Can I Spoil my Newborn Baby?
“If you hold your baby too much, she will always want to be held.”
“It’s good for a baby to cry. It exercises their lungs.”
Well meaning family or friends may warn you that you are spoiling your baby by picking him up every time he cries. But is this true? Can you spoil a newborn?
We believe the answer is NO! You cannot spoil a newborn. Responding to your baby teaches him that the world is a safe place and that his needs will be met.
Child psychiatrist Dr. Jean Clinton recommends we treat baby’s first month as an extension of the womb, where baby’s every need is met. “A baby cannot manipulate you, they can only experience. Your job is to figure out what the baby needs.”
Newborns communicate when they are hungry, need their diaper changed, are cold, or want to be cuddled. They let us know their needs by fussing or crying. It can be challenging to determine exactly what your newborn needs, often requiring a little trial and error. We would recommend first trying to feed, especially in the early days. Snuggling your baby skin to skin, in just a diaper against your bare chest, is a wonderful way to calm a fussing baby!
Your quick response to baby’s cry means he will experience less anxiety. Research shows that babies whose needs are met develop into more secure and confident children.
So, hold your new baby as much as you want. Respond quickly to every little need he has. Both you and your baby will be happier.
Need help positioning your newborn for feeds, watch the free preview video lesson from our Simply Breastfeeding course. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the preview button.)
Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.
- Download their FREE ebook: 5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding.
- Download their FREE video course Getting Ready to Breastfeed.