Why The Phrase Should Be Happy Baby Happy Mummy

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Ever heard of the phrase ‘happy mummy, happy baby’? Of course you have.

This phrase was originally created to help mommas who were suffering with post natal illnesses (or any mental health illnesses in fact), because its true; if mum is depressed or mentally ill then it is likely that the baby will pick up on these feelings; especially if the mental health issues are preventing mum from looking after her baby properly. After all, in the event of an air-plane crash you must have your own oxygen mask on before helping anyone else.

However, this phrase is so overused now. Mums take it and use it as a reasoning for every single parenting choice, in order to justify a choice they make that may not be in baby’s best interest. I am a huge advocate for happy mums, of course I am. I suffered with traumatic stress and post natal depression after my son was born so I KNOW how important it is for mums to be happy. And that’s why it frustrates me so much to see mums using this phrase to justify selfish decisions.

For example, the cry it out method. 

Many mums genuinely believe this method is a rite of passage in motherhood, when their baby reaches a certain age they MUST leave them to cry in order to make them learn how to be ‘independent’. I’ve never met a mum who has enjoyed leaving her precious bundle to cry, however I have met plenty who deep down know that what they are doing is perhaps detrimental to their baby’s well being but do it anyway as they think that’s what they are meant to do and they use the phrase ‘happy mum happy baby’ in order to justify this. I just don’t understand, I’ve never met a mum who finds it easy to leave her baby to cry and I’m pretty sure baby’s don’t enjoy being left to cry either.

(Click here to read Thanks For The Advice But I Won’t Leave My Baby To Cry)

Of course, us mums are still people and we deserve to be happy, however sometimes doing what we believe is best for us isn’t best for our children and when we gave birth to our babies we made that vow to put their needs before our own. After all, if we don’t put them first, who will?!

So, my new favourite phrase is Happy Baby = Happy Mummy, because every mum I’ve ever met feeds from their baby’s happiness. Every mum I’ve ever come across is happy when their baby is happy.

 

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22 thoughts on “Why The Phrase Should Be Happy Baby Happy Mummy

  1. I much prefer your saying. As a mum, I can’t imagine you being happy if your baby is upset. I believe the original phrase is true too when used in the context of mental well being, but when people use it to make excuses for things it becomes warped and loses it’s original meaning.
    Debbie

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  2. OMG i used to cry when my babies would cry…Esp. my first one as I was totally frustrated as to why she cried s much…

    Babies cannot talk so crying, laughing, smiling and baby talk is their way fo telling us whats up..the rest is up to us as parents to diagnose and find out what the real issue is or seek professional advice. So yes Happy baby, happy mummy..I agree 🙂

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  3. I think it depends on the situation. I don’t agree with crying it out at all – however I have had to leave one of my babies to cry before because I have two other children (I have a 13 month old, 3 year old and 4 year old) and only one pair of hands. I also made the decision not to breastfeed my youngest for what may appear to be selfish reasons (I blogged about it and was called a selfish cow) – I didn’t want to in all honesty, and I do not regret that decision in the slightest. For me, in that situation it ws happy mummy = happy baby. I breastfed my middle one for almost two years and hated it. In that case, it wasn’t happy baby = happy mummy!

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  4. I love that phrase – happy baby, happy mummy, because it’s so true. All parents want their children to be happy – we spend all our days trying to make them so! The cry it out method is horrendous – we did a little bit of it and to be honest, it did work for us – but we didn’t let it go on too long. She does self-comfort though now, with a blankie and her boppy in bed and it’s very cute.

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  5. Well, you know my feelings about cry it out. I think we have to agree to disagree that there are different ways to parent, mothers should have the confidence to know their babies and what is right for them and their family.

    I do agree that babies feed off their parents. That’s why I wanted to relax and chill out in pregnancy, and be less Type A once he arrived. Luckily I had a baby who fell into his own fairly similar routine to that which various books advocate and it worked for us as a family. He was a cheery chilled out baby (as long as he had food immediately) and is a lovely happy little boy now. My brother though was a nightmare for crying all the time unless he was eating, and my mum had a really hard time. It’s only years later that she realised with him that she probably had PND, brought on by my dad dying 2 weeks after my brother was born, and that he was probably feeding off her anxiety and grief.

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    • Fair enough but I believe that leaving a baby to cry or anything else like that does not benefit the child, how is that best for the child? Its not, its best for the parents who are making selfish decisions. That’s not to say they are bad parents at all but we are all so obsessed with supporting other mums that we forget what is really important, the children and their needs being put first.

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      • I guess it depends. If you’ve parents who’ve not slept in months, they’ve tried everything else, they’ve got jobs, maybe involving driving, operating machinery, saving lives etc, and lack of sleep is affecting them, their work and ultimately could end up injuring or worse other people/losing jobs which then impacts the family life, prospects of the child. It’s usually a last resort. Maybe those parents can’t afford to have a babysitter or support who can care for the child while they catch up on sleep. Or they can’t afford to have in a sleep trainer. Yes it might not be ideal, but if there’s no medical or care reason for a child crying every night, sometimes there’s no other solution and it might just be better than a parent resorting to sleeping pills or other medication that could be avoided which could then impact the care of the child in other ways. I just think there’s other things to think about. It’s like cosleeping. Not all parents want to/are able to cosleep which might be another solution to helping babies sleep, but then others are horrified at that ‘solution’. There’s just a lot of judgements on parents who think long term for their children and their family.

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      • I guess I’m struggling to understand how leaving your baby to cry can benefit them in the present and in the future? I was left to cry and it certainly didn’t benefit me. I grew up clingy and insecure.

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      • But not all do. The same as some anxious adults may never have been hit or left to cry. there’s a lot of other factors out there to make a difference. Fewer parents probably do it now due to the wider focus on attachment parenting and more alternative methods out there. For some it’s the only solution and the majority of babies will turn out with no anxiety or clinginess.

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  6. That’s a perfect saying and one I wholeheartedly agree with. I really don’t understand the cry it out method. There’s nothing worse or really gets to you more than the sound of your little one crying, it breaks my heart when people just leave their babies to cry it out, I don’t think it’s healthy.

    Laura x

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  7. I love the thought behind this post. I have used the happy mum happy baby phrase before myself but only to help me through the baby blues when i wasn’t feeling myself and felt guilty for taking care of myself. I see your point about the overuse though. I agree totally wth happy baby happy mum because really, for me personally anyway, that’s what it is all about.

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