The new Royal baby may be about to force Prince George to share the spotlight, but most second children have every reason to feel hard done by.
No doubt the latest addition to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s family won’t have to put up with many hand-me-downs, but he, or she, will be a baby that bucks the trend according to a new report for Debenhams.
A study for the High Street retailer found on average the second born has over £500 less spent on them, than the first sibling who is showered with attention and given the best of everything.
Second children have to put up with having fewer new clothes bought for them as well as having a poorer record of their upbringing, with noticeably fewer photos and home movies taken of their young life.
It happened with Prince William and Prince Harry as babies. The Duke of Cambridge has 124m images and mentions on social media of him as a toddler compared with 116m for the younger brother.
Over eight out of ten mums (82%) say they have a memento of their first child, such as a lock of hair, a video of the first step, or the first drawing while less than one in four (23%) have a keepsake of their second.
A third (32%) of second time mums admit to clothing their new baby in one or more hand-me-downs and almost half (46%) say they give them toys which had been brought originally for the elder brother or sister.
Mums confess to wasting money on the first born due to, “inexperience”, and the, “excitement" of a first baby, but also report a sharp decline in gifts for the second- born. They also say they are more knowledgeable about toddlers’ demands when it comes to subsequent children and realise they don’t need so much.
Four of five mums say they bought, or were given, more expensive items than were required when their first child came along.
Designer outfits promoted by fashion loving celebrities were rated as the biggest luxury with only 12% of second children being bought clothing with a designer label compared with 38% of first-borns. More than half of first-time mums also admitted to splashing out on clothes their children have never worn.
First children have on average 14 cuddly toys by the age of six months, whereas the later child makes do with an average of eight.
Mums said they asked friends and relatives for specific practical gifts for the second child rather than relying on chance, which cut down on presents that were never used.
When asked about family albums of their children up to the age of two, three quarters admit that those photos almost always include the older sibling. It was only when a toddler started nursery school that the second child started having more photos taken.
Debenhams head of childrenswear, Shani Delargy said: “Having a baby at any time is a momentous experience but it’s understandable that mums adopt a much more practical approach by the time the second child comes along.
“Whilst mothers want the best for all their children. It’s all about being sensible and looking for good value products. At Debenhams we recognise this and offer a great choice of baby products and clothing for all budgets, including designer labels at high street prices.”
According to the Office for National Statistics the average age to have a second child is 30.1 years, while the average age of first time mothers is 28.1 years old. The Duchess of Cambridge was 31 when Prince George was born and is now aged 33.
Notes to Editors:
Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.
Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Stephen Jones, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, Jenny Packham, Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton, Thea Bregazzi, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.
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Debenhams Press Office
020 3549 6420 / email@example.com