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Thread: Sick Of "Easy Baby" Comments

  1. #1

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    Default Sick Of "Easy Baby" Comments

    I love my friends but I get a bit sick of them telling me what an easy baby DD was.

    Now, I've only had one baby so I have nothing to compare her to. But something that someone else said stuck in my mind. She was an older lady who'd had five children - she said "there's no such thing as an easy baby - it's how well you meet their needs."

    I just feel that being given the "easy baby" tag undermines the amount of effort I put in to understanding DD's needs.

    She didn't cry much - now was that because she wouldn't have cried anyway or was it because I never let her cry and would pick her up within two seconds and basically got really good at interpreting what she wanted?

    She was a good sleeper - now was that because she was a naturally good sleeper or was it because I read her sleepy cues well and always put her to bed and basically taught her how to sleep rather than leaving her to fall asleep in her bouncer? I can certainly say that for the first eight months (apart from those first few weeks where all she did was feed and sleep) she NEVER fell asleep without some help from me. I'm really proud of the way that I helped her to sleep by doing a bit of rocking and singing. But rather than get pats on the back, I just get the "oh, she's such an easy baby." Oh, and that's not to mention the fact that for two months she woke up for the day at 4am. So I basically started the day at 4am for two months as well. That wasn't easy but we both made it through the other side.

    Apart from that, we had major issues breastfeeding so I expressed for two months. That wasn't easy.

    I also had SPD and lifting her, bending and walking even without carrying her was very painful for six months after she was born. That wasn't easy either. Nor was the fact that she had reflux and every time I had to get down to the floor to mop up spew was sheer agony.

    And as soon as she started crawling and walking - well, chasing after a baby/toddler when you're in pain isn't easy either. I've gone into other people's houses and seen them leave laptops on the couch and cups of tea on the coffee table while they have crawling babies and walking toddlers. There is NO WAY I could do that - she's just too active. Nor can I leave her alone in a room for two minutes while I put the washing on. Yesterday, I found her sitting on the dining table eating sultanas from a box. The day before, she'd got her nappy cream out of the drawer and smeared it all over her face, body and the carpet. I'm not complaining about that - I actually LIKE the fact that she's active and mischievous - what I don't like is the implication that because she was a good sleeper that means she's exceptionally easy to look after in all other ways.



    So I suppose there's two points to this thread. Do you think there's any such thing as an easy baby? For those of you who have more than one - did you find that one of your children was easier than others or just easier in some respects but not all?

    And is there any point me saying anything to my friends that I kind of resent the "easy baby" tag?

  2. #2

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    I would tell them that you don't like your DD being tagged as an "easy baby". I always get told I have "easy babies" & I agree, it is easy for the most part raising my 2 children, I think the main reason I find them "easy" is because they both sleep a minimum of 12 hours through the night so I get a good nights sleep everynight which makes life through the day with a baby (or 2 children) alot "easier" than a mother who had 2 hours of broken sleep IYKWIM.

    Maybe say something along the lines of "Yes I'm glad I got her into a good sleeping routine which makes life alot more pleasant & I suppose that does make her an easy baby" & smile nicely.

    You're doing a fantastic job, dont let anyone make you feel anything different

  3. #3

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    None of my kids were easy. I wouldnt say any was easier than the other either - just different. If there is such a thing as an easy baby, I'd like mine now please, lol.

    I would resent it too. You should be told "You have done a great job" - and clearly you have. Its completely taking from you everything you have done for her. I'd reply to their "she was an easy baby" with "No, I'm just that good"

  4. #4

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    I'd take it as a compliment they give you for all the hard work you have put in. Other people don't see all the hard work we put in to have our babies happy and healthy. I think there are some babies that are 'easier' than others, but it is also up to the attitude of the mum and how she handles challenges.

    Well done on overcoming a bunch of challenges early on and having such a cute and mischievious baby!

  5. #5

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    Oh I know what you mean!!!!!!

    I also feel the same and get comments like that all the time. One that particularly annoys me is the "I hope you realise how lucky you are!". GRRRRRR that one does my head in.

    I am enormously proud of how I established a sleep routine with my DD. It wasnt easy at all but I persisted and had a supportive Dh, who didnt do much himself physically but supported my efforts emotionally. I also had difficult bf issues inthe first several weeks and she was very colicky for the first 10weeks, with up to 6hours screaming every night! That wasnt easy either! I was consistant and did a combination of following my instincts and research.

    DD is very easy going by nature but I have made sure she is sociable and flexible in her routines by taking her anywhere and everywhere. She was passed around to everyone for cuddles when small but always got mummy when really needed. Friends by comparison, did not leave the house for the first month! NOone ever held their baby, they always rocked in arms to sleep and now have boys who wont go to others, wont sleep and become anxious about every new situation. DD will sit and play happily on her own or with other children when we take her to sports and will go to just about anyone we introduce her to.

    She IS easy to live with, she is easy to take out, put to sleep and feed (mostly) but I really think it has a lot to do with how we have taught her to be.

    In response to peoples comments I have said things like: "Yes, she goes everywhere with us and always has, that's why she loves it so much" or " yes, we made sure she got cuddles from everyone when she was tiny, she's very social now" . Just so people know I aknowlege she is easygoing but that we have helped her become that way.

  6. #6

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    I'm actually quite the opposite. I often get that I'm such a good mother because I've got a good sleeper, eater etc - pretty much right from the start, and then I go and reply with a "I think I'm just lucky I've got a good baby". Though I do believe it does have a lot to do with how I've done things, I tend to say that reply as I kinda feel guilty around those who have more challenging babies - and I know they are also good mothers. So maybe its a combination of easy baby and 'good 'mother.

    I'm thinking maybe your friends are saying that because they might be a little jealous (or hoping they also get an 'easy baby' one day for those who haven't got children yet).

    I'm not sure how I'd react if I was in the opposite situation like you are, but I like the reply Danielle said.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by fionas View Post
    She was an older lady who'd had five children - she said "there's no such thing as an easy baby - it's how well you meet their needs."
    This is a quote my DH uses, my brother has a 8 week old DS who is between him and his GF there 4th, he is a 'difficult' baby and mine is an 'easy' baby... anyway, when my family makes these statements my DH and I make a comment like this, we feel that we are in tune with our baby, she has never cried for a bottle, I know her hungry cues and feed her, I see her tired cues and put her to bed, etc etc. where as my SIL knows my nephew is hungry and yet lets him cry as she wants him to feed 4 hourly not 2 hourly like he wants, of course he is going to be difficult if he is hungry.

    You are doing a fantastic job, if you have an easy baby, it is because you are doing a great job as a Mum and have worked hard in bonding with your baby and understanding her cues and needs, well done .

    (Just a note: I am in no way trying to say that people with 'difficult' babies aren't doing a great job as parents, please do judge me on this comment alone I do not wish to go into further detail as it is not the purpose of this particular thread )

  8. #8

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    Whenever somebody tells me I have such a good baby or that she is so "easy", I just tell them it is because she has a good Mummy!

    Babies seem easy for the 5minutes people see them but although DD isn't difficult, it does take a lot of my strength to get through nights alone and it frustrates me when people don't see that!! Whenever I say to my Mum that I've had a bad night, she looks shocked -- as if there is no way I could have actually had a bad night with her angel Granddaughter...
    Last edited by Jellyfish; June 1st, 2009 at 08:28 AM.

  9. #9

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    I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm sure they don't mean it like you are looking at it. There are just as much care needed for an "easy" baby than a "difficult" one. Both need love, cuddles, diper changes, love, cuddles, baths, diper changes, love, kisses, cuddles.

    To your question "Do you think there's any such thing as an easy baby" - HELL YES.
    My first were .... umm ... hmmm ... challenging to say the least. She was prem, tiny, we had bf issues, she had colic, reflux and were not fond of letting her mommy and daddy sleep She was sick a lot and were a little velcro baby (I loved that about her, still do ... not complaining)
    My second are currently the world's easiest baby, yes!! And no, I'm not lying. He had colic for two days at one week old, for which over-the-counter meds worked like a charm. He goes to sleep on his own, no rocking/patting/singing/walking/shhhing needed. He loves bathing, dressing, laying quiet and staring at his pictures against the wall. He loves playing by himself and he LOVES giving smiles to anyone who bothers to give him one. Only thing that bothers me about him is that already he is [email protected] like his daddy
    Both kids had the same parents, granted ds had a more "experianced" couple, but we parent them the same way.

    I also think that you get different types of moms. Some mommies are just more relaxed around their new bubba's and that might give off the sence that the babies are easy. So if I were you, I would just look at it like that. You get so little recognition from your peers for being a good mommy, BUTYOU ARE such a good mommy that you friends think you baby is easy. You are just doing such a perfect job, get what I mean??

    And about leaving your toddler while you hang out the washing ... hun, I can't take my eyes off dd for one second if I don't want chaos!!

  10. #10

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    i hear you! i get the same thing... and the comparisons are crazy... it also shows they dont know the truepicture- my DS slept through at about 6 wks for 6 wks and STILL DOESNT NOW!!!!
    in our family (well DH family) apparently i had an easy preg, easy birth and easy baby... hence why i can do it again... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I think some of it comes down to the fact that i am not much ofa complainer... i see most of the challenges as just par for the course and dont go on about it. it drives me batty though!

  11. #11

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    I'm so glad I came across this post. I'm guilty of saying this! I don't (yet) have any children but my Sister just had her first 7 months ago. I visit them at least once a week and I have commented on numerous times that she is such a 'good' baby. She's 'easy' to look after. She's no 'trouble'. Things like that. My Sister has only said that 'she has her moments'. But now I feel bad that I've said those things. Don't get me wrong I have told my Sister many times that she is a wonderful Mum and that she does such a great job. It's just that I never realised that she is 'in-tune' with her DD. It's really made me see that my Sister is FANTASTIC! I'll try never to use those comments again....Thanks girls.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryatha View Post
    I think there are some babies that are 'easier' than others, but it is also up to the attitude of the mum and how she handles challenges.
    Totally agree with this.

    Must admit if a baby naturally sleeps through the night for 12 hrs.. I'd call that an easy baby too. LOL. DD felt easier coz she self settled for a long time... gave that away tho when she was about 7 months LOL.

    And yet, I still reckon my DS was a very easy baby (and people said it too coz he was such a content little thing.. we won't go into what he's turned into as a 3 yr old! LOL).. and he woke every few hours around the clock for feeds for well over a year. So does DD come to mention it! LOL. So I think it really comes down to the attitude of the mum more than anything.

    I wouldn't take the comment as offensive at all.. it's just a comment. I'm sure it's not a judgement on your parenting or anything like that. Take it as a compliment that things are working well for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine216
    I also think that you get different types of moms. Some mommies are just more relaxed around their new bubba's and that might give off the sence that the babies are easy. So if I were you, I would just look at it like that. You get so little recognition from your peers for being a good mommy, BUTYOU ARE such a good mommy that you friends think you baby is easy. You are just doing such a perfect job, get what I mean??
    Well said. Better than I was trying to say it LOL.

    ETA: Aussiegirl - I don't see the harm in what you've said. We like our babies to be complimented too Just remember that mum's like the compliments too... it feels good to have someone say I make it look so easy.. and yet if you broke it down, my babies could easily be labelled as quite difficult! Yet we seem to give off the impression that this whole caper is easy LOL.

  13. #13

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    I guess its how you want to look at it. I would take it as a compliment. Its not a competition on who's suffered the most during pregnancy/birth/parenthood its just that everyone's baby is different. I used to get comments like that too, and even though I thought my kids were far from "easy" I also think like what has been previously said everyone's baby is different and what is easy for some may be hard for another and vice versa. And for me I had both sides I guess, when I had DD everyone said she was "easy" when I had DS everyone thought he was possessed "Whats wrong with him? Why does he cry? Does he do that all the time? How do you cope?" Ummmm its fine.

    But having said that please don't think I'm downplaying your frustration because it is frustrating, but I would simply smile and say thanks. And DO NOT let it make you think that just because someone has said she's easy means you can't ask for help, and I think thats the hardest thing to deal with. It makes you feel as though somehow you must be weak as someone else thinks she's easy and you have hard days. Which is rubbish. EVERYONE has hard days, everyone struggles with different stages with their child.


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by fionas View Post
    Now, I've only had one baby so I have nothing to compare her to. But something that someone else said stuck in my mind. She was an older lady who'd had five children - she said "there's no such thing as an easy baby - it's how well you meet their needs."
    I really disagree with this statement. Imagine how this would make the mum of a baby with high needs feel. To me it implies that if your baby screams for hours on end because of colic, reflux, sensory issues or just because of general velcroness then it's the mother's fault for failing to meet their needs.
    Some babies are easier to look after than others. My second baby slept better than my first but both my babies were fairly 'easy' compared to others. For this I am very grateful but I truly believe that it was the luck of the draw and not a result of me meeting their needs - just as on the occasions when they were difficult it was only a result of growth and developmental changes not my failure to meet their needs.

    ETA - I'm aware tha all babies are hard work but some really are harder than others.

  15. #15

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    You probably make it look easy! Would be nice to have some of your hard work acknowledged though....

    It's interesting as my family think DD2 is easy whilst the IL's think she is difficult - all in your perception I guess!

    Definitely being a mum requires lots of work regardless of how your baby is - everyone has their 'things' to manage - be it sleep/feeding or an active toddler.

  16. #16

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    Well I actually think the "easy baby" thing stems from how stressed or not the parents look. If people see you looking like you're calm and in control, and baby's needs are clearly being met by calm-and-in-control parent, they assume it's because of the "sort" of baby. If they popped in during arsenic hour on a bad day, they might form a completely different idea.

    But here's the truth of it. An empty vessel makes the most noise. A lot of parents like to go on about what a terrible time they are having, like they can out-drama each other in terms of how badly their baby is sleeping or how little time they get to themselves. But when you're faced with real, deep difficulty, like the chronic pain of SPD and the relentless demands of caring for a reflux bub, you're less inclined to be out there whinging about it at the coffee morning (because you're getting on with the reality of the situation and you're all about coping). So I wouldn't be surprised if your friends just "don't get it". They probably have no idea of the level of pain you were living with, and even less idea of how that impacts on daily life.

    So, if it were me, I'd be setting my friends straight - gently but honestly as you can. You could say something like "Yes she does seem calm and happy, doesn't she? But that doesn't mean it's been an easy road..." and you could then go on to tell them about how SPD and reflux impacted your life. Perhaps (if they are good friends) you could use this as an opportunity to open a conversation that you can resume later on about how they could support you next time around. Well before it actually happens. It's so much harder to talk about it when you're in the middle of it trying to cope. xxx

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by brontide View Post
    I really disagree with this statement. Imagine how this would make the mum of a baby with high needs feel. To me it implies that if your baby screams for hours on end because of colic, reflux, sensory issues or just because of general velcroness then it's the mother's fault for failing to meet their needs.
    Thanks for that statement. It seems silly but after reading some of the posts I was taking small offense about my abilities. My little one had colic (mostly grown out of now) and reflux. I can absolutely pick when she needs sleep and feed etc but when your baby is crying whilst you're feeding them and after your done it doesn't mean I missed the cues, it means the poor little thing is in pain.

    My parents see what I go through and they say that I'm a good Mum because of how calm I am and patient wither her even with the screaming. Its all about taking the positives out of situations. My little one might have bad reflux but she sleeps through the night, so in some ways I have an easy baby as Mum's getting up every 2 hrs during the night would suck and I think do it tough.

    Take the good when you can. People obviously think you're doing a good job

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liz View Post
    Must admit if a baby naturally sleeps through the night for 12 hrs.. I'd call that an easy baby too.
    I used to think that and when I had Sam and he did it was like utterly glorious. Then at just after 1yo he stopped sleeping through. In fact, he almost stopped sleeping entirely. He would sleep less and less and less and by 3yo, he was only sleeping 4 hours in every 24 in two hour blocks. I used to drive the MCHNs nuts because I refused to basically "dope him to sleep" when he was perfectly healthy otherwise. Thankfully he grew out after we moved and he had a big yard to burn off all that excess energy that had been keeping him awake for years, but DH and I were taking shifts in sleeping to stay awake with him - me doing the least sleeping as DH had to work.

    That said - it was a blessing he slept through for the first year - I wasn't allowed to let him cry because of his pneumathorax - so he just seemed way easy and didn't cry because I had to make sure he didn't cry. But it meant he didnt have to get worked up to wake me up at night and risk tearing his lung again.

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