How far apart should I space out my kids? {Pros and Cons}

how far to space out your kids

I am a mom to 3 boys: ages 2, 8 and (newly 11).  I have had my children very close together (a little over 2 years apart) and farther apart (6 years).  Both of these scenarios have many pros and cons that I want to share with you, as you decide how far you should space out your kids.

Our first child (Josiah) was not planned at all but, our second (Sion) was.  We wanted them to be close in age so, having them close to 2.5 years apart meant we had to start trying around 1½.  Now if you have a one year old you know they still seem like a baby and it seems crazy to take on another child but, that’s what you have to do to have them closer together.  Here are some pros that I’ve noticed for having them close together:

PRO’s:

  • They truly become best friends.  Life gets easier.  They officially have a playmate other than YOU! From the second we brought our 2nd child home, Josiah was mesmerized and so excited to have another little person in the house.Whether it’s just playing toys, at the park or on vacation they have someone their size to enjoy life with!
  • You get a break.  You don’t have to play with them and entertain them nonstop. You can relax a little more as their sibling becomes their source of entertainment.  They truly become best friends.
  • You have less guiltI used to always feel guilty with my first if I didn’t want to push him on the swings at the playground or get on the ground to play trucks & cars.  Now, that he had a sibling, I didn’t feel guilty when I needed to do other things because he always had someone to play with.

CON’s:

  • Exhaustion becomes your constant state.  I barely remember the first 2 years of having 2 kids! It was such a blur due to being so tired all the time.  I hadn’t potty trained my oldest so, I had 2 in diapers and neither one could do too much for themselves so, I was always on my feet.  I was also adjusting to breastfeeding, not sleeping AT ALL at night and dealing with the “terrible two’s.”
  • “Sleep when the baby sleep” disappears.  There were so many days where I really needed a nap from waking up every few hours with the baby but, there were days that my toddler would protest a nap and I would spend so much time getting him to sleep and by that time the baby was up! I learned to function on so little sleep, it truly is a miracle.
  • You have to split your time.  With our first child, everything was poured into him (1rst children are so lucky!) and our parent to child ratio was 2:1.  It then changed to 2:2 where we had to tag team everything.  My husband and I would always have one child and the other would take care of the other child.  It was always a swap and, because they were so young we were always on “duty.”  Neither could be left alone.  We didn’t rest unless they were asleep.

pros and cons to spacing out kids

My most recent experience was having kids farther apart.  We both said we wanted 2 but, when my youngest went to kindergarten I wanted to have one more cute & cuddly baby..so we did! His name is Silas.  That means it was 6 years since we had a little baby in the house.  Here are the pro’s & con’s:

PRO’s:

  • You have helpers! Omg, this has been the best.  The older boys run and get me whatever I need for this little guy so, that I didn’t have to always be “on my feet” like with my other kids.  These boys are such big helpers & it blesses me daily.  My life is so much easier when they are around.
  • You have 2 playmates.  I have heard this is rare with boys, but my boys ADORE their baby brother.  They are borderline obsessed with him & have been since we brought him home!  They are always playing with him & keeping him occupied for me to get more things done.  I get so sad when they are at school, because they are such a great help to me!  If one doesn’t feel like playing, it’s awesome that Silas has a second option in brothers to entertain him.
  • You appreciate everything like you never have before! After having kids grow older, you realize just how quickly this stage passes.  I realize that I won’t have a baby again or go through all these special stages.  When I had 2 closer together, I rushed them in many ways to grow up (walk & talk) to make life easier.  However, with Silas I find that I soak up every little minute because, now I’ve experienced how quickly the minutes pass by and before I know it he will be as big as them! {tear}

CON’S:

  • He doesn’t always have a play mate.  When my older boys head to school, he doesn’t have someone to play with for most of the day other than me or when I schedule play dates.  Also, my older boys play super well with him but, sometimes don’t want to play with “toddler” toys which can leave him alone.
  • You are starting over.  We had just gotten to the point of “self-sufficiency” with our older 2 boys, and then we went back to the stage of doing everything for another human being.  It felt like we had a whole new freedom that we traded in for another baby.  So, that was definitely an adjustment.
  • You are older.  It doesn’t matter what age you start having kids, if you wait and have a longer gap…..you will be older.  Meaning, you are more tired and don’t have the same spunk you may have had 5+ years prior.  You really notice the difference in your body from pregnancy through the toddler years (where I currently am) and everything seems to take a lot more energy.

I am borderline obsessed with these 3 boys, they are such a blessing to my life! There were definitely pros and cons between having our kids close together and spacing them far apart but, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  To be honest, I struggled finding the con’s because, there were WAY more positives than I listed to both scenarios!

So, whether you decide to have all your kiddos close together or far apart, I’m sure it will be PERFECT for your family!!

Blessings!

XOXO

* If you’re looking for another article on family & raising these little blessings, check out ““How to raise grateful kids.”

How far should I space out my kids? Pros and cons

Comments

What do you think?

55 Comments:
October 17, 2016

I had my first 2 together & when I had Naomi I knew she needed someone to grow up with (Julia 15, Jacob 13, Naomi 9 & Mateo 7!). when thinking through your pros I couldn’t think of any cons except the age difference at amusement parks.

October 17, 2016

Aww thanks for sharing! LOL Yes that is a true con! LOL

October 17, 2016

Beautiful boys!! Thanks for sharing your perspective on the different age gaps!

October 17, 2016

Thanks so much hun!! Appreciate it!

October 17, 2016

So. Exhausted! We have four, and our ages are 4, 3, and 1 year old twins… so we obviously spaced ours pretty close together. I love your pros and can totally identify with the cons as well!

October 17, 2016

Aww that is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

October 17, 2016

I think every family is spaced just the way it was intended! Thank you for sharing!

October 17, 2016

Yes! Exactly my point! 🙂

October 17, 2016

My boys are 7 years apart so I understand the GAP. Though, I love the starting over piece. I was reminded of all the things I had forgotten. Though, I have to admit – the age thing does matter. I am an older mom now and do not have the energy I had with the first boy. Though – it is a blessing no matter what stage. 🙂

October 17, 2016

LOL Yes! My energy level is definitely less but, I love how much I cherish the baby after it being so long!

October 17, 2016

LOL Yes! I second that with the energy but, it’s such a blessing to appreciate the baby stage like never before.

October 17, 2016

I have a very similar spread, 7, 5 and 1. I loved having the first two close together but am so glad the littlest one waited. I feel like I finally know what I am doing this time around and am really enjoying the baby stage like never before.

October 17, 2016

That is so great! Yes, I feel the same! I’m grateful for how they are spaced for sure but, can see the benefits in whatever someone decides!

October 17, 2016

I did the same thing you did, Jehava. I have 2 sets of closely spaced siblings that are spread far apart. I have 2 older girls 15 & 13, 2 younger boys 5 & 2, and a baby arriving in December! There are pros and cons for both, but ultimately I’m thankful that God plans our families. Blessings!

October 17, 2016

Oh wow what a blessed woman you are!! Yes, there are more pros than cons for sure with both scenarios!

October 17, 2016

My husband and I are always trying to think about what the best case scenario would be. I really want my kids close together so they have a playmate but I don’t want to be a walking zombie either. Ah! I just gotta decide what’s more important

October 17, 2016

LOL Yea they both really are great scenarios and have more pros than cons but, you have to decide which things are most important!

I’ve got a mixed bag of age gaps (18, 15, 9, 7 & 3) and can so relate to all your pros and cons across all contingencies!

October 18, 2016

Wow you are a pro at this! LOL and I’m sure you can 🙂

October 17, 2016

I had mine 25 months apart, and I wish I had given it at least 3 years. Lots of reasons, but I think my oldest just needed more solo time before adding a sibling.

October 18, 2016

Aww yea you can only know what’s best for your family but, I’m sure it will turn out perfectly!

October 18, 2016

This is so helpful! I’m due with my 2nd in February, and my girls will be exactly 2.5 years apart. Trying to prepare myself for the exhaustion, but so excited for them to be close! Ps – your boys are adorable!

October 18, 2016

Aww thank so much!! You will be ok! That gap isn’t too bad! I have friends with 18 months! LOL

October 18, 2016

You read my mind. I was just thinking of this as I woke up today. My son turns 8 in two days, and his little sister is 3. I thought far apart would be easy – and while it has in some ways – the emotional part has been harder for my son. It was hard – and still is – for him to share his space and parents! Also, he struggles with her still being a baby – he thinks she should know it all by now. But like you said, no matter what – I am blessed with what God chose for me. I am borderline obsessed too!

October 18, 2016

AWW thanks for sharing! There are definitely struggles with both decisions but, I’m sure you made the right one for your family! God knew what He was doing and it will work out great!

October 18, 2016

Two years between the first two and three years between the second and last child. What works for a couple is their business. This worked for us.

October 18, 2016

That is great! Sounds like a perfect pick for your family! There is no right or wrong answer, having them close or far apart both have many pros!

October 18, 2016

I too had them close together, I have five children, ages 1,2,3,4 +9 so when you say “constant state of exhaustion” I can second that! I find it really boils down to time management and getting in your mommy time outs, because we moms want to have fun with them too! We cant be overwhelmed with tasks and exhaustion or we will miss out on so much! Great post

October 18, 2016

Aww wow you are super mama! LOL Yes, the constant state of exhaustion really starts to change around 5 so you are soo close! You will make it and it will get soooo much easier because, you had them close!

October 18, 2016

Love this post! What a beautiful family. I’m hoping when baby #2 happens for us, we have another boy (then I will need to know where you got that outnumbered shirt). I appreciate your perspective, my husband and I are thinking we will do the same timing as you did with your first two, but I definitely feel a little nervous about it!

October 18, 2016

That’s awesome! Thank you so much! I definitely see the benefits of having all your kids close together or spacing them out!I’m sure you will make the perfect decision for your family!

October 18, 2016

Fascinating! Mine are barely 16 months apart and our family is complete, so that is all I will experience. I love the way it turned out, but it would’ve been great to experience the helpers and a single baby on his own.

October 18, 2016

Yes! I’m sure you will be pleased with that age gap too! Definitely many pros to that!

October 18, 2016

I have 7 and the closest are 22 months and the furthest 3 yrs and 2 months. Under two years is too close for having babies but as they get older I wish some of them were closer together, like one would always get their license before the one above goes to college and that they would be on the same sports teams more often . Not something you think about when HAVING them.

October 18, 2016

LOL Yea everyone doesn’t always get to weigh the pros and cons but, all situations have their benefits!

October 18, 2016

We wanted our kids to be less than 3 years apart too, so we started trying when our oldest was 1 1/2 years old as well. Now that I think about it I should have had my head examined because we ended up with twins. LOL. So my 2nd and 3rd are only 2 minutes apart. But now that we have made it out of the baby phase, I wouldn’t change a thing. 😉

October 18, 2016

LOL That’s awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

Mine are 8.5 years apart (planned due to job training and living far away from family) and it is AWESOME! I have a built in helper/babysitter/second pair of hands. They never fight and my younger idolizes my older. Yes, going back to diapers and sleepless nights was tough, but we were older, wiser, more financially sound and overall was a GREAT decision!

October 18, 2016

YesI couldn’t agree more! With my last child there are a lot of plus’s to having a bigger gap as well!

October 18, 2016

I can relate to having them spaced out. I had mine 4 years apart which I feel is really working for us. Luckily the oldest is really into his baby brother, even though he cannot play Star Wars and smash Light Sabers with him yet. Oh and the help! That has really been nice. Asking big man to grab a burp cloth for me while I battle the geyser of spit up rolling down my shirt. Life saver

October 18, 2016

That’s fantastic and sounds like you guys are experiencing alot of positives with that choice! So happy for you!

October 18, 2016

I love this. I’m at the very beginning of the process of starting to think about the next baby–current one is 6 months. I really would love to have two close in age for exactly the reasons you mentioned!

October 18, 2016

Aww that is such an exciting time!! Yes, whatever you decide I’m sure will be so great for your guys!!

October 18, 2016

We ended up doing it both ways. On January 12th next year we will have a 3 year old, two 4 year olds (not twins), an 11 year old, a 12 year old, a 14 year old and a 25 year old. The 25 and 14 year olds are mine from previous relationships, the 11 and 12 year olds are my wife’s previous and the three littles are ours together.

You pretty much nailed everything spot on. In all honesty, I I think i’d recommend 3 or so years between them. Three toddlers is exhausting.

October 19, 2016

Oh wow you could of written this post better than me! LOL Yes, it can be exhausting but, both have their benefits!

October 19, 2016

I loved reading this post. My two girls are 2.5 years apart. My baby just turned 1 and I have no idea if I want or when I want another child. Regardless of my decision though, everything will be ok 🙂

October 19, 2016

Aww thanks so much! Yes! It really will! Both are great ideas! Waiting or doing it now! Good luck!

October 24, 2016

I love this! It really made me think about what I want for my family. I really think I want them close together in age so they can grow up together (since we only want two- we think?!) Thanks so much for sharing this! Your boys are precious!

October 24, 2016

Thanks so much!! Your the sweetest and yes, I’m sure you will choose perfectly!

October 24, 2016

My girls are a year apart, but now I am in a second relationship and if we have kids there will be an 8+ year gap between my daughters and any new bubba, which kind of scares me.

Thanks for the pros and cons.

October 24, 2016

Oh don’t be scared! It will work out great! There are many pro’s for sure!

October 27, 2016

I have three boys that are all 2 years apart. Exhaustion for sure! However, I love seeing how close they are to each other.

October 27, 2016

YES! The pro’s are definitely worth it!

November 13, 2016

Not too far away from them, because they need your help. And not too close to them, because they need their own space.

November 13, 2016

LOL good point!

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