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Like Princess Charlotte, Parenting Second Babies Might Be Easier

The Short of It

Prince Charles recently said his new granddaughter, Princess Charlotte, is a much easier baby than her big brother, Prince George, something many families claim to be true of second babies—and it's even supported by science.

The Lowdown

While hosting a tea to honor World War II pilots, Prince Charles was asked about his new granddaughter. He reportedly answered that she sleeps through the night and is much easier on mom, Kate Middleton, and dad, Prince William, than George was.

Many families report that second babies are easier to take care of than their firsts, and research supports their feelings. One study on birth order found that first children had stronger perfectionist tendencies, which could indicate they are higher maintenance. Second-time parents might also feel more experienced with Baby No. 2 and therefore be more relaxed around him. Firstborns absorb their parents' anxious and overwhelmed feelings, while second babies absorb their parents' calmer energy.

Second children also might learn to self-soothe sooner, as parents are sometimes busy with the older sibling and don't rush in at the first sound of a cry. Parents may just also report that second babies are easier because they themselves are more prepared and confident in their parenting skills, having "practiced" on the first child.

The Upshot

I'm the mom of an only child, in large part because she was a very difficult baby, crying for hours and not sleeping for more than a few hours at a time until she was almost 1 year old. My husband and I were scared to have a second baby and experience that very challenging period again. Hearing that second babies are often easier makes me wonder a tiny bit if maybe we should have given it a shot, but honestly, we're very happy with our family of three!

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