Having a newborn gives people a licence to talk to me.
Friends. Relatives. Colleagues. Random people on the street, bus, tube…
It’s kind of nice to be honest. People don’t talk to random other people enough in my opinion, and if I do strike up conversation without having a newborn strapped to me, then I get some very strange looks.
But at the moment, I have Little B, and therefore people talk. And inevitably, I get asked the question…
‘Is she a good baby?’
What, in fact, IS a good baby?
A baby who sleeps 12 hours overnight since the day she was born?
A baby who feeds for the recommended time, at the recommended hourly intervals?
A baby that doesn’t cry?
A baby that isn’t sick on her outfits, or who does only two well contained and well timed poos a day and the requisite 6 wet nappies?
Little B is none of those things.
She is a baby, and babies do wake up regularly; babies do feed to demand and babies do cry and puke and poo.
That’s just what babies do. So does that make her a good baby?
Babies aren’t inherently good, or bad. Babies have no concept of manipulation, or a sense of being naughty. Babies have gone from a reassuring space with reassuring noise at a perfect temperature, with a low level of light and food on demand; to suddenly being thrown into a world that is sometimes cold and sometimes too hot, sometimes silent and sometimes overwhelmingly noisy; sometimes away from hugs and reassuring closeness, and sometimes without food close by – or at least that’s how it seems.
Wouldn’t you cry?
Babies have tiny tummies, with the capacity of only a small marble.
Wouldn’t you feed regularly?
And, although they have no concept of adult traits that might be considered ‘naughty’, they are still in essence miniature adults and feed as adults do – sometimes snacking, sometimes because they’re thirsty, and sometimes because they want a nice big meal.
Wouldn’t you feed for different times, at different times and in different patterns?
And babies have immature guts, much smaller distances between tummy and throat and no concept of ‘holding’ their poo and wee. Food goes in and comes out, one way or another – and sometimes it’s uncomfortable or it feels strange.
Poo explosions, puke and parents covered in wee…wouldn’t you do that too?
So in answer to your question, dear friend, relative, colleague or random stranger…
NO, she is not a good baby. And she is not a bad baby either.
She is just a baby. And she does what babies do.