I think this is one of the biggest questions anyone asks themselves when they are considering having another child. How long do you leave it, and what age gap is the most ideal? Well in my humble opinion I don’t think there is any right or wrong answer to this it really is down to the individual. Some people want all their kids really close together and others don’t. I personally wanted to try for a second child when Max was around 2 years old. Unfortunately because of circumstances out of our control this didn’t happen when we wanted and Emelia came along when Max was 4 and half. In the grand scheme of things I don’t think it really matters what the age gap between your children is but I have now discovered there are some big pro’s to waiting that little bit longer, so here’s my little list of pro’s and con’s to having a bigger age gap should you be considering it yourself.
– Your eldest child is able to entertain themselves. Believe me this is a massive bonus and I’m so grateful at times that Max is able to get on with his own thing, especially when you’re spending lots of time feeding/burping/rocking your baby to sleep. I think my stress levels would have been a lot higher if I was having to entertain a toddler at the same time.
– Your eldest is completely in awe of the baby. I still cannot believe nearly 5 months on how much Max loves his little sister, he constantly wants to kiss her, play with her and hold her. It really is the sweetest thing and I really hope they keep this special bond.
– Following on from the last one your baby loves their older sibling! Emilia loves Max so much and always has a smile for him. Laughing at the silly things he does and looking for him in a room. It melts your heart.
– Your oldest can help you out! Yes, what a bonus, Max can you please fetch me a nappy/wipes/muslin etc (enter here anything you need thats always just out of reach)!
– When you’re tired from sleepless nights you can give your eldest something to do, read or watch a film whilst you catch 40 winks in the safe knowledge they will probably be entertained for as long as you need.
– When the baby is asleep you get lots of time to spend with your eldest. Now that Emelia sleeps for longer stretches at least once a day its so nice to be able to have some time just me and Max for play/learning etc.
– There should be less fighting over toys because they wont be interested in the same ones. (Although Emelia has taken a liking to a teddy of Max’s that he’s never been interested in and of course he is definitely interested in it now that she wants it)!
– You have a free babysitter later on! I’m not sure I would actually use Max as a babysitter once he reaches a certain age but its nice to know it could be an option!
– You get quality time with the youngest child too. Its really nice to know that I can enjoy all the little things with Emelia like I did with Max as I’m not rushed off my feet looking after two kids under 2 etc. Its also pretty special that Max is getting to experience them with us to, I really hope he will remember and treasure these moments when he is older.
– This is a big plus for me, there is no need to buy a double buggy or extra baby stuff because your oldest is no longer using it. I hate double buggies with a passion. I had to use one a few years ago when I looked after a friends daughter a few months older then Max and my god they are such a pain, bloody heavy and too wide for the aisles in pretty much every shop! We also saved all of Max’s baby items like the travel system, cot etc and its been really nice having it all to hand and not having to think about how much it would cost if we were buying it twice.
-Fingers crossed because of the age gap and because Emelia and Max will have different interests/toys etc there should be less sibling rivalry. We are of course yet to find out about this one but I’ll keep my fingers crossed and report back in a few years.
– Lastly, your eldest child has already established a good relationship with you and is confident and hopefully settled in their own ways so are less likely to feel left out/unloved by the presence of a new sibling. I was really worried about Max feeling pushed out when Emelia arrived as he’d had our undivided attention for so long but I really shouldn’t have. He has embraced all of it and aside from the odd comment about how he’s bored when I’m with her he really doesn’t seem phased by her being here.
– You have completely forgotten what sleep deprivation is. This is a biggie for me and totally sucks. I have been blissfully enjoying quite a few years of wonderful sleep and to have a newborn who wakes for night feeds and then wakes at ridiculous times in the morning is hard, I miss my sleep a lot.
– Your eldest has no one to play with. This one makes me feel really sad for Max, the times when I’m busy with chores or Emelia and I see him playing alone I really wish he had someone to play with closer to his age. It’s going to be quite a while before Emelia can play with him properly and then he’s going to get too old to want to play with her.
– Following on from the above point, Max and Emelia may not be close when they are older as they will have spent less time playing with each other. However, as we are home educating I’m hoping this actually wont happen as they will always get to spend lots of time together and learn about each other. I’m sure there will conflict too but fingers crossed they will be more likely to keep the bond.
– Emelia has to fit her feeds/sleep around Max’s activities. This is a tricky one sometimes but really cant be helped and to be honest it would be the same no matter what age gap you have between the kids because even toddlers have groups/playschool to attend.
As you can see I’m pretty bias in thinking there are definitely more pro’s then con’s but they might just help you if you can’t decide!
Love Michelle xx