What’s the Perfect Age Difference Between Siblings
What’s the ideal age difference between siblings? I can say with 100% certainty, there is no perfect answer. First, no matter how much you think you know the right answer, you may not have much control over it. I am now expecting my second child. My kids will be 4 years apart. It’s not the spacing I would have ever thought I wanted between kids, but between being out-of-sync with my husband on the issue for a short while and then miscarrying once when in sync, I ended up with less control over the issue than I would have liked. And you know what? I’m thrilled. While number two won’t arrive for another 4 months, I know my daughter (who is still in the dark about the development) is much better able to cope socially and emotionally with the pending addition to the family now than she ever would have been before. And as I see parents of multiple kids under age 3 struggle with simultaneous tantrums and the demands of two completely dependent children, I feel fortunate that my daughter will be able not only to help and occupy herself, but I think will also want to “help” with the baby too.
I know many moms who had the perfect family planned and spaced apart only to find that secondary infertility, miscarriage, or adoption bureaucracies would throw them for a loop. Still others had surprise pregnancies, spontaneous multiples, or adoption opportunities that sped their plans up. Many have experienced a combination of all these factors. Ultimately, parenting is what you make of it, and sibling relationships have much more to do with family dynamics and personality than with age differences. Emily Bloch wrote a great article for Parenting exploring the pluses and minuses of all different sibling age spans. It’s worth a read, especially if you think you’re headed off that perfect plan.