What is the best age gap between siblings? Two years? Four years? Six years? 10+ years?
While there are heaps of great things about having your kids close together in age, there’s also a lot to be said for waiting too.
I still remember the haze of having a newborn and a toddler at the same time. It was hectic, to say the least. Super rewarding, yes, but also soooooo tiring. The late feedings and early toddler mornings, the constant guilt of trying to divide my attention, the tandem nappy changes… it was almost enough to put me off going for #3.
Instead, I waited six long years before having baby #3. And I can say, without a doubt, that this larger age gap between babies definitely comes with its perks.
1. You get to buy ALL the baby things again
Because you most likely sold it all last time around. And, this time around, you know what items are must-have and what items can be left off the list (I’m looking at you, bulky baby bath).
2. You get to feel like a first timer
You’re not a first timer, of course, but things have changed and you’ve been out of the baby game for so long it can feel like it. Your body has had a chance to recover both physically and emotionally, making the experience (hopefully) more enjoyable.
3. Your bank account gets a little bit of a break too
You won’t have to constantly double up on daycare fees, sporting activity costs and school fees.
4. You’ve had a decent stint of sleep in between kids
Sure, you’re returning to the daze of no sleep. But your older kid has probably been a decent sleeper for a few good years so at least you’ve had a bit of sleep to get you through.
5. Your older child understands how annoying babies can be
Toddlers have a hard time sharing mummy with a new baby. But older kids sort of get it. They get that babies need attention and they are probably more prepared to do their own thing while you take care of bub.
6. You have a helper that can actually help
One that can change a nappy, entertain baby in the back of the car, sing nursery rhymes and be left alone with bubba for a few minutes. Unlike a toddler who will probably sit on your newborn if given the chance.
7. Sibling photos are much easier to stage
They take direction so much better. And are more than happy to smile 1455 times for the camera. As long as there is a bribe waiting for them at the end of the photo shoot.
8. One word: SCHOOL
After drop off, you have SIX blissful hours to snuggle bub, nap and watch Netflix until it’s school pick up time again.
9. You are teaching your older kid responsibility
You will see your child’s parental side start to shine through. And this is such a heartwarming thing to witness.
10. Your little kid has a role model other than you
Which takes a bit of pressure off you. Watching your little kid follow your big kid around is another tear-jerking moment.
11. There may be less rivalry
With a bigger age gap, there can be less competition and less jealousy between kids, simply because they are at different stages in their lives.
12. You have a free babysitter for life
I gave birth to you. You watch your sister for me. End of story.
13. Your early parenting journey is longer
You’re always a mumma, but often kids will do their own thing around the age of 18. But with a big age gap between siblings, you’ve got at least one baby under your roof for longer. I suppose this could be considered a con for some, but, for me, it’s definitely something to look forward to.
Going for another baby? Check out our article on introducing a new baby to a sibling. Or read about the realities of motherhood we wish we’d known beforehand.