Is There Really A Perfect Age Gap?

Nowadays, there a lot of talk about family planning and sibling age gaps. Today, we're asking if the perfect age gap exists.

We talk a lot about age gaps. What is the perfect age gap for both children and parents, or is there even one?

We know that really, there are pros and cons to every situation and each age gap.

It is usually the second pregnancy when parents start to think about age gaps and some plan very carefully. Other parents just like to “see what happens,” which can sometimes end up with a bit of a shock! Then there are the parents that have difficulty getting pregnant again. So really, even with the best of intentions, sometimes your children’s age gaps are out of your control.

Other times, age may be a huge factor and the mother’s age may mean closer age gaps are a must. 

But if you are planning your family and wondering what the perfect age gap is, consider the following:

  • There is no perfect age gap. It doesn’t exist. An age gap that suits your sister or best friend may be perfect for her family but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be for yours. 
  • You will need the space, so you may have to move if things get a little crowded with another one.
  • Your car-  Most cars are not equipped for large families. Will adding another one mean you have to upgrade?
  • Cost. Sometimes parents wait a few years before adding to their brood so they are in a better financial position. Children are expensive.
Brother and sister hugging eachother.
An age gap that suits your sister or best friend may be perfect for her family but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be for yours.
  • Are you ready? Being pregnant, giving birth and adjusting to life with a new-born is challenging. Your body and mind need time to fully recover from that. Some mums just don’t feel ready to have another for some time. Both physically and mentally. 
  • You have more on your plate. You never fully appreciate your first pregnancy until you are pregnant on your second. When you have a little one in tow everything is just that little bit more difficult. You may still be having sleepless nights and you will definitely have less time to rest with a little one to look after. 

What does the research say? 

An age gap of less than two years usually means there is a strong possibility that siblings will grow up to be great friends. Especially through their school years. 

An age gap of three to four years may mean your first child’s understanding of things may make them jealous of the new baby. Although they will be better able to play by themselves when you are busy with baby, sibling rivalry may become an issue.

An age gap of 4+ years will mean your older child will most likely be in school,  meaning you have more time to spend with baby while they’re in school. It may be tougher on the parents though, as they will be used to their free time again and out of sleepless nights.

No matter what the age gap, you cope. You get on with it and you make it work. As mentioned, a perfect age gap just does not exist. You just have to do what is best for you and for your family - and have a little faith in Mother Nature.

Laura Doyle

Mum of four, Gentle parent living on coffee and trying always to stay positive and motivate in the midst of the madness.

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