Firstborn children are more ’emotionally available’ to their mothers

Firstborn children are more sociable and ’emotionally available’ to their mothers, study finds

  • Firstborn children were more willing to respond to their mother’s suggestions
  • U.S. study found children ‘benefit of years of their parents’ undivided attention’ 
  • Also showed more enjoyment playing with their mothers than younger siblings

Firstborn children are more sociable and ‘emotionally available’ to their mothers than those born second, a study reveals.

When 55 mums were observed playing with their first or second child at 20 months, the firstborns were more willing to respond to their mother’s suggestions and displayed more enjoyment playing with her.

They were also more sociable with other adults. 

Firstborn children have been found to be more emotionally available to their mothers than their second born siblings in a U.S. study


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Dr Diane Putnick, who co-led the US study from Eunice Kennedy Shriver national Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in Maryland, said: ‘Firstborn children may be more sociable and emotionally available to their mothers because they have the benefit of years of their parents’ undivided attention.

‘Perhaps this concentrated time with mothers early on leads firstborn children to develop better social skills in relationships with adults.’

The study is published in the journal Social Development. 

Dr Diane Putnick, who co-led the study, said firstborns could be this way because they have the benefit of their parents’ ‘undivided attention’ and ‘concentrated time with their mothers’

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