• Katherine Dudley Hoehn

Never Let a Good Baby Go to Waste


Mom sticking to her conviction

"Never let a good baby go to waste" was one of Mom’s expressions, usually said right before she scooped up an infant in her arms and cuddled it. She said it when my first son was born, then my second. My sister heard it. My brother heard it. And in some iteration or another, we all adopted it. Now my own sons, with five children among them, know it, too.


Don’t get in the way of a grandmother who doesn’t believe in wasting a good baby.


My newest grand baby

Babies are meant to be held and cuddled. Their tiny fingers and toes are ripe for tickling and admiring, and their fat full bellies are good for rubbing. Without sounding inappropriate, I also admire a fat baby bottom: smooth and dimply like rising bread dough.


My favorite part about baby holding is when they’re against my chest, head at my shoulder, and calming down. You know this not just by lack of wiggling, but when their breathing becomes slow and steady, you feel the little heart beating along with yours, and their warm breath gently caresses your neck. That is when you know that there is absolutely no baby wasting going on.


Mom and me

In fact, when you are holding a baby, the whole world stops. Nothing is more important and you only think about the little miracle in your arms.



Never let a good baby go to waste. Your life and theirs will be better for it.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Attention fellow grandparents!

Much has been written about baby holding and so-called spoiling babies. Contrary to the old wives’ tales, you cannot spoil a baby or hold it too much. In fact, you can help regulate its heart rate and breathing, keep it warm, enhance brain development, and make it feel safe. Babies need constant holding.

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