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True or False: Little Babies Go with the Flow

Baby making funny face

They seem like they're so easygoing

In theory, it’s true that most little babies go with the flow. But mostly because they don’t have a say in the matter. They can’t walk, they can’t talk, so they just go where you take them.

But the reality is that when babies reach a certain age (when they’re past the super-sleepy phase), they often just need — and crave — predictability, which means going with the flow is not something that is preferable.

At least that’s the case with my baby. And I keep realizing at all the most inconvenient moments that she just doesn’t like going with the flow.

It’s not easy being the younger child, especially when the older child is an highly active (read: nonstop) preschooler. We were recently away on vacation when 6-month-old Peony had to endure a full day of travel (a loooong car ride followed by two planes).

The following day should have been a recovery day, but preschoolers don’t care much for sitting around (or napping, sadly). So every day while we were away was activity-filled. It wasn’t too different from being home, where the baby can’t get on a nap schedule because she gets dragged around to her older sister’s activities.

I think I thought before I had a second baby that she would just go with the flow, mostly because she wouldn’t have a choice. But I’ve now finally stopped agreeing to family dinners in restaurants that involve the whole family. These days the baby goes to sleep between 5:45 and 6:30. Bringing her to a restaurant at that time is just mean, I’ve realized. And, frankly, so is dragging her out and about all day long — whether we’re at home or on vacation. Unlike optional dinners out, getting out during the day is generally unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean she’s “going with the flow.” It just means she’s being dragged around against her will when she lets you know in no uncertain terms that she’d rather be napping in her crib or playing on the floor at home.

Technically the baby doesn’t usually crying in protest when she gets dragged around to hither and yonder, but to be fair, she doesn’t cry that much in the first place. I just know it’s not the right thing to do. But since regular paid help isn’t an option and getting rid of her older sister is (mostly) out of the question, I’m at a loss. Which is why I like to say she’s going with the flow. It sounds an awful lot nicer than, “She doesn’t get the opportunity to nap or have much downtime because she has to adjust to everyone else’s life, which come at the expense of her own.”

Do you tell yourself that your baby goes with the flow?

Photo credit: iStock


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