To be born close in age to your siblings is a special experience. You have a built-in playmate and BFF for life, but being born after an age gap certainly has its benefits, too.
Parents who are expecting again when their older children are already into double digits may wonder what the sibling bond will look like when the kids have more than a decade between them. Well, look no further, because Kate Hudson's oldest son, 14-year-old Ryder Robinson took to Instagram to show the world that while he and baby Rani Rose may not be playmates they have an equally powerful sibling bond.
The teen posted a series of photos in which he's holding his new baby sister, making silly faces and showing her lots of love.
Ryder and Rani's mom commented on the post. "Aw sweeties. Love you so much," Hudson wrote.
The bond and benefits for age-gap siblings
It's pretty clear that little Rani is benefiting from the big age gap in Hudson's family, getting lots of love from Ryder and her other brother 7-year-old Bingham Hawn, but research suggests Ryder and Bingham are also benefiting from the gaps. They may not be close enough in age to do matching outfits and bunk beds, but they're getting something else out of it: Mama's time.
According to a 2011 study out of the University of Notre Dame, a gap of at least two years between children is linked to better academic outcomes for the older siblings. According to the experts, having another child when your older children are already in school means the older child benefits from additional one-on-one time with their parents as a toddler and preschooler.
And having a big brother or sister who is taking their SATs while you're learning the ABCs can be great for the younger child, too. A study out of the University of Essex found that when older siblings do well in school, there's a "spillover effect" and the younger siblings emulate the older ones. The effect is stronger when the siblings get along, experts note.
Other age-gap families
Hudson's kids are hardly the only celebrity siblings with a large age gap.
Kourtney Kardashian was 18 when Kylie Jenner was born and Kim was 17, but the sisters are famously close friends in adulthood. Anecdotal evidence suggests large age gaps are more common in blended families like Hudson's or the Kardashian-Jenners' but they certainly occur in non-blended families as well.
Case in point: Chip and Joanna Gaines recently welcomed their youngest Crew, just about eight years after their former youngest, Emmie Kay was born. Of course, Emmie Kay and her older siblings, Drake, 12, Ella, 11, Duke, 9 are as in love with Crew as Hudson's sons are with Rani.
Having a big age gap between siblings doesn't mean they won't bond. It just means they will bond in a special way. A teenage boy is posting sweet pics of his baby sister on his Instagram. That's pretty compelling evidence in itself.
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