A well-known anecdote says that with the first child, parents wash, boil and iron everything. The second child is being washed. From time to time they make sure that the baby does not eat from the cat’s bowl. With the advent of the third child, everything is much simpler: if the child ate from the cat’s bowl, then this is the cat’s problem.
Everything here is a little exaggerated, but there is some truth. The behavior of parents after the birth of the first child and after the birth of the second or third child is very different.
A runny nose in a baby, crying for no reason, a rash or abdominal pain causes fear and panic in new parents. These are little things that parents with experience do not always pay attention to.
What is Third Child Syndrome
Parents already have some experience in raising and caring for babies when a second or third child is born in the family. Snot, pimples, or diaper rash are not a cause for concern.
Parents feel calmer and more confident. They know what to expect at every stage of a baby’s development. They may not worry about the teeth, colic, height, weight of the child.
Psychologists talk about the “third child syndrome” – when some parents are very relaxed and do not give the child proper care. Such behavior can have negative consequences and adversely affect the health of the child.
Parents with many children cannot always devote time to the smallest child. This affects the character and relationships in the family.
Do All Parents Have Third Baby Syndrome
Can two-year-old child watch cartoons on YouTube at 5 am, eat pizza, eat a lot of sweets, or go to bed after midnight? These are signs of Third Baby Syndrome if the behavior is repetitive and doesn’t bother you.
Who is at risk?
Often it manifests itself in parents, where there is a small age difference between children. Parents may feel emotionally drained and young children need special attention and care.
Imagine a woman who gave birth to three children in 5 years. Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, mood changes after childbirth, lack of sleep – all these are serious tests for the body. You need to take care of older children at the same time.
The perfectionism that was after the birth of the first child is replaced by apathy, fatigue, and even unwillingness to care for the baby. Constant lack of sleep and overwork can provoke neurosis and depressive states. It is not always possible to spend time with children even having a great desire due to household chores.
There are cases when parents entrust part of the responsibilities for caring for a baby to older children if the age difference allows it.
How Can this Affect Child Development
The health and well-being of the baby depend on the parental approach to education and care. “Third Child Syndrome” can have negative consequences for him.
Lack of daily routine. Compliance with the daily routine is very important for kids. This allows the child to avoid overwork and sleep better. A well-rested baby is active and in a good mood.
It is not always possible to follow a certain routine in a family with three children, especially when there is a big age difference. This negatively affects the nervous system of the baby. It is difficult to put him to sleep and he does not sleep well at night.
Insufficient attention to hygiene procedures. The Baby’s skin is delicate and requires special care. Parents with many children may neglect the daily bathing of the baby. This can lead to diaper rash and skin infections.
Irregular meals. Sometimes parents do not pay due attention to the diet of children in a large family. An unbalanced diet and frequent consumption of fast food is the cause of digestive disorders in children, obesity, and metabolic disorders.
The development of chronic diseases. A runny nose in a baby can cause anxiety in new parents. Parents of a third child can be a little light-hearted about a runny nose and a cold. Ordinary snot can cause otitis or other inflammatory processes.
Lack of parental attention. One child in the family has maximum parental attention. There is not always time to read books with the birth of a third child. A small child experiences a lack of parental attention, care, closes in on himself and it is difficult for him to trust people.
Acquiring Guilt. Parents often focus on how much time and effort they put into raising a child. He grows up and tries to please his parents. Such children grow up insecure, afraid of responsibility, and have different complexes.
Potential Dangers of Third Child Syndrome
Caring for a baby requires vigilance and attention. The position “I already have a third child and I know everything about babies” has a downside. Parents may not pay due attention to the safety of the child. This can lead to negative consequences.
- Burns. Mom left a mug of coffee on the table and the child got burned. Such a small thing can lead to disaster. About 70% of burns in children occur due to neglect by adults. Hot water in a pot, tea, coffee, milk, the formula in a bottle – the list goes on. Children’s skin is very thin and sensitive and a small burn causes pain and discomfort.
- Injuries. Falls from a height, bruises, frostbite of the limbs – injuries can occur due to negligence of adults. It is important to seek qualified medical help as soon as possible.
- Poisoning. Chemicals, alcohol, gasoline, stale and poor-quality products are often the cause of poisoning in children. This happens when parents neglect the proper storage of hazardous substances.
- Delayed treatment. Incorrect or too late treatment can cause chronic diseases. Pneumonia can occur if parents do not properly treat SARS. Frequent respiratory diseases in childhood can cause bronchial asthma.
Is there a Way to Control Your Feelings?
Third child syndrome can cause serious harm. Following simple tips will help avoid the negative consequences of this syndrome.
Make time for each child individually. Try to show each child that he is important to you. Be sincerely interested in his affairs, feelings, and dreams.
Don’t compare children. Every child is unique. Try not to compare children. This can cause uncertainty and various complexes. The phrase “Your brother at this age already knew this and that …” may have a negative effect.
Don’t ignore the child’s needs. Teenagers and infants have different needs, but parental love and attention are needed at any age.
Don’t ignore a child’s accomplishments. The first steps of a third child may not evoke as many emotions in you as they did with a first child. This behavior can create a tendency for the smallest child to be constantly underestimated. Inattention can form the baby’s opinion that you love him less and his efforts are in vain.
Take care of a child’s safety. Excessive carelessness is the cause of various injuries and diseases. It is not a good idea to completely trust the care of the smallest child to older children. They are not ready for this and this can worsen the relationship between children.
Trust to intuition, analyze behavior, methods of education, and do not give up when nothing works. Love your children, belief in them, and you will succeed!