as getting along.. my cousins kids very rarely fight.. 6years is a good span so i dont think they really have much to fight about.. our friend on the other hand, her kids are constantly at each other..she said when they were very little it wasnt so bad but now that they are 10 8 and 7 (i believe) they are constantly bickering, but that shes been told by many people that once they are all in their teens (late teens im guessing) they will all be best friends.. my neighbors twins almost never argu with their older brother.. cant say the same for the two of them though



answers from Minneapolis on

I am an only child.
My parents told me they "got it right the first time", so they didn't need to have any other children. ;0)

My husband has a twin sister that he doesn't speak much at all. He has never been close to her and as an adult he avoids contact with her as much as possible. He had an older half brother (4 years older) that passed away, but they were never extremely close. He has 2 younger 1/2 brother and sister who are 16/17 years younger than him and he talks to them on a weekly basis. Their (shared) father passed away and my husband has become "the man" in their lives.

In my opinion, it depends on the people. That determines what their relationship will be more than age does.

We have 1 daughter who is 5. She has Cystic Fibrosis and I have Multiple Sclerosis, so we have decided she will be our only child.


answers from Tampa on

I'm the baby of 5, I have 4 older brothers, the oldest is 12 years older then 10, 7 and 13months older. I am closer to my brothers who are 10 years and 13 months older. In fact I don't talk to the other 2 at all nor do I care to really. My kids are almost 6 years apart and my son ADORES his baby sister! And she looks at him like he's the sun moon and stars:) my mom has told me that having me and my brother so close in age was so much easier then the other kids because we did everything together. In my own experience I wouldn't change the age difference of my kids. My son was old enough to understand how babies changed families. He doesn't feel jelious about his baby sister, and can and wants to help. The only con I would say is my son likes to roll around and rough house with his sister and well he's a lot bigger, even though she's a rough and tumble type of girl she's no match for him!



answers from Omaha on

I agree with E S. I don't think the age difference matters much, just the different personalities.

I have three older brothers - 5, 9 and 11 years older than me. Growing up my favorite was my oldest brother. It's funny now because as adults we are the most alike. We are all close as far as when we get together for holidays and stuff we play games, hang out and have drinks, etc while the kids all play. We don't talk on the phone regularly but it's like no time has passed when we do get together (I live two states away from them).

Otherwise, I have a 16 year old step son and 6 and 2 year old daughters. The age difference wasn't planned, that's just how it worked out. They love each other....for now. :)



answers from San Juan on

Me and my Bro...are 8 year apart...he is younger to me, and so you see i always am a elder sis to him, when he was born i was in my 3rd Grade, we do have those sibling fights when we both were was always me who use to compromise, cos he is far to younger than me, and he always tease me, pinch me, pulling my hair..telling my secrets to mom etc etc.....but is a very cute relationship....

now when we both are in grown ups....we sometime think about all those old days and laugh a lot....i am married and staying away from my family, my parents and my bro, and when at times when i go to my maternal house, my mom tells me--that my brother is active when i am there, no then he is always watching TV or is in his room, with his PC,,,but when i am there,,his fav past time is to pull my leg saying something....and he is always around....i guess he misses me when i am not there...

This story is totally diff in my in laws house,my husband is the eldest among the four..they are three bro and one sis....his direct younger bro and him are just 1.5 years gap....and they where very close when they were young,,always hand in hand is each and every mischief,,super naughty boys( my mom in law told me this)...but when both grew up.....both are of same ego..that now they are not so times i feel whatever closeness is left is just because me and his wife are in contact :-).

My husband is close with his sis and the youngest brother.......guess they have a age gap of 3 and 5 in between.....but still i would say they don't have a type of relationship which me and my bro have...



answers from Boise on

I am only 15 months younger than my older brother, I have 5 other siblings as well. I am closer to some than others, but not necessarily because of age gaps. I am closest to my youngest sisters (11 and 13 years younger) and my brother who's 2 years younger than me.

I have 3 wonderful children aged 10, 7, and 3. I didn't have the luxury of planning how far apart they would be because getting pregnant is very difficult for me. My 10 and 7 year old girls are best friends and they are kind to their baby brother. I hope they will all remain close!


answers from Redding on

I think it's about personality and not about age difference.
I never got along with my sister who was about 3.5 years younger than me, but I know plenty of people that have gotten along with their siblings with that same age gap.
My boys were less than a year apart and got along great, but I have friends and family with kids that are similarily close to that age gap and they don't get along.
So age gap has nothing to do with it, its about how the kids feel about themselves and how they view their siblings.

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