This TikTok Mom Swears That A 4-Year Age Gap Between Kids Is The Sweet Spot
"2 under 2 just ain't for me," she captioned the viral TikTok.
Having more than one child requires patience, stability, and a lot of sleepless nights. There are also tons of questions that parents have to answer when it comes to how many kids they want and how often they want to have them. Age gaps between siblings can be tricky.
Is it better to just pop them out ASAP, be coated in spit up and diapers for a couple of years, so you can be out of the baby years faster? Or is it better to wait until your first born is somewhat self-sufficient, so taking on a newborn doesn’t seem so daunting?
One mom on TikTok went viral after she shared her “unpopular opinion” when it comes to age gaps between siblings, assuring parents that there is nothing wrong with waiting a bit before having another child.
Mom of two and baby/toddler sleep coach, Kaitlin Klimmer, shared her thoughts in a now-viral TikTok video, explaining that even though a larger sibling age-gap wasn’t her original plan, she’s thankful her family dynamic ended up that way.
“Okay, unpopular opinion, but having a four-year age gap between your kids is the best age gap,” she begins.
“When I was trying to get pregnant with my second, we had three miscarriages and I was getting so anxious about the growing age gap between them and now that we're on the other side of that, I think the four-year age gap is like unreal, and I would choose it every time,” she says in the video.
She then shares a story from a time when she felt reassured about her accidental four-year age gap between children. Instead of juggling her baby and toddler in a chaotic nap time moment, she felt ease knowing her five-year-old was totally fine just hanging on her own for a bit.
“I just got finished putting my 16-month-old down for a nap and we always lie with our kids until they're asleep,” Klimmer explained. “So, I was lying with her and I fell asleep also. I woke up 20 minutes later, just not at all concerned about what my five-year-old is up to like, she's five she can hang out for half an hour by herself.”
After she woke up, she was worried her five-year-old daughter would be needy or upset that she’d been gone. However, when she went to check on her, she was quietly working on a craft, not a care in the world.
“She was just making her birthday invitations for her birthday that's in August,” she said with a smirk. “It’s just...it's so nice.”
Her fresh opinion soon went viral, garnering almost 200k views and hundreds of comments from other TikTok users voicing their opinions on age gaps between kids.
Several users wrote that while a larger age gap may work best for parents, when it comes to the children, the age difference might hinder the closeness of their relationship. “[O]nly good for the parents but once they are a little older they are like built in best friends. [M]y experience with 2 boys 20 months apart,” one user wrote.
Another echoed, “As a kid with a sibling with a 4 year age gap, I completely disagree. My sister and I were never close growing up, and aren’t close at all as adults...”
Other TikTok users came to Klimmer’s defense, sharing their own personal stories about having siblings with large age differences and not noting any difference in closeness. “People worry about them not being friends if they’re farther apart but my sisters 6 & 11 years older than me are my BEST friends,” one user assured.
Another user reiterated, “I don’t think an age gap determines how close siblings will be. It’s personality, communication, how well the entire family gets along.”
One commenter noted that she didn’t think a four-year age gap was actually that wild of an idea. “I feel like it’s a very popular opinion. I think 2 under 2 is the unpopular one lol,” they wrote.
One mom of two under two noted that most days at her house feel like the “thunderdome.”
Obviously, each family is different and every sibling relationship with depend on certain circumstances. However, past research actually backs up Klimmer’s feelings about the four-year age gap.
Jeannie Kidwell, a psychologist at the University of Tennessee, found that children had a more negative view of themselves and their parents when their closest siblings were around two years apart.
However, once the space between siblings went over four years, the negativity disappeared. Her explanation surrounds the ideas that children under the age of four are not developmentally ready to share their parents’ attention and experience resentment towards new siblings.
Several TikTok users also took comfort in Klimmer’s story, noting that they had also suffered from multiple miscarriages adding on to the worry of a larger age gap affecting their family in a negative way.
“My daughter is 15 months and I just had a pregnancy loss in February - I needed to hear this today. We wanted them as close as possible...,” one user wrote.
Another wrote, “Thank you so much for this, currently trying for another and our first turns 4 next month!”