Is he a good baby?

I hadn’t ever really thought much about the phrase “Is he a good baby?”until I had my own.  Even then I hadn’t thought much about it.  It’s a phrase I would, and have, used. Okay so it’s a little generic.  But I never really thought that it was “wrong”

To be honest I still don’t.

Though reading various internet forums that shall remain nameless, this innocuous phrase gets people’s backs up.

I kind of get it.  I mean asking if you have a good baby who sleeps for you can be kind of galling if you don’t have a baby that sleeps well.  As if they are somehow implying that you have a BAD baby.

But I can assure you in most cases this isn’t the case and more often than not people ask because they are genuinely interested in the response.  Either that or they have no other way to open conversation and it’s an easy one.
People aren’t thinking that your baby is a “bad” baby if he isn’t sleeping the way he should in the books.  You know, on routine by 4 weeks old.  They will probably just answer you with sympathy which is like balm to the soul when you are sleep deprived and running on empty. Some angels may even bring you cake and take the “bad” baby who only sleeps when being cuddled away for a cuddle so you get a bit of a break.  They just want to be involved and to be honest there isn’t an easier mundane line than “is he a good baby”

Do I look like a good baby?
Do I look like a good baby?

A prime example of this was my lovely Aunty Pam on Skype last week.  She e-met Baby Boy and one of the questions she asked me was….

“Is he a good baby?”

I must have looked a little taken aback, I wasn’t I just had all the internet forums outrages swimming round in my head.  But before I got the chance to respond with one of the witty lines put out there by said internet forums she swiftly followed with…

“I mean, does he feed well for you and bring his wind up and sleep a bit?”

To which I answered, “Yes sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t depends on his mood”

And the conversation went from there, I won’t bore you with my description of Baby Boys eating, wind and sleeping habits (but frequent, farty and not enough if you’re interested), without a second thought from either of us about the whole “good” baby thing.

Which is the way it should be!  I for one am glad that people are asking about my baby in any context. I feel that it shows they are interested in me and my boy. Whilst also having some sympathy for what we are going through.

Because, ok, while having a tough time eating and sleeping might not make Baby Boy a bad baby it does make life a bit harder and a bit more exhausting. I personally revel in a little bit of sympathy. It makes me feel less alone in what we are going through.

And if the way you empathize with me is to ask

is he a good baby?

Then please do feel free to ask. And I will probably respond with, he’s not bad but he’s not a sleeper.



  1. July 17, 2015 / 9:45 am

    I think its a generational thing. All of my older relatives ask that, whereas friends the same age as me just ask ‘do you get much sleep’ lol.

    • Laura
      July 17, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      Haha actually the first thing my friends with babies ask about is sleep!

  2. July 17, 2015 / 10:22 am

    I think you hear this question more from the ‘older’ generation. I think you’re right it is a conversation opener. I don’t have a problem with it. When they are older everyone asks how are they getting on at school. Another opener but I must admit to finding that irritating! #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 17, 2015 / 10:19 pm

      Ooh so that’s too look forward to! So just how are they getting on at school? X

  3. July 17, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    I think people are just being kind in their own way, just to show their interest. I honestly think it’s a little petty to be offended. I can’t imagine anyone thinks ‘she said no, he isn’t a good baby (doesnt sleep etc), therefore he must be EVIL spawn of satan personified!!’ (although, that said, mine was last night!). #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 17, 2015 / 10:19 pm

      Mine were last week as well…. You are not alone!

  4. July 17, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    I think people who get offended by this must be purposely misunderstanding. I think it’s a universally understood question meaning do you get much sleep/does he feed easily etc rather than asking is he good or bad. I guess it could be that sleep deprivation and hormones make new mums a bit more sensitive and they just misread it, but that can’t be the case for everyone. Thanks for hosting #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 17, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      Honestly Debbie you should read some of the debates about it, it baffles me x

  5. July 17, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    It’s a good point! Everyone asks it though don’t they? Half the time you just say yes anyways (even when it isn’t true!!) Aunty Pam was good actually asking specific questions though and makes it easier to answer. I think sometimes people don’t have a clue what to ask!! xx #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 17, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      Haha they do indeed! Bless my aunty Pam she’s so interested in everything! I must admit I’ve been guilty of asking it, it’s fairly innocuous? X

  6. July 17, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    I think we must visit the same forums lol. I do understand that a baby can’t be a bad baby or a naughty baby etc, but like you I also don’t get the outrage behind the question. But then I don’t get a lot of the outrage on these Internet forums to be honest. When I get asked I just answer “yeah she’s not too bad”. She loves to eat and she loves to sleep and I guess that makes her a ‘good’ baby 😉

    • Laura
      July 17, 2015 / 10:25 pm

      I do love reading about a good debate though!x

  7. July 18, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head my friend. It’s just a conversation opener and they are simply trying to show interest in your baby. I am willing to bet good money that the same people on those forums would ALSO complain bitterly if people never asked them a thing or made a single remark about their child! It’s just seen as a basic courtesy to ask a mother about her baby. And I love your attitude. Laid back. Just like you. Good for you xx #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 23, 2015 / 8:24 am

      Beautiful comment Prabs as always. I don’t mind being the only owner of a bad baby – it’s fun to be different right? X

  8. July 19, 2015 / 2:42 am

    To play devils advocate here (I’m actually with you and have/had no issues with that as a question) I’d imagine some of the issues people might have with the question is that inherently a baby doesn’t know how to be good or bad, so it’s a bit of a rotten way of asking, kind of puts blame on a baby for being a baby.

    • Laura
      July 23, 2015 / 8:23 am

      And of course it is the baby’s fault for being a baby!

  9. July 20, 2015 / 3:30 pm

    I must admit I’ve never come across any of this debate, and I’m on Mumsnet (is it Mumsnet you’re talking about? Is it? Is it?!), but then I’m not the most observant person at the best of times. It’s an odd thing to get worked up about, tbh, but then people do like to be able to kick off about things, don’t they?

    And aren’t all babies a bit farty? #effitfriday

    • Laura
      July 23, 2015 / 8:19 am

      Haha no not on mumsnet! Oh good I thought it was just my baby that was farty!

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