a perfectly happy baby

My baby is not a newborn anymore, which is hard to believe.  He’s now four months old and has reached a stage so delightful that I wish I could stop time for awhile and enjoy his perfect babyness.  He lives in a state of perpetual happiness, smiling and cooing, content to sit in his bouncy chair or propped up on the couch.  He loves lying on his back and kicking, while chewing on a wet fist.  Getting carried in the Baby Bjorn and going for rides in the car or stroller seem to be his idea of heaven, based on the expressions he makes.

This baby never cries!  His feedings are based entirely on the clock because he rarely gives any indication of being hungry.  I sometimes think he’d starve himself if I didn’t force-feed him every four hours.  Even when he does nurse, he’s so uninterested that the slightest noise or movement distracts him; I avoid looking at him because even eye contact will make him too excited.  He even loves his diaper changes, shrieking with joy as I stretch his roly-poly thighs.  He goes down for naps wide awake, talking to himself until he drifts off; any sort of intervention actually irritates him, I’ve discovered.

Perpetually blissful, since Day 1

He’s a huge baby, a whopping 20 pounds already, though he gained most of that weight up front, reaching 16 pounds by 7 weeks of age.  The midwives laughed when they saw him at the discharge visit, agreeing that he was the biggest baby they’d ever seen at that age.  His little fuzzy red head and big blue eyes get no end of attention from strange ladies in the grocery store, who are delighted by the sunny smiles they receive instantly.  He sleeps through the night, from 7 pm till 7 am, with one dream feed in between.

Speaking of dreams, he’s a dream come true and, believe me, I’m in shock.  How we managed to create a child who is so contented and happy with his existence is utterly beyond my realm of comprehension.  My first child was the opposite.  He screamed pretty much non-stop for the first eight months.  I recall sobbing to my husband, “Why does he hate his life so much?”  While it’s rather humourous in retrospect, it was such a horribly stressful, exhausting, and discouraging infancy that I never dreamed having a baby could actually be relaxing and enjoyable in the way it is now.

The mischief-maker, also since Day 1

This leads to the usual nature vs. nurture debate, and my conclusion is that it’s a mix of both, though nurture plays a greater role.  My two boys do have different personalities, but then I don’t know how much of my first son’s feistiness came from lack of routine and my own inexperience.  Would he have been a calmer child if I implemented the same strategies that I did with the second?  Perhaps my baby’s contentment stems from structure and predictability, as well as a more solid family setting in which to live. I’m sure that these little people are far more aware of their surroundings and emotional dynamics than we give them credit for.

What sort of experiences have you had with multiple kids and parenting?

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8 thoughts on “a perfectly happy baby

  1. Your baby looks exactly like your toddler. I look his photo over and over again. He looks huge even from the photo. Your toddler looks even more handsome than before. I miss this boy … truly and deeply.
    I think that each kid is so different and they born with a different character. We, the parents, just show them the way, but we can not do more as in one way or another kids, with a helping hand from nature, decide how they will spent their lifes.
    As a mother, I just try my very best with my child.

  2. Lovely kids you’ve got there.

    Don’t have any kids of my own but being the eldest in a HUGE extended family I’ve been around and looked after a fair number of little ones, though rarely babies.
    For some reason I cant fathom, Ive had many babies who’ve been shockingly fascinated by my face or something because they look and become transfixed, one even gave his mum great joy because he stared at me sitting against a fence near a bench so intently that he ate everything she was feeding him and she actually thanked me because apparently that was something he’d never done before! 😀

    Oh and the situation you describe, the difference between the 2 kids – that’s exactly (more or less) how my folks describe my younger sister and me as kids, except it was me as the elder who was always content and happy and that made them freak out when the 2nd baby drove them insane. 🙂

    I’d say just be happy you go it the way you did, hectic when younger and now able to relax more with a happy baby – works out better I’d think!
    And about nature vs. nurture, I would tend to agree that it’s bits of both, though with no predictable scenario possible I feel that at times one can overpower the other depending on the situation.

    1. I definitely agree that it’s better having the wild child first. I’d be much less prepared if it were the other way around. And yes, it’s funny how babies become transfixed by certain people, whether it’s their faces or voices. Regardless, it often is a much-needed distraction for frazzled moms!

  3. My first baby was happy, contented and would love anyone who picked her up. I took her everywhere, to all sorts of meetings…she delighted everyone with her charm and she was so quiet! I figured I was doing such a good job being a mom. Baby number two…he was suspicious of the whole world, and cried when other people approached him, was loud, loud, loud and I only tried taking him to a few meetings, which he totally disrupted. I was doing the same with the second as with the first…it was a real lesson in humility for me! This post made me laugh in sympathy, I can so relate to that doctor’s appointment!

  4. My second baby cried like I was torturing her all the time. It was terrible. She’s still more cranky and less approachable than her older sister, and I was starting to think that I had LEARNED things from the first time around, hahaha, nope!

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