Every mother of a newborn frequently faces the question “Is he a good baby?” When Adam was a baby, I assured everyone he was a good baby because, really, who says, “No, he’s a terrible baby.”
But Adam wasn’t an easy baby. As a newborn, he gave us the impression that he didn’t quite trust us to care for him, even though he didn’t have a moment of hunger nor did he lack for cuddles. He had trouble latching and while I had adequate milk for him, he had to work for it and ended up nursing in small amounts and frequently. He slept terribly at night and napped for 37 minute spurts during the day and didn’t sleep longer than three or four hours until he was nearly 18 months. He needed to be bounced and rocked constantly. I remember thinking that he never seemed happy like other babies I knew. His baby experience wasn’t as awful as a sick or colicky baby. But it was like caring for a cantankerous old man.
Peter is a “good baby”. He doesn’t cry when he’s hungry. Instead, he pokes out his tongue for a surprisingly long time before he’ll give a few good sqauwks. He latched so naturally without help and my body is producing enough milk to feed triplets. Peter smiles and coos when I swaddle him, stares off into space for a few moments before falling asleep in his bed for three and four hour stretches.
I was delighted with Adam’s babyhood. His smiles were rare but wonderful. Our rough start with nursing made the fact that we nursed until he was 17 months a triumphant marathon. Adam’s needs were so specific and demanding but once we understood each other, he was wonderfully predictable.
But thank goodness for an “easy baby.”