What are the pros and cons of having a large age gap between children?

When it comes to having children some prefer a small age gap between children, however, for some there is a much larger age gap. It really doesn’t matter how big or small the age gap is. For some time just passes by, and for others the reality of having a second child may not be considered so soon after the first. While a short age gap is usually preferred, a large age gap is also seen between children.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of having a large age gap between children:

Pros of having a large age gap between children

Acceptance

As your first child is older it is a better time for him or her emotionally, as he or she has had your full time and attention for those early formative years. This means that there isn’t going to be that jealousy and bitter feeling toward the new sibling which can often happen when there is a close age gap. Your child is already confident and self-assured and is ready to accept a new addition to the family. In fact, your child is now at the stage where he or she is likely to be a mentor to his or her new sibling.

More time for the new baby

Another advantage to having a large age gap between children is that you can focus the time needed on the newer addition. Your older child doesn’t need that same attention, as he or she has independence and has gained many skills. This is a great help to you the parents, as you can balance your time more effectively and not have to cater to your older ones needs as much. Your older one will be more helpful to you in parenting the new addition, which is a comfort. Instead of feeling pushed out, your older child can be a great help and feel important for being so.

Starting out again

While this can seem like a con, it also has its benefits. Starting out again with a fresh perspective can make this time special and new all over again. Enjoying that baby stage all over again is fun and special. When the gap is close you can feel overwhelmed with caring for two little ones, so this time may not be cherished quite as much. Starting out again is literally like being a new parent and enjoying that experience that you did the first time all over again.

Help from your older child

Your older child can be a great support and a helping hand. He or she can help with the duties of caring for the new baby. You older child can be an extra set of hands when needed. He or she can be helpful in providing for you while you provide for baby by carrying out duties such as caring for his or her own needs and bringing drinks and snacks for you. Your older child may also help with simple tasks around the home to relieve the pressure. This is good for your child, as much as it is for you.

Cons of having a large age gap between children

Starting out again

For some the idea of starting out all over again can feel like a huge effort, which can be off-putting. It can even bring the thought that you may not be up to the challenge again. With a long time lapse you may feel it is too late to do it all again. This can be a real worry to parents that even have a brief thought of having a new baby. The idea that you may have forgotten all that is involved with raising a new baby is also a fear many have. Starting out again after a long gap can seem like a crazy thing to do for some.

Cost

The cost of starting out again is of course going to be a big expense. If it has been a good few years you may not have any of your old baby equipment, and chances are, it may now be outdated. The cost of starting again can be difficult for some. The financial aspect may not be possible, or it might be a tight stretch. You may feel a little cheated having to buy all the baby equipment again. Baby essentials can be shopped around for and even sold on after use, so all is not lost.

Baby advice is always changing

You may find that having another child a few years after the first, there is a big change in the way things are done. Baby advice is always updating and changing, which can make it seem difficult to mothers starting out again to comprehend. It may be difficult to understand the rationale behind the changes, and you may feel like you have a lot to learn all over again. It can be hard to adapt to the new guidelines, and you may not feel at ease to begin with.

Play

Having children close together in age forms instant play-mates, yet this isn’t the same for siblings with a large age gap. You can feel a little saddened by this, as you may feel it would be nice for your children to play together with the same level of interest. It may also be difficult to find activities and go on days out together trying to find things that appeal to both age groups. This can of course prove to be a challenge, yet it isn’t impossible.

Having a large age gap between children can be seen as blessing, as you get to cherish those early years. You can enjoy your baby and not feel overstretched. Your older child will be in a better place to accept a new addition, rather than be jealous. However, there are also some cons of having to start out again with the expense. You may also feel out of the loop and adapting may seem a little awkward at first. For some there is no choice on the years between children. In essence, children are a blessing no matter the timing.