Age gap 1.5 - 3 years

Done before I know. But can anyone with an age gap of anywhere between 1.5 and 3 years tell me the pros and cons? That's the kind of age range we're looking at, should everything go to plan of course! But not sure whether to have one sooner or leave it later.


  • I don't have any experience as yet but, all being well, i will have a 25 month gap. We wanted between 2 and 3 years.

    P is currently 18 months and i think i'd struggle with a newborn at the moment. She still demands so much of my attention and isn't really old enough to understand that she might have to wait whilst i feed a baby etc. I hope by 2 she'll be more independent and she'll also be able to communicate more easily.

    That said i think you just get on with whatever you have and that becomes the norm to you. Our plan was just to wait until the minimum gap you'd like (2 years for us) and go for it, we were lucky we got pregnant quickly.  

  • I have a 2y7m age gap between #1 and #2 and a 3y1m age gap between #2 and #3. Pros for me of the larger gap are that the older ones have been toilet trained before the baby arrived, mostly not needing a pushchair anymore and generally able to help out more and be more independent with their own care and play. I've no experience of the smaller age gap but I'm sure there are different pros for that too - like AR says, I think you just make the best of whatever life hands you.

  • I think all age gaps have their pros and cons. we have 2.4yrs between ours and i'm glad it wasn't much less (had originally wanted a 18m age gap but didn't feel ready to get pregnant again when our eldest was only 9m!). biased as I had twins but the benefit of him walking well, just about potty trained, not on bottles etc was huge - basically he wasn't a 'baby' in any way which I think helped him not feel as pushed out by the new arrivals. also he was able to help - bring me nappies, retrieve lost dummies while I was feeding the other etc. now they are 3.7yrs and 15m they are starting to play together which is lovely too. I would dearly love another and if I can talk H into it would be around 3yr gap this time as I think it would be sensible to get S into school and the twins to pre-school before I incapacitate myself with SPD again!!

  • I have a 17.5m gap. It's proper hard work. They're both in nappies, C doesn't always understand I need to give O attention and sometimes gets jealous and takes it out on me or him (biting me, slapping him). BUT.

    O adores C already, he really laughs at her and C loves making him laugh. C loves cuddling him too and I think the hard work that it is now will absolutely pay off when they're older. I'm getting the baby years out of the way, I'm totally used to being sleep deprived so haven't necessarily been as shocked by the tiredness this time around. All the baby stuff we had for C is still relatively new so we've had to buy virtually nothing (apart from boy clothes!)

    Mostly, WEES about starting to TTC when you reach the age gap you would be happy with. I probably wouldn't have had such a small age gap - O was, ahem, a surprise package, but I wouldn't change it now.

  • We have 3 years which is more than we wanted as the gap between Lucas and William would have been 27 months. Anyway there's just 3 years and its worked our great as L had his free hours at nursery so I could give Isaac my undivided attention rather than have a toddler to deal with too, he was dry day and night too so only one lot of nappies and he actually understood there was a baby coming. Also he could feed himself and I could totally understand what he said.

    Everyone is different though so what works for some wont for others.

    We will ttc again to try for the same gap, they play so well together now and I like the fact that L is at school and I can have time with Isaac and he has me all to himself iyswim

  • My ideal would be 1.5 years. This is because I absolutely hate being pregnant, I really find it hard and I think the longer the gap the less likely I would be to consider doing it again; and also because I would prefer to keep the 'baby craziness' to as short a timespan as possible. I love little people more than I love babies and would prefer them to be playmates as much as possible.

    That said, I can't control any of these things so we'll see. I suspect that of your options, 2.5-3.0 years would be best in terms of little one understanding and needing less hands-on care.

  • I don't think there's a perfect gap tbh. I've got most people's idea of hell with 12.5 months but I'm definitely one of those that thinks the longer I leave it the less likely we will have more. I don't enjoy the newborn days and I wouldn't want to stop and start over again. That's just my opinion though. I'm also thinking that now I should be 34 weeks pregnant and actually the idea fills me with dread a bit about having a two and a half year old and a three and a half year old. They are mega hard work at the moment and this has probably been my hardest stage so far with their ages. That and a newborn would be a killer for me right now. At least with the small age gap it meant that E was only recently mobile and not into picking him up etc. I'd dread that.

  • I've got a 25 months age gap and it was hard work to begin with as O hit the 'terrible twos' when L was about 3 weeks old. It's been hard for him too as he doesn't fully understand that I can't give him my full attention, so he would play up and get told off. However, he absolutely adores L and wants to cuddle her, show her his toys and she's starting to get to the age of getting involved, even though it's just examining O's toys.

    When we do start on #3, there will be a slightly bigger age gap (hopefully 2.5 years) which would get L over the initial 2yo stage, but she might have other ideas!

  • I've got a 18 month gap and being pregnant was harder than the newborn days I'd say. A was still bfing when I was 6 months pregnant and didn't walk until I was about 4 months so 1st tri tiredness was a nightmare. And I'd say she was a very easy baby/toddler. L was a nightmare newborn, fed literally all night so I had no energy at all for A. She was dumped in nursery 2 days a week for my sanity!

    This time we will have a few weeks short of 4 years as the gap and I'm guessing it will be easier (she says in hope!)

  • Oh lots of food for thought, thank you everyone. I see what people are saying about it being a bit easier with a bigger gap but I'm one of those that would like to get the baby years and sleep dep out of the way! When I look into the future I do see two children very close in age but I'm just not sure I'm ready yet for another one/another pregnancy? Perhaps I should go back to work in January and see how it's going then, that would push the gap closer to 2 years.

  • Oh and A is going to nursery 2.5 days a week when I go back to work and we wouldn't take him out while I'm on mat leave for number 2, as I want him to keep the routine rather than dipping in and out of nursery. So I'd have time alone with the new baby, time with both of them and hopefully my mum (who wants to retire soon) and my H can manage to give me some time alone with A too.

  • We're aiming for a 27+ month age gap. I do feel that things might be easier with a bigger age gap, say 4 years, but I think that if we were to leave it too long, I wouldn't want to return to the 'baby stage'. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and, although it'll be hard work, I definitely think the right thing for us is to have #2 sooner rather than later.

  • Childcare is another factor to consider - my gaps have meant that I've never had to have two in nursery at any time as I've been able to use funded preschool hours and cheaper wraparound care at school. I'm not suggesting that small gaps are in any way a bad thing but it's worth thinking about whether you can manage two in nursery financially or whether family would be able to manage two if they are your childcare. Equally with big gaps and children in different childcare settings, it's worth considering the logistics of dropping off and picking up in more than one place.

  • I have a 19 month gap between #1 and #2

    Two in nappies still which some people might see as a negative

    Older one still have afternoon nap so there was time when they were both asleep or just one was awake.

    I needed a double buggy as we lives in Central London and walked everywhere (this might not be an issue outside of a large city)

    Still have to help the older one with dressing, some feeding etc

    My older one has no memory of ever being the only one so they play really well together, always look out for each other if they are in a playground, soft play etc never had any jealousy issues

    I (just!) have a 3 year gap between #2 and #3 and 4

    The 3 year old is really helpful, can amuse herself but also can get me things, helps with nappy changing etc, would happily amuse the babies whilst I nipped to the loo.

    Don't need a double buggy as the 3 year old can walk (or go on buggy board)*. Only one set of nappies, 3 year old can dress herself, feed herself

    I like both age gaps

    *Obviously I do need a double buggy as I have #3 and #4 together but I meant for the 3 year gap!

  • I have 2 yrs 7 months, but was aiming for 3 yrs (didn't expect things to happen so soon after having problems previously) and would have preferred to have had a few more months gap. C was horrible when S was born, age rather than having a new sibling related, wouldn't follow instructions and was generally defiant and hard work. However, she was toilet trained and I've managed with a carrier and a buggy board, so didn't bother with a double pushchair. Since she's turned 3, she's gradually matured and while she still has her moments, on the whole she's been much easier (thankfully as S is hard work now she's on the move). Not planning a 3rd, but I certainly wouldn't want less than a 3 yr gap if I change my mind.

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