lifestyle

You, or someone you know, is suffering from this baby-related syndrome.

Shauna

By SHAUNA ANDERSON

My first-born son cried so much when I put him in his car seat I was convinced there was something wrong with him. So much so, once I drove him to emergency when he would not stop screaming and asked them to do X-rays to check for some kind of pain he was in.

They checked him out (without the X-Rays) comforted me and sent me politely on my way.

Turns out the diagnosis they should have given me was Precious Firstborn Syndrome.

Are you guilty of it too? We are so wrapped up with our brand new bundle of baby-ness that we don’t see just how ridiculous we become.

It seems to be only years later that we can look back and laugh, albeit with a slightly embarrassed tinge, at the temporary insanity we suffered.

From making visitors wash their hands before handling our 6-month-old to sterilising the toys each week, a forum of mums in the UK discussing their own cases of Precious Firstborn Syndrome has gone viral.

One mum says she put sticky tape on the floorboards to help visitors avoid the creaky one, so as to not wake up her sleeping bub. She wrote, “My stepmum babysat one night and I explained to her the correct way to walk down the hallway as to not make any noise and wake the prince”.

Another says she warmed the cucumber sticks in her microwave before she gave them to her baby.

One of my favourites is the mum who says, “I was so paranoid of giving her formula or cows’ milk I would pour her cornflakes then get my boob out and spend a good half hour squeezing my milk directly on to her cereal. Weird and gross. Not to be repeated”.

The posts read like a secret confessional of stunned first time mums slowly awakening from their year in a daze.

There are swaths of parents who say they carried their baby’s bath – full – several metres through their homes to the heated rooms each day so their newborn didn’t have to get lifted out into the cool air. “DH and I made the whole house wet by carrying the baby bath through the house.”

The posts read like a secret confessional of stunned first time mums slowly awakening from their year in a daze.

I remember not feeling able to leave my newborn son with anyone. It was a primal uncontrollable feeling. The pull to be with him was so strong I couldn’t imagine how anyone else could cope if he cried.

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A mum writes that she had a ‘Notes for DD’ document prepared while she was pregnant, to help whoever was looking after her 22-month-old daughter whilst she birthed her son in hospital. She writes that it was two sides of typed A4 “and contains the memorable phrase ‘We will make sure it’s not a hairwash night’”.

God forbid anyone else…let alone our own mothers – could look after our PFBs.

“When anyone babysat my son I used to write out the lyrics of a song that I would always sing to him so he would hear something familiar, and run through it with them to make sure they had the tune right.”

Because of course a 6-week-old can tell if the tune is off.

Another: “When my mother-in-law first babysat PFB overnight at 6-months-old, I wrote detailed instructions re his care … and laminated them.”

Well they would at least survive the baby vomit.

Baby vomit of course makes several mentions in this list, with one mum saying that she rushed her 2-week-old straight to hospital the first time he possited up his feed.

Even the experts admit this “syndrome” exists. Dr Karen Wynter from the Jean Hailes Research Unit at Monash University told The Telegraph, “As a mother of two girls my personal feeling is that with our first we want to be a ‘perfect parent’ but by the time you get to two or three, you know you just have to be good enough.”

It is kind of comforting to know that we were all in the same boat together – The SS Nutsky.

And for those of us who are suffering it right now, don’t despair, as soon as that second, third or fourth baby comes along the symptoms will morph and turn into its sister syndrome – now coined “Nonchalant subsequent child syndrome”.

The primary symptoms: forgetting to write in your baby book, a distinct lack of photos of subsequent children and “sterilising” being perfected by a quick suck of the fallen dummy before plunging it back into your child’s mouth.

Take a look to see what the parents said about their experience with PFS:

Have you suffered from Precious Firstborn Syndrome – or Nonchalant Subsequent Child Syndrome?

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