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Get set for life: Can you spoil your baby?

Author: Canadian Living

Family

Get set for life: Can you spoil your baby?

Many parents worry that attending to their infants every time they cry may lead to spoiling. However, spoiling implies that you are constantly giving in to a child's demands, and babies don't have demands; they have needs. Responding to a baby's needs quickly is the right thing to do. It's not spoiling; it's the warm response of a caring parent.

All babies cry to communicate with their parents, announcing that they are hungry, uncomfortable, sick, hurt, teething, bored, upset, tired or lonely. Crying also exercises the baby's lungs, muscles, heart and nervous system. From birth to about eight weeks, it is normal for babies to increase the amount they cry, and then to begin crying less around eight to 12 weeks. You may find that your baby cries more toward the end of the day. And some babies appear to cry for no reason at all.

Crying is not a habit to break but a signal to respond to. In fact, a quick response may help your baby soothe himself sooner over the long run. Studies show that babies who are soothed when they cry usually become better at comforting themselves. A word of caution: Hovering over a baby and fussing at every whimper is different from soothing a baby who is obviously upset. Anxious watchfulness can cause the baby to become more anxious.

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Get set for life: Can you spoil your baby?

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