My older daughter, now 3, was just a few weeks old when my husband and I took her to a cocktail party at a colleague’s home. She was dressed charmingly and wrapped tight as we carried her in the car seat to the front door.
Her cuteness was immediately apparent as we crossed the threshold — everyone oooohed and aaaahed sufficiently over her. We smiled modestly but beamed inside, thrilled to show off our exquisite creation.
The hostess greeted us warmly and peeked down at our slumbering daughter.
“She’s just beautiful. Congratulations,” she said.
“Would you like to hold her?” I asked, figuring she deserved a spot at the front of the line.
And that’s what she gave me the single best piece of baby advice I have ever received.
“Don’t make happy happier,” she said.
“Huh?” we said.
“She’s sleeping and doing just fine in her car seat. Don’t take her out and wake her up on my account,” she said and then walked away to tend to her other guests.
My husband and I looked at each other in silence for a few moments.
And it stuck. Don’t wake a sleeping baby to show her off. To feed her. To move her somewhere else where you think she might be more comfortable. Where she might have more fun. Where the sun will be less in her eyes.
If a baby is sleeping, content or otherwise engaged, or if she’s not crying or fussing — leave her (or him) alone.
Don’t poke the bear. Don’t make happy happier. You’ll be glad you did (or didn’t, as the case may be).
What’s the best piece of baby advice you ever received?
Image: Meredith Carroll