Coming second gets a bad press, doesn’t it? Everybody wants to come first, win, be the one in charge and in control.
But is it really so bad being a second baby?
OK, so if you’re second you’ll probably never get to ride on the buggy board (which is a lot of fun for your sister when she learns how to use her foot as a break, not so much for your mum). And you won’t get to watch Peppa Pig (banned long ago in our household for the sheer repetitive annoyance factor).
But there’s so many positives, not least the honed skills your parents have from doing the trial run with your older sibling. Neglected Second Child Syndrome? It’s more like you should be counting your amazing subsequent baby blessings.
So for Florence, me, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and all the other second born babies, here’s what’s brilliant about it:
1) Pre-loved is SO hot right now. People pay through the nose for vintage, distressed-look clothes. But second babies have all this in hand-me-down outfits and baby gros, barely worn but bound to be slightly faded. And no rifling through rack after rack in charity shops to get them. It’s at their disposal just as soon as someone locates them in the wasteland of the loft.
2) Wrestling’s a valuable life skill it’s never too early to learn. The second timer gets a ready-made playmate who loves to play…possibly a bit too over-enthusiastically.
3) So the first sentence is likely to be the super-sophisticated ‘Careful, mind my head’ As they’ve heard it so often (see above).
4) Because mummy’s too knackered to be neurotic. First time round I obsessed about everything, all 32 of these. Which lead to a lot of trips to baby clinic for another weight check and quiet chat through my long list of questions. This time? Not so much, think we’ve been twice. Which also means…
5) Less time wasted in waiting rooms.
6) A much wider weaning menu. First time weaning = organic, purely healthy produce for a long, long while. Second time? “Mummy, Florence is eating a crisp!” Eliza shouts. No guesses as to how she got that.
7) There’s less of the stress, more of the love. You get all the benefits of relaxed parents and an instant and willing swing pusher.
8) They get lucky in the toy lottery. It stands to reason that with your first baby, all the toys they have are age appropriate. Second baby? Instantly has access to things meant for much older children, and a couple of years of pre-accumulated plastic party bag tat and things from magazines.
9) Freeing up all the spare cash for FUN stuff: Everyone talks about babies being expensive, but are they really? Second babies can just use everything again. And think of all the money saved on NOT going to every baby class going. No monthly Gymboree subscription, no baby yoga, no pricey massage session the mums basically spend chatting. That £1.50 a week for their older sibling’s playgroup session is really good value for money in comparison. P.S. fun stuff = wine, obviously.
10) Because what child doesn’t love screen time? While most parents I know have strict limits on their first child even looking in the vague direction of the iPad, show me a second child who hasn’t accidentally seen Frozen a zillion times, over their sibling’s shoulder and I’ll show you…oh wait, I’m too tired to argue.