As a mother of a newborn or young infant there is a lot we are going through, from sleepless nights, to dirty nappies, to figuring out feeding cues and just generally trying to keep our baby happy. Do not add fuel to the fire by asking these three seemingly harmless questions.
1) Is he/she a good baby?
In short, of course she’s a good baby! She’s my baby and I love her to bits. She could be screaming like a banshee and in my eyes she’s still a good baby. What would you do if I said no, she’s a little shit and is very naughty? It would shock you and disgust you. Although, I probably should next time though as it would end the conversation and I would not be asked the following two questions.
2) Is he/she a good sleeper
NO! Of course not! She’s a baby!!!! But if you say no then they have advice for you on how to get your baby to sleep, mostly ‘oh you should just let her cry’ (WTF this is not the 1960s we know so much better now). I have said yes before too, and then was told ‘oh if shes a good sleeper now, she won’t be when she’s older’. Thanks for that, I needed to hear that tidbit of information from you, older pompus male!
Babies are not meant to sleep – they are actually programmed to wake up frequently to protect them from falling in a deep sleep and reducing their risk of SIDS. They need us to come check on them during the night to make sure they are not too hot or too cold, or blankets aren’t over their head and generally just comfort them and perhaps feed them. This misconception that babies need to sleep through the night needs to change. Sleeping through the night for a baby is 5.5 hrs. I consider it a blessing that my daughter still gets up, as I know she is safe and I can comfort her gently back to sleep. Sure we have some rough nights where the waking is all to frequent but there is usually something else going on at that point like illness or teething. So STOP asking if my baby is a good sleeper! You have probably been there yourself and know very well they are not.
3) Are you feeding him/her?
Yes of course I am! Does she look like she’s starving? Now if you mean breastfeeding or bottle feeding you have just entered a whole different ball game and your judgey eyes can take a step back before my lack of sleep blurs my judgement and I throw a punch your way. Bottlefed or breastfed, FED is ALWAYS BEST! If I say yes I am still breastfeeding, I would sometimes get rounds of applause or a pat on the back, or the look of isn’t it time you weaned her. If a mum said she was formula feeding then the looks would come out and judgey eyes would appear and be like why you not breastfeeding? It is a no win situation for anyone! There is no taboo against breastfeeding just as there is no taboo against bottlefeeding. STOP judging these amazing mothers and start supporting them!
So in order to keep the peace and leave a new mothers sanity intact! PLEASE stop asking these degrading questions, that only really make her question her own parenting skills and what she knows is best for her child. After all it is her baby, not yours, so really its none of your business. So unless you are going to tell her what a fantastic job she is doing and that her baby is the cutest darn thing you have ever seen in the whole entire world, and here let me buys those nappies for you (disposable or cloth) (sidenote: True story a lady did buy nappies for me at the grocery store, amazing act of kindness) KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT and let the mummy be.