Spacing children-how many years between them?

United States
October 2, 2006 9:19am CST
Babies are a lot of work and a lot of stress. When couples have children that are close in age do the children miss out on attention because the parents are doing double duty? Wouldn't it be better to try to have a few years between children so that they all get the attention they deserve?
1 person likes this
54 responses
• United States
12 Oct 06
My oldest 3 are each a year apart. I don't think they missed much. Actually I think they gained some things. I was reading an article once that said 3 and 4 years olds are incapable of sharing and have little empathy. But that sure wasn't true with my kids. They had to share--it was just a fact of life. They were always willing to share with each other and other kids and had much empathy for each other. If one was sick or sad another was always around to cheer them up. Yes, they fought a lot, but they are still best friends. (They are 6, 5 and 4 now). I don't see any benifit in waiting, other then having an older child that is "spoiled" in that he/she is so used to Mom and Dad's undivided attention that they have tantrums day and night when the baby comes home. I found it much harder for my 4yo to adjust when we brought home our new baby (she was 3 1/2). My other two had no problems when I brought the next baby home. They just accepted the baby. They don't remember a time when their brother or sister wasn't there. I like it this way.
• United States
12 Oct 06
Yep! That backs up my theory that the first kid is a big adjustment. If you can get past that with your marriage intact, the second kid will be the most difficult. The first kid has to learn to share mom and dad while mom and dad have to learn to divide themselves between two needy little beings. Once you get past that, it's all the same. The younger kids never got 100% of mom so they share her easily. I had the "second only child" with my third son. My two older boys were already in school so Nick had me all to himself. When he was 3 he did not handle his new little brother well at all.
• United States
12 Oct 06
My daughter was 4 when her brother was born. She was a great help to me. Of course a few years later she wanted to send him back!
• United States
13 Oct 06
Once you have 1, you may as well keep on going. I think it's best to have kids close together so they can grow up together, all ride the same rides at disney world, they can RELATE eventually...
@kerryq2705 (8677)
• United States
12 Oct 06
My 2 kids are 10 months apart. I am able to give them both equal attention. It can be hard at times but I have 2 arms so I have one in each at times...lol. I sit down on the floor with them and play with them together. I think they are both getting the attention they deserve.
• United States
12 Oct 06
That must be difficult. I hope they are both of the same temperment. Will they be in school together?
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Oct 06
It can be difficult at times. Actually no, they don't have the same temperment. My daughter is so needy and my son isn't. They are like night and day. But overall they are both wonderful and easy going. My daughter is hitting the terrible twos but we are getting through it. I'm a single mom so it can be tough but they are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
1 person likes this
@scorpy01 (38)
• United States
12 Oct 06
My six kids are spaced at various rates, from 16 months apart to almost 7 years apart (between #2 and #3). Spacing isn't nearly as important as being willing to deal with each kid's special personality. What works with one kid usually won't work with the next. And sometimes, nothing works at all so you really have to improvise, pray, hold your breath and hope the next stage will be easier. My #3 who came 6years 10 months after #2 was spoiled and not nearly as well behaved as his two older brothers. #4 & #5 (my only daughter) who were just 16 months apart had their own special language, entertained each other and really didn't seem to have missed out on much at all. They just learned to share the attention. Kids need attention - a lot of it - their whole lives. Spacing kids doesn't make that easier unless you space them 18 years apart. :)
• United States
12 Oct 06
My oldest two had a special language, too. They are 15 months apart. They would sit there and talk and talk to each other and seemed to understand what the other way saying. But it was just gibberish to me. They then taught the language to their little sister when she was a toddler. It was funny to listen to.
• United States
12 Oct 06
Six kids-WOW! I was the 8th of 8, and my oldest sister was 27 when I was born. I actually have nephews who are older than I am, and I went to school with one. My husband was #8 of 10, but they are closer together so that his mother is 10 years younger than mine. I only have 2 (1 of each)
• United States
12 Oct 06
My oldest was 17 when my youngest was born so we asked him to be the godfather. He was so honored to be asked and has been a wonderful godfather to his youngest brother. My dad is the same age as his niece. I think it's like that with big families sometimes.
@diju03 (535)
12 Oct 06
about 2 years would be great
• United States
12 Oct 06
The terrible two's and a newborn would wipe me out!
• United States
12 Oct 06
The terrible two's and a newborn would wipe me out!
• United States
12 Oct 06
The terrible two's and a newborn would wipe me out!
• United States
12 Oct 06
I think it is better to have them early so you can still have fun when they get to the age they can leave the house. After that you can still enjoy the rest of your life doing what ever you want to do and you also mave made more money by then. The other side to that is that you also have more energy to play with them if you have them early.
• United States
12 Oct 06
Do you have kids-they are the rest of your life. And then comes granchildren. The younger you have kids the younger you may become a grandparent. And if you were too imature when you were a parent, you may end up raising your grandchildren.
• United States
12 Oct 06
I have a 4yr old and 2 month old twins. Maybe some people are better equipped to have kids. I think when you make the decision to have kids you are under the understanding that you have NO LIFE after they are born. But you are right if you are imature when you have kids you may end us raise your kids, kids. That would be hard.
@tater03 (1765)
• United States
12 Oct 06
My two boys are two years apart. I like that we had them when we did because they have alot of the same interests and they play with the same friends. They also are very close. Not sure if that is because of the age or not.
• United States
12 Oct 06
It sounds like you are a very lucky parent.
• United States
12 Oct 06
It sounds like you are a very lucky parent.
@britishyip (1614)
• India
12 Oct 06
min 3 years.. so that they can help u in ur next delivery.. what say?
• United States
12 Oct 06
That is the truth. Little kids like helping!! 3 year olds ask embarrising questions though.
• India
12 Oct 06
yes but they dont know what they are actually asking and what does it mean.. u shd know how to tackle such questions.. what u say?
@DRoddy77 (1776)
• United States
12 Oct 06
LOL! My kids are less than a year apart! My oldest just turned 3 a few days ago, and my twins turned 2 last week! They were born 4 days before my sons first birthday, thanks to birth control! I do feel bad sometimes that they dont get enough attention because there are so many of them! I went from having no kids to having 3 within one year! I made sure that wouldnt happen again!
• United States
12 Oct 06
OMG! Don't take this the wrong way, but I am glad I am not you! Though I sometimes think it would be neat to have twins. Did you get any sleep the first 2 years? LOL
@DRoddy77 (1776)
• United States
13 Oct 06
LOL, when I had my first son I thought, "wow, i feel bad for people who have twins..one is hard enough"..so i think i cursed myself, haha!..As far as sleep goes, I did get pretty lucky with that. My son started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks and my twins both at 4 weeks!
1 person likes this
@mythmoh (3986)
• United States
12 Oct 06
It is always recommended to have atleast 3 years difference.Because mom has to gain the nutrients she lost in her first delivery and the first kid should also be able to do some things say eating of its own.
• United States
12 Oct 06
Eating and going to the bathroom. Who could afford diapers for 2?
• United States
16 Oct 06
I had three in diapers for almost a year. Luckily my oldest two wore the same size. It wasn't that bad but I was happy when my oldest finally started using the toilet. My youngest of the three ws 3 1/2 when the baby was born back in April and I was sure by then I would be down to 1 in diapers but I wasn't. My daughter wore diapers until she was 3 years and 8 months old. She will be 4 in November and has only been out of diapers for 3 months. It is nice to only have one in diapers again.
@dellion (6706)
• Malaysia
12 Oct 06
I have them in 3 years gap.
• United States
12 Oct 06
3 years sounds good. How many children do you have?
@dellion (6706)
• Malaysia
13 Oct 06
Two sons for now:)
@jrkcmw (255)
• United States
13 Oct 06
My stories is a little different then most posts here. I have 3 children. The first two are 13 and 10 and then I had another baby 2 years ago. So my 10 year old is 9 years apart from my baby girl. The oldest kids fight like cats and dogs but everyone loves the baby. The great part about having them spread out so far apart is that the 2 oldest really are like extra parents. They keep an eye on the baby and I can leave her with my oldest while I run errands. There are pros and cons to both situations. My baby girl doesn't have anyone to play with so I guess we will have to have another :o). I would like to say one last thing. There really isn't much difference in a 2 year old girl and a 13 year old girl. Both very emotional, whinny and occasional tantrum throwing is not unheard of around here.
@chileman (968)
• Australia
13 Oct 06
Yeah we have 2 1/2 years between our two boys, they are 8 and 6 years old respectively. I think it is just a good gap between them.
@HerShe (2386)
• Canada
12 Oct 06
I would think that most adults do whatever they choose, regardless of what is advised. I do know that it takes a woman's body anywhere from two to three years to recover fully from a pregnancy. So when a woman has one baby, and for two and a half years is recovering....If she became pregnant when the first child is three, her health would be up to par. This would give both mother and baby a healthier start. If the pregnancy was started before full recovery time, both mother and baby are starting out already tired. Not Godd for either one. I say three tears is good.
• United States
12 Oct 06
That supports the fact that women are healthier if they space their children. Children also benefit by having a mother who is better able to attend to them, yes?
• Hyderabad, India
12 Oct 06
have them in 1 year gap
• United States
12 Oct 06
Do you mean get pregnant when the first is 3 months old? I know many women do, I just question the wisdom.
• United States
12 Oct 06
I think kids get along better and are closer to each other when they are born close together, I'm not saying there can't be a lot of stress that comes with that. myself and one of my brothers are only 11 months apart and we grew up being so close to each other and we still are. my kids are 12,10,5(6 next month) and 4. The only reason for the bigger gap between the 10 year old and the 5 year old was that I had a miscarriage in between them. I like that my kids are fairly close in age but everyone has their own preferences.
• United States
12 Oct 06
That's true. Alot depends on you financial circumstances too, and your lifestyle I guess.
• India
12 Oct 06
at least 3 yr gap is a must
• United States
12 Oct 06
Thanks for answering.
@i_agree_but (1185)
• United Arab Emirates
12 Oct 06
Good title. They need good attention. It is our job to provide it doing anything.
• United States
12 Oct 06
Unfortunately I see too many mothers pushing the responsibility of young children onto their siblings. Parents really need to be more responsible.
@jolamama (92)
• United States
12 Oct 06
Mine are 18 months apart and I love it that way. They are both spoiled with attention from us and each other.
• United States
12 Oct 06
Was it hard to have a newborn and chase an 18mth old? I think all kids should be spoiled a little.
@akhilhere (168)
• India
12 Oct 06
Atlest 2 years are required..
• United States
12 Oct 06
Thans for the reply.
@busymommy (261)
• United States
12 Oct 06
Before I started having kids I wanted 5 yrs apart but now I think about 2. My oldest is 2, 27 months and I am prego with the 2nd. They will be 2 and a half years apart when the baby is born. I think it is a great distance!
• United States
12 Oct 06
Good Luck! I can't imagine having a newborn and a 2 year old. Hopefully the terrible twos will be delayed.
@riia0033 (345)
• India
12 Oct 06
i hv them one & half year . this prove good coz almost both r of same age ,they live like good friends . nw one is fiveyrs & 6 months & my little daughter is 4 .
• United States
12 Oct 06
Will they go to school together? It was hard when my first went to school but I had one still at home.