Whether your baby is a good or bad sleeper seems to be thee question asked by most people. Which in turn translates to: is your baby a “good” baby or a…a what? Do people say “bad” baby? This isn’t The Land of Oz and we’re not talking about witches, people. Only heartless scum say bad baby. The term these days is “high needs” which basically means high maintenance. But the last time I checked babies need to be held a lot, cuddled, and fawned over. When I think of high maintenance, I see Baby J.Lo making demands and screaming until her bottle is just the right temperature. This is not what Dr. Sears meant when he coined the term.
When I get asked if my baby is a good sleeper, I can’t help but feel like my daughter is being unfairly judged. She used to be the best sleeper in the world. From 10 to 6 without a peep. Then the growth spurts and mental leaps started happening and my perfect little sleeper disappeared into the quiet night. Now I’m lucky if I get a full 4 hour block of sleep before she’s wailing for her pacifier. But do I need to relay all this to a stranger at the grocery store? Heck no! So, I give the obligatory answer that she’s a great sleeper, even if it’s not the complete truth. I’ll never see this lady again!
I get it. People who have gone through raising their children, or who are in the process of rearing, want to know where you (or your baby) land on the sleep scale. Misery sure does love company! Perhaps the person asking the question had a notoriously un-sound sleeper and wants to feel some sort of camaraderie, or maybe it’s because they’re smug and want to gloat about their kid who sleeps like a log. Wherever your baby is on the sleep scale shouldn’t be any indication of how happy or unhappy your munchkin is! I try to remind myself that years from now the sleepless nights will be a foggy memory, but her smiles and laughter will be etched on my heart forever.