I love cuddling my baby. But there are some days she doesn’t love cuddling me. She’s very busy, and active, and desperately wants to see what’s going on in the world around her. So she wriggles and squirms and tries to crawl off my lap, and any efforts to snuggle her into submission are futile. She knows her own mind, and her mind says, “Go explore!”
Cuddling is one of the best parts about having a baby, in my opinion. I mean, babies are just made for cuddling: They’re small and squishy and soft, and their little bodies just fit so snugly into our arms. Their heads are just the right size to be cradled under our chins. Their bums fit perfectly into the crook of our arms. Even as they grow, we find ourselves trying to cuddle them the same way we did when they were babies; trying to smoosh our bigger babies and toddlers and, eventually, big kids into prime cuddling position in our laps and arms.
And there’s a bittersweetness to that realisation that our babies aren’t babies any more. That they’re too big to be picked up (at least, not without giving ourselves a trip to the physio). That they don’t need us to rock them in our arms and sing them to sleep at night. These “last times” never come with a specific date, either. We just realise, one day, that it’s been a while since we last did those things, and we wonder how we missed out.
So even when my little baby isn’t so little any more, I’m still going to ask her if she wants a cuddle. I won’t make her, but I’ll make sure I’m there, with open arms and a soft lap to sit in, even if she thinks she’s too big for cuddling. Because I know the truth: You’re never too big for a cuddle with your mum.
BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.
Other articles of interest
This one’s for your birth companion – anyone whom you’re planning to have in the delivery room while you’re in labour and giving birth needs to read it.
Thought it was just mums-to-be who get morning sickness, gain weight, and have mood swings? Dubbed “Couvade syndrome”, pregnancy symptom-sharing by dads-to-be is far more common than you may realise.