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What is the best age gap between siblings?

Deciding when to have kids? Let’s talk about the best age gap between siblings and pros and cons of each common age gap!

Deciding to have a child is a big decision. Choosing to have another child is a big decision, too!

If you have a baby, the last thing you likely want to think about is having another baby. But, with the time needed to try to conceive, and then be pregnant for full term, you have to think about second babies sooner than you might think.

Growing up, my sister and I were (and still are, obviously) almost 5 years apart. While I clearly love her, we never had much in common and were in very different places. I always wanted my kids to be closer.

So, we ended up having our 2 kids 22 months apart. I would have liked them to be slightly closer together, but some things are not 100% in your control!

I love having our kids so close together – and due to how their birthdays fall, they will be just 1 grade apart in school. I think that is so fun and exciting and hope they can share friends growing up.

Another big deciding factor is the temperament of your older child. Our oldest (our son) was a DREAM baby. He slept and ate great and was generally very easy going.

My friend calls these “trick babies” as they trick you into having another one.

Our second child is still a lovely person, but she did not sleep more than 2 hours consecutively for the first year of her life. It was a humbling experience to say the least, and if she had been #1, there would have been a much larger age gap between our kids!

The ideal age gap between siblings will vary greatly depending on your family’s situation.

No matter what the age gap, there are always benefits and difficulties. I love these tips to reduce sibling rivalry.

Here are some pros and cons to each age gap!

the best age difference in siblings

What is the best age gap between siblings?

0-2 years

Kids this close in age will be mistaken for twins! In the early years, it will be a lot of work on you, but hopefully it will pay off with a close relationship for a lifetime.


  • Kids have a strong possibility of sharing friends, classes, groups, etc growing up
  • Get all the baby stuff out of the way/over with at once
  • Older sibling will never remember a time without their sibling and adjust pretty easily
  • Hand me downs are easy
  • If you are an older mom trying to avoid having a second baby too old, sooner might be better than later
  • If you (or your partner) plan to step back from work fully or partially, having babies boom boom in a row means less years before you can get back to full time working


  • Could have 2 in diapers, 2 in cribs, etc all at the same time
  • Exhausting
  • Could be hard on your body having 2 pregnancies so close together without time to recover
  • Have to pay for 2 kids in daycare/preschool at once
  • You get pregnant while your first is still a baby, making it harder to enjoy that sweet magical window of 18 months – 2 years – when I think a young child is at their sweetest.
  • Being pregnant while caring for a baby is ROUGH!
  • If you work for an employer, you will have to be sure your gap between maternity leaves is long enough to qualify for maternity leave for baby #2 (terrible thing to have to consider but true)

2-3 years

2-3 years is a super popular spacing for kids because it allows you time to enjoy your first baby, and let them get a little more independent, before a new baby arrives. But, your kids are still very close in age as young children and adults.


  • Gives your body more time to heal between pregnancies
  • Kids still close enough to play together
  • May be able to skirt over having 2 in diapers at once if you can potty train #1 in time
  • Hand me downs are easy


  • Have to pay for 2 kids in daycare/preschool at once
  • Older children might have a harder time adjusting to a new baby and sharing attention
  • You have a terrible twos/threenager AND a newborn at once. woof!

4-5 years

Siblings 4-5 years apart might be close or might have pretty separate lives. I’ve seen it go both ways both in the younger years and as adults with this sibling age gap.


  • Might can avoid paying for 2 daycares at once
  • Older child will go to preschool/kindergarten and give you 1:1 time with the new baby
  • Older sibling old enough to play independently a bit more and maybe even help out
  • Lots of 1:1 “only child time” with older child before sibling is born
  • There tends to be less sibling rivalry when the age gap is 4 years or more, they are far enough apart that there’s less direct comparison


  • Age gap is enough that it will be a while before the kids are on a similar level as far as activities and interests
  • Older children might have a harder time adjusting to a new baby and sharing attention

Over 5 years

Anything over 5 years is considered a large age gap. This could be planned or is sometimes a whoopsie or just situational, such as children from different relationships. A larger age gap doesn’t mean siblings can’t be close, it is just will be a different type of relationship.


  • Older child is most self sufficient
  • Older child may (or may not, haha) be helpful with baby
  • Only pay for 1 kid at a time in daycare
  • Lots of 1:1 “only child time” with older child before sibling is born


  • Kids will have less in common at each particular stage of childhood
  • Older child could fall into more of a parent type role with the child (if they are interested in their younger sibling at all) which can be precious, but is just a different dynamic.
  • It’s likely you have gotten rid of a lot of baby stuff and will have to re-purchase

There is no universal best age gap between kids. Take into consideration your physical, mental, and financial situation and choose the sibling age difference that’s best for you.

Finally, remember that some things are out of your control, no matter how much you plan! Any age gap can be a good age gap with the right family dynamic.

What do you think is the ideal age gap between siblings?

Thanks for reading!

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