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Is He a Good Baby?

By Katie |

When people meet Eli for the first time, they go through a pretty standard routine. They do the normal oohs and aahs that are required of all new baby visits. They comment about his (crazy beautiful) blue eyes, about how alert he is or how sleepy he is, depending upon the time of day. They snuggle and smell his little head. It’s all fine and well.

And then the question that I absolutely hate comes up. It happens pretty much every time, without fail. I literally cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this in the past month.

Is he a good baby?

I sort of don’t know how to reply to the question. Is my son, my little person, a good baby?

He is amazing.

He is perfect.

I cannot imagine a “better” baby than him. But I know that’s not what they mean.

What they mean is, does he sleep well? Does he nap on a schedule? Is he easy to take care of? And the truth is he’s an outstanding nighttime sleeper, a terrible napper and has his easy and hard days. But he is my incredibly good baby.

I know it sounds silly, but I just don’t want to wrap up my baby’s worth or goodness on his eating and sleeping habits. I don’t want him to be known as a bad baby simply because he fights naps as though they are of the devil themselves. I don’t want him to be anything less than perfect because he has a hair trigger when it comes to crying out of hunger.

None of those things make him a bad baby. They make him A BABY.

Has anyone ever met a bad baby? Do these babies exist? My parents say that I screamed for the first 6 months of my life, but I imagine if you asked them they’d never report that I was a bad baby (I believe they usually refer to me as outspoken and passionate).

I don’t expect that anyone is going to stop asking me this question, I guess I just need to work on my replies better.

I love my son with every fiber of my being and he is a fantastically great baby.

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About Katie



Katie is a former teacher, part-time PT, wife, and first-time mother to the baby with the best ears on the Internet. You can find more of her grammatically questionable writing at her blog, Overflowing Brain. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Is He a Good Baby?

  1. surfcitymom says:

    it is a funny phrase! I have cared for lots of babies not in equilibrium due to foster care and exposure issues~they are not always neurologically organized and some might say “they are jumping out of their skin.” Some babies have a hard time growing at if feeding and sleeping and state change doesn’t happen in a typical way~those babies are not at all bad but bad outcomes can come of it~

    I think they want to know about the journey with your newborn~how taxing it might be or not. What skills your baby might have come into the world with. We so want to learn who these little creatures are and watch or any sigh of their budding personality. It is weird we use the good baby term if we can still meet our needs and a hard baby if we can’t me ours or theirs. I still use the term “organized” to describe how well a baby is doing and that is weird too!

  2. MissMary says:

    You wrote your own perfect answer to this question, “I love my son with every fiber of my being and he is a fantastically great baby.”

  3. Meagan says:

    “He’s wonderful.” They don’t need (or probably want) more detail than that. It’s just conversation, like “How are you?” Isn’t really a request for a health update. :-)

  4. Peach says:

    I’m visiting my sister and taking care of her son during the day and I almost said, “oh, he’s such a good baby” when really, uh, yeah, of course he’s a good baby, he’s great! What I said instead is, “he’s such a calm baby”. All babies are good, especially if it’s your baby.

  5. TBerry says:

    I feel the same way about T. At this early age how can a baby be good or bad? They aren’t old enough to actually do something bad purposely.

  6. Leanne says:

    THANK you. I hate this question too. I think part of it is that people just don’t know really what to ask about small babies. But this is a question that really needs to be re-phrased. A baby is not ‘good’ because he/she hasn’t been too much of a bother. A baby is not ‘bad’ when they are fussy or *gasp* don’t sleep through the night.

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