How Close In Age Are Your Siblings? - Studio DIY

How Close In Age Are Your Siblings?

7/25/2018

How Close In Age Are Your Siblings?

Never has there been a topic MORE talked about in our household: how far apart in age do we (ideally) want our kids? One of you asked me this during my Instagram Q&A two weeks ago and since it was already on the brain, I thought it would be fun to hear from all of you, too!

Like I mentioned before, I had a pretty unique family situation. I had four half-siblings, but they were all 10-20 years older than me. It was so much of a gap, that we never had the sibling bickering/rivalries, etc. Jeff on the other hand is two years older than his sister, which I feel like is the “standard” age spacing when you ask a lot of people what their ideal is.

As we think about starting the adoption process again, we have to keep in mind that we could be bringing a new baby home tomorrow or in a year or more from now, and how comfortable we are with both of those scenarios. I got baby fever again pretty quickly after Arlo started approaching one, but then I think about having another baby around and part of me still wants that one-on-one time with Arlo. He still feels SO little to me. That said, I’ve heard from a lot of people who had kids close together and said, while it’s super tough at first, it’s nice in the long run because they are often best buds and into the same things at once or going through similar stages together.

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On the other hand, friends and family that have had kids closer to 4+ years apart have talked about how nice it is to have your older child or children be able to help with the baby… can’t deny that benefit!

Like many (most?) people, we can’t predict when and how far apart our kids will be but it’s something I think about so much. I’d love to know… how close in age are your kids? Or you and your own siblings? Did you enjoy the age difference or did/do you wish for something differently? Benefits? Hard parts? I’d love to hear it all below!

Regardless of anything, I am so excited for Arlo to be a big brother someday. It’s going to be so amazing to see him in that role!

62 comments

  • Jeannie Wallace

    I only have one child and she was supposed to be a short term foster child. When she left the NICU unit of the children’s hospital after being there for 2 1/2 months, it was me who brought her home. That was 11 years and 9 months ago. So much for temporary huh lol. Its been a struggle because of her mother’s drug use during pregnancy and no pre-natal care. She’s physically perfect. Always was. The problems ended up being behavioral and in her learning disabilities. Myself, on the other hand, have 12 siblings, of which I only know 4. My mother was not exactly Mary Poppins and more like Marilyn Manson. She liked having kids, just not keeping them. My twin sister died in a car wreck on our 18th birthday. My younger sister is 2 1/2 years younger than me. Our oldest younger brother is 6 years younger than her and the baby brother is 9 years younger than him. We don’t know if there were ones between us only the amount of total children. Just because s dog can have pups; don’t mean it was meant to be a mama. The words my mother-in-law used when I asked her what should I do after chasing my mother for 25 years trying to get her to pretend that she wanted kids not just pregnancy attention. I haven’t seen her in over 7 years but the 4 of us that know each other try to stay as close as possible even tho we live in 4 different states. Thanks for the unloading you just allowed. My opinion is have your kids close together. The bond is stronger and it will be easier one you in the long run. I may only have one child but I’ve helped raise 3 generations lol. God bless darlin.

    • Terri

      Wow! I applaud you for turning out ok.

    • Kelly

      “I may only have one child but I’ve helped raise 3 generations.” I find that so powerful! You have been through so much and like Terri said, I applaud you!

  • Amanda

    My brother is about 6.5 years older than me. When we were very little (~6/12) I was obsessed with him and thought he was the coolest person ever. As we aged a bit (~10/16) we grew more distant and we’re only now, in our late 20s / early 30s, forming what I’d consider to be a normal sibling friendship as age matters less and less. I think my ideal is about 2 to 3 years apart, where there’s a gap but you can still be pretty close growing up.

  • Summer

    Like you, there is a large age gap between my own siblings. My sisters are twelve and fourteen years older than me, so I was kinda raised like an only child. I was always a little jealous of how close my sisters are being only two years apart.

    My girls are three years apart, and I think it’s perfect. They are best buddies, play well together, and share similar interests with the older one leading most games. I felt like I got time with my first when she was a baby, and now the youngest feels like the baby of the house because her sister is old enough to be more independent.

    • Kelly

      Totally relate to feeling like you were raised an only child! I feel that too.

  • Anna

    My younger sister and I are essentially 2.5 years apart and I love our age gap. We were the youngest cousins in our family by 8-20 years so we were pretty close as kids and stuck together a lot. However, those pre-teen and teen years resulted in our fair share of bickering! Even though we’re VERY different people, we did most of the same activities and ended up with many of the same friends which was convenient but also did cause plenty of fighting 😂 Now at 26 and 24, my sister is one of my very best friends even though we live 1000 miles apart. We’re in the same stage of life so it’s nice to have a built in buddy that I know will always be there for me.
    When I have kids, I’d love for them to have a 2-3 year age gap as well.

  • Kate

    My sister is 6 years older than me – and it has its pros and cons. She was a tomboy and overly protective, but our age gap allowed me a safe place to play in our neighborhood and become an individual under her watchful eye. We were never in competition with each other. Plus, she taught me how to play lots of sports and games and I had to be good if I wanted to keep up with her and her older friends so I was a sharp kiddo!! Being so isolated in age, I was really good at playing by myself when she had all her big kid obligations which I am grateful for actually. Six years later, my parents weren’t as worried about me as they were about her when she was a wee one – I know that took a toll on her because I didn’t have as many rules as she did. Sometimes that led her to act more like a mother than a sister, lol. We aren’t as close as we could be now, likely because we are (and always have been) such different people, and I do wish I had a sister in my pocket especially when family stuff gets difficult. Would being closer in age help that? I don’t know. We are who we are. But luckily I have lots of friends who are like sisters and my actual sister always in my corner and always loving me, so it’s all good!!

  • Sarah

    My sister and I are 2.5 years apart, we played well together as children but also fought a lot, naturally. But now we are VERY close as adults. Some children take to being older siblings better than others. We waited a little longer to have a second child, our kids are 3 years apart. Although her verbal skills are great our oldest had a hard time transitioning from being an only child to being a big sister. Even if you wait 3-4+ years apart although the children are more independent there will still be growing pains. The 3 year old that previously insisted on getting dressed by herself now asks for mom or dad to help her. She had an uptick in night time accidents with the stress of the life change for a few months etc. It’s not necessarily easier or harder when they are older, in my opinion! Just a different set of challenges.

    I will say going from 1 fairly independent toddler to a 3 year old (who wants more attention) and a newborn has personally be quite a challenge for me. Five months in and I’m just now finally getting a haircut! Ask for help, and schedule time for yourself even if you don’t want to or don’t think you need it!

    It is the most wonderful thing to see a relationship develop between siblings! Although it certainly didn’t happen at our house for the first few months. When they play peek-a-boo or when the baby looks adoringly at the 3 year old it melts my heart!

    • Kelly

      Love what you said about some children taking to being older siblings better than others. We were just talking in the office about how at the end of the day, so much is about who the kids are as individuals, no matter what the age gap is!

  • Justina

    My sibling situation is a bit complicated too. I come from a family of 10 kids. I’m the first born, but nine weeks after I was born my older sister came into our family. We are four years apart, but were incredibly close growing up and now. My first younger sister is only 16 months younger than me, so we did everything together as kids. In the end, my family has 4 adopted kids (the four oldest) and 6 non-adopted kids. Because of the sheer number of us, some are super close in age and some are super far apart; the gap ranges from 16 months to 17 years. I love having a sister who is super close in age to me and think that it gave us a unique bond (and continues to as we go through life at a similar pace), but I also cherish having an older sister who has more life experience and younger siblings who I get to help mold and see grow.

    One thing I do want to mention is that having siblings who are much younger than me (10-12 years) means that I haven’t lived with them for most of their childhoods. I have to put in a lot more effort to be part of their everyday lives and I do my best, but it makes me sad that I/they don’t have the experience of growing up together.

    Ultimately, I think that siblings can be close and loving (which I’m is assuming is the goal for most families) no matter the age gap. I think it really comes down to the family atmosphere.

    • Kelly

      “I also cherish having an older sister who has more life experience and younger siblings who I get to help mold and see grow.” I really loved that!!!! Almost made me cry!

  • Jamie O.

    My younger sister is five years younger than me, and we rarely fought growing up. We were never in middle or high school at the same time, so that allowed us to have separate experiences. I also was able to help with her when I got older and had my license. Our younger brother was a surprise and he’s ten years younger than me. I had him a lot growing up, babysitting, etc. Even still I feel very protective of our brother having helped raise him and my sister and I have a great relationship. We also have wonderful parents and extended families, we’re very lucky! Based on what you share on social media and your blog, Arlo and his little sibling are going to be a-ok!

  • Kristina

    Our babies are only 12 months apart, which wasn’t my ideal scenario but is already getting easier (they’re 6 months and 18 months now). We adopted our first at 7 months old and found out when he was one that he had a brand new biological sister so we adopted her too! We had to rush and get our homestudy updated and submit all the paperwork and it was really crazy.
    I felt a lot of guilt at first about not having more one on one time with my oldest. What has been working for us is tag teaming so that me and my husband each have one on one time with each kid. He’ll take our oldest to the park while I get some baby snuggles or vice versa. The newborn stage was tough but seriously, it’s already so much easier! Everything is doable once you’re doing it 🙂

    • Kelly

      Oh my gosh! We always think about this scenario. I can’t IMAGINE how hard a one year age gap is but how AMAZING to have biological siblings! The tag teaming is so smart too so you each get one on one time!

  • Eleanor

    Me and my brother are almost exactly 3 years apart. When we were kids, we were in the same schools only twice, but we’re close enough in age to have quite a few interests in common. We we pretty close as kids and now in our 20s are closer than ever, even though we live far apart! I definitely think I’ll aim for under 5 years in age difference someday, because it’s great to be emotionally close with siblings and share many of the same experiences and childhood memories.

  • Joanne

    I’m 14 months older than my brother!

    It wasn’t planned that way, haha, but we grew up practically like twins, and now at 31/30 we are still the very best of friends.

    My mom always says she didn’t have too too much of a problem, since both of us got bottles at the same time, and had the twin stroller, and both were just at the same page in terms of needs and caretaking!

  • Staci

    My family has gaps, but we are still super close. I’m 4.5 years older than my next-in-line sister, because our mom had a miscarriage between us. Our brother came 3 years later, and since he has down syndrome, my sister and I got to be helpers when our youngest sister was born 2 years after our brother. The youngest sister was a surprise for our parents, but we all made it work! I love our family dynamic – sending the best wishes to you!

  • laura

    my sister is 4 years older, and i’m glad we weren’t ANY closer in age! i got compared to her all the time (she’s perfect!) so if we had been any closer i think the comparison would have been even worse! 4 years was great because then we were NEVER in high school together– Once she went away to college it allowed me to forge my own path, and now (at 30 and 34) we’re best friends!

  • Kristina B

    I also have 3 much older half siblings! I was my mom’s only child though and the other 3 weren’t with us much at all so I was definitely still brought up as an only child. (No shocker to people who know me!!)
    The age difference is a bummer since they all have families and live all over the country (plus they weren’t huge fans of our dad) so I feel like I lost that connection.

  • Jen

    My brother and I are 14 months apart (I’m August 1983 and he’s October 1984). If I have biological kids, they will probably be close together in age since I’m in my mid-30’s and can’t do any fertility treatments. So if I’m going to have biological kids, they will need to be sooner rather than later.

  • Jessica

    I think this is a great topic to bring up. Knowing I have been having the same thoughts for awhile now. I have two kids 4 and 7 and have been wanting 1 more. But ideally I wanted my kids 5 years apart at most. So they’d always be close in age especially as they get older. But I’m hitting that point and am not financially ready for another kid just yet and aren’t sure if I want to rethink my age group or decide on not having anymore. And it’s a really difficult decision.
    Personally I have 3 brothers all younger then me. 1’s only 2 years younger and then I have one that’s 9 years younger and one that’s 14 years younger. And for me the farther apart in age the further apart they are.

  • Karlee

    I have a ton of siblings some super close in age and some really spread out and the ones that are younger are almost 16 years younger than me and it sucks we never grew up together, the relationship is more like I’m an aunt verse there sister. My kids on the other hand are 2, 1 and newborn and yes it’s definitely hard at times and our house is very loud and crazy but i wouldn’t have it any other way it’s so much fun and full of so much love! I love seeing them bond and hug each other and share everything! I took care of my siblings because they were so much younger but honestly it wasn’t fun and i felt kinda replaced because my parents waiting so long to have more kids after me and my sister and i know she feels the same way. I don’t want any of my kids to feel replaced or to feel like an afterthought because neither is a good feeling I’d rather they just not know what life was like without the other and having them this close together had definitely been the case my son doesn’t remember life before his sisters and never will. 🙂

  • Katrina

    I have 4 kids. My oldest and 2nd are 23 months apart, my 2nd and 3rd are 21 months apart. They’re all boys and it was crazy and awesome. When I was pregnant with the 2nd one I got so scared that I wouldn’t love the 2nd one as much as I did the first. The moment my 2nd was born that all went away. Love multiplies. It’s amazing. Our number 4 was a big surprise and a little girl. My boys were 12,10, and 8 when she was born and this has been such an amazing ride for all of us. I think this was perfect for our family. What I’m trying to say is deciding to have a second one is scary but so worth it in the long run.

  • Hannah

    I have a twin sister and we haven’t been a part for more than 10 days in 20years she’s my best friend. We have another sister who is 2 years older and we are all really close but we definitely have the sibling rivalry. Our half sister is 9 years younger than us and I hated being old enough to help take care of her I felt like I was only around for free babysitting and she got 99% of the attention. Which really just strengthened my other sisters and Is bond.

  • Samantha

    My sister and I are almost exactly two years apart. We fought a whole lot growing up. But we were also ALWAYS there for each other and now as adults were very close. I’m really grateful that we have each other to lean on now.

  • Cecilia

    I’m the youngest of 3 children and we are all 3 years apart, but because I was born in December and missed the cut off, my brother is 4 school grades above me while he and my sister are 3 grades apart. My brother and I have always been close; he loved being a “big brother” from the very beginning. Even now, in our late 20s, he and I are still best friends, the same as we always had been since I could remember. However, my sister and I had a love/hate relationship with each other until I was halfway through high school. She is 6, almost 7, years older than I am, and didn’t play with me the way my brother did, which is probably why we didn’t get along when we were younger. I wanted to play outside or go biking or wrestle, but all she wanted to do was talk on the phone with her friends about boys (or talk late into the night with her secret boyfriend which bugged me because I was on the other side of the room trying to sleep LOL). My brother and sister, because they were 3 grades apart, were lucky enough to be in the same school at the same time, which I think really helped them bond. She was a very protective big sister over him, but not so much with me (maybe because I had my brother to fill that role so she didn’t feel the need?). I was jealous that as he was entering high school as a freshman, she was a senior, and she introduced him to all her friends and they were able to bond over high school stuff together. In the end, I’m still really happy about our age gaps and if/when I become a parent, I would also want my kids to be about 3 years apart; I think it’s close enough for the kids to be able to bond and play together, but still far apart that there’s a clear distinction of big brother/sister roles so that the older siblings will be old enough to help out when the younger siblings comes along.

  • Julie

    Love this question. My brother is 10 years older than me, and my sister is 5 years older than me, and I’m the youngest. Every family is different of course, and there are so many things to weigh and balance when deciding, BUT this age difference works for us! Like you mentioned, the huge age gap between my brother and me was actually great because we never had the sibling rivalry. He also took a long time to “grow up” (move out of the house, get his act together, you know), which isn’t ideal haha. But it made it feel like we were still “kids” together, not like he was much older or a parent figure.

    My sister and I are BEST friends now (25 and 30) and the age gap is nothing. She was such an inspiration to me and my biggest mentor. I loved that we were not closer in age — like someone else mentioned, she was the golden child and if we were going through school at the same time I think I would have felt too much pressure and comparison.

    All that said, my mom spent 15 STRAIGHT YEARS with a child under 5… which is so intense. And we are all now going through different phases of life at different times (which has its ups and downs).

    I think there is so much pressure on parents to have kids really close together (like 1-2 years apart) which is crazy! It’s so quick and sooo many years of not enough sleep (!). Great families come in all shapes and sizes, and I think whatever decision you make will be the right one! I love following your journey in parenthood! Good luck!!!

  • Nicole Gibson

    I have two older half brothers 5 and 7 years apart and I LOVED it! Not so sure if they did as much though haha. I found we still played together even with the age difference, the only time that was a bit tough was when they were pre-teens and I was still very much a kid but other than that generally we got along really well.
    I always kind of wondered what it would be like to have a sibling closer in age to me growing up, but looking back I wouldn’t have changed it if I had the choice.
    Now that we’re all older the age gap really has no difference at all.

  • Jessie

    My sister and I are 3.5 years apart (I’m older). In many ways, I wish we were closer in age because I “mommied” her a lot growing up and there were a couple of stages (aka when she was a teenager) where that dynamic didn’t work out well and we spent a lot of time arguing. However, as we have gotten older, I love being a few years older than her. I still baby her (I can’t help it) but growing up so many years apart has helped us both lead our own lives with our own group of friends (TBH it’s let me let go of her a little which I think was important for both of us). As adults we hang out all the time… we still bicker and she still gets mad at me for being a helicopter sister but I think we have a newfound respect for each other (or at least I do). Watching her become an adult has helped me realize my own strengths and weaknesses and that it’s ok for me to rely on her, too! As the big sister I never thought I would have that.

  • Franci Pearson

    So fun, so precious! So exciting!

    I am the 2nd born to a family of 9 kids. We’re almost all 2-3 years apart. I have a different relationship with each sibling but I am closer to the siblings my age. The younger ones are my babies! I helped raise them. I have had different unique relationships with each sibling at different phases of my life, closer some over the other at various times but we’ve all been very close. Theres 20 year age gap from oldest to youngest. As for the bickering and fighting, it’s just a normal thing no matter the age, this is just where parenting is so so important.

    I have an almost 5 year old son and an 8 month old daughter. I really wanted my babes closer in age but it didn’t happen they way, and in a lot of ways in grateful cause our son is sooo helpful to me and it’s great not having two kids in diapers. I can’t imagine it any other way.

    Ultimately though, I think the closer in age the better, makes for a fun group when they are older, think middle school and teens when you’re seeing the world together, such a fun group! Do whatever feels best for you guys! It’s such a joy to see these littles together. A whole new realm of love you didn’t even know possible!

  • Shari

    First of all, thank you for talking about adoption so openly. I am adopted and get so frustrated hearing all the negative “attention” or that it shouldn’t be an option. It is a great option. Thank you.

    I have three kids. My oldest and middle are 7 years apart. There were some years the younger one wanted to be with her older sister and friends. We call those the annoying years. My middle and youngest are 19 months apart and have been very close since he was born. The three of them have always been close, with normal arguments and sibling shenanigans. They are now college and the hour two in high school and I love to watch their relationship develop and strengthen. I wouldn’t change a thing in how they all came about.

  • Devin James

    Hi! I just first wanted to say I am so happy for you 3 and wish you so much luck and love as you grow your family ♡.

    I can only speak to the sibling age thing from my point of view as a sibling and not a parent of any. But my younger sibling 22 months younger than me (we were always 1 grade apart), and this has benefits to my life that know no bounds. A life-long best friend who connects SO much to my exact experiences. We were treated much like twins growing up and feel like the same person some times with how similar we are even as adults building our own lives.

    We went through a tough period in adolescence where we weren’t as close but it’s long over and we are glad to be best buds.

    Of course not every sibling relationship that close in age will be exactly the same- especially if children take after different parents, have different social influences etc etc. But I am so glad we are close in age.

    On the flip side of this, my older sister is 9 years older than me. While we are good friends now, we were often in rivalry until my late teens. Also, and I know this won’t be the case in every situation, but our dynamic had a negative impact on my life until I was about 25 or 26 because she stepped into a mothering role from a young age, which wasn’t always healthy or helpful.

    I’m sure you know already that you can’t expect the exact same situations to arise in your own family (we were a blended/ broken family who faced a lot of adversity and mental illness). But my experience having a sibling close in age will always be a recommendation I’ll offer 😃

    Maybe some of that was TMI, oh well!

    🌞

  • Stephanie

    My sister and I are five years apart, and I would not recommend that age gap because it is close enough where you’re still into a lot of the same things at the same times, but far enough that the younger sibling is utterly annoying to the older sibling. There are times where if I was left alone with my sister I might have strangled her. My kids are six years apart in age and that seems to be a good age gap, ideally I would have liked them to be two-three years apart but we had a hard time conceiving my son. A lot of my friends who have the 2 to 3 year age gap say that it’s a really good distance between them.

  • elise

    my girls are 2 years 5 months apart and I love the age difference. long enough that I didn’t feel like I had two babies, but close enough that they will have a few years of school together in elementary and then high school. whatever you guys end up with will be perfect though! it all works out exactly right.

  • Jessica

    I have two older sisters and we are all 4 years and 4 months apart (my older sisters are 4 years, months, and 4 days apart!! Not sure how my mom managed that). It was tough growing up, I was the annoying little sister until I was in high school. They babysat me but we weren’t close until I got older.

    My baby is 7 weeks old today! My husband and I both have siblings and probably want another kid but I’m not sure when we would have another. It’d be nice if they were closer in age but life and money are a huge factor!

  • Morgan

    Hi there! I have loved watching your beautiful family grow!! I am so happy for you guys!! I am the oldest of three and my one sister is 2 years younger and the other is 7 years younger than me. I actually have always loved it this way. My sister who is 2 years younger than me is like a built in BFF, and then I feel like I can be a role model to my littlest sister. It’s also always been nice to have been able to help my parents out with my sisters especially for babysitting. I love having an “average” age difference AND a pretty “drastic” one. I feel like it gives me the best of both worlds and I think that is a reason we work so well as a family. 🙂 Also, my little sis can’t wait to be the “cool aunt” when I have kids and she’s still young.

  • Floor

    My sister is 3 years and 4 months older than me. Before I was born, she really wanted a baby brother or sister, she even prayed for it haha. When we were young she was a good big sister, I don’t remember us fighting, but we were never really close. We always had very different lives and different caracters. In my late teens/early twenties there was a time when we used to hang out every now and then and go on holidays together, but all of that has changed. A few years ago she lived around the corner and we only saw each other when we bumped into each other at the supermarket or the tram stop.
    I think for little kids this age gap is great though. The big brother or sister understands more than a one year old. My cousins are only 16 months apart and the rivalry/jealousy never stops (they are 16 and almost 15 now). They can hardly be home alone together without breaking the house down.
    Both my sister and my youngest cousin have ADD, which – for me and my oldest cousin – can also be a “problem” in our relationships with our sisters that has nothing to do with age of course. My oldest cousin and I get along great btw ;).

  • Kimberly Bee

    My sister and I are what you would call Irish twins- 11mos 5 days apart! We both landed with September birthdays which seemed unfair growing up-sharing parties and rooms and outfits, we didn’t feel like we had our own thing! But now we are 27 & 26 and super close! My brother is 2 y 10 mos younger than me and we were reallly close through high school. We hung out a lot and didn’t seem to have a rivalry because we were far enough apart (senior and freshman) that we didn’t share friends or classes. My youngest sister is 7 years younger and it feels like she was born on another planet! She’s been the only one at home since she was ~15 and it feels like my mom raised her differently. It seems like the 2.5-4 year difference is perfect. You are close enough to grow up together, but not too far apart to feel like you don’t know each other!

  • Riane

    I think it totally depends on the kids themselves. I have two older brothers (2 years older & 4 years older) and a younger brother (5 years younger) and I am without a doubt SO close to my younger brother. My older brothers and I really don’t talk much outside of holidays. We’re 20, 25, 27, and 29.

  • Rachel Thomas

    I’m only 19 so I don’t have kids of my own, but I grew up the middle child of three. My older brother is three years older than me, and my younger sister and I are 14 months apart. I always really looked up to my older brother and wanted to hang with him, but he was just enough older than me that, for him, spending time with his little sister would have been too lame. He was in middle school and I was in elementary, I was a freshman and he was a senior, etc. Once he went to college, though, that dynamic changed a lot and we are now very close. He is often the one I ask for advice and such. My relationship with my little sister is a lot different. We are only 14 months apart, but she has a chromosomal disorder that basically slows her mental/emotional maturation, thus making it seem more like we are about three years apart as well, though this wasn’t really evident as kids as much as it has been in our teenage years. As kids, being so close in age, for us, meant we fought all the time and had a pretty rocky relationship. We loved each other, but did not like each other much. I often felt like she was copying me or “stealing” my hobbies, interests, and personality. Really, we were just too similar, and it was not helped by the fact that we had to share everything (including a room) and our mom was really into matching outfits and stuff (not my cup of tee). As teenagers, though, our age gap began to seem bigger with her condition, And we got a lot closer. We weren’t interested in the same things any more and were no longer sharing a room and so we got along much better. That being said, I think 2 or 3 years is an ideal gap. Not so far that you feel estranged from your siblings, but not so close that you can’t be your own person.

  • ASHLEE HAYNES

    I have an older sister (7 years older) and a younger brother (2 years younger). Growing up, my sister and I didn’t interact much and weren’t very close, but my brother and I were inseparable! We still are. Also, since we’re older, my sister and I are very close. She is a lot like a mother figure and mentor to me. So I don’t think there’s really a “perfect” age gap in kids, because the gap between my sister and I and my brother and I both seem perfect to me!

  • Hannah

    My sister and I are 18 months apart. I know it couldn’t have been easy on my mom when we were young, but we’ve always been very close. We were only a grade apart in school, so we shared friends and interests. My sister is still my best friend.

    I’ve been a nanny for about 12 years and most of the families I’ve worked with have had kids 2-3 years apart.

  • Julie

    Ours are 11 months to the day. Our second son is adopted and is almost 3 months old. Can’t wait to see the close bond they form. It’s definitely harder with two but we work from home so there’s two of us. Good luck!

  • Cassie

    I have an older sister who is 11 years older than me, a younger sister who is 4.5 years younger than me, and a younger brother who is 12 years younger than me…so there’s a lot of variety in my fam. I am definitely closest with my younger sister, and I think 4-5 years is great, but her and my brother are super close too and they’re a bigger gap. I think of my brother like I raised him, so that age gap works out fine if the older sibling is loving that (I do, my older sister doesn’t as much). Idk what it’s like for my older sister, to be 23 years older than my brother, tho!
    My gf and her younger brother are 18 months apart, and they are close, but I think my relationship with my younger sister is even better than that because we had enough breathing time from each other. I still thought of her as my “baby sister” which made me more patient with her and I helped with her A LOT, and plus bc I was her older sister I was by proxy still cool and she would listen to me! Everyone I know who has a sibling within 3-5 year age range is always very close with them- so !!

  • Leah

    I am the oldest of 5 and we are pretty spread out. I have a brother who is 2 years younger and 3 sisters who are 6, 12, and 16 years younger than I am. We are all very close! My parents recently separated after 30 years of marriage and had their problems along the way, but my mom always put an emphasis on us being close and wanting us to do things together, which we still do to this day!

    I currently have a 3.5 year old and an expecting baby #2 in December. I had wanted them closer together in age, but we struggled to conceive baby #2. Initially, I was worried about them being almost 4 years apart, but then I think of how close I am with my siblings and I know it’s going to be fine! Plus, he is a great helper already. Good luck to you and your family!

  • Paloma

    I’m right now reflecting if having babies close in age was a wise decision . When I got pregnant of my second baby, my first was just turning one, she didn’t walk on that time, so my second wasn’t a upss pregnancy, we were looking for her, but everything has price to pay right? Morning sickness hit harder then the first one, I was tired all the time I couldn rest as I needed to, I felt so guilty that some else was taking her place that i put my sickness a side and I just kept live going like a normal person, when my second was born the first monthswere the hardest and I got a lot of help from my mom she STAYED for 3 month then my First just turn to the terrible twos band and now I have a 4 month with two theeth, yes already and I wild 2 year old .. will say I could wait one more year but right I wouldn’t change it for anytime I love my two daugters and the stage are they now, but this mom is hot mess 🙅‍♀️

  • Ashley

    I’m the third of four kids. There are 8 years between my older sister and younger brother. There are 3 years between the first two, 18 months between my older brother and me, and four years between me and my brother. I love my older brother but two kids so close in age, especially a boy and girl is tough. It was hard on my mom when we were little, and then as we got older we would fight over silly things like dating each others friends. At least one year in school separating kids is the way to go, I think.

  • Jamie T

    Hey Kelly,
    Our boys are almost exactly two years apart. We didn’t plan it, it just happened that way. But is great! They are best buds and are very protective of each other.
    My husband is the oldest of three boys. He’s four and six years older then his brothers. While they all played together, the younger two were always closer. That’s what he’s told me. But the dynamic may be different if you adopt a girl.
    Oh and I got major baby fever when my oldest was one. Then panic set in when his brother was about to be born. I didn’t know how I could love two as much as I loved my oldest. You can. It’s amazing how maternal love works!

  • Steph

    I have two siblings- one is ten years older (my half sibling, actually) and one is only a year older. I was much closer to the sibling that’s only a year older, as a 10 year age gap really restricted how much we interacted with each other- they were in college while i was still in elementary! I personally thnk the closer, the better. Kids can grow up and learn from each other!

  • carly m

    I’m the oldest of my full siblings. We have an older half-brother who is ten years older than me, so I was really the only one that grew up with him. We even shared a room until I was 4, which I’m sure was great considering I was a nocturnal toddler. My other siblings and I are all between 3 – 4 years apart, with the youngest being a full ten years younger than me. It’s a little weird bc as a teenager (and even now, at 24) I would sometimes get mistaken as an incredibly young parent when we go to the movies or out to eat.

    And not that I can choose, but I’d think 2 – 3 years would be a good amount of time.

  • Kaitlyn

    I’m about 2.5 years older than my little brother. We grew up as BFFs, rarely fought, and have remained close friends despite him living in SoCal and me in NorCal. We shared each other’s Toys (I loved Legos and dinosaurs, and he grew up loving Beanie Babies and stuffed animals). My two kids are 7 years apart. It’s a HUGE gap, but my 7 year old adores his baby brother so far! And I’m soooo thankful I don’t have a needy toddler AND a newborn to balance. My 7 year old is pretty self sufficient, giving me the time I need to care for the new baby.

  • Angie

    I have 2 kids a boy and a girl. They are 17 months apart. I looooove it. The first year was hard but as soon as the baby turned one it got so much easier they play really well together and get a long great. My siblings and I were all 5 years apart we were from a poor family so because school was in a sense “day care” my parents had another child every time the youngest started kindergarten. I am the oldest and never liked being so much older than my siblings. My youngest sister still lives at home but had she moved out I probably would have had a hard time building a sibling relationship as we are almost a 13 year age gap. She was 5 or 6 when I moved away to college. My husband on the other half has a sister that is only 16 months you get than him and they never got along.

  • Katie

    I’m the youngest of three and the oldest is 3 years older than me, the middle is 2 years older than me, and I loved that growing up and still do! We were all in high school together for one year and it was such a fun year! When we were growing up, we really bonded and became a team. With two full time working parents (bless them, they gave us a great life!), we really had to learn to fend for ourselves but having two others close in age, we really worked together. There were fights, obviously, but we looked out for each other and did what we could to help each other no matter what. I think with being close in age, too, we had similar interests and could really relate to the same things and have relevant conversations. I’m no sure how my parents raised three crazy kids together through the young ages (and let’s be honest, three teenagers probably wasn’t fun either) but my mom always raves about how much she loves to see us get along and hangout and always encourages us to stay connected because we will be all each other has someday! (Kinda morbid, but that’s my mom for ya! Haha!)

  • Marie

    I have quite a special sibling situation 😂 My mom had my sister from her first marriage, and then she had me 10 years later, so my sister is 10 years older and we do not share a father. Then, my parents got divorced, and had two other sons, so right now my sister is 28, I just turned 18 and my brothers are 5 and 7. Growing up, I didn’t have a really strong relationship with my sister, and I can’t relate to any sibling rivalry story since we really weren’t that close. That being said, since the last 2-3 years, we have gotten really close and our age difference doesn’t really matter anymore. We do everything together and she is like my mentor in some way, we can talk about everything, and I know she cares deeply about me and will always have my back, and it’s just the best – so precious to me. And since I was 11 when my first brother was born, I loved taking care of him, and developpef a really nice relationship with them too. I think they look up to me a lot and are always impressed to tell their friends they have an older sister 😂 And I became so protective of them, sometimes people think they’re my own kids 🤷🏼‍♀️ Anyways, I feel like that makes me feel even more like their BIG sister and I love it too! But, they are 2 years apart and seeing their bond grow makes me kind of wish I had a sibling closer in age even though I love my situation 😉 The first few years were hard but now they are pretty much into the same things and yhey can spend hours playing together without fighting or somebody crying or getting hurt every 10 minutes! I’m really glad they have each other, and proud to know they’ll always have their big sis to look up to or come to when they’re too embarrassed to go to their mom or our dad ❤️

  • Becky

    Siblings in general are just amazing. I have two babes right now 1 and 2. Boy and girl. It’s perfect so far. My sisters are the same gap and hate it because they had to do everything together, sports, friends, share car. Where I am three years younger and was able to have my
    Own life which made me happy. But adventually we all grow up and become best friends in the end. It’s just awesome to have someone to always have and share the world with no matter what happens!

  • Lauren

    My brother is two years younger than I am, but I also have three half siblings who are between 5-10 years younger than I am. My daughter will turn one next month, and I would LOVE for her to have a younger sibling, but we’re trying to find out the best time for it as well.

  • Joanna

    My sister is 10 years younger than me, she was a ‘surprise’! I absolutely LOVED having a new sister when I was 10 years old. She was like my own personal doll. All throughout my teenage years, I would take her everywhere with me, and was often mistaken for her mother. Now, we are 36 and 26 and we go on holiday, just the two of us, at least once a year, with our partners (in a group) at least once a year, and I can honestly say that she is my BEST friend in the world. We are very different, but it works so well, we laugh and laugh whenever we are together and I never have as much fun doing anything else if I’m not with her.
    I can’t say what the ‘ideal’ age gap would be, but for me, 10 years was absolutely amazing!

  • Victoria Shingleton

    My sister is 22 months younger than me. I really enjoyed growing up with a sibling so close in age. We were best buddies growing up – I always had a playmate. We were close enough in age that we had a lot of common friends, especially as we got older. And then she went to the same university as me – she was two years behind, so I was living off-campus and she was living in the dorms, so I’d pick her up and we’d go out to dinner or she’d come over to my apartment to do laundry. Now, sadly, we are on opposite coasts and I don’t get to see her as frequently, but whenever we get together it’s like no time has passed!

    I think 2 years apart is the perfect gap between kids. I say that I would want my children a maximum of 3 years apart – that way they’d at least be in high school together. Personally, I wouldn’t want kids in different phases of life. Like once I’m done with potty training, I want to be DONE with potty training…. this is what my childless self is saying, of course.

  • Moonlight

    I had an older brother (+4 years) who had many health issues and died when he was 10. I was not the first child, but wasn’t the middle one either, exactly. Up to 6 years old, my parents thought I was a miracle (they had tried really hard for a second child, and when I turned out healthy, they couldn’t believe it), but I also grew up in the shadow of a child that was hospitalized and needed all the love he could get.
    Three years after I was born came my sister. Again, our parents had stopped trying for another child, but there it was! I loved being an older sister (but not too much older, just enough that I could teach her how to be naughty, and play school with her), and I now love having a sister that’s closer to my age (I’m now 31 and she’s 28). Because of the school system here, I was always not too far, yet not too close. My school buddies had siblings that were her school mates, so now we sometimes all go out together! It’s fun, no complaints!
    However, does that really matter? What matters is that you make it work in the best way possible, that you see the positive side to your situation, and enjoy the ride!

  • Holly

    My sister and I are five years apart. Growing up we never were competitive, but at the same time it was definitely hard to relate to each other. We were always pretty close, but it felt like she was so much older than me, even like a mom at times. As she went off to college, it seemed like we slowly were becoming less and less close. I was under the impression that she was “too cool” for me and I didn’t want to bother her with my middle school/high school problems so I never really reached out to her.

    Now that we both are in our 20s and although we still are five years apart in age, we can relate so much! After talking to her, I realized that even though she was away at college, she still cared and wanted to be in my life. Ultimately, I am so happy to have a sibling five years older than me. I have been able to learn and live through her as she has gone through the tough times so I wouldn’t have to. We are as close as we have ever been and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

  • Alice Tremea

    I am 2 1/2 years older than my sister, and I don’t exactly recommend it! There was always rivalry and fighting. We were not close enough that we were on the same “phases”, nor spaced enough so we didn’t compete. But my two male cousins with the same age gap got along really well. Maybe it is a boys/girls thing? Or maybe me and sis just had way too big personalities for our age lol

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