Freckles in April: 6 Reasons I LOVE Having a Big Gap Between My Kids

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

6 Reasons I LOVE Having a Big Gap Between My Kids

Stinky and Baby 2 are almost two and a half years apart. It was just enough that Stinky wasn't really a baby anymore and didn't need me quite so much but they're also close enough in age that now they are BEST friends.

The Caboose is 4 1/2 and 7 years behind her brothers and to be honest?

I love it so freaking much.

Here are 6 reasons why having a bigger gap between your babies is awesome.

1. Less carseat buckling

My boys have been able to buckle and unbuckle themselves for a while now, which means I only have to worry about getting The Caboose in the car. I can't even explain how happy this makes me.

2. The older ones are actually helpful

I remember trying to send a 2 1/2 year old Stinky to the nursery for a diaper after a particularly crazy blow-out and having him come back an eternity later bearing a binky. 

Early one morning a couple weeks ago I heard The Caboose happily squealing in her room. I dragged myself out of bed to get her only to discover that Stinky and Baby 2 had gotten her out of her bed, changed her diaper, and gotten her dressed for the day (complete with headband). They were reading her stories by the time I got there.

They can make bottles. They can find binkies. They can entertain her in a manner that does not make me fear for her bodily safety. And they love it. It's fantastic.

Checking out her umbilical cord

3. They understand that sometimes the baby's needs come first and they are able to wait patiently

You cannot explain to a 2- or 3-year-old that the baby is eating therefore mommy is stuck to the couch for 10 more minutes and cannot get the toy out from behind the bed (cue meltdown).

Five and seven-year-olds, however, totally get it. Sometimes there is a delay on lunch because the baby needs something and that's fine.

4. They have different kinds of needs

Babies and toddlers need you in such a constant and physical way and it's a little exhausting. Older kids don't. I feel like I have a lot more to give ALL my kids because they're in different stages and require different things from me. The Caboose needs me to do everything for her but it's a physical kind of need. The boys need me to listen, validate and explain- their needs are more emotional and intellectual these days. I feel like there's enough of me to go around.

5. It's like going back in time

Stinky and Baby 2 were close enough that I didn't relive that "first baby" feeling. I was still in baby and nap mode so not much really changed- we just added a kid to our existing schedule.

With The Caboose, though, it feels like starting over. We're back to diapers and naps and tiny socks in the laundry. Also, both of my older boys will be in school starting in August so it'll be just me and The Caboose at home during the day. I haven't had that in 7 years! We can go to library story time and the mommy & me activities that I couldn't do with two kids after Baby 2 came along. It's a bit of a time warp and I'm loving it!

6. The older ones get to feel all the excitement

You should have seen their faces when we told them there was a baby in my tummy. Throughout my whole pregnancy and these first 9 months of The Caboose's life they've been along for the ride with us and they are every bit as excited as we are (if not more) at every milestone. They were her biggest cheerleaders when she figured out how to crawl last week. When we went on her first hike back in March Baby 2 told everyone we passed, "THIS IS MY BABY SISTER'S FIRST HIKE! SHE'S A HIKER NOW!" I feel like their excitement is helping me to remember what a miracle babies are and how big each milestone is!

How did you space your kids? Are you a fan of having them close together or do you appreciate the bigger gaps?

Like this post? You may also like The Caboose's birth story!


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  1. #2!!!! Oh, my heart!!

    This makes me feel better. I'm thinking Grey will be at least 3 maybe 4yo until baby #2 comes.

  2. I have all possible spacings I feel like - my first two are three years apart, second and third are sixteen months apart and third and fourth are five and a half years apart. I'm totally with you that I am enjoying feeling like it is the first time all over again, and that there is just one baby to take care of, but I had kind of grown accustomed to things like sleeping, and the transition back has been rough. It has also been rough this summer with Tess still needing two naps and that really limiting what I can take the older three to go do. Plusses and Minuses to all spacing for me!

  3. This makes me feel a lot better! We've always thought we'd have kids close in age but now our son is 2 1/4 and we're still waiting on #2 (adopting, on the list, waiting and waiting and waiting). It sucks but there are benefits! This really does help. =)

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  5. This is a great perspective. My first two are 32 months apart, and my second are 22 months apart, and I'm not really sure when (or if!) there will be a fourth right now. It's nice to see that there are some real benefits to longer spacing too. Having my kids change the other kids diapers and read to them sounds just heavenly right now.

  6. I love this post so much. My brothers are 6 and 10 years older than me and when I got into junior/high school they very much played the protective older brother, and scary when necessary. And even now, my brother who is 10 years my senior is my favorite sibling. :)


  7. So needed this post! Currently have a 6 month old and trying to decide how far apart to space them. I'm leaning towards three years although most people I talk to say three years is the MAX they would ever go. Thanks! :)

  8. Late to the party, but this post is so optimistic to me. I really wanted 3 1/2-4 years between my first and my hopefully soon-to-be second, but I've now miscarried twice in that window and had to kiss it goodbye. It's so nice to be reminded that there are great things about a wider age gap. If things go well, we're looking at 4 1/2 to 5, probably, and your post makes me feel like that's OK!


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