"Is he a good baby?" - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-12-2010, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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People keep asking me if my son is a "good" baby. I think he's wonderful. But I know that when people say that, what they often really mean is "Is he an easy baby?" and the answer to that question is honestly no. He's a smart, funny, playful boy, almost ten months old, and when he's happy we have a lot of fun. But he also has a temper already, he's got reflux and eczema that I struggle to control, and I can't get him on a regular nap schedule, and he wakes every two hours or so at night. So no, he's not an easy baby. But I love him and I don't care if he's more work than some babies (ok, I admit, at 3 a.m. sometimes I'm jealous of parents with easy babies. But mostly I'm perfectly fine with who my son is!).

I started out answering the "Is he a good baby?" question with "Yes, he's perfect." But then people would ask things like "Oh, so he sleeps through the night well?" or "Oh, so he's easygoing?" and those assumptions aren't true. So now I answer that question with something like "Some things have been hard, but we have a good time together and I think he's great."

I guess I'm just frustrated that so many people think of a "good" baby as being an easy one. My son is not easy. But he's smart, and loving. Why can't he fit into the definition of "good?" Why are people even categorizing babies as good or not good, anyways? Why can't it be assumed that ALL babies are good babies? Anyways, I just wanted to get that off my chest.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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I hate that question. After getting it over and over from dh's grandmother, I finally said something to the effect of "All babies are good," thinking she would get the point. She gave a little laugh and then came back with, "Well, some are better than others."

Mom to Eoin (11/02), Eilis (09/04), Eamon (07/07), and Ellery (04/10)
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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I usually answer with something like,

"No, he's bad."
or
"Well, we like him."

It shuts em up pretty quick.

Kelly, wife to J and mama to our precious A, HE'S 5! and the parasite will emerge on or before Sept 24, 2010!
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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it's funny how people can't come up with new or interesting questions. while i was pregnant it was "how are you feeellliinnggg" clearly with the expectation you are supposed to say horrible and sick or whatever or "when are you going to have that baby already?" as if we can control that.

now, i also always get the "is he a good baby?" like, what would i say if he wasn't? no, he's horrible, i hate him? again, i really think people hope you will complain about it all.

i have no idea why people like other folks to be miserable.

mom to Andrew   born Feb 6th, already a mom to child with fur; and still missing and still wondering about the lost possibilities Mar 17, 2009
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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I think people just need something ot say sometimes. I try not ot let it get to me. I would Either reply with a huge smile "She's the BEST!" or like pp mentioned "We like her". This avoids getting into their definition of good, most of the time anyway.

''''

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Old 03-12-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I just say "No! I caught him with two hookers in his room last night, and when I told him it was time for his friends to go home he shot me in the kneecaps!"

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Old 03-12-2010, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just say "No! I caught him with two hookers in his room last night, and when I told him it was time for his friends to go home he shot me in the kneecaps!"
LOL!!! I'm just picturing a little baby dressed up like a mafia boss now! Thanks for the laugh!
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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I like that one.

I came in from the front page because this question came up when mine were babies. I remember one mama's response: "Well, he hasn't robbed a liquor store yet!" -- and I started using that one, particularly because my babies did not STTN and were generally colicky and didn't especially love being held by anyone other than me...which is people's idea of a "good baby", I discovered. It made people laugh, and occasionally made them rethink their ridiculous question.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frontierpsych View Post
I just say "No! I caught him with two hookers in his room last night, and when I told him it was time for his friends to go home he shot me in the kneecaps!"


I would give ten dollars to hear a mom say that!

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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I usually ask them what is a good baby and where are the bad babies that I'd like to meet them lol
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frontierpsych View Post
I just say "No! I caught him with two hookers in his room last night, and when I told him it was time for his friends to go home he shot me in the kneecaps!"
LOL

Might have to steal this one, make the necessary corrections for a girl lol
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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I get this question A LOT, and it always makes me sad. It makes me sad, because the people I know that ask me this, what they really mean is, 'does he STTN'.

Like if my son doesnt STTN he is a bad baby

The more times the same people ask me this question, the snarkier I get about it to them.

NO, my son does not STTN because he is a BABY. He needs to nurse during the night because he is a BABY. He is a perfect and wonderful baby, who has already figured out how to latch himself back onto my breast while he is half asleep.

Of course these same people tell me I must start CIO so my son doesnt get 'spoiled' by nursing in the night and how DANGEROUS it is for me to be sleeping with him

Ugh this is the one question I get that just really bothers me... Why do babies have to be either bad or good. Poor babies who people think are 'bad' for not STTN, it breaks my heart.

Mama to Xavian, born 11-24-09
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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This question really bothers me a lot too. I think it means not only STTN but crying in general. I am a lucky mom as my baby rarely cries and everyone claims she is a 'good' baby. This question still bothers me. I don't like other ppl judging my baby as 'good' or 'bad.' I'm with others who wonder who the 'bad' babies are. I think all babies are adorable and perfect. I am inspired to come up with a more creative answer though... something about haven't caught her smoking or sneaking booze from the liquor cabinet yet.

Cheryl, mom to Olivia Grace (May 2009), Zackary James (Jun 2012)

both hypnobabies births

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Old 03-12-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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I get the same "most frequently asked" question but it's usually worded like this: "So ... are you getting any sleep?"

Our son isn't yet quite two months but I've been getting it from the beginning.

I usually answer with a vaguely truthful "Yeah, well he can be hard to get settled down at night but once he is settled down he does pretty good throughout the night" and leave out the qualifying ("except ...") details they don't want to hear about anyway.

Of course most of the people asking me this are coworkers, so maybe they're really asking "So ... are you alert enough to do your job?"

Either way fortunately so far no one has seen the need to dole out any unnecessary advice after I answer nor do they press for any further details :-)

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" - Dr. Seuss
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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Well I think in some ways that DD is an easy baby. I have a lot of siblings to use as comparison and for some reason, the powers that be decided to have mercy on me.

So I often say something funny like, "Yeah! She's a gem...must be God's way of blessing me for not killing my little brothers!" Or some such dumb comment...


If they keep pursuing, I try to redirect. For example, if they say, "Oh, so she's sleeping through the night!" I say, "She has some long periods, but either way wouldn't matter b/c DH is such a nice husband, he watches her while I sleep in!" I've found that praising a partner is so rare, it usually shuts them up.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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I've found that praising a partner is so rare, it usually shuts them up.
Sad but true. Sometimes when I talk about how awesome my DH is, these same people who advise CIO also constantly complain about their SO. They look at me like I am either nuts or making it up.

But my DH IS awesome, and I want to give him credit for that.

Some people just really confuse me.

Mama to Xavian, born 11-24-09
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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I always answered "S/he's very good at being a baby, if that's what you mean!"
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If they keep pursuing, I try to redirect. For example, if they say, "Oh, so she's sleeping through the night!" I say, "She has some long periods, but either way wouldn't matter b/c DH is such a nice husband, he watches her while I sleep in!" I've found that praising a partner is so rare, it usually shuts them up.
I've used this too. My DH is amazing and so helpful, and I tell people we're doing well because he tries so hard to give me a break when he can. And it's absolutely true.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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I'm not a fan of this question either, something about it just drives me crazy. I wasn't a fan of it when I had a "good" baby (my daughter who slept through the night at 4 weeks old) and I wasn't a fan when I had one of those "bad" babies who didn't sleep through the night for over a year and a half. I've always used variations on the "hasn't knocked over a liquor store yet" theme.

Candace - Mama to Molly (02/06), Max (06/08) and Maggie (03/10)
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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I hate that question too! "Is he a good baby?" I wasn't aware innocent little babies could be bad.

Formerly known as "JessicaRenee".  hang.gif  Single mama to Jude (Sept '09)!  biggrinbounce.gif

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Old 03-12-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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Of course my baby is a good baby! I actually never realized people were asking about sleeping, eating, fussing, or whatever. They ask and I say, "Yes. She's perfect." She gets up every 1.5 hours at night, won't nurse during the day, hates naps, rejects other caregivers, all of which annoys me....but yes, she's a GREAT baby.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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I always answer this question with, "All babies are good".

Good and bad has a moral implication, there really are no "bad" babies.


Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11 + Someone New in May 2015! After years of planning, we are finally living our dream in South America!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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I like to say things like "Nah, but we decided to keep him anyway"...tends to make people stop asking me questions.

Sabrina loving wife to Nate , frazzled mom to Gabriella (1-23-07) and Robert (2-9-10) My bed and heart are overflowing!
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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I hate the "good baby" and "bad baby" terminology. I feel it puts a moral judgment on perfectly normal, developmentally healthy behaviour.

I was once asked if dd1 was a "bad baby", and I said, "oh, yeah - but we've almost got her off the booze - we just need to stop the swearing and the cigarettes". I have no idea if it registered, but I got hte weirdest look.

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Old 03-13-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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We're asked it a lot with DS2...our response is always "he's a keeper"
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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This question annoyed me even before my son was born. Sometimes I just say, "Yes." And he IS a happy, smiley baby most of the time, so a lot of times I will say, "All babies are good, but he's also usually pretty happy."

Funny thing is, my husband knows that this question bugs me, so he will say about our son, "He's a good baby... you know, not like those other, bad babies..." just to tease me.

When people ask if he sleeps through the night, I say (depending on who it is), "He sleeps pretty well" or "I think he wakes up once to eat... not really sure...." (we co-sleep). My husband will just say "pretty much."

So far, though, I have gotten fewer annoying questions while pregnant/with a baby than I expected based on what I had heard.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aubergine68 View Post
I always answered "S/he's very good at being a baby...."
This is what I used too. Any follow-up questions ("Does s/he sleep through the night?") can be answered with "Eh, you know, s/he's a baby."
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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I think people just don't know what to say. So they say that.
It doesn't really bother me as much as some other questions or statements.
But I usually say, "he's awesome!"
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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"Is he a good baby?"

"Why, are you in the market for a baby?"

Or "You're welcome to take him for a night and determine that for yourself?"

Or "He sure has tasty toes, but I haven't sampled any other part of him yet!"

Or "What exactly IS a good baby?"

Or "Good? He's SPECTACULAR!"

Or "NO! He's HORRIBLE! He doesn't sleep, he pukes all over me, he's sensitive to foods I eat, he has poop explosions daily, he doesn't like to be put down, I'm exhausted, my house is a mess! Thank you so much for asking, and since you offered, I'd really appreciate it if you'd take him for a few hours so I can rest."

I don't know...depends on my mood!

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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I think people are asking if you're having a good experience being a new mommy to said baby. With my first, the experience was anything BUT good - but it wasn't DS's "fault." My second, yes, the experience was much better because DD was an easy and sweet natured baby. But neither baby was better than the other.

mama of DS(3) & DD(2)
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