Birth order and parental behavior

  1. The Lighter Side of Birth Order

    We parents love all our children equally, of course, but most of us admit that, after each baby, our standards relax just a bit when it comes to the little things in life. Check out the observations listed below and see if any ring a bell in your household. (Please keep in mind that these aren't recommended practices-they're just meant as humorous observances on the art of parenting!)

    Baby bottles

    First child: Not only do you have your bottles lined up neatly in your baby bottle cabinet, color coded for breast milk, formula, juice, and water, but you buy a sterilizing kit and routinely boil nearly everything that comes in contact with your baby's mouth.

    Second child: You buy a convenient plastic rack to hold baby bottle lids and nipples, and pop everything in the dishwasher.

    Third child: Remember the five-second rule for when a piece of food falls on the ground?

    Diapers for your new baby

    First child: You buy top-of-the-line newborn diapers with the convenient umbilical cord cutouts and carefully stock the diaper holder so that it matches your baby's room.

    Second child: You move on to generic diapers and fold over the part that covers the umbilical cord until the cord dries and falls off.

    Third child: You grab as many extra diapers from the hospital's newborn nursery as allowed, and when you run out at home, you settle for the unused size 4's left over from your previous diapering days while you send someone out to buy more.

    Diaper disposals

    First child: You buy a Diaper Genie or other specialized container and use it religiously to dispose of all of your baby's diapers.

    Second child: You still have a Diaper Genie, and if you happen to change your baby in its vicinity, you use it.

    Third child: You ran out of replacement bags for your Diaper Genie last time around, and instead you keep a lot of old plastic shopping bags on hand to cut down the smell of the diapers in the household garbage cans.

    Monogrammed baby clothes

    First child: Your friends throw you a big party after the baby is born and you get the cutest little monogrammed baby outfit.

    Second child: You decide to spring for a similar monogrammed baby outfit for your second child so that she can have a baby picture that matches your firstborn's.

    Third child: Your baby is still decked out in a monogrammed outfit--it's just pink and bears his sibling's initials.


    First child: You look in a book to find out what a "onesie" is and then make sure to buy one for each day of the week

    Second child: You go through your old onesies and sort out the ones in the wrong color or that are too stained. You also make sure to buy enough to have a week's worth of onesies (which you now realize is closer to three per day!)

    Third child: You figure that color and spit-up stains don't show through an outer layer of clothing, and if one of the three snaps is functional, hey, it's acceptable.

    Stocking up on baby clothes

    First child: Full price.

    Second child: You still spring for full price for special occasions, but you basically outfit your child off the sale racks.

    Third child: Hand-me-downs and garage sales. Can't beat 25 cents a shirt, now, can you?

    Dealing with tantrums

    First child: You question what you've done wrong, get out the parenting books, and ponder how to best handle the situation so you don't damage your child's fragile ego.

    Second child: You yell at your child when she throws a tantrum, but give in because you don't want her shrieks to wake your other child.

    Third child: Your calm response to your child's tantrum is to ask "OK, so whom do you want to go live with?"

    Baby books

    First child: You record every coo and hiccup, and the pages are so full of memorabilia that the book won't shut.

    Second child: You keep your baby book in a big storage box along with all of the important notes, scraps, and photos in hopes of one day finding time to record all the memorable moments.

    Third child: Memorabilia gets hung on the refrigerator with a magnet and the baby book is still in its original wrapper, which proves to be very fortunate when you are invited to a friend's baby shower and find yourself at the last minute without a gift.

    Feeding supplies

    First child: Tiffany silver spoon and Royal Doulton Bunnykins cup and bowl.

    Second child: Matched sets of plastic, compartmentalized kid plates and utensils with cute designs.

    Third child: A motley assortment of free souvenir plates and cups collected from countless meals at family restaurants.

  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   donmurray
    Hahaha! As a third child, I can empathise with that! Especially as my elder sibs were girls! (I still wear pink occasionally!)

    ps what's a onesie?
  4. by   KaroSnowQueen
    ONesie is a tshirt with diaper cover thingy, all one piece with snaps on the diaper cover thingy to help you change baby easier.
    Worn under clothes in winter, by itself in the summer. Comes in multiple colors and prints.
  5. by   cbs3143
    Hi Don,

    There is a lot of truth in that isn't there. LOL.

    A onesie is a one piece garment that snaps or zips up the front. The feet are also usually enclosed in the garment. With larger onesies, when the kids grow and the foot part wears out, or crowds the feet, it is usually cut off at the ankle so they can still wear them. My kids all wore them, especially in winter. And yes, number three wore leftovers from his siblings. Luckily for him, #2 was also a boy.


    Edited to add: I might be wrong. I thought the one piece pajamas were onesies. Maybe they are called footie pajamas. Live and learn.
    Last edit by cbs3143 on Mar 16, '03
  6. by   donmurray
    Ah! Probably a brand name, but we call them "Babygro"s. Thanks.
  7. by   hapeewendy
    oh man, one'sis are EVIL
    plain and simple evil in its truest form...
    all those snaps , and you finally think ur done snapping the kiddo into the garment and whammo there are all these leftover snaps?
    so you start the process over ,and find even MORE Leftover snaps
    my kid is gonna be dressed in everything velcro
    or maybe a rubber suit or two (easy to just wipe off whatever gets on it!)
    I'm lookin forward to motherhood, cant you tell?
  8. by   Lausana
    Wendy's kid will just wear a plastic paint smock.

    I was an oldest-lucky me! Oh wait, nope I wore hand-me-downs from a 9 month older cousin TONY. Yes, ugly boy clothes

    Good thing they bought me dresses after all I'm the one who has to make the choice of Nursing Home/No nursing home

    But I use the 5 second rule for cleaness now at home...I guess the next kid will just eat off the floor??
  9. by   kimmicoobug
    As a parent with two kids under five, I totally agree with this. Mainly, I have become relaxed with rules. I learned the first time around with my daughter what works and what doesn't. For example, spanking doesn't work with my kids, so I get pretty creative with discipline.
  10. by   kids
    And people think its some kind of a joke when I say I raised 3 kids and managed not to kill anyone.
  11. by   kids
    Yes, parenthood changes everything. But parenthood also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child differs from having your first:

    Your Clothes:
    1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
    2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
    3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

    The Baby's Name:
    1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favorites.
    2nd baby: Someone has to name his or her kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.
    3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger points.

    Preparing for the Birth:
    1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
    2nd baby: You don't bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
    3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.

    The Layette:
    1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
    2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
    3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

    1st baby: At the first sign of distress -- a whimper, a frown -- you pick up the baby.
    2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
    3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

    1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
    2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
    3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

    Going Out:
    1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.
    2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
    3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

    At Home:
    1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
    2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
    3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
  12. by   Disablednurse
    I have no children, but I was the oldest child with 3 younger brothers. I was expected to be a good example for the 3 younger brothers. Poor brothers kept being told, can't you do so and so like your sister. 2nd brother had middle child syndrome and set out to make mom and dad a nervous wreck.
  13. by   cbs3143

    Nancy, those were an excellent compliment to the initial list. Thanks,

  14. by   RNinICU
    Baby pictures

    First child: You take pictures in the delivery room, in the nursery, his first day home, with Grandma, Grandpa, and every other relative, first smile, first steps, first day of school.

    Second child: You buy the pictures that they take at school every year.

    Third child: Pictures? Look at the first born's pictures, all babies look alike.