Lily

Lily
Lily Tessa

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Archer

Archer
Archer Leo

Second child syndrome.. is it a thing?


..It sure seems like it.

When I was pregnant I heard so much about 'second child' syndrome. Which is basically that your second child will always be more demanding than the first due to being the youngest and constantly vying for attention. Actually I always joked during pregnancy that because Lily was such an angel baby that our second child would be the devil child. Haha. No-one gets two laid back kids right?
I'll be honest though, I don't think any amount of wise cracks about second children from strangers at play groups, or even quips from myself, could have prepared me for just how high maintenance my second child is.

I heard the phrase 'high needs baby' a lot from women in my due date group back from my pregnancy with Lily (we all still stay in touch regularly, which is great) One woman in particular & I hope she wont mind me saying this, struggled a lot with her baby who was high needs, she became very low in mood and said she often felt isolated from us all, as she seemed to be the only one of us all not enjoying motherhood. I never really looked into high needs babies that much as like I've mentioned before, Lily was always a very 'content' baby and so it's always been one of those phrases I've heard used but never really knew much about, and certainly had no experience in myself. Having a quick look now though I can see that Archer fits into a lot of the categories of a high needs baby. Consistently poor sleep - yep. Intense meltdowns, frequent feeder, unpredictable and super sensitive - all yep. Apparently high needs babies tend to have a louder more high pitched cry and that one is definitely Archer.

He's always been a super sensitive baby. To noise, light, and just about everything in between. To the point actually where I've questioned my parenting skills so many times because he's seemed so constantly upset. Something so little, me leaving a room, Lily taking a toy that's near him (yes not one he's playing with..one that's NEAR him) even turning on or off a light in the room can cause him to have the loudest & longest meltdowns. It's like any sort of change upsets him and his mood can change so rapidly that I have to say we do find ourselves walking on egg shells around him a lot of the time. A lot of you are probably reading this and thinking it's just his age, all babies are unpredictable and he'll grown out of it. & maybe he will. Or maybe it's just a part of his personality. Either way it's just such a big 360 to Lily as a baby, it's quite staggering.

I also wouldn't say he fits into the category of a high needs baby fully though. There are lots of  points such as hyper-active and wont be held by strangers that are just not him at all. I wouldn't say Archer was hyper-active and he's quite happy to be held by strangers, held by anyone, as long as he's being held and not forgotten about. haha.

I really feel the need to point out that for all the incredibly tough bits there are also some amazing positives I've experienced for the first time this time around.

The cuddles.

Oh the cuddles.

They are my favourite!

Lily wasn't opposed to the odd cuddle as baby but she wasn't what you'd define as a cuddly baby at all. She'd never initiate one and it was more a case of her letting you cuddle her than her actually cuddling you back. Archer is the complete opposite of that - he often crawls onto me and rests his head on my lap whilst he's playing or watching tele. He always has to be touching me in some way and that's something I know I'll miss terribly when he's older and too cool to be seen cuddling up to his mum! I love the fact that with Archer, a cuddle can solve anything, if he's upset - a cuddle is what he wants. Where as when Lily was a baby the only way to cheer her up after a fall was to bribe her with treats. Ha!

There's definitely pro's and cons to having both an independent baby and a dependent baby. A high needs and low needs, you could say. & having experienced both I can genuinely say I wouldn't have had either of them any other way. Except for maybe a little less meltdowns on Archers part ;) 

& going back to the original question of is second child syndrome truly a thing? Probably not. Not scientifically anyway. But I definitely feel like I've experienced it, that's for sure.

Were your first and second children similar or different as babies? Do you think second child syndrome is real? I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments section

 
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14 comments

  1. I am always interested in how children and siblings are different. I won't have another one, but I do wonder whether, if I did, he or she would be similar to Cygnet or different. Pen x #SundayBest

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    1. Its very interesting isn't it. Thanks for commenting x

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  2. Mine are totally different.

    My youngest is a terrible sleeper, but fearless. My eldest was better at sleeping but much more cautious and a total watcher.

    My husband said if they were both running on top of a cliff my youngest would just throw himself off no second thoughts, whereas my eldest would stop, look, listen, smell, think.

    Totally different!

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    1. Yep I feel the same way about my two! Thanks for commenting xx

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  3. My little boy is very cuddly and dependent on me but he is coming along in leaps and bounds at the moment. If we are lucky enough to have another baby it would be interesting to see if they are similar or completely different xx

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    1. I do find it fascinating I have to say. No two siblings seem to be alike! Or it seems to be very rare anyway! x

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  4. Callie is certainly more cuddly than Ted ever was but also needs quiet time. I think we changed as parents too and knowing she is my last has perhaps made me more clingy to her as well I guess xxx

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    1. I think you might be right! I'm a lot more clingy to Archer than I was to Lily as a baby. Partly because he prefers it and partly because he could be our last! x

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  5. All 3 of mine have been totally different from each other, my middle one was the cuddle baby, Jacob is turning into a over independent strong boy who hates cuddles and affection

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    1. Siblings can be so so different can't they! There's definitely pros and cons to both the cuddly and independent side of children x

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  6. We're talking about the possibility of having a second baby and this is something that my husband is genuinely concerned about. He wonders if it would be better to stick with one, but I think it will be worth the tough times for Little M to have a sibling.

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    1. It is definitely worth the tough times, as they don't last forever! :)

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  7. My two were the other way round to yours; My firstborn, Toby, is the archetypal high needs child and I've actually written about it so other parents don't feel so alone. He rejected me for two years and it hurt so much. Martha is nearly 1 and is he most cuddly, dependent, happy little soul you could ever hope to meet! Hugs, I know how hard it is xx

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    1. Isn't it fascinating how different siblings can be. Thanks for commenting lovely xx

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