05/07/2015 19:39 BST | Updated 05/07/2016 06:59 BST

The New Baby Question That Should Be Banned


When you have a new baby there's one question you're bound to be asked. It will come up time and again from family and strangers alike. And it's the one question that really grinds my gears.

It's a totally innocent question. It's always asked by well meaning people who are showing genuine (and welcome) interest in my baby:

"Is she good?". I got asked it on repeat with my first baby and, four years on and with another baby, I've found this question hasn't gone away.

2015-07-02-1435853583-7262206-mollybaby.jpgSo why does it irritate me so much? Let me explain.

My first daughter was not what you'd call a "good" baby. By "good", I mean she wasn't sleeping through the night by a few months old, she cried a lot and she often left me exasperated, exhausted and emotionally drained as I struggled to work out what was wrong.

But I loved her more than life itself. As far as I was concerned she wasn't a "good" baby - she was flipping fantastic. So when people asked, "Is she good?" I'd nod. Because what was the alternative? To say she was "bad"? Who wants to label their baby as "bad"? Not me, that's for sure.

Fast-forward four years and here I am again. Except, this time, I appear to have won the baby lottery and been blessed with one of these elusive "good" babies. My second little girl seems, so far (she's only six weeks old after all), to have a more laid back temperament than her older sister. She doesn't cry much and when she does, it's more of a whimper than a full-on scream. But does that mean she's a better baby than her sister? Of course it doesn't. It just means she's different.


My two babies - both at one day old.

The word "good" is so loaded with emotional meanings that it leaves me cold. Babies who don't sleep, have colic, struggle with wind, cry a lot and have issues feeding would all be cast onto the "bad" pile. It implies that a baby who is not good is somehow knowingly being "bad". And I hate to tell you, but if you've got a baby with colic it really isn't their fault.

I also hate the way this question can stir up competition between mums. I still remember being at a baby group with my first daughter who was crying, and having to bite my tongue as another mum gloated that her baby rarely cried because "he is such a good boy". As if her 6 week old was capable of knowingly being well behaved.

Babies cry. It's what they do. Some babies struggle to sleep and some babies have problems feeding. It doesn't make them any less "good" than the babies who don't have these issues. And it certainly doesn't make them "bad babies".

This post was written for BabyCentre UK by mum-of-two Molly Forbes. To read more blog posts by Molly and see more pictures of her and her family visit BabyCentre. To read more from all the parenting bloggers at BabyCentre visit the site. Molly also has her own blog Mother's Always Right