As has been a regular theme here on the blog, babies do not think like you and I. This is the largest barrier for some parents to overcome, I believe. If a baby is frustrating, he’s frustrating because you don’t understand him, not through any intentional act of his own.

It’s easy early on to be insecure about your parenting. After all, you’ve never done it before, and it’s pretty hard to tell how good a job you’re doing, really. I mean, even if you’re perfect, that kid will still be upset sometimes. Making matters a bit worse for you could very likely be the fact that your baby may seem to like Mommy or, really, any other animate or inanimate object in the house, more than you. This notion may eat away at you and so you’ll always notice that when you get the baby in a hand-off, he cries (and you will conveniently ignore the other 60% of the time when he does not). Or you’ll feel like he never sleeps well when you’re around or any number of imagined deficiencies.

Don’t take it personally. Might be tricky, but try and remember you’re projecting a very grown-up manner of thinking onto a baby. And what is that baby thinking about? Maybe about pooping. Maybe about that light over your shoulder. Maybe about that reflection on the spoon over on the table. Not about how he loves Mommy more than you.

Babies live in a world made up of fractions. Your baby, while very young, may recognize your voice, or your smell, or your face. It’s not terribly likely he knows to relate all three to one another. He recognizes lights, or small portions of fabric patterns, or textures immediately under his hands or feet. If he likes any one person more than another, it’s that he perhaps prefers the color of their eyebrow. Or the shadows around their nose. I assure you that there are many things about you he likes.

I mean, he’s a baby. Babies like everything.

So, like, don’t lay your hang-ups on him, man.

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  1. #1 by Jesse on August 11, 2010 - 3:06 PM

    Twin parents have the opposite problem. I’m absolutely paranoid that, no matter what I do, I’ll start favoring one over the other. It’s silly, but seriously…what if one of them turns out to be significantly cooler than the other?

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