The Pros and Cons of Large Age Gaps between Siblings

There has been a constant debate amongst experts regarding when to have your children – closer together or a good few years apart? Obviously, the ‘perfect time’ will differ from family to family. However, with this in mind, we discuss the pros and cons of larger age gaps between siblings below.

While many people argue that siblings who are close in age develop a closer bond, children who are born years apart develop a different kind of bond – and a bond that is just as special. While these siblings may not reach certain milestones at the same time, the older sibling will be able to provide the younger sibling with support, advice and understanding, often resulting in the development of a strong, life-long connection.

Another pro is the fact that mum and dad will get to savour all of the special moments of each child’s young journey through life without feeling as though they have to divide their time equally between two kids. Knowing this, sibling rivalry is unlikely to be a problem in the future, as each child will have received plenty of attention and affection during his / her formative years.

Along with this, another advantage is the fact that parents will only have to deal with sleep deprivation for short periods of time; and mum will be able to dedicate more time to her career. From a cost-perspective, large age gaps are often best. Parents will be able to save up between births and are thus less likely to feel as much of a strain on their purse-strings when compared to parents with children who are closer together in age.

In terms of cons, family outings can be difficult, as both children will want and need totally different things – and certain age-specific activities will be completely unsuitable for one or the other. However, this can be remedied with adequate planning.

Depending on how large the age gap between your kids actually is, you are still in for plenty of hard work. If there is a –four to five year difference, you will be running after a toddler while trying to look after a new-born at the same time. If there are six+ years difference, you will be doing other tiring activities, such as taking and fetching your eldest from school, doing homework, taking care of laundry after soccer practice (don’t forget your Comfort fabric softener!) etc., while trying to look after a new-born.

Ultimately, even with the aforementioned cons in mind, there really isn’t anything better than watching your eldest give your youngest a cuddle after he / she has stumbled whilst learning how to walk. This sense of teamwork and loving family dynamic is the reason why so many mums are opting for larger age gaps between their children. However, the question is – is it the right choice for you and your family? Educate yourself, speak to your partner, weigh up all of the pros and cons, and you are sure to make the right choice for your little growing family.