Mummy stuff, Pregnancy

17 weeks pregnant: The neglected second child syndrome

17 weeks pregnant. Not much to see yet. Dust on mirror curtesy of messy builder.

This morning, I was pulling up my favourite pair of skinnies and made an ill-fated attempt at sucking in my tummy, thinking ‘sudden expansion of waistline – must eat less cake’. Only to be shocked by the second thought: ‘Oops, completely forgot that I am pregnant.’

It’s bizarre how much more “actively pregnant” I felt with little L – I read baby books, went to antenatal classes and sang for my unborn baby in pregnancy yoga. The whole thing was much more on the top of my mind, whilst right now, it’s just not. Although I am a not necessarily unhappy that this second pregnancy isn’t taking over my life in the way the first one did (I was a complete and real bore, hardly able to speak about anything else), I am also feeling a little bit guilty that this baby isn’t getting the same amount of attention the first one got.

As much as I’d like to, I can’t really blame it on being distracted by living on a building site. I have been in the exact same situation before – we moved into our far-from-ready house when I was 18 weeks pregnant with little L. However, I might be excused to have temporarily forgotten even the pregnancy-induced sciatica pain when a rat took over our kitchen last weekend.

Raising my concerns to my consultant, he laughed them off, stating that a whole array of “neglected second children” are doing just fine. Apparently, they find their way to make themselves heard.

So, tell me mums of two or more children. How loud does the second one scream?


  1. Not an expert, and not a mother of two, but have noticed with siblings, and siblings children etc, that the second one seem a lot quieter. Calm, quiet and simpler. Especially if your turn them into middle children ASAP, you won’t hear from them at all after the third one has arrived xx

  2. I have to say that as a second child myself, I was even more neglected after I was born, not in a malicious way of course, it was just that my sister still demanded a lot of attention, but I was a very quiet baby happy to just be by myself, and looking at my surroundings. This didn’t change when I got a bit older, I never really cried as a child, and was happy wandering off on my own to do my own thing. Even now as adults, my sister still demands a lot more attention from everyone around her, and it now at the point where if she is not around and people turn the attention on to me, I actually feel quite uncomfortable. I am quite happy for all of the attention to be on her

  3. I was the second child. Got all the attention from both my parents and my doting elder brother. Made all the noise, sang all the songs and pulled people’s chins to make sure I was heard. You’re looking pretty! xx

  4. My little brother was a second sibling and was much less of a handful than me – much better behaved! You are looking fabulous, as always xxx

  5. So funny I am literally just one week ahead of you. I officially can’t wear my skinnies anymore though! I haven’t really felt pregnant this time so too suprise myself when I remember there’s a bun in there!

  6. You are looking wonderful 🙂

    I think it depends what you have with regard to having two children – two girls may have a very different dynamic to a girl followed by a boy 🙂

    I have a boy and girl with 4.5 yrs between them and I always think I have a very typical girl and a typically active little boy….I don’t think you can generalise. My daughter is a “typical” sensible, cautious and conscientious eldest child – and my son has all the confidence that I think a second and younger child often has. (Interestingly my own brother and I were just the same). My son embraces everything and is a total ray of sunshine – not to say my daughter isn’t, she’s just quieter about it!!

    I think during your 2nd pregnancy, you just relax a little more – even if subconsciously….and when you also have a toddler to look after, you just can’t always be as focused as during the 1st pregnancy.

    One thing, I would say is that I know very few 1st and 2nd children with similar personalities….a quick mental straw poll of friends makes me think that 2nd children are often easier.

    But what do I know?! 😉

    Take care XX

  7. On the other hand, I think “middle” children are the biggest handfuls of all!! My brother certainly was – you don’t get away with what the youngest does and you don’t always get the attention that the eldest does – so you have to get attention with your behaviour!!

    I think eldest children are the quietest – and anyone who arrives after them is always noiser 🙂

  8. Unfortunately I was very aware of the 2nd pregnancy as we thought there was something wrong from about 5 months on, (there wasn’t) so it was constantly on my mind. However, when he was born, we discovered that although my husband remembered to bring the camera to the hospital, there was no film in it! (1995) As is typical with many 2nd children, there aren’t any photos of him until he was about 3 days old.
    He talks a lot less than his elder sister and younger brother, but that’s ’cause there’s not a lot of air left in the house!

  9. Ah the second pregnancy… Like you I felt like I was neglecting him. To be fair there is a bit of “been there done that” type of feeling and how often do you sit on the sofa idly rubbing your lovely expanding tummy? Wondering what size the baby may be or what colour his eyes will be? That’s right, not that often because, oops, the first one still needs to eat and lots of
    attention 🙂
    The way I found to connect was preparing for birth with hypnotherapy. Every evening I would listen to my mp3 blocking out everything else. I am sure it helped me or I would have been in shock giving birth because the rest of the time I didn’t have much time to think.
    Here is the news, my second one is the loudest by far and my younger
    sister grabbed all the attention the minute she was born. Based on my experience the second is the loudest, although as a baby he was like E a fairly calm and quiet baby. Don’t feel guilty about it though, it happens but when the baby is born it all falls into place.
    See you Sunday x

  10. The second one screams just as loud, but the difference is it doesn’t stress you out as much. All those things you found terrifying as a new mother – changing the first nappy, colic, spitting up – just seem like routine, second time round. (I remember that second pregnancy feeling, too – you just don’t have time to read the baby books or anything else because you’re busy running after the other one. ) You’re looking well on it!

  11. Mrs. Pancakes says

    Love this…too funny on the skinny jeans comment!

  12. Haha!

    Well, my second was, as my mother said ‘an Angel by day, a Devil by night…! He was good as gold during the day but would scream inconsolably for hours at night. I

    I also distinctly remember saying to the nurse at his immunisations how he was such a good baby (apart from those nights…). She replied ‘yes, it’s around the year mark that the second borns tend to start causing trouble’. How right she was! At around 12 – 18 months his personality began to come through and he went from being a quiet, placid thing to a very headstrong, confident and loud little boy!

    I’ve heard that second children often try to differentiate themselves from their older sibling – I would certainly say that my two are very different. My second is as cheeky and naughty as my first is sensible and well behaved!

    I am now wondering how my third will will turn out!

    It is endlessly fascinating and one of the joys of parenting, seeing your children develop into into their own little person.

  13. MuMuGB says

    I wouldn’t worry. My second one is a lot louder than my first…

  14. Um want me to be honest or tactful? Littler has made very certain that she is absolutely not an ignored second…

    You (and they) will be fine – mother nature is clever enough to not have it being an issue

  15. As a dad of a 3.5 yr old and a 3 month old…the second is vastly louder than the first. And more insistent. He certainly won’t allow himself to be a neglected child…

  16. The second one puts over-parenting totally into perspective. They do everything so much faster, because they have an older sibling. That makes you realise that a toddler or preschooler is actually a better role model than you are.Humbling!

  17. Mummy B says

    Oh my goodness, the second child will make themselves heard, count on it! My first was a little angel, he would fall asleep anywhere, anytime. You would only hear from him if he was hungry, and even then, it wasn’t a cry, more of a loud sigh. My second child, well, his screams can literally cause your ears to ring! He is boisterous, loveable, full of personality, but lord help you if he feels like he’s being left out!

  18. Pingback: 27 weeks pregnant: la vie est belle | Metropolitan Mum

  19. Pingback: 37 weeks pregnant: blooming, really | Metropolitan Mum

  20. Pingback: 29 weeks pregnant: growing, growing, growing - Metropolitan Mum

Comments are closed.