The first-born child: patterns of development

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1977 Aug;19(4):446-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1977.tb07937.x.


209 first-born infants and their mothers were studied at birth and again two months later in order to learn how they had adapted to post-natal life. Only a small minority had escaped ill-health and also achieved the ideal of a contented breast-fed baby with an established routine. At two months 33-5 per cent were still breast feeding. Difficulties with feeding were reported by 55 per cent of mothers. 24-4 per cent of the babies were having a night feed at two months and 24-8 per cent had not yet established a daytime routine. The daily number of feeds ranged from three to seven, with a median of five. Medical problems had occurred in 46-5 per cent of the babies. Bottle-fed babies had more infections, and were more likely to use a dummy than breast-fed babies. Wakefulness during the daytime ranged from less than four hours to more than 10 hours. Many of these women were over-anxious. The primary care teams and paediatric services face a major task in helping today's primiparous mothers and their infants make a good start in life together.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Order*
  • Child Development*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care
  • Infant Food
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Wakefulness