The Good Baby

“Is T a good baby?”

I’ve never really understood this term. How can babies be “bad”?

Is there an assumption that because they wake up at night or cry during the day that they’re bad? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine that what they’re doing; whether it’s crying at 4am, is intentional because they’re naughty.

Babies cry. Babies wake up at night. Babies sometimes require feeds throughout the night. I doesn’t make them bad babies – it means they’re growing babies, and that’s GOOD! Heaven forbid T ignores his soggy nappy in fear of being thought of as a “bad” baby.

Last week I was asked twice in one day whether T was a “good” baby, and it really annoyed me. Within a space of a few seconds I had to decide how to answer. Do I say yes and submit to a term I hate in fear of them thinking that T is a “bad” baby? Do I say no and hate myself for calling T a bad baby just because he wakes in the night and because of this, apparently classes as being a bad baby? Or do I stand up against the term and say that, actually, T isn’t a bad or good baby – he’s just a developing baby.

In the end I didn’t answer and just said that he works hard at just being a baby, and that I couldn’t be prouder. T is an awesome baby regardless of whether he cries at night or not. Sure, he has good days where he’s happy for me leave him or put him down, other days, not so much – but that’s fine because that’s him having a bad day, not because he’s a bad baby. They don’t exist.

 

Deciding whether to be bad today… yeah right.

 

14 thoughts on “The Good Baby

    • lesbemums says:

      Thanks. I love reading different viewpoints – so would love to read yours.
      Thanks for creating #effitfriday – it makes me feel less guilty about having a rant! Lol.

  1. mamavsteacher says:

    Completely agree! Although by all those who use the term, I do seem to have a “good” baby! I think he’s great either way, because he’s perfect!

  2. g2the4thpower says:

    Lol I got the same question from my childless male coworker all the time about my toddler. He seemed to think when she had a rough night or a bad mood or a tantrum, that this defined her.

  3. Lindsay says:

    I always hated that question, too. And it honestly never stops. I get asked if Evelyn is a “good toddler” all the time. I always say “Yep, she’s awesome just the way she is!” and leave it at that. It’s weird for people to ask that of babies & children. No one ever asks “So, are you a good adult?”

    • lesbemums says:

      Precisely!!! It’s like we’re constantly judging or testing them. Poor things. Why can’t they just be left alone to be themselves without being slotted into a category?!

  4. Ariadne says:

    When people ask that question, I usually just respond with something about the baby’s personality, because I figure that’s what they’re really asking about. Some babies are more easy going and some are more intense, but they’re all good babies! 🙂 I never understood the “terrible twos” thing either, because in my experience, toddlers are awesome. So eager, loving, and unselfconscious – if only we could all be more like that!

  5. sarahofhearts says:

    What a strange question! I had no idea that was what was in store for us as new parents. I like your answer – refutes the question without sounding at all rude.

    • lesbemums says:

      That’s what I was hoping. I don’t really know what to say sometimes. Like you said, it is an odd question – one of many I imagine!

  6. AndiePants says:

    I hate this question – so dumb. I also think this is almost always code for ‘is your baby sleeping through the night?’ I always want to say, “No. And I’m glad for it! He needs to eat at night.’ We do have an ‘easy/good’ baby – not a big cryer/fusser, but I want people to love him and consider him ‘good’ no matter his temperment. ALL babies are good babies!!

    • lesbemums says:

      I think you’re right! If that is the case, then what does matter if they’re not sleeping? Babies don’t do that, not often anyway.

      We also have a very content little baby who sleeps from 8pm to 4am, feeds, and then sleeps until 7am, but how long it will last, I don’t know but I don’t care! Babies will do what they want – we just have to follow their lead.

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