Motherhood

Is he a good baby?

There’s one question that’s really starting to bug me. If you’re a mum then you’ll know this question well. It’s the ‘Is he a good baby?’ question. Usually I answer yes with a smile and nod gratefully when I’m told ‘you’re so lucky’. Sometimes I’m not even asked, I’m just told ‘you’re lucky you have a good baby’. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s not a BAD baby and I do feel lucky for that but here’s why he’s not a GOOD baby:

is he a good baby
Doctor: “Is he a good baby?”
Pregnant lady: “He’s sucking the life out of me”

He isn’t a good baby when he decides to vomit…

We just returned from a holiday and even with five jumpers and two pairs of jeans I managed to stink the whole trip. I even did a load of washing on day 3 but it didn’t make a difference, he would just spit up on me again. I don’t even know why I bothered looking when my husband would ask me what was on my jumper.

He isn’t a good baby when I’m trying to settle him to sleep…

For a very long time and occasionally still I am rocking, fit ball bouncing, swaying, moon walking – whatever it takes to get him to sleep I am doing it. I had no idea how many tears and how much time would be spent trying to get the baby to sleep.

He isn’t a good baby when it comes to sleeping at night…

A good night is being woken up twice, a bad night is being woken up 4 times and a really bad night is being woken up anywhere up to 11 times. Enough said.

He isn’t a good baby when it comes to sleeping during the day…

Catnapping is where your baby sleeps for 10-30 minutes at a time so basically ‘sleeping while the baby sleeps’ is impossible. Sometimes it takes longer to get the baby to sleep than the baby actually sleeps. That means getting through each day involves coffee, tears, co-sleeping and the occasional breakdown.

He isn’t a good baby when he has wind…

When he was a newborn, wind was a major issue for us. I got bad advice from a midwife and didn’t burp him enough and it all built up. I soon realised he had wind issues when he would turn red, strain and cry but there was nothing in his nappy. I began to think he had colic but muddled through with massage, bicycle leg movements, infacol, lots of cuddles then finally fennel tea. Now we’ve started solids it’s happening all over again.

He isn’t a good baby when I’m driving…

I thought babies were meant to love car trips and he did at first but after a few months it felt like I couldn’t drive anywhere without him screaming. I would drive along one arm on the wheel, the other arm sticking a dummy or bottle in his mouth. Every car trip was filled with guilt as if I was torturing the poor little dude. I was telling someone today he’d grown out of it but guess who pulled over today to rock and shh their baby in a carpark… yep me.

He isn’t a good baby when it comes to feeding…

If you follow my blog you’ll know that breastfeeding didn’t work out for us. Expressing for me is a major pain in the ass, I just can’t be positive about it no matter how hard I try to be.

He isn’t a good baby when it comes to teething…

He started teething at 3 months on the dot. He had a temperature and was grumpy and had red cheeks and I could feel and see the white teeth through his gums. The teeth haven’t cut through yet and are there some days and gone others. Some days there are several little sharp points, those days are hell where no amount of panadol, teething gel and cuddles work.

He isn’t a good baby when he cries…

He cried at the baby spa so missed half his massage, he cried when I was on a group walk and had to carry him half the way, he cries going to sleep, he cries while he’s asleep, he cries waking up, he cries when he can’t roll over, he cries when he can’t stand up, he cries when he’s hungry, he cries when he’s tired, he cries when he’s not feeling well. That’s what babies do – they cry and you feel responsible and it’s shit.

Is he a good baby?
I’m a good baby!

So now we all know my baby is not a GOOD baby and he’s just a NORMAL baby why the big deal about the question ‘Is he a good baby?’.

The truth is I feel offended when I’m told I have a good baby because it minimises all the hard work that motherhood brings and implies I have it easy. If you see a baby like mine that smiles on cue, rarely cries when he’s out in public and will quietly sit in his pram like an angel don’t assume that it’s easy because there’s no such thing as an easy baby. So what do I want people to say to me instead? ‘You look like a great mum’ would be nice.

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21 Comments

  • Reply

    Hannah (tuesdayschildblog)

    August 27, 2016

    Nodding along to all of your points!! I also have a windy, cat napper!
    Hannah (tuesdayschildblog) recently posted…Birth Story – part #1My Profile

  • Reply

    Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    October 31, 2016

    Ah, that phrase! What are people even thinking when they say it? What exactly is a ‘bad baby’? I had a non-sleeping, clingy, velcro baby, but of course I still said ‘yes’ to that question – because who says no?!! I like your spin on it though – whether the baby looks ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’, how about saying the mum is doing a great job – who doesn’t want to hear that? Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…Sharing the Blog Love – Showcase 18My Profile

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 1, 2016

      Haha sometimes it’s too hard to explain why they aren’t!

  • Reply

    Laura - dear bear and beany

    November 1, 2016

    I love this! There is no such thing a good baby, because that would there were bad baby and there most definitely isn’t! I wish people would stop asking this question. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…How to Make Quick and Easy Bonfire Cakes…My Profile

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 2, 2016

      Thanks Laura, I guess people ask because they aren’t sure what else to say!

  • Reply

    Louise

    November 3, 2016

    I often think whether anyone would say no to that question. They aren’t good or bad, just a baby! #sharingthebloglove
    Louise recently posted…Buying Baby Boys ClothesMy Profile

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 4, 2016

      so true Louise, thanks for reading x

  • Reply

    Elsie Pop

    November 3, 2016

    Great post! I haven’t got kids but I can relate because we get comments about how our dog is “such a good dog” and how “lucky” we are to have such a good dog. Dogs are a reflection of their owners – there’s no such thing as a bad dog, but there is such a thing as a bad owner. And it’s similar with babies – if a baby looks relaxed and happy, maybe it’s because of a skilled parent rather than luck! People are so insensitive – try not to let it get to you too much. xx
    Elsie Pop recently posted…All I Want For Christmas Is… Yarn.My Profile

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 4, 2016

      Thanks Elsie, haha good dogs are definitely a reflection of good owners.

  • Reply

    Michelle G

    November 3, 2016

    A great post and I love your line about being a great mum which is so true. And babies are just normal – you’re right – mine sometimes behaves well and sometimes not so well. But she’s a human being and like all of us, she isn’t perfect. #SharingTheBlogLove

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 4, 2016

      You’re right, there are good days and bad days just like with adults.

  • Reply

    tattooed mummy

    November 3, 2016

    oh look at him!! I think good referes to ‘easy’ really – and hardly any babies are that – but more than worth it – he’s adorable! I popped over from #sharingthebloglove

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 4, 2016

      They are definitely worth it!

  • Reply

    five little doves

    November 3, 2016

    I love this. I hate when people say are they a good baby, what a ridiculous question! #sharingthebloglove

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 4, 2016

      It is such a ridiculous question! Thanks for reading.

  • Reply

    claire

    November 3, 2016

    As a mum of two ‘good’ babies I totally feel you on this! I sometimes wonder if my expectations are too high/strict as everyone else seems to think my boys are angels, but I still think they can be devils at times! At the end of the day, kids are kids, they’re a bit of both! x #sharingthebloglove

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 4, 2016

      Yes, you’re right, kids are kids and differ from day to day.

  • Reply

    Susie at This Is Me Now

    November 5, 2016

    Oh I hear you – people thought I had a ‘good baby’, I was regularly told by my family how ‘good’ Miss Belle was. But they didn’t see half of it! I also had a cat napper who sometimes took an age to get to sleep only for her to wake up after 25 minutes! But she’s stretched them out now so don’t despair! #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 6, 2016

      Thanks Susie, catnapping is so hard!

  • Reply

    Siena Says

    November 10, 2016

    Oh no I asked someone last week if their baby was a good baby! I didn’t mean it, it just slipped out. I suppose because both of mine have been little loveable rascals, I assume that a good baby for me is one who sleeps through the night as mine never did. There is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes. He looks adorable though xxx

    #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Reply

      Emma

      November 10, 2016

      Haha Siena I wouldn’t worry about it, that person probably isn’t even bothered!

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