6 Surprising Benefits of Having Children Close in Age

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When your children are close in age, people are more than willing to tell you how hard it's going to be. Let's talk about the benefits of having children close in age instead of focusing on the negatives.

6 Surprising Benefits of Having Children Close in Age 1

When your children are close in age, people are more than willing to tell you how hard it's going to be. Sometimes they say something sweet and affirming, but more often than not, they give you weird looks or make a negative comment or two. And I would know! My oldest child was only 3 1/2 when my third baby was born.

I know all about having two children in diapers. I've experienced breastfeeding while pregnant. And I can tell you that yes, that Moby Wrap really will fit over your 5-month pregnant belly when you need to comfort your 1-year-old who has an ear infection. I speak from experience.

So yes, it's hard to have children close together. We all know that. And everyone likes to remind us of that when they find out we're pregnant again. So let's ignore the negatives for just a minute and talk about the fun stuff instead. Whether your kids are close in age by choice or by surprise, there's much to enjoy about it. It is possible to survive and thrive with children close in age.

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The Benefits of Having Children Close in Age

1. Children close in age enjoy the same types of things.

At our house, no one rolls their eyes at watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood or Veggie Tales. They all love it. And at Disney World, they wanted to ride the same rides. And all three of my children love Legos, dress up, and playing with the dollhouse, even if my son does make Captain Hook invade the family sometimes.

2. Children close in age take naps around the same time.

Confession: I live for nap time. As a homeschooling mom of 3, nap time is the only chance I have to write on my blog or take a rare nap (which pretty much only happens when I'm pregnant). If you can train your older kids to rest or play quietly while younger ones are napping, then you're home free. My littles don't protest at all when I tell them it's nap time, even if they've outgrown it. But nap time with a 9-year-old? Probably not going to happen.

3. All the baby gear is handy when children are close in age.

If you're like me, then your high chair has probably lived in your kitchen for the past 5 years. And it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Embrace the high chair. Don't bother putting the burp cloths up in the attic. The only thing that really changes here are the colors. I even switched to a gender-neutral nursery so that there's no need to worry about that anymore.

4. When your children are close in age, you're already in baby mode.

You've had so much practice that you can change diapers at lightning speed, and those mama reflexes are ready to catch a hand reaching for the poopy diaper. In short, you are really really good at this mom of little bitties thing, so keep at it while your skills are sharp. You're like a ninja mommy.

5. You Know Your Stuff.

You know what's “normal” and what's not. You're probably pretty familiar with what foods can be introduced when, and if it even matters anymore. I reached a point where I don't even bother looking up schedules and expectations on the internet or in a baby book. In fact, my friends who waited a few years between babies often call me to find out what's normal. Sometimes I'm a little jealous that they've had time to get rusty, but I'm not going to waste time on what ifs. God gave me babies close in age, so I'm going to make the most of it.

6. The Kids Will Be Super Close.

When your kids are all close as children, they become close as adults. They will call each other for advice about marriage, money, and babies. My mom had seven children and the first five of us are all only 2 or 3 years apart, so I can tell you how fun it was and still is to be so close to brothers and sisters. It's a sweet thing.

6 Surprising Benefits of Having Children Close in Age 2

I know that not everyone can have babies back to back. Infertility, miscarriage, and many other things cause moms to have to wait years for a precious little one. Sometimes we even choose to wait a little longer between babies simply to catch our breaths, and there's nothing wrong with that.

But if this is the life that God has called you to right now, then enjoy it, mama. It will be gone too soon.

Gabby blogs at MamaGab, where she loves to encourage mamas in their heart for their homes, husbands, children, and the Lord. She loves making bread and drinking good Louisiana coffee, though not usually at the same time.

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16 Comments

  1. I love this post so much! I’m currently pregnant with baby #4 and when it’s born we’ll have 4 under three (twins last time). We love having them close and have learned to embrace the chaos!

    Babies are such a blessing from The Lord!

  2. We are due with our 4th child in a month and our oldest will not turn 5 for several more months. We are in awe to have been blessed with 4 gifts, but there definitely seasons where it is very hard. Thank you for this encouraging post….it’s definitely better – spiritually, mentally, emotionally – to focus on the positives of this season of life in our family!!

  3. I also have four kids five and under and shared a post about the pros and cons not too long ago. So funny how others think we’re crazy but we really do enjoy it…most of the time:)

  4. Wonderful reminders, Gabby! It is definitely exhausting, but I’ll add that if you keep going at this rate, your 9 y/o will not know what it’s like to not have a nap time. My older ones don’t take naps anymore, but everyone has to have a mandatory rest time (they usually read) b/c there’s always a baby in the house napping. 😉 Well done, thanks for bringing our attention to some great things of motherhood.

  5. This post made me smile, Gabby. Though so far I’ve only got 2 kiddos spaced close together (and love it!) I can definitely see what you’re saying about the benefits. I love that mine nap at the same time, play with the same toys, and share a high chair. Like you, I wore the older one even while pregnant. Though probably not recommended, I wore my oldest in the Ergo carrier until I was eight months pregnant.

  6. Oh thank you so much for reminding me of ALL the wonderful things about having 3 children 1 year apart in age (and the last 2 just under 12 mths). I always get, “You have your hands full!”, everywhere we go on a daily basis. And thank you especially for listing #1, as I never thought about that….wow…we are blessed!

  7. I just had my fourth boy, and even though they are not all back to back I still hear that I have a handful!

  8. Our children are more spaced out in age with the exception of our youngest two, who are twins. 🙂 But I completely agree with what you’ve said here – there are many benefits of having children close in age. One of my favorites is just watching them play together since our older boys are several years apart. There’s nothing better than a built in friend, both in the now and the future! I’m stopping by from Babies and Beyond. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thank you so much! I am 27-weeks with our second, my son just turned one! Every single comment I get is about how busy I am going to be, how hard etc. I try and be all smiley, but inside I just want their encouragement – don’t they know I already know it’s going to be busy and hard?! Lol. I am thrilled our kids will be close in age, the long-term benefits are worth the beginning!

  10. Thank you for this reminder! I have two girls that are 15.5 months apart! Yes I am busy and yes sometimes I forget what a blessing it is to have them so close together (usually when they are both sick like all of last month) but God gave those two beautiful angels so close for a reason and I am so thankful!

  11. I LOVE this post! I only have 2 that are 22 months apart in age but I can relate to all of these. And even though they pregnancy was planned I was still surprised it happened so quickly and was a little worried at first. But now that they are both here and it is absolutely perfect! My 2 oldest brothers and I are all 3 and a 1/2 years apart too. What is surprising to me is that today we hear a lot of “wow, pregnant again?!” but growing up it never once occurred to me that we were close in age and I never heard anyone say anything to us about it either. I wonder what has changed?

  12. I really want to have children close in age! I’m now 4 months pregnant with our first child and I’m hoping to have 3 more in the next 5 years! It drives my husband crazy every time I mention this haha… but seriously, I really thought it would be nice..

  13. Its nice to know it is hard at times when they are this close but the reminders are sooo helpful to remind me to take it easy because its so easy to forget when all 4 kids are in stubborn mode wich for me is often
    !!thanks!!!

  14. Such a great post. I’ve got two boys 15 months apart. My oldest will be three next month. I would love to have more babies. I would like to do them close also but I have few thing weighing on my mind but one of them is I am really wanting to homeschool my children once they get to that age and I was wondering if anyone had tips or advice on how hard it is or isn’t to homeschool if I was to decide to have my next babies starting probably sometime towards the end of the year.
    I always think of having more. I think a big thing that’s thrown me back is I chose to sleep with my kids in the bed. My husband agrees its the best thing for children. That’s our personal opinion, not all share the same thoughts. But on that topic my youngest is really hard at night and still likes to feed from me during the night. He is 19months old so he isn’t a little baby anymore. I’ve tried bottles he has never taken to them or a dummy. Bought about 5 different designs of pacifiers. And I’ve tried getting him to use his sippy cup at night but nothing works. He just wants mummy near him. And perhaps mainly habit. But does anyone have any tips that could assist me in that area. If I don’t let him nap during the day for only even an hour he will go to bed at around six wake a couple of hours later and not go back to bed until midnight sometimes. It can be incredibly draining on me.
    I know I’ve pretty well made my bed with sleeping decisions so now it just more so I must sleep in it. But just thought maybe someone out there in the big wide internet world has had a similar situation as myself.
    Anyway, again great post. I love it very much.

    1. Hi, Ashleigh! Having littles so close in age and homeschooling definitely isn’t easy, but it’s doable. Mine are 5, 4, 2, and 10 months. Some days go more smoothly than others. My babies haven’t really slept through the night until they weaned. It’s a bittersweet thing for me. I do like to sleep, but also enjoyed that cuddle time. When our two year old naps during the day, he has a hard time going to sleep at night. So I’ve started trying to get him to stay awake during the day and go to bed earlier at night. Some days that works better than others :).

  15. I needed this! My son turns ONE tomorrow and I just found out I’m 6wks pregnant. I’m scared beyond measure but this is God’s plan and I will embrace it!

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