At least two years is the ideal gap to leave between siblings when it comes to intelligence, according to new research. Children older than their younger brother or sister by two or more years were found to do better on maths and reading tests than those born closer together.
Experts believe this is because parents are able to spend longer with their eldest child, before a sibling comes along to divert their attention.
“There are only so many hours in the day, and the longer that period can be when a child is the only child, the more investment they’re going to receive,” explained Professor Kasey Buckles, who led the study.
Looking at the data from 3,000 mums with 5,000 sibling pairs, Professor Kasey found that when aged between 3 and 5, those with a bigger age gap were read to more and watched less television.
Though the bigger the age gaps, the better it is for the older child, younger siblings didn’t appear to be affected in any way. “It doesn’t seem to help or harm them,” said Professor Kasey.