Monday, April 29, 2013

Good babies

I was on a shuttle in Las Vegas recently, and overheard a conversation between the parents of a "good" little baby and another passenger.

"She's such a good baby," they said of the child who was quiet and content even though she was on a shuttle at 4 am. "We keep expecting her to act up at some point, but she's just so good."

"I had two good babies," the other proud momma said. "It IS possible. They both slept so well on their own."

"Well, some days I have to rock her to sleep when we catch her on a bad day" said proud momma #1, "but most of the time she just sleeps on her own."

As a mom to two strong-willed, opinionated, GOOD babies myself... I really wanted to chime in.

"I had two good babies myself," I wanted to say...

Madelyn was a such a good baby, she knew that she felt most at peace and safe when in her momma's arms. So she made sure I knew that's where she wanted to be ... All the time.

She was such a good baby she knew that her acid reflux hurt her when she was flat on her back ... Even when her mommy didn't know what was wrong. So she communicated her need in as strong of a way as she knew how.

She knew that mommy's milk made her tummy feel better, and helped her feel comforted when she was overstimulated or overwhelmed. So she rooted and nursed often (I mean, she rooted and nursed all of the time.)

She was such a good baby, she experimented with her communication (how loud can I go?) until the desired effect was reached. She knew herself well enough to know what she needed, and trusted that her mommy would provide. So she made sure her mommy always knew how she was feeling.

She was such a good baby she still developed well, even when I was exhausted from meeting her constant needs, and didn't respond to her in the most peaceful, loving ways at times.

She was such a good baby because she didn't give up on herself, her needs, or her mommy and daddy.... Even when we were all exhausted.

She was such a good baby.

Little miss is also a good baby.

She gets passed from person to person. Sometimes it's too much for her and she shows us when she needs peace and quiet.

Little miss doesn't like diaper changes ... She doesn't like being held in one place. She's so curious about her world that she just wants to crawl around and see what everything feels like ... In her mouth of course. She's so good at discovery.

Little miss is good at letting us know when a transition is too sudden for her. She is good at letting us know what food tastes good and feels right in her mouth ... And what doesn't. She's good at telling us when she wants to be rocked, and when she wants to be put down.

Little miss can't say words like most 1-year-olds. She doesn't eat like most 1-year-olds. And she sees more specialists than most adults I know. But she charms everyone who meets her. Every day she tries, and tries, and tries again without getting discouraged.

She is such a good baby.

My babies may not sleep on their own or through the night like most babies. They may not have gone to other people well. They may not transition from arms to floor, or arms to carseat, or arms to other arms without a lot of fuss.

They both may have needs that make me feel overwhelmed at times, and under prepared.

Both my babies may be high-needs. But they have been good babies.

But even if they didn't do anything ... Even if had had nothing to offer... Even if they never reached one milestone.... They are good.

Just because they're babies.


  1. What a wonderful post. You are so meant to be Little Miss' mommy. Where I struggled, you see strengths. I so appreciate this perspective. Thankful for you.

    1. Deanna, i want you to know that with Maddy, I seriously truggled when she didn't conform to everyone's standards of a good baby. I wondered if I was a bad mom. I wondered if I was too lenient, or too strict. I wondered at times if she just had it out for me. I don't want to make it sound like I always saw with a positive outlook.

      I didn't. I had to learn to let go of my expectations, and learn who my daughter is and how she is wired. I'm still trying to learn that.

      Sometimes I have to reframe what I see as weakness, into a strength very intentionally.

      Having a chilld that is wired differently than you expect can be quite frustrating as a mom. It's unnerving.

      I share because through Maddy, I have learned so much about how to look at little miss without feeling as much at a loss (though we do have our days.)

      I am glad for all the groundwork your famiky laid. Without your love, she'd be quite a different person.