comments on dc's "alertness" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 02-25-2006, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is not a vent AT ALL. I really appreciate when people comment about my ds (he is my favorite topic of conversation ). However, there is one comment I get a lot that I just don't understand. People often say "he's so alert." Now I understand that comment if the baby is awake and looking around during that really sleepy newborn period. However, my ds is 7 months old and I am still hearing that. Where are all the sluggish, drowsy babies that these people seem to be comparing him to? Or is this just one of the "stock" things that people say about babies (along the lines of "Is he sleeping through the night" and "I'd like to pinch those cheeks")?

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#2 of 17 Old 02-25-2006, 08:36 PM
 
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I've actually seen babies who weren't very alert seeming at that age. My daughter got the same comment a lot.

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#3 of 17 Old 02-25-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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i get that a lot too, i think people are really used to what our family calls "the bucket babies" : . in arms babes are a lot more interactive.
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#4 of 17 Old 02-25-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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G, at six months, still seems extra alert to me. Of course, I don't have any babies to really compare him to. I think one reason G seems more alert is because he's quite social. If your baby is engaging people, they may equate that with alertness.

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#5 of 17 Old 02-25-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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I don't know, I hear that word tossed around a lot, and people do sometimes say it about my dd, but honestly I think it's just one of the few positive adjectives people have in their vocabulary to describe babies! once they go through cute, adorable, happy, "good", alert is sure to follow if the baby is awake and looking around. I think people who aren't around babies a whole lot sorta expect this lump of fat who just eats, cries, and sleeps all the time, and are surprised to see an actual little person who is looking around interestedly (is that a word?) at the world around them and wanting to interact.

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#6 of 17 Old 02-25-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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Maybe your kid just looks particularly bright and intelligent. You know how some people's eyes have a certain sparkle? Sounds like you've got one of them.
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#7 of 17 Old 02-25-2006, 11:27 PM
 
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lol about the "bucket babies" pp. Actually I do notice that bucket babies tend to be less alert. When I was at a restraunt there was another baby sitting in a carseat right next to me. She was much older than my dd who was about 2 months at the time (maybe the other was 7 or 8 months). She just layed there looking completely bored (and uncomfortable, her head was sticking out the top of the car seat, I hope they had a different one for driving). My dd was staring at everything and you could see the wheels turning in her head. Everyone who comments on my dd says she's alert.
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#8 of 17 Old 02-26-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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Well . . . I always get this comment but I said to myself a long time ago that ds was particularly alert. Unlike other newborns I've known, ds did not sleep a lot. He was awake it seemed like all the time. Now at 6 mos., he seems interested in everything, notices a lot and is easily distracted or frustrated if presented with too much and he almost never sleeps and is always fidgeting/making noise/doing something. I hardly get a chance to put him down. So when folks have said to me that he is alert . . . I always took it for a more polite way of them saying he's a handful (read "pain in the rear end"). I don't care what folks say though because what do they know? Plus folks always feel the need to say something, anything--even if it's stupid or inane.

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#9 of 17 Old 02-26-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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We get that comment about DD too. I just passed it off as just some polite thing people were saying until a doctor and his nurse commented on DD's alertness too. DD is very curious about what she sees and hears. She's especially focused on new people and new sights but I thought most babies are that way. Not that I'm complaining. I prefer alert to "Your baby looks tired."

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#10 of 17 Old 02-26-2006, 03:33 AM
 
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They say that about my babe, too. Sometimes they say it because they want to be PC and think they should not say she is pretty. Whatever!
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#11 of 17 Old 02-26-2006, 03:50 AM
 
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"Where are all the sluggish, drowsy babies that these people seem to be comparing him to?"

I see them all the time, have done so for years and years.

My son's alertness was something of a surprise to me, since I'd seen so many placid, bored little babies.

And even now, sometimes I look at those quiet, inwardly-looking babies in their strollers all calmly reclined, as I wrestle my into-everything, interacting-with-everyone, near-21 month old away from or into whatever/whereever I'm not wanting to do or doing....and wonder what it's like....
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#12 of 17 Old 02-26-2006, 04:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama
Maybe your kid just looks particularly bright and intelligent. You know how some people's eyes have a certain sparkle? Sounds like you've got one of them.
Funny, I get the so alert comment too alot. But my best friend who doesn't have any kids yet said that they sparkled.

I think that it's just a very pc term to refer to a baby and also not interject any referance to the sex of the baby in case they are wrong.
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#13 of 17 Old 02-26-2006, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyeilis
And even now, sometimes I look at those quiet, inwardly-looking babies in their strollers all calmly reclined, as I wrestle my into-everything, interacting-with-everyone, near-21 month old away from or into whatever/whereever I'm not wanting to do or doing....and wonder what it's like....
Funny - my son is one of those calm babies, but everyone thinks he's "alert" because he's sitting back, studying everything, before getting involved. Now, once he knows you he's into everything and interacting like mad (boy can FLIRT!) but he's got to hang back and check everything out, first.
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#14 of 17 Old 02-27-2006, 02:24 AM
 
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We also get that comment ALL the time. We figure it's because our DD keeps her eyes really open. Even when we know that she's getting tired because they're starting to droop people who don't know her comment on how open and big her eyes are and how alert she is. Sometimes we have to laugh because we know she'll be asleep in minutes and is actually pretty sleepy at the time.

Maybe people are using it because they don't want to use pretty or handsome and have to guess at our DD's gender
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#15 of 17 Old 02-27-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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I always thought "alert" was a weird comment, too. Every baby I know is pretty alert (after the first few sleepy weeks, of course).
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#16 of 17 Old 02-28-2006, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the responses! It has been interesting reading different perspectives.

Hugs to your children, no matter how "alert" or "sleepy" they may be! (Mine happens to be napping at the moment...)

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#17 of 17 Old 03-01-2006, 02:46 AM
 
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That's an interesting question. People say that all the time to me and I had never really thought about it. I always thought that unless sleeping most baby's would be alert. Never thought about comparing them to the "bucket babies" before.

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