How To Get The First Child In Css

CSS Programming

When it comes to CSS, understanding how to select and style specific elements is crucial. One of the commonly utilized CSS selectors is :first-child. This selector targets the first child element of a particular parent. Let’s dive deeper into how this works and how it can be effectively used in styling web pages.

Understanding :first-child Selector

The :first-child selector is used to select the first child element within its parent. It’s important to note that this selector targets the first child of a specific parent, not the first child of the overall document. This means that if there are multiple parent elements of the same type, each first child of its parent will be affected.

Implementation in CSS

Implementing the :first-child selector is relatively simple. For example, if we want to style the first paragraph within a <div> element, we can use the following CSS:

div p:first-child {
  font-weight: bold;
  color: #333;

This CSS snippet targets the first paragraph within every <div> and applies the specified styling to it.

Common Use Cases

The :first-child selector can be used in various scenarios. For instance, it can be utilized to style the first item in a list differently to make it stand out. Similarly, it can be used to add specific indentation or styling to the first paragraph within different sections of a webpage.

Personal Touch

Personally, I find the :first-child selector quite useful when I want to emphasize the first item in a list. It provides a quick and effective way to add visual hierarchy to the content, making it easier for users to scan and understand the information presented.

Best Practices

While the :first-child selector can be a powerful tool, it’s important to use it judiciously. Overusing this selector may lead to inconsistent and confusing user experiences. Prior to implementing it, ensure that it truly enhances the design and user experience of the webpage.


Mastering the :first-child selector in CSS opens up a world of possibilities for creating visually appealing and well-structured web pages. By understanding its behavior and implementing it thoughtfully, web developers and designers can effectively enhance the presentation of their content.