I remember growing up and hearing adults say to babies, “Oh, it’s so hard to be a baby, isn’t it?”
They didn’t really mean that they thought that baby was having a hard life. They were saying it as a way to tell the babies that they’re okay. That it’s not that hard to be a baby. Life is easy for you. At least, that’s what I got out of it.
Babies eat, sleep, cry, poop, and lay there.
Really, that’s all they seem to do. they may kind of move around and make funny sounds and faces. Mind you, these are the thoughts of a teenager. But, now that I am a mom, I can totally see how this phrase is totally skewed.
It IS hard being a baby! And I have come up with a small list of reasons as to why:
1. They can’t communicate with you.
Crying is the only way for your baby to tell you that something is wrong, or that they are in need of something. It’s how they let you know that their butt is dirty, or they are freaking starving. Imagine your life, right now, if you had to sit and scream while someone guessed what you needed, and when? You want to eat – but you now need to wait until they go through all the possible choices. But no, adults don’t have to do that, because we can take care of ourselves. We just get up, go to the kitchen, make a sandwich, and enjoy. Babies cannot do this- and that’s why they’re usually screaming at you. And it’s hard.
2. They sit in their own urine or poo.
Unless you are a parent that does Elimination Communication with your babies – we tried it and it’s amazing but we couldn’t dedicate the time – your babies are likely to end up wearing a diaper. Diapers aren’t fun. I mean, I supposed I’ve heard people joke around about how they would love to wear a diaper so they could just go to the bathroom whenever and wherever they wanted. Yeah, a little out there, but to each their own.
Anyhow, babies don’t get a choice. They are just stuck with dirtying their diapers and sitting in it while they wait for one of us to smell it or remember to change them. Not to mention, there’s diaper rash if your grown up isn’t quick to change the diaper. Think about it, sometimes parents forget to change a diaper and the baby is sitting there a little longer than expected. Would YOU like to sit in your poo, and just hang out in it? I mean, some babies don’t actually cry when they’re dirty. But definitely don’t have a choice on whether or not they go.
3. They always get picked up, even if they don’t want to
Hey, sometimes it is pretty awesome to have someone hold you. If I was picked up and carried around all day, that might be fun. But for babies, everyone wants to hold them! They get passed around the room at family gatherings while everyone is waiting in line to hold them. This doesn’t sound bad, does it? You’re right, it’s not really all that bad, but they never get alone time. Some babies might even feel anxiety towards being around people!
An infant can get sensory overload and too much stimulation easily- and it’s not good! I always wondered why my son wouldn’t sleep well on nights that we were out with him a little later than planned. It might have something to do with the fact that he was just so excited about everything around him. But at the same time, there are babies who want completely left alone, so they’re just “a pain” when you’re out in public. This is why. Being an introvert or an extrovert can start a lot earlier than you think.
4. They Can’t Process Their Feelings Well
Sometimes, babies experience really big emotions. This point might be a little more directed at my toddler than my 5 month old, but it still works in both cases. Their brains aren’t fully developed for a LONG time. The part of their brain where reasoning develops, doesn’t quite complete until they’re young adults. I know that with my toddler, sometimes he just gets so upset and he doesn’t understand why. It’s normal. So, I sit there with him and let him know he’s okay and mommy is there for him.
Read More about parenthood and meltdowns here: Teacher Confessions: after school meltdowns explained
Once he calms down, I’m there with a hug for him. It’s definitely one of the best things I could do for him during those moments, and I’m so glad a good friend of mine shared that tactic with me. As for babies- that’s why they cry and scream and stress us the eff out. They don’t do it in purpose- but they just don’t get it! Their brains are constantly growing and doing new things that it’s just…crazy sauce in there! And here’s where we’re tested…patience is going to be the best coat of armor we can wear during these times!
5. They Can’t Do Whatever They Want
Well, nobody can actually do whatever they want. There are rules and laws and what not. But rules are meant to be broken, right? This kind of goes with number three. If a baby wants to crawl somewhere, suddenly they find themselves picked up. Mobile infants aren’t allowed in certain rooms or on the stairs, so gates are put up. They can’t eat food until about 6 months (we start baby led weaning a little later). And of course, you aren’t allowed to stick things in outlets…okay, the last one was silly.
But seriously, parents and their kids can’t always communicate well with each other, so baby gets picked up, and then they can’t do what they want! Maybe a baby is sitting there thinking
‘I want to move from this swing to that couch and watch a movie with mom and dad.’
Too bad. You can’t move. Can’t work those arms and legs the way you want to yet. WHAT IF THIS WAS YOU?! Yeah, I’d be mad too.
I mean, these are all just simple things to think about when people just say,
“It’s so hard being a baby,” with the ever obvious eye roll
“Oh, you’re okay…”
Because clearly, they are not.
Being a baby is rough. So, just cut the kid some slack and let them be exactly what they are – babies. Have you ever looked at your tiny human and realized just how hard it really is to be a baby? What are some of the toughest things your little one struggles with?
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