When Lady Fair was barely even skin side, I started getting asked if she was “sleeping through yet”.
My immediate reaction was, “Yet? She’s 13 days old! For F***’s sake, can we not let the poor baby get through a cotton-pickin’ fortnight before we start shackling her with ridiculous expectations of adult behaviour?”
But I realize, this is one of those questions people just ask about babies because they don’t know what else to ask. I also know I’ve asked the same question myself, as well as many of the following:
“Is she a good sleeper?”
“Is she a good eater?”
“How much does he weigh?”
“Is he a good baby?”
These are the standard new-baby icebreakers. I think it’s because a new baby’s personality is more or less a mystery, so these little factoids are the best we can come up with to get to know him or her. But at the same time, I think there’s also the lingering belief that a baby has no individual personality and thus it’s ‘performance’ as a baby can be quantified by things like how much it eats, how long in a stretch it sleeps and whether it burps readily.
But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we AP types could come up with some better new baby questions? Questions that reflect what is actually important for parent-infant relationships; questions that don’t make new parents feel like their coping skills are being graded; happy questions.
So here it goes, let’s start a trend of happy attachment-friendly new baby questions:
“Are you loving the snuggles?”
“Do you get lots of smiles?”
“What’s her favourite way to be held?”
“Does he have a favourite time of day?”
What else can we ask??