8 reasons you'll always baby your youngest child

The littlest one of your family always seems to be unashamedly indulged…and there’s good reason why.

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We’ve all seen how siblings can be so different from one another, and how birth order can perhaps play a role in junior’s personality.

The oldest child is often the natural born leader, the middle children are likely to be more relaxed and less ambitious, while the littlest ones get away with everything.

In many ways, your youngest child will hold a special place in your heart ― and in your family.

Says mum Marie Ng, who is 7 months’ pregnant with her third child, “Knowing that this will be my last child makes me treasure everything more ― every ultrasound scan, or kick in the ribs makes me feel emotional, as I know I will never have the experience again.”

That said, parents are always more likely to lavish more attention on the youngest child, let them have their own way, and take their side in an argument, for the very fact that they are littler.

In many ways, your youngest child will hold a special place in your heart ― and in your family.

In fact, there are a host of reasons why you may always baby your youngest child:

1. You see the light at the end of the tunnel
Remember those sleepless newborn days and late-night feedings? While you may have felt like it was a never ending cycle of sleep, feed, diaper changing (“where did my life go!?”) when you carried out these duties for your older children, it’s quite a different experience when you’re going through it with your last child.

Says Tan Hoon Ying, who’s oldest son, Jared, is 7, “With Jared, the whole newborn period was a haze. I just kept looking at the clock, thinking, when is the next feed, when must I wake up?”

But with her younger daughter Janelle, 11 months, she notes, “I found myself loving the late-night feeds, nursing her in bed and just looking at her face. Part of it is because I know that she will eventually start sleeping through the night, and so I’m relishing these night feeds.”

2. You know you can’t spoil her forever
Some relative or other might have told you to stop picking up your precious baby the instant she cries, or she will be overindulged. Right?

Wrong. Your little baby will soon enter toddlerhood, start preschool, and hey, there will come that very last time she’ll ever demand that you to carry her (are you sobbing yet?). So yes, there is no such thing as spoiling her forever, and you now know that.

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3. You’re not impatient about milestones
There are just so many milestones to keep track of when it comes to your baby. Her first flip, her first crawl, her first step, and so on. You may have felt stressed when your older child only crawled at 8 months ― his cousin did so at 6 months ― or wondered why your peewee never uttered “mama” even as he turned 1. But for your littlest, you honestly don’t care. All you want is for time to stand still, so that you can savour the moment just that little bit longer…

4. You are more aware of time
Oh, how fast your baby grows. First, she’s just that adorable, immobile blob lying there in the crib, but in the blink of an eye, she’s jumping on the couch. Instead of playing with rattles and wooden blocks, she’s eyeing her big brother’s race cars and yearning to join in that game of Scrabble before she can even speak. She’s been exposed to songs and TV shows that have made her older than her years. Oh, slow down, baby, please?

5. You are more experienced
With your first child, it’s all about making sure you are prepared for anything that can happen. Milk? Check. Wet wipes? Check. Diapers? Check. Extra clothes in case he barfs on me? Check.

With your littlest, packing that diaper bag is already second nature to you. Nor do you have to worry about buying a top-of-the-line baby-wipe warmer, or the snazziest diaper disposal system.

This time round, because all these things don’t matter, you have more time and energy to cosset your baby. Kyra Lim, a mum of two, notes that she was so worried about all the details when it came to parenting her older child that she forgot to enjoy motherhood. “It was my one regret ― that I didn’t spend enough time enjoying her as a baby. With my 3-month-old baby Faith, I’m definitely doing things differently.”

It never seems fair that no matter how old she is, her older siblings got there first.

6. You fear that she can’t keep up
Those little chubby legs definitely can’t move as quickly as her big sister’s, and she can’t kick a ball as hard as her brother. Still, your youngest child aspires to be everything her older sibling is, and it never seems fair that no matter how old she is, her older siblings somehow got there first. Thankfully, you’ve always got her back, whether it’s to give her a leg up, or to encourage her and boost her confidence.

7. There isn’t the stress of “another baby on the way”
When it’s your last baby, you really don’t mind if she bites a hole in the playpen, or if she wrecks her bouncy chair, since you won’t need to hand these items down to another baby in the family.

In addition, there is no pressure to get her off the bottle, sleep in her own big girl bed, or even potty train her, since her parent’s attention won’t be diverted to another sibling’s. Says Tan, “That’s why I’m letting Janelle breastfeed for as long as she wants ― there’s no pressure to wean her, and I’ll let her stop on her own when she’s ready.”

8. You will miss the little things
Oh, those meaty thighs, blowing raspberries on her tummy, and snuggles in bed? What about toothless grins, the smell of your baby’s head after bathtime, and the way the fine hairs curl at the base of her baby neck? You know that all these won’t last forever, and there won’t be another baby coming along to duplicate these singular delights.

So, hold on to the little things ― and don’t hesitate to cuddle, kiss and baby your littlest one…just a little longer.

Photos: iStock

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