QT's Mummy Columnist Clare Evans of Goodna.
QT's Mummy Columnist Clare Evans of Goodna. David Nielsen

My new baby is not good ... she's perfect

THERE'S a question you get asked a lot when you have a newborn. And it's one I'm never really sure how to answer.

Is she a good baby?

On a smart-alec, no sleep, caffeine not kicked in yet day I want to answer, no, she's a terrible baby. We're going to keep her in the attic and feed her fish heads.

I don't though, I smile and nod and say, oh yes, she's good.

But what makes a baby good? Or not good?

I know that once upon a time, all new babies were considered inherently bad, touched by original sin, and headed for purgatory or worse until they were granted a clean slate by a man of the cloth. And although that idea might seem outdated now, it seems we still use the associated language, at least in terms of describing a baby as good.

The measure of a baby's goodness seems to fall into three main categories: sleeping, eating and crying.

A baby who sleeps through the night is a good baby.

Sadly, this means that I am not a good baby myself, because I'm prone to getting up in the middle of the night for a loo run and a drink of water. Sometimes even a snack.

My kids have all been fitful sleepers; even now if Things 2 and 3 sleep right through without a midnight visit I think they're dead.

So if it's a full nights' sleep that makes a baby a good one, mine all miss that marker by a country mile.

She has a pretty fair go on the fang, my newest small person. But again, my definition of good seems to be a bit different from a lot of others.

For some people, being a good feeder seems to mean that she feeds every four hours on the dot, for 15 minutes - no more, no less - and certainly does not ever involve baby vomit ending up in the hollow of your bra.

Again, although it has been quite some time since I've vomited into my own undergarments, I would be a terrible baby. If I had to go four hours between meals, I reckon I'd be pretty irate too.

Which brings me to crying.

Now that is something that all of my babies have definitely been good at.

Especially around 5pm when the witching hour hits, I'm in the throes of dinner preparation and someone suddenly remembers a really important school project that's due the next day.

Or the car, they love to cry in the car. Depending on the acoustics of your vehicle, a good car cry can make you see stars.

So, when I'm asked if she's a good baby, it seems as though I really should say no.

She doesn't sleep all night, she feeds when she feels like it rather than on the clock, and sometimes her cries should cut glass.

But that little round head on my chest, and tiny hand holding mine - that's better than good.

That's perfect.


Paternity leave is no holiday, dad

MODERN Dad has just gone back to work after two weeks home on paternity leave.

Or, as he was referring to it before it happened, holidays.

He kept telling me about all the things he was going to get done around the house while he was on holidays.

I kept telling him that he had forgotten that the first little while after having a new baby was closer to The Walking Dead than The Block.

He was going to dig in our vegie patch, and build the chook pen.

He had dreams of his beavering away downstairs to get the Man Cave up and running.

At one stage he even floated the idea of going camping, but I think the intensity of my eyebrow raise made him realise that was probably not the most realistic idea he'd ever had.

So, no vegie patch, chook pen or man cave eventuated, but we had something much more special just having him be able to spend that much time with our new baby.

It's the only time we've been in a position for it to happen, and being our very-last-yes-we- mean-it-this-time baby made it even more special.

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