As a new mummy – I’ve discovered a question that EVERYBODY likes to ask and it makes me SOOOO mad!
Is she a ‘good’ baby?
What a strange question! How can a newborn baby be a ‘bad’ baby??? To be honest the first few times that I was asked this I wasn’t quite sure what the person was getting at and just assumed that they were a bit odd so I gave them my stock response of:
Erm yes she’s great I think
Obviously as a first time mummy I have nothing to compare her to but she seems great to me!! Anyway, it soon became clear to me that “Is she a ‘good’ baby” actually translates into “Does she sleep through the night”? I am actually shocked at how many people ask me this!
As mummy to spirited Baby B who at 9 months still doesn’t always “sleep through the night” (although she did last night hurray!!), being asked this question at 8 weeks and 12 weeks did not endear me to the asker!
I found it insulting that my Baby was considered to be a ‘bad’ baby just because she woke up during the night to feed (which FYI is totally normal for newborns!). I found myself spouting off the following to anyone who even hinted that they were about to ask “the question”….!
I’m so lucky, she is a very good baby but because I’m breastfeeding she wakes for a night feed but she goes straight back to sleep because she really is a very good baby, the very best of babies, a very good baby indeed. I’m sure she would sleep through the night every night if I wasn’t breastfeeding because she really is a very very good baby, a very good baby indeed…..*continued frantically for the next 5 minutes*
I’m sure that the people who were on the receiving end of my frantic assertion that my baby was a ‘good’ baby ended up thinking that I was the odd one!
Anyway, eventually I decided that secretly people want to hear that your baby is a ‘bad’ baby. A baby that doesn’t sleep. Its almost like some people think that new parents *should* be awake all night…!
Confession time – as a sleep deprived mummy to a ‘bad’ baby, I secretly love it when other parents tell me that they have a ‘bad’ baby too as it makes me feel better about it! I am also ashamed to admit that I may have also had a secret snigger to myself when non sleep deprived parents with no bags under their eyes, who have bragged often of having ‘good’ babies suddenly hit the 4 month sleep regression. Ha welcome to my world I think! The benefit of having a ‘bad’ baby was that we had no sleep to ‘regress’ from at 4 months.
My ‘bad’ baby is a delight to be around. She rarely has tantrums, is engaging, smiley and interested in people and the world around her. She is happy most of the time, crawling, pulling herself up and fun to be around. I may be biased but I think she gives all those ‘good’ babies a run for their money!
And now at 9 months, Baby B sleeps through *most* nights and even when she doesn’t, the sleep I do now get feels amazing anyway because my clever, beautiful ‘bad’ baby trained me to cope on less.