I was always bothered by the well-meaning question, “Is he a good baby?”
I always wanted to shout “Of course, he is a good baby! He is my baby!”.
Then I remembered the asker was meaning well and making small talk.
The truth is, my babies were far from what society would call “good”.
My babies cried a lot, especially if they were not being held or worn by me (spoiled, my mother called it).
My babies were nursed around the clock. They never fell into anything that even resembled an easting or sleeping schedule. My babies rarely slept more than a three-hour stretch at night until at least 12 months.
My babies were not even good co-sleepers. We spent most of the night moving them from the crib to our bed and then back to the crib again.
My babies refused bottles.
My babies were mean to babysitters, grandparents, siblings, and often their own father.
If my babies were to have a blowout diaper, it would be on the grandmother’s lap who thought I was crazy for using cloth diapers when I did not “have” to.
Well-meaning family members and friends offered me all kinds of advice on how to cure my babies’ problems. Surely I could not be happy, or properly care for my family in broken sleep with an infant constantly attached to me.
The thing is, I was not at all unhappy.
I saw nothing at all wrong with my babies.
While nursing them around the clock did take a lot of time, it allowed me time to rest, renew and recover from pregnancy and childbirth.
Those middle-of-the-night feedings? A perfect time to read, catch up on recorded television shows, or nap in my recliner with a warm, sweet baby.
Were my babies spoiled?
Spoiled what happens to the milk that is ignored for weeks on end at the back of the refrigerator. My babies were never ignored! They made sure of that!
Did my babies become clingy, insecure children?
No way! My four school-aged sons are not only bright (of course), but they are well adjusted, secure, and able to separate from me appropriately.
We’ve had no problems with school trips, scout camp, or other common separation anxiety situations. They know that home is a haven and a warm inviting place, and they are never ignored!
My twin toddler girls now enjoy spending time with all kinds of people after their first year earthside, spent in my arms and lap.
So, take heart. If you are in the throes of motherhood, and you feel like you will never emerge from the sleep-deprived fog… you will. I assure you, that when you look back at these newborn days, they will seem like a tiny speck on your mothering radar screen!
Hang in there, and snuggle up that good baby!