Please Do Not Ask Me If I Have A “Good” Baby


By the time you get to baby #3 there is a lot that no longer fazes you.

You take unsolicited parenting advice with a grain of salt (though I still solicit a whole lot of it!).

You’re not fazed by the strangers who want to croon over your baby.

You know all challenges have their season and do not last forever.

You know that it’s more nature than nurture, despite having convinced your pre-kid self otherwise (though nurture matters too! But things like sleep habits, yeah, you have no pull.)

When people stare at your tantruming toddler you smile; you know better than to be embarrassed that your child is merely human.

But the one thing I still can’t stand is when someone asks me if he’s a “good” baby. What does that mean exactly? Does he sleep through the night? No. Is he content in the car? No. Does he amuse himself on the floor so I can get things done? No. Is he a good napper? No. Is he unfazed by teething? No. Is he a good baby? Well, of course! He’s a baby. He’s the best. He’s vivacious and tenacious, and his demanding needs are high. But the antithesis of “good” is “bad” and there simply is no such thing as a bad baby, no matter how challenging or needy (which is only par for the course: they’re completely helpless).

So please, please, don’t ask me if I have “good” baby. You can ask if he’s got teeth yet, or what his favorite foods are. I don’t even mind if you ask his sleeping habits or how frequently her nurses; because I can’t tell you much else at this point: I don’t know if he’ll be a soccer player or a bookworm. Maybe he’ll yodel or be a chess champ. So much of his person I don’t yet know.

But what I do know is that yes, of course, he is so, so innately good. There is nothing bad about him. So don’t put limitations on what makes him “good” – challenging does not equal bad. Trust me. And easy doesn’t equal good either.

A baby is a baby is a baby. And all babies are good.

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