The ideal age gap..is there an ideal? Between my 4 kids I have 3 very different age gaps. A 3 year gap, a 14 month gap and a 2.5 year gap. Each one has it’s pros and cons..are any of them ideal? Personally, I think yes. There is an ideal. But it’s not the same ideal for me, as it is for you. After 3 different age gaps, I think I have figured out my ideal..
There is 3 years between Mila and Lucia. This was mostly great! Mila was old enough to be a bit more independent, I could communicate with her and she could be really involve in things – helping me by passing things for me, sitting down with Lucia on her lap, and if I was a bit pre occupied, I could let her know that I was busy but I will be with her soon and she would understand. I’m not saying all was perfect! There are always harder days, she was babysat by aunty telly , there was shouting and lots of exasperated ‘when are you coming home txts’. I would say personally for us (and I know this isn’t the case for everybody) I have found that Mila and Lucia haven’t got on as well as the rest have . They bicker a lot, clash heads and seem to have little tolerance for each other. By the time Lucia was old enough to play properly, Mila was at school and playing with your 2 year old sister was not always the top of her agenda. Personalities definitely play a huge role as well. Mila is a classic first child. Responsible, black and white, and motherly. Lucia on the other hand is a free spirit who has room for a whole lot of grey. There head butting has caused me a lot of frustration but I’m so stoked to say now that since Lucia has started school their relationship has improved dramatically. So a 3 year gap – great at the beginning but I think prep for some hard years of head butting before it calms down again. I would do this gap again.
Now Lucia and Ivy are 14 months apart. I hear people love the smaller age gaps. Their children grow up super close, you stay in the same phase without leaving it etc etc. I would NEVER do this age gap again. Not because of the difficulty on us but because of the negative effects I believe it leaves on the eldest of the 2. It may not be the case for everyone, but it was for us and I would not risk that happening. I feel like lulu lost out on the one on one that most children get in that first 18m- 2 years of life.The security. In her baby years, I was pregnant, sick and tired. in her toddler years, I had a newborn/baby to care for. There was very rarely attention for just her. It was hard. And I believe she suffered. In her early years she was constantly unsure, very nervous and would hate for me to be out of her sight. Imagine how it feels for a young child, who just wants their mum to just look around and its a whirlwind of busy mum and a new sibling around her already. It would be overwhelming. It is for a lot of ages but at this young…? She never really got that time for just her and I am really sad about that. It was too close I feel. In terms of it being hard for me? I mean, Lucia couldn’t even walk. She couldn’t talk, she was still teething. She was a baby and I had another one to look after. It was super overwhelming but we got into a groove. I would say the best thing I ever did back then was get them sleeping at the same time. Definitely saved my sanity! I think with this age gap for me the first 2.5 years weren’t as I had expected in terms of them having a live in playmate so close in age. Now though it’s great! they really get along and I can see that they really will be the best of friends. It’s turned out good but in hindsight, for the sake of the older child, I wouldn’t do that small gap again.
And finally, Ivy and Jemima. They are 2.5 year apart. Its only been 17 months so far so I can’t comment too much yet but so far it’s been really great! I really felt like Ivy responded well to Jemima, apart from the first day at the hospital where she wanted Josh to take her home straight away haha. But from the moment Jemima has come home she’s loved on her and I haven’t really had any problems. I actually have really enjoyed this gap so far. As I said above, I think personalities really play in to it! Ivy was my youngest one to start kindy and so she was already at kindy when Jemima arrived which I think helped me a lot as well. Being able to have a breather a couple of days a week really helped settle everybody in and make it, for the most part a positive experience.
So I think my go to gap would definitely be 2.5 years. Everybody will be different and things work differently for each family so this is a little snapshot of us 🙂 Ivy and Mila get on really well so I was so stoked when Jemima came along and I saw Lucia really loving on Jemima. It made me feel like she had someone who she felt like could be her buddy. Sometimes I think 3 is definitely a crowd!
You will never regret a child you have, but you may regret one you don’t.