Mothers really do favour their 'precious first borns' over the children they have later, research has found.
Among examples of attention lavished on the 'precious first borns' (PFBs) were tales of how mothers rubbed shampoo into their own eyes before using it on their baby to ensure it wouldn't sting, and pulling their prams backwards for miles to keep the sun off their adored offspring.
While they will conscientiously disinfect everything that comes into contact with their PFB and change them up to 150 times a week, their later children have to make do with items licked clean by the dog and stew in their own juices until their parents are ready to deal with them.
The term PFB and its poorer sibling the Neglected Subsequent Children (NSCs) were coined by members of the parenting website Mumsnet.
Among the tales reported was one of a mother that used a hairdryer on her baby's bottom after changing her.
"She was chatting to her neighbour and asked if they were ever disturbed by her crying,"
"The neighbour assured her they were not, but that they had been woken once or twice by what sounded like a hairdryer."
Another self-obsessed mother turned down an invitation to a friend and her baby's christening party because she thought her own child's "total gorgeousness would show their baby up and make them feel bad".
Another confirmed the differing hygiene practices used for Child One and Two, saying: "First child, suckable items must be sterilised in Milton or steam after they've dropped on the floor. Second child: items must be wiped over with a clean damp cloth.
"Third child: give them to the dog to lick clean."
Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet, told the reporters that most mothers would agree they treated the first child differently to later children.
"Precious First Born syndrome is something we can all relate to – most mums will confess to having checked on their sound asleep firstborns several times a night, whilst Neglected Subsequent Children are liable to bawl for an age before we even notice," she said.