Was your baby an "easy" a.k.a. "good" baby? (venting ahead)
I've been thinking back to when my son was a baby (12 months and under), and have to say, no. He wasn't an easy baby.
because I hadn't been around any other babies most of my adult life
till then (had him at 40), I just assumed all babies were criers like he was. After all, all the parenting books said babies cry. But I looked around and realized he was more so than others.
It was extremely frustrating to do all the things suggested to quiet him and none worked. We thought he had a bad reaction to the formula we were using, so we switched...four times. We thought he had colic, but all the suggestions to calm him didn't work. The pediatrician was no help whatsoever.
I had "tennis
elbow" from having to constantly have him in my arms. He absolutely
hated the baby slings, so I had to carry my 96th-percentile-for-weight
son most of the day if I wanted some peace. I admit to wearing earplugs
some days because I just couldn't handle the volume of his fussing. (Yes, I could still hear him and since he was rarely out of sight, the earplugs kept my sanity.)
It seemed he was happiest in his baby swing in front of Baby Einstein DVD's. For a half hour he'd be quiet. I felt so guilty for that. The AAP frowns on tv for kids before two years old.
I recall his baby days as ones of rushing through things to get done before he started to cry again. I used to hate to go to the store because I had to practically run through the store and grab only the absolute essentials because he had a short fuse. Looking at other moms leisurely shopping with their cooing babies made me feel like I was a big, fat failure. It didn't help when I misjudged my timing and got caught in a line at the checkout counter with a screaming child and received raised eyebrows and frowns.
I was extremely relieved when he quit crying so much. Coincidentally, that was about the time he could sit up in the shopping cart and look at more than the ceiling, and when he was able to walk.
After reading about infants who were later identified as gifted children and how many needed to be given a change of scenery about every 20 minutes, it makes perfect sense to me (now) that my son was screeching out of boredom.
No, my son wasn't a "good" baby. He was high maintenance and I didn't enjoy the majority of his babyhood. There...I've said it. I know that I will be considered a "bad" mom for thinking that, but I am still dealing with a sense of feeling somehow cheated out of the sweetness of babyhood I read about on Cafemom so many times. Maybe it is partly my personality, maybe it is because we had him so late in life and I was used to quiet. It certainly wasn't because we didn't want him...we tried to conceive him for five years. He was (and is) very wanted.
Sorry to dump all this emotion on you, and I thank you for reading if you got this far. I just needed to vent.