Second Child Syndrome

When we found out we were pregnant with LP everyone was so excited. Family, friends, colleagues – even strangers in the street! Pregnancy makes everyone go a bit funny – happy, excited, emotional – new life, a new baby on the way!

During my pregnancy I was inundated with well wishes, everyone would call, text or email to find out how bump and I were getting along – any cravings, any sickness, any news at all. When I shared the pregnancy announcement on Facebook it was as though the world and his friend ‘liked’ the photo and when the 20 week scan photo went online too everyone was excited, all asking if everything was ok and if we’d found out the sex. So much interest!

When you’re pregnant the baby, and bump, are public property. Everyone touches your bump – whether they’ve asked to or not, and everyone wants to know every teenie detail of every stage of your pregnancy. When LP finally arrived so many people congratulated us, friends of friends, long lost family. Everyone sent their love, sent a card or present and contacted us to find out the nitty gritty of the birth story. LP’s birth was more public property than the pregnancy had been – especially as we’d had a home birth, everyone wanted to know about it.

The weeks after LP’s birth we had non stop visitors. Two, sometimes three lots every day. Everyone came to see us. Cousins, colleagues and people we hadn’t heard from in ages. Baby’s bring everyone out of the woodwork!

Roll forward to my second pregnancy. Throughout my pregnancy with Little Man there was a lot less interest. ‘Oh, you’re pregnant AGAIN’, half the time there wasn’t even a congratulations, it was as if it was old news purely because we already had a baby. It’s only exciting the first time around.

When Little Man arrived things were completely different. Hardly any visitors and a handful of New Baby cards. The well wishes and love were a lot less second time around – even the birth announcement on Facebook had a lot fewer ‘likes’ and comments on it!

There is definitely a ‘Second Baby Syndrome’, as I thought this was just us. But having spoken to friends I now realise this is normal. Everyone knits for the first baby, buys the first baby presents and comes to see the first baby. By the time you have a second – or subsequent babies, everyone presumes you have everything you could possibly need for the new baby and so they don’t knit and you get a lot less gifts. It’s true though, you have everything you could possibly need.

That shouldn’t stop people coming to visit a new baby, shouldn’t stop them sending a card or even a congratulations text message. Second babies are just as important as the first baby and second babies deserve to be welcomed into the world just as much as the first.

There shouldn’t be a Second Child Syndrome.

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16 Comments

  1. Lauren (@laurenbigeejit)
    September 19, 2013 / 10:13 am

    I’m afraid I was guilty of that. When my niece was born I was beside myself. She was due the weekend my mum and I were invited to a wedding in Belfast, and we turned it down because we didn’t want to miss the birth (she ended up being 10 days early so we could have gone!!!). Then my nephew came along and I was just as excited (especially as he was a boy and I liked that they were having one of each), but my mum and I were booked to go on holiday in the week running up to his due date. If it had been first time round I think we would have cancelled, but with Sam we were a lot more relaxed. Not because we didn’t care or weren’t excited, I think we just realised that my sister would do a great job whether we were there or not. It was a different type of excitement – with Maddie everything was new and unknown. Even my sister admits that she made way more fuss over Maddie as a first time mum, with Sam she was a lot more laid back and too busy to take photos all the time and write in baby books! I would hate for anyone to feel like I don’t care though, so I do always try to send gifts and make a big deal of visiting 2nd babies the way I did with a first.

  2. September 19, 2013 / 6:17 pm

    I so agree! we had so many people interested in the birth of my eldest but when my youngest was born I think only a handful of people even got us cards. Ali got special teddies and things like that whereas Ruaridh got nothing. I now feel like I need to buy similar things for Ruaridh so he doesn’t feel ‘unloved’.
    I’ve had friends have multiples and I honestly treat each of them the same!
    I really wish I knew why people don’t care second time round. maybe we should ask!

    • September 19, 2013 / 6:35 pm

      hehe I might! ‘Why didn’t you even bother to send a card when we had T?’, wonder what they’d say!! x

  3. Kim Carberry
    September 21, 2013 / 2:13 pm

    You’re so right….I’ve never thought about it before but yes with my 2nd there was less interest!

  4. Debra
    September 21, 2013 / 7:36 pm

    I think even parents have to sometimes be careful with their second children. Funnily enough I have often used the term ‘second child syndrome’ to describe a jealousy I had about my older brother. There are stacks of photograph albums dedicated to him, his first lock of hair, millions of funny stories and I even got my brothers hand-me-downs (yes I looked like a boy with my bold baby head and blue sleep suit). I promise that now I’m all grown-up I feel less sorry for myself and I obviously realise that it’s hard to take a photo of a new baby without their proud big brother in it, or have a story that doesn’t involve a sibling that you are with most of the time and money is obviously tighter when you have two children and the fact that I was clothed and warm and feed and loved was what really mattered but I seriously did have moments when I believed he was favoured over me (especially when I was going through the crazy teenage years) and all because of such little things.

  5. Family Fever
    September 25, 2013 / 8:10 am

    It’s true – but a bit sad actually. Every baby is super important. It’s not so much the gifts, it’s the visitors and the well wishes we missed this time round!

  6. September 25, 2013 / 9:18 am

    So true, unfortunately. Exactly the same here – less gifts, cards, visitors, and general excitement all round. We know they’re just as exciting and fabulous though x

  7. September 25, 2013 / 11:43 am

    All babies, whether they are your first, second, third or seventh are special and a blessing and should be celebrated the same x #MMWBH

  8. September 25, 2013 / 12:11 pm

    Aw, that’s so sad! But the same happens with first and second birthdays and Christmases. x

  9. Celesse
    September 25, 2013 / 3:00 pm

    It was exactly the same for us. People just weren’t as bothered. Wonder what they will be like when we have a third?? #MMWBH

    • September 25, 2013 / 5:35 pm

      Thanks for reading Emma! I’ll take a look at your blog this evening 🙂 x

  10. September 26, 2013 / 10:45 am

    And it is even worse with the third!
    I feel sorry for second & subsequent babies that they get so much less fuss.

  11. September 26, 2013 / 3:47 pm

    And it is even worse with the third!
    I feel sorry for second & subsequent babies that they get so much less fuss.

  12. Super Busy Mum {Debs}
    September 28, 2013 / 8:44 am

    Every new little bubs should be visited, celebrated. It’s new amazing life after all and who can resist a wee cuddle too! Thanks for linking up to #MMWBH xx

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