Anyone with kids 5+ years apart in age? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Anyone with kids 5+ years apart in age?

Can you share with me a little bit about their age difference, how it impacts your family dynamic and what their relationship is like?

 

 

Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
Total score: 6 pregnancies, 5 losses, 2 amazing blessings that I'm thankful for every single day.

Re: Anyone with kids 5+ years apart in age?

  • I am interested too! My daughter will be 5 before Little Man. Definitely would love the advice/insight!
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  • Kaisa07Kaisa07 member

    My boys are 13 and 11, DD is 4 .. (they will all have b-days shortly after LO arrives)

    The boys are just shy of 2 yrs apart and like most "close" siblings, they have their moments .. sometimes they can be best friends, other times they fight like there is no tomorrow .. they were 9 and 7 when I had DD .. all during my pregnancy they were worried they were going to be totally replaced .. but the minute they laid eyes on their little sister, they were hooked ..

    Both of the boys are super protective over their little sister .. they like to "cuddle" up with her in the mornings to watch cartoons (so cute) and they'll even argue over who gets to cuddle her.  I never imagined they would do some of the things they do for her .. I always get a little chuckle over my teen/preteen boys having a tea party ..

    As for the new baby .. my oldest cannot wait .. he's been asking to pack a diaper bag since I hit the 20w mark and constantly reminds me of what is left to do to get ready for her arrival ..

    I never thought I would love having my kids so far apart, but I do .. it can be really helpful at times .. it can be a PITA at times too .. my boys were so protective over DD they would get pissed at me when she had to get shots and whatnot (lol) .. In a lot of ways they try to be little parents too .. I am hoping DD doesn't have jealousy issues with the new baby coming .. We'll see how that goes ..

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  • My sister and I were 5 years apart.  My own kids are almost exactly 4 years apart.  They dynamic is not all that different.

    On the downside:  One kid is clearly bigger, smarter, stronger, and more capable than the other.  Parents may feel the need to defend or compensate for the little guy.  In a family with this age spread, the "baby" of the family can really seem like a baby compared to everyone else.  I find myself constantly fighting to hold my youngest child to the same expectations I had for the oldest at a given age.  I think when kids are 2 years apart, the little one tries hard to emulate the older kid(s) and it prevents the parents from babying the youngest too much.  When there's a wider age spread and the baby can't possibly do all that the older one(s) can, the little one is more resigned to being less capable.

    On the upside:  They are at such different stages that I can devote my full time and attention to their needs.  This was especially true when they were toddlers.  When DD was in the terrible 2s, DS wasn't born yet.  When DS was there, she was in school all day, and I had lots of one-on-one time with him at this key stage.

    Also, they're really individuals with separate lives, interests, and friends.  Now that my DD is in middle school, they'll never attend the same school at the same time again.  Each one gets to establish a separate relationship with the school.  The temptation to enroll them in the same activities, just for convenience' sake, is pretty much impossible -- there are very few activities that are open to such a wide age range. 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • DD will be 5 in 2 weeks and DS2 is almost 8 weeks old.  DS1 will be 7 in August too.  So far, so good.  They love him, sometimes a little too much.  DD's feelings were a little more immature than DS1.  No jealousy, but afraid the baby would take mom away from her, afraid DS1 wasn't going to want to play with her anymore and little things like that.  DS1 loves him so much, it's really been surprising and awesome to see.  It's all worked itself out over time.

    The only thing that has been tough for us is that I really cannot be home alone with all 3 all day long.  The big ones start to get stir crazy (understandable) and annoyed by the baby crying.  So, if DH is going OOT, I will need help until DS2 is bigger.  Usually he takes one or both of the big ones with him to run errands or do work around the house so that this doesn't happen.

     

    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • Mine are 17,5 and 3 months (boy,boy, girl). Ds1 is busy a lot. He goes to his dads every other weekend, takes honors classes and has a job. He is pretty close to ds2. They aggravate the crap out of each other but ds2 idolizes his brother and ds1 loves it. Ds1 is scared to hold babies so he mainly just looks and talks to dd. Ds2 loves dd but is a little jealous. He never takes it out on her he just acts out for our attention. Ds2 loves to 'help' with her (getting diapers, rinsing paci's off). She lights up when she sees him. It melts my heart. The biggest issue we have is when I need to attend events for ds1. They are often after the little kids bedtime. Also when he goes out with friends waiting up for him(till11) is tough. It was hard in the first 6 weeks when I was nursing hourly and she was colicky. I really wasn't able to give ds2 a lot if attention. Dh has really stepped up in what he does around the house. But really the difference in the 2 younger kids is great. Ds2 understands being easy with her and being quiet. So it works for us.
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  • Mine will be almost exactly 9 years apart. I'll let you know soon, lol! So far, my oldest is VERY excited and loves the idea of a baby brother.
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  • Mine are 11, 6,and 8 months.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  They all got their chance to be the baby and they are very close, despite the age difference.  We love having little helpers!
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  • My DD was almost 5 when DS was born.  I LOVE the age gap.  She is old enough to be independent and help out.  She loves playing with her brother and is so cute with him.  She doesn't get jealous of him when I had to nurse or anything, she would go play or watch TV.   DD is in dance so on dance nights, DH does DS's night routine and I take her to dance.  It really hasn't changed the family dynamic much. 
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  • I know this post is older, but I'll reply anyway. DD and DS are 6y2m apart.

    I will note that DD is a special case as she has sensory issues, ADHD, and anxiety issues... honestly, it's part of the reason why we have such a large age gap.

    We did everything under the sun to prepare her for the arrival of DS, and she was over the moon excited for him to come. Of course, once he arrived, there was a definite moment where she was like, "Oh, he's not that much fun right now."

    She is very very loving and doting, but can also be very jealous. For example, when we are out in public as a family, DD will say loudly, "Isn't he just the cutest thing ever?!" about DS and get people to look at her via him (if that makes sense). When people are paying attention to him, she gets RIGHT THERE in it. I have so many videos of me capturing a moment and then her face covers the camera. ;) We do have boundary issues which can be stressful, especially as he's getting older. She's very loving, but that expression is very in-his-face. Like, 6" from his face. And he's getting very good at defending himself from her getting too close (hitting, screeching, etc.) So that's been a lot of work--defining boundaries. We have also had times where she'd say we don't pay attention to her as much as we do him. Honestly, we just explain to her that she had 6 years of our life with us and he will never have any time "just us." And also we tell her how we did similar things with her/to her when she was a baby.

    But oh my goodness do they love each other. Usually when we get home from work/after school/daycare, the two of them crawl around our floors playing like a "tag" game just giggling and being so silly. And DS approaches DD on his own terms and gives her hugs, brushes her hair, etc. It's very sweet.

    I really like the spacing--it worked well for us, although I never really wanted to have children so far apart.

    If you have any more specific questions, I can try to answer them!

     

    ETA: just looking at your sig I see you have a similar dynamic to my family growing up, so I thought I'd touch on it from THAT perspective.

    My older bro and I are 14 months apart. My younger bro is 5 years younger than older bro, and almost 4 years younger than me. My older bro and I were practically raised like twins. My mom hoarded matching outfits, we were each other's constant playmates. We were best friends. When my little brother arrived, it was like, "What is this other kid here for? What do we need him for?" And honestly, we ignored him. He tried SO HARD as we got older to earn our friendship/approval... but we just ignored him, picked on him, etc. I hate thinking about it, but it's how we were. My parents saw that divisiveness and they spoiled my little brother to sort of "make up" for the fact that we didn't pay much attention to him. And that spoiling made the division even bigger... As we're older, I see how my older bro and I shaped my little bro's personality. He's got no backbone, really. He'll go along with anything anyone says. He's attention-starved, and will do anything to make a friend, even when it meant getting into trouble. My mom says now she always wished she could have had another child to "pair up" with my little brother. 

    Mom to J (10), L (4), and baby #3 arriving in July of 2015
  • LO1 turned 6 a month after LO2 was born in March. 

    I love how helpful LO1 is. He helps with chores and the baby. He understands why his little sister needs more attention at times. He is in love with her and is so proud, not jealous or resentful. He is at the age where he has a ton of activities and has his own interests so I dont feel the need to constantly entertain him. 

     I don't like all the questions. I breastfeed... It took him a little bit to wrap his head around the fact milk comes out of my breast but once he did he told everyone he knew how awesome it was.  

    All in all I won't change a thing about their age difference. We won't wait quite as long for the next on tho.  

    Working, Breastfeeding, Unmedicated Birthing Mother of Two.
  • Mine are just about 7 years apart. its been FANTASTIC. My older son (Aldan) was very ready to have a sibling and treats his brother very nicely. Aldan has been very hands on with helping out with his baby brother. They take baths together and like all the same foods and little brother is finally being able to really play with him so its even more fun. When Aldan is tired of having little bro around he goes an plays with the neighbor or in his room and Jonah knows how to play by himself just as well. Its been a great experience with us.

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  • As of this month I will have a 12 year old G, a 9 year old G and a 21 month old G.  The two oldest have usually gotten along fine - although as oldest DD is approaching puberty - it's getting a little more difficult.  Both girls adore their little sister, although she's still in the baby stage.  I love how they interact with her though.

    In my family, when I was born I had a sister 14, brother 13, sister 11 and brother 9.  Growing up it was like I had 6 parents.  When I was 6, my oldest brother died in a car accident - after that I got super close with my other brother.  As he was the baby of the family for so long, he still had that personality, even after I was born (I was the youngest and more like an only child )  

    By the time I finished high school I started spending a lot of time with my oldest sister, who had toddlers.  The older I got the closer we became.  We are super close now, talk on the phone all the time, see each other.  I adore her children and she adores mine - she treats my youngest like a grandchild - her oldest picks up mine from school 1x a week for tutoring!  It's a wonderful relationship.  I'm not as close with my brother - but we do go on a summer vacation together every year - i love him dearly, it's just not the same as sisters.  My middle sister moved away when I was in middle school and we're just not close.

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  • I have two daughters, one 13 and one 8, with one more one the way. I have never regretted spacing them like we did- DD1 has adored her little sister since day one, and even now that she is a teenager they still hang out and play everyday. DD2 got what most of her friends want- a cool, older sister. Each had "their own time" to be the baby, and having them both at very different stages of development was really helpful for us. Both are very excited for the new arrival of little sis and have volunteered to share a room, but I am holding off on that so they can adjust to the new family dynamic before they lose their privacy and get put together. I know it won't stay all pollyanna and sunshine around here for long if they are together right off the bat. :)

    Carting them to their various activities can be a strain, but then I think they are are just involved in too many things. It does help to have an older responsible daughter to help out- I work full time, so she meets her sister from school most days (in case I get caught in traffic) and we all meet along the way and go home together.  It can work- if you have the right personalities. I think we lucked out.

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