Mind The Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids’ Age Gap

Mind the Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids' Age Gap

Growing up, I always thought I would have two kids and they would be two years apart. That was the age gap between my older sister and I, and it was the age gap between most of my friends and their siblings. It was almost as though the two year gap was the way it was supposed to be. Fast forward to four days after I’d given birth to The Heir, and someone asked me the question you should never ask a fresh new mom. “When are you going to have another one?” I was still sitting on a soft cushion and the postpartum night sweats hadn’t even started yet… But there it was. I blurted out that it wasn’t even going to be up for discussion until The Heir was two years old. That answer just sort of became the answer to that question which inevitably came up multiple times from multiple people over the first eighteen months of The Heir’s life. After that, people just sort of stopped asking. As it happened, King Dad and I didn’t even want to talk about a second until The Heir was almost two years old anyway, so somehow the answer that I blurted out in the “first week home with a baby” fog became a reality. Fast forward to now and I have two kids almost exactly three years apart (Petit Prince’s due date was one month less a day before The Heir’s birthday). You know what? I LOVE that my kids are three years apart. Granted I have absolutely nothing to compare it to, but in case you’re wondering about when to try for baby #2, I thought I would share my experience with a three year age gap.

I love a lot of things about the age gap between my two boys, but if I had to narrow it down to a top five, these would be them. In no particular order, here they are!

Mind the Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids' Age Gap

1. Only one in diapers.

You know what I was really pleased NOT to be doing when I was pregnant? Potty training The Heir. You know how your sense of smell goes into overdrive when you’re pregnant? Couple that with cleaning up pee and poop accidents, and getting up close and personal with public toilets. Not my idea of a pleasant experience. Potty training required my full attention and my full energy. There was no way I could have done it while newly pregnant just due to sheer exhaustion (super nose aside), and trying to get The Heir on and off a toilet (and wiped) when hugely pregnant doesn’t sound fun either. Potty training with a newborn in the house would have been really challenging as well. Since my kids are three years apart, The Heir was potty trained day AND night before I was even pregnant (heck, before we were even trying to get pregnant). I fully expected The Heir to have a potty regression when the baby arrived, and I was prepared for that. Then it just didn’t happen. I’m guessing this was in large part to his having been potty trained for a year by the time Petit Prince arrived.

Mind the Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids' Age Gap

2. The Heir understood what was happening.

When I was pregnant with Petit Prince, King Dad and I spent a lot of time talking to The Heir about the new baby. We took out lots of “big brother” type books from the library and read them ad nauseam (at The Heir’s request). We also brought The Heir to a couple of the ultrasound appointments. I wouldn’t say he had any understanding of the mechanics of what was really happening, but he did understand that there was a baby in mommy’s tummy, that he or she was going to be his brother or sister, and that he or she was going to be a part of the family and would be living with us. In fact, by the time I was into the third trimester, The Heir asked me every day if today was the day his baby was going to be joining us. He didn’t just understand, but he was EXCITED about the new baby. All that excitement transitioned right into so much love. The Heir didn’t go through a phase of disliking Petit Prince, being jealous, or even acting out on account of the new baby.

Mind the Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids' Age Gap

3. The Heir played independently. 

Now this may just be the way The Heir is because he’s always been fairly independent, but by the time Petit Prince arrived independent play was the name of the game. I created a treasure box of fun activities for The Heir that lived in the nursery so that he could be with us and be entertained during long nursing sessions. The Heir played in his treasure box a few times, but after a short while he much preferred to just play in the play room on his own. If he needed something when I was nursing, he’d come to the nursery and ask for me. This was also really helpful when Petit Prince was napping and I wanted to take a much needed shower. The Heir was totally okay with playing on his own while I hopped into the shower for ten minutes.

Mind the Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids' Age Gap

4. The Heir still napped.

Naps are sacred around here. Nap time is mama time. It’s when I get time to eat, have a cup of tea, throw in a load of laundry, and prep dinner. I know “they” say to nap when the baby naps, but when you have two kids… Ha! Recently, The Heir has started to drop his beloved afternoon nap, but until about a month ago, he was a very consistent napper. He would sleep for 1.5-3 hours from at around 1pm. If things worked out just right, The Heir and Petit Prince would nap at the same time in those early months. This was amazing. In that first month or so, I’d try to get in a small nap if both kids were napping at the same time. It was a gift from the sleep gods and something I desperately needed some days. Other days The Heir’s nap gave me some one on one time with Petit Prince. As a mom of two, I’m very much aware of how little time my youngest gets with my complete undivided attention. The Heir’s nap time gave us that.

Mind the Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids' Age Gap

5. Preschool!

Within two months of Petit Prince’s birth, The Heir started preschool. It is amazing! If he’d been any younger, he wouldn’t have been able to start preschool for another full year (he had to be three by September 1st to start in the Fall of 2015). As challenging as it can be some days to get everyone up and out the door on time for preschool, it is so worth it for Petit Prince and I (and I know The Heir is getting a lot out of it too). Preschool gives me five hours a week where it’s just Petit Prince and I. It’s when we do library classes, it’s when we’ll be doing swimming lessons, and it’s when Petit Prince gets to accompany his mom on various errands. One thing that I was worried about for baby #2 was having the time to do the activities that I did with The Heir. Preschool has given me that time. I can’t really take a three year old with me to a library class for babies under 12 months old. Taking The Heir with us to the pool, but leaving him on the pool deck by himself isn’t an option. Preschool gives us the chance to do all the things I did with The Heir and that alleviates just a little bit of my mom guilt. Grocery shopping with one baby? Oh yes please! Seriously. When I had just one, running errands with him seemed like such a huge task. Now that I have two, only having one of them with me for errands is SO EASY. Thank you preschool!

With nothing to really compare it to, I find that the gap of three years between my two sons is pretty awesome. Knowing what I do now, I wouldn’t do it any other way!

What’s the age gap between your children? What did you like about that age difference?


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21 Comments on “Mind The Gap: Five Things I Love About My Kids’ Age Gap

  1. Great list. My littles are 18 months 3 days apart, and some days I really wish we would have waited just a little while longer.

  2. Mine are almost 5 years apart, I wanted a 2-3 year difference but God had other plans! 😉 I actually LOVE how it turned out, since I had so much time with my sweet boy and when my daughter came along he was so understanding and excited to help with her.

  3. Sounds like timing was on your side! I also had planned on having my children 2 years apart, since that is the age gap between my brother and I, but as it happens, my daughter is now just over 3 years old with no siblings in sight! I was nervous about missing our window, but now I’m not nearly as scared about having a bigger gap!

  4. Although I agree with enjoying the age gap you have, it truly is perfect no matter what…there are so many pros and cons with all age gaps that you truly just have to do what works for you! ( But I will admit, having a couple in school with a couple littles at home is much easier than all at home at once!!)

  5. The plan was to have them 3 years apart, but it didn’t happen that way! I found out baby #2 was on the way a few days after my oldest had his first birthday party.

  6. This was a great read. I always thought that I’d have my kids a year apart like my sister and I. My son is now 3 and Daddy and I have just started talking about having baby number 2. Since we use cloth having 2 in diapers wouldn’t be a problem but our son is almost fully day trained. We feel like it’s time because our son will be starting preschool soon and we feel that with several other family members being pregnant it will be easier to explain to him what’s happening.

  7. Ours are just about 3yrs apart too. He is a great big brother to his little sister. He is her watchdog and is always trying to make her laugh. We lost a baby in between, and while that sucked I’m glad it worked out this way.

  8. I have 3 kids and all of them are 3 years apart. I have a 7 year old, a 4 year old and an almost 1 year old. The gap between them is perfect! I’ve inly had 1 in diapers at a time! Good read!

  9. My kids are 2 years 2 months apart, three years seems a little better! My 2 yr old is still very fussy.

  10. My sister & I are almost 2 years apart to the day and I thought that was a little too close together. We decided to wait until our kids turn 2 to Start TTC a sibling as well and I also like that age gap. My son was 2 years and 7 months when his sister was born. Our toddler will be about the same age when #3 is born.
    I like it because they are more independent but still able to share interests and play together.

  11. My daughter will be nearly 4 when our new baby arrives – thanks for this post about reasons to love this age gap! I think we will feel the same when our new one arrives.

  12. My sister was born 10 days shy of my 13th birthday. I was excited to have a sibling but had a hard time adjusting as it would be longer before we could actually do much together and she would always get into my stuff that was too small for her.
    My two girls are 2 months shy of four years apart. Older one was able to understand baby in the tummy and was able to go to preschool this year for 4 year olds and can do Kindergarten next year. Have a baby due in like two weeks and she understands still. Younger daughter does not really seem to understand much but has taken tocarrying baby folks around, even though it is by their ankles most times. I am anxious to see how the age difference between the three will play out.

  13. My son is only 3 months right now, but we play to have another in about 5 years. I am so happy that we have agreed to space them out so we won’t be diapering two at the same time lol!

  14. I enjoyed having them 18 months apart the most. The 18 month old adored the new baby, followed me around and was a great helper. Plus there was no need to have everyone up and out the door first thing in the morning! I have had them 18 months apart, 2 1/2 years apart, 17 years apart and the last two are 4 years apart. Although the 17 years apart had a ton of perks, from babysitters to help with laundry! Yay! I ended up having another child, whom I adore, so the youngest didn’t grow up alone. So dispite the fantastic perks…a 17 year gap was not ideal for me. 🙂

  15. My first 2 are 6 years apart which was wonderful because my daughter was in full day kindergarten when my son was born. It allowed me one on one time with baby as well as it gave her a break from all the crazy babyness that was happening at home.

    My 3rd is arriving in June and my son will be 3. I’m looking forward to this age gap for all the reasons you stated….except the diapers part…we are still working on that one! Darn stubborn little boy!

  16. My kids are 2 years apart almost exactly. Had the same due date (2 years apart) for both of them! I liked this age gap but it also had its cons. If we decide to have a 3rd we will wait a bit longer so there will be closer to a 3 year gap.

  17. Heir One… Then 3 years 5 months later, Heir Two… Then 57 minutes later, Heir Three… Then 2 years 4 months later, Heir Four. I am a Busy Queen

  18. Yes !! I agree to this post. My daughter’s are 5 years apart. Big gap but had to wait for number two because my fist daughter was a handful. My oldest daughter being in preschool helped me deal with my sickness at home by myself then when she went to kinder; I had baby number two. My oldest being in kinder helped me focus on my baby. So much easier. Cant wait for baby number three ❤️

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