Expert warns William and Kate to watch for middle child syndrome with Charlotte

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with Princess Charlotte
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London, with Princess Charlotte

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should look out for Princess Charlotte experiencing middle child syndrome after welcoming their new baby, a parenting expert has said.

As William and Kate announced they are expecting another addition to the family, Sue Atkins offered advice on how the Duke and Duchess should adjust to having three offspring.

Atkins, author of Parenting Made Easy: How To Raise Happy Children, said having a third child was more of a challenge but also a time of great excitement.

"It's more tiring because it's more demanding but it's also joyous," she suggested, adding: "It's nice because (the children) have got each other as company, but sometimes you can get a bit of sibling rivalry going on."

William and Kate will have to be aware of how their second child Charlotte copes with losing her place as the youngest as she becomes the middle child, Atkins said.

"The first one is the eldest and the youngest gets away with murder - the middle child sometimes struggles to find their feet. You can be mindful of that - they can get lost a bit. They are sometimes the children that can disappear a bit when your time is taken up with the baby."

Atkins also suggested William and Kate should make sure they take the time to stop and do simple things one on one with Prince George, Charlotte and their new sibling.

"No matter how many children you've got, if you can, find a natural space to spend quality time with each one.

"People say 'we're so busy' but then this is important stuff - to fill your child's emotional well-being and self-esteem up," the parenting guru said.

"Make sure each child, if you've got three, feels that they are valued for what they offer and that you're not trying to make them something that they're not, they're not competing with each other, they are who they are and you love them just the way they are."

She added: "It can be reading a story or playing a bit of Play-Doh. It doesn't have to be climbing Kilimanjaro - it can fit in with your normal day.

"Sometimes just sitting down beside a child and watching TV while eating popcorn is a wonderful thing or sitting with them while they're doing some colouring.

"Stop what you're doing sometimes. When you have three, you have got a lot going on - it's about stopping and spending time doing simple things and just ordinary things with children and remembering that you're building memories that last a lifetime."

Sue Atkins' top tips for looking after three children:

1. Relax

2. Focus on the positives

3. Praise and reward - Praise your children for doing something right rather than looking at what they're doing wrong.

4. Be clear on what your rules are - Set boundaries right from the beginning about how the children should treat one another.

5. Time - Make time for each child

6. Eat together - Sit down for a family meal together even if it is just once a week - but don't worry about making them eat broccoli - have a laugh, a chat and share your day with them.