What Is the 2-Year Age Gap Really Like?
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It is always wonderful to receive the honest experience from moms that have ‘been there, done that’. Caitlin is chiming in today with this guest post about the 2-year age gap and the pros and cons that go along with it.
Our first two kids are 18-months apart, but the gap between our newest addition and Annie will be 2 years, so this post is particularly helpful to me.
For my experience with the 18-month age gap read this post –> What is the 18-Month Age Gap Really Like?
The 2-year age gap is equally magical and chaotic. Or maybe it was just chaotic for me because we had twins when our first had just turned two. Regardless, I have loved the age gap despite the hard work it entails.
I thought it would be helpful for other moms if I made a lit of pros and cons of the two year age gap.
2-Year Age Gap: Pros
2-Year-Olds Are Slightly Independent
Notice how I said slightly. While they can’t independently dress and throw together a PB&J, they can play on their own and follow simple tasks such as “throw the diaper in the garbage” and “go find your shoes.”
Tip: Implement Independent Play Time to give your 2-year-old the skills to play independently.
They Will Be Best Friends
This is one that will come with time. By 1.5 and 3.5, my children were having a blast playing together. They are close enough in age that they are entertained by the same toys and have common interests. Watching my children interact, bond, and love each other has been so far one of the biggest joys of motherhood for me.
Their Schedule’s Can Align
I aligned our schedule so that my newborn twins took their afternoon nap at the same time as my 2-year-old. It was an absolute life saver to have 3 children that all napped consistently! Now that they are 2.5 and 4.5, they still take an afternoon nap at the same time each day. My 4.5-year-old doesn’t fall asleep every day, but still at least has rest time.
Your 2-Year Old Won’t Remember
2-year-olds don’t have the best memory. This means that after a few weeks they won’t even remember what it was like before the new baby came and interrupted their lives. When we first brought our twins, Josie and Margo home from the hospital, our 2-year-old, Theo sat in the corner for the first few days. He was definitely intimidated by the new arrivals. After a few days had passed, it was as if they had always been with us. To this day, when he sees a baby picture of himself he asks where his sisters are.
2-Year Age Gap: Cons
Pregnancy With a Toddler is Extremely Difficult
Theo was 18-months-old when we became pregnant for the second time (they were 2-months premature, hence still having the exact 2-year age gap). Caring for a toddler while pregnant is so challenging. They are old enough to realize that you’re not acting like yourself but too young to be understanding or helpful. And, they require a lot of energy, which most pregnant mothers lack!
2-Year-Olds Can Be Unreasonable
Have you ever tried negotiating with a 2-year old?
They want things their way or it’s a giant flipping tantrum. This can make things challenging when you need to tend to a hungry newborn. And guaranteed, your toddler will never have a fit at a convenient time. It will always be when you’re in the middle of changing a poopy diaper or loading everyone into the car for an appointment you’re already running late for.
I’m speaking from experience here.
They Will Fight
Remember how above I said that they will be best friends and have common interests? This also results in a fighting match over who had Thomas the Train first. Buying two of everything won’t change anything, they will still fight over the same one.
Your Body Hasn’t Quite Recovered
If you have a two year age gap, this means you only spent approximately 15 months not being pregnant.
Many moms breastfeed up until 12 or 15 months… so it’s quite possible that you don’t get your body back to yourself at all. I mean, I would sacrifice my body again in a heartbeat for my sweet babies, but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.
The two-year-age gap is really full of so many joys as well as difficulties, just as all of motherhood is. Whatever age gap you end up with will be an adjustment… but it is so worth it