“Does she cry often? She seems so happy all the time…”

The question was asked at a recent church gathering, an enquiry about our little baby’s cheerful demeanour. Dressed in her sweet little church gown, her soft baby head covered in her lacy bonnet, I felt like I was holding a sweet little piece of Heavenly bliss. As baby #10 of this noisy imperfect but happy family, our little one is loved and held so often, completely adored.

“She’s a sweet baby,” I replied … “We try not to give her a reason to cry. Someone is always around to cuddle her…”

And so this is true. So many arms, so many little mothers, so many people wanting to hold our sweet baby.

“Where do you put her when you have things to do?” another person asked me, one afternoon when we were gathered in my kitchen for tea. She had — no doubt — looked around and noticed no baby carriers, baby seats or chairs, other than the old wooden high chair nestled in the corner of the kitchen.


“We just hold her!” I replied, smiling.

A few weeks spent in Africa during the early years of marriage made an impression on me – I noticed the mothers just held their babies. There were very few strollers, no bouncy chairs, just loving arms … and I noticed their babies are happier, held more, content and cuddled always by loving arms. The absence of fancy car seats, bumbo chairs and  “super saucers” did not seem detrimental in any way … in fact, it was just the opposite. These little babies were just tied to their mommas or older sisters and they were content and happy …

It was later in my motherhood years I read about how damaging a baby seat can be to a little one (if left in the seat for long periods of time) – so since then, we have always had ready arms, loving sisters and a momma willing to hold the littlest one.

I also read this, which opened my eyes to a new way of mothering. You can also read this article to echo my thoughts.

I suppose I am old school – or new school? – in my ideas of mothering babies. I have been told I am spoiling my babies, that I hold them too much, that they should cry more.

“It’s healthy for them to cry,” said one relative, much to my dismay, while visiting one Sunday afternoon.

Well, I firmly disagree!

If there was a lesson I could teach younger mothers in their new parenting journey is that time truly does slip through your fingers – enjoy those hours of rocking and holding and cuddling your little one. The best cradle is the mother’s arms. Your first year with your baby is so very important – it bonds you and your child together. Do not be discouraged by the hours you spend holding your baby – it is all worth it.


I suppose this is where I an a grandma in my thoughts … as Edgar Guest (my favourite poet) wrote in his following poem.

“They’re letting him cry!” said the grandmother gray;
“They’re letting him cry, and they’ve sent me away. 
They’re raising that baby on schedules and things;
They won’t have a cradle that teeters and swings;
They won’t let me rock him to sleep on my knee,
And his father and mother won’t listen to me. 

“That husband and father just laughed in my face
When I called their neglect of the child a disgrace.
‘The very idea,’ I said in my rage,
‘His mother was rocked every day at his age.
Hour after hour in my arms she would lie — 
No baby of mine was permitted to cry!”

“I suppose I know nothing of babies at all! 
I’ve only had four of my own that were small;
I’ve only rocked four on these knees which they spurn,
And now from my guidance and counsel they turn.
They’re training the baby. Well, take it from me, 
The best place to train one is right on your knee.

“It wasn’t my practice to sit calmly by
And go on with my sewing and just let them cry.
I fed when they hungered and not by the clock,
And I never begrudged the long hours I’d rock.
These new fangled-notions were wiser, they say — 
As if you could better a grandmother’s way!”



June 14, 2023 - 10:46 am

Courtney What a lovely post – and thank you for speaking out about the dangers of baby chairs and exersaucers. My oldest loved his and was in it far too often. He ended up learning to walk on his toes, and ultimately needed surgery on both Achilles tendons to correct the damage from the toe walking when he was 10, which was a terribly painful procedure for someone so young. As someone stated before, I also wish I had of known sooner the importance of holding my babies instead of relying on devices to be ‘hands free’

June 12, 2023 - 3:16 pm

Gigi Yes, she is the first!

June 11, 2023 - 10:22 pm

Rachel Is this your first baby with blue eyes? She is beautiful along with all of your children. What a lovely family. Thank you for sharing these special pictures. Congratulations on another little one!

June 8, 2023 - 5:51 pm

Gigi Kim, you must love being a grandma! We love the crocheted stuffed animals – they are super adorable!

June 8, 2023 - 5:50 pm

Gigi Mom, I agree!! xoxo

June 8, 2023 - 4:45 am

Gigi Regina, good point! I never thought of that!

June 7, 2023 - 9:38 pm

Regina Shea I love holding babies and I never let mine cry it out. I think it’s mean. I’m sure Mary and Joseph didn’t let Jesus cry it out!

June 7, 2023 - 1:44 pm

Kim Robbins Such a beautiful post Gillian, as usual. As a Grandma now, I wish I had learned this with my children. Now as a Grandma, when I am with my grandchildren, they get my attention all the time. I absolutely love the poem. Miss you all.

June 7, 2023 - 12:21 pm

Mom (Gigi’s Momma) I love this!! I think everyone loves to be held, especially babies.
and I don’t think it is healthy for ANYONE to be crying!

June 6, 2023 - 9:06 am

Gigi Oh, that is a wonderful time to have a baby! I love fall and winter babies!! Enjoy!

June 6, 2023 - 8:39 am

HomeofManyBlessings We are due to have a Fall baby! Theres nothing like cuddling a little one during the seasons changing.Picking apples,all the yummy pumpkin smells and the leaves falling.Sweet babies cuddle in that new knitted blanket I need to finish before it gets here.A season of change it will be!

June 6, 2023 - 8:35 am

Gigi Haven, I completely understand. I just tied the baby to me as much as possible and laid her on the bed/couch while I could not hold her. I just did my best to keep her near me, seeing me, etc. — this is how it worked with the younger ones. I remember tossing out the baby swing after I realized it was swinging my baby to sleep instead of being in my arms – it was a moment of realization. You can just do your best and understand that the first one or two years is very self sacrificing. ((hugs)) I completely understand what you mean.

June 6, 2023 - 12:46 am

Haven I loved reading this post, as well as the linked articles! If you don’t mind my asking, how did you do this before your older girls were able to help with the little ones? I have a 1-year-old and 6-month-old, and often find myself having to put the little one down so I can tend to the older one, or to supper, etc… I do wear him when I can, but he wears out from that after a while, as do I. Just seeking a little practical advice! ❤

June 5, 2023 - 7:13 pm

Gigi Yes,
I agree, Monica!

June 5, 2023 - 5:19 pm

Monica I wish I had learned this sooner. That it was OKAY to hold your baby. It makes PERFECT SENSE!! But that’s the great thing with having many children, you learn and get to improve and improve as the children come along. I cannot love this post enough. (And the pictures!!)

June 5, 2023 - 10:24 am

Gigi Laura, oh my, that is a tragic memory for a little one … that is so good that you can take your memories, however, and turn it into a positive by being the kind of mother you want your children to have. I know your children are blessed to have you near to them!
You are so sweet – thank you for the compliment. Still looking forward to meeting you in person one day!

June 5, 2023 - 10:10 am

Laura Jeanne This is a subject close to my heart Gillian, and I’m so glad you feel that way and are keeping your precious little one close. <3

It might sound strange to say, but my own first memory is of being a baby crying in my crib. I can still remember those baby thoughts I had – it was dark in my room but there was light in the hallway and I could hear my parents talking there. I KNEW they were there, and that they could hear me – why weren't they coming? Why, oh why didn't they come? Didn't they love me? I felt so alone and betrayed. I've had a lot of problems with anxiety and depression in my life, and I truly believe it started when I was a baby, because I did not feel safe and taken care of, and my brain got the message that the world was not a safe place. I am only now, in my 40s, learning now to retrain my brain to be calm.

God bless you Gillian. You're such a good mother. And if I may say, you are so beautiful! I love how you did your hair in these photos.

June 4, 2023 - 12:15 pm

Gigi Yes, Bobbie, I agree. Sweetly holding your baby after someone tells you to put them down – love it. 🙂
So good to hear from you and congratulations on your new baby to come! 11! Wow, that is amazing! When are you due? We are great in our new place. I hope you are doing well!

June 4, 2023 - 12:14 pm

Gigi Liz, very interesting! Yes, we are designed by the Creator to be soothing mothers.

June 4, 2023 - 11:35 am

Liz Agree! I practiced attachment parenting as well. I remember reading early on that your child is more likely to confide in you as a teenager because they know you will respond to their emotional needs. This stuck with me as I never confided in my parents as a teenager but wanted my own children to do so. I never let my kids cry it out and now that they are older, they are definitely more open with me than I was with my parents. I remember when they were babies and I would hear about people taking “sleep training” classes and it made me cringe. We’re biologically designed (milk lets down) to answer baby’s cries.

June 4, 2023 - 9:08 am

HomeofManyBlessings Such sweet pictures!! I’ve never liked it when people would tell me as a young mother to let my babies cry.That it makes them strong and independent.Because I will have things to do and I cant always be there and comfort them.That they need to learn early….Nope,never liked that.As an older mama now with 10 children and 1 on the way,they still tell me not to hold my child all the time for it will surely be spoiled rotten.I just gently smile and say ok.Then I focus more on them and their sweet little faces and hold them a little tighter.This is all I get with them at all these different stages in their lives.The baby stage is gone in the blink of an eye.But even as they get older…..I am always here when they need me. I think children need more comfort and way less of being ignored or allowing them to just cry it out.That seems cruel to me.Anyway…I love your home decor and all the pretty white blankets and baby bed coverings.!How are you all doing and are you loving your new home?

June 4, 2023 - 4:32 am

Gigi Thank you, Lillibeth!

June 4, 2023 - 4:32 am

Gigi Cathy, that is so sweet. I love to hear stories like that (and how can your children be that old already?! Wow!)…. so lovely to hear from you! 🙂

June 3, 2023 - 11:20 pm

Cathy Bray I never let my babies cry either. I had so many people tell me to let them cry but I just couldn’t. I thought it was cruel. My children are now 23 and 24 years old and I have such a wonderful relationship with them. They trust me and know that I will always be there for them. 🙂 xoxo

June 3, 2023 - 8:10 pm

Lillibeth Amen!