If there’s one thing that parents didn’t want to commit while taking care of their newborn child is to spoil him. This is but a natural desire as every parent wants his child to grow up in a real world where not everything happens the way we planned them to be. However, there’s an undying notion on how spoiling a baby can occur when the parent picks him up every time he cries. It’s actually an old myth that has been passed on from generation to generation of parenting.
Spoiling as a myth
The myth that parents are spoiling their baby every time they pick him up when he cries started in the 1920s. During this period, experts have been telling parents that when their baby cries, it may not be a good idea to always respond to it by picking him up. They believe that being too responsive to a baby’s crying would make the child grow up being clingy and too dependent. However, everything was all based on opinion and there’s no scientific evidence that would support the claim. Moreover, additional research on the spoiling myth has proven that it was a mistake to believe that parents spoil their babies by the simple act of picking them up as a way of responding to their cries.
Why babies cry
It’s important to understand first the several reasons behind a baby’s cry. This way, responding to his cry and then deciding to pick him up would become a well-thought of move and not just an impulsive reaction. Babies cry because it’s their way of communicating their wants and needs. They cry because they want to be fed, to be held, to be comforted and of course, to be loved. As a parent, you need to be able to listen to your instincts and respond to your baby’s wants and needs to the best of your ability.
Can babies feel they are being spoiled?
When you pick up your baby every time he cries, you’re actually teaching him the values of feeling secured and confident. It’s far from spoiling your newborn whose needs and wants are pretty much straightforward. The thought that he is being spoiled by his parent is too complicated for his young age to even comprehend. On the contrary, what he feels is that he can always count on you to be always there for him.
What happens when parents respond to their crying infant?
Crying is the baby’s way of communicating with you. It’s his way of telling you that he needs something which can be anything from food, parental love, change on the diaper or he wants to let you know that he doesn’t feel well. As a parent, responding to his cries consistently and meeting his needs will make your baby feel that you are someone he can rely on and trust. He would have this feeling of being connected to you and most of all, he would feel that he is loved. These feelings are particularly important during the child’s first 12 months.
Some minor changes to consider when the baby gets a little older
When the baby gets to be around 6 months old, it’s but natural to believe that his wants may have become sophisticated and could have varied from what he actually needs. One example is when the older baby may try doing things such as attempting to pull your hair or wanting to get your smartphone after his picture was taken. On this particular case, it is advisable to teach your baby some discipline and that there are certain limits that you need to set. This way, your baby will learn to understand the concept of not being able to get what he wants at all times but he still feels that he is being loved.
Will it be a bad thing if I don’t pick up the baby when he cries?
Before picking him up when he cries, it may be good to ponder first on what his other needs are apart from the need of wanting to be held. Perhaps he needs to be fed or he simply wants to feel you holding his hand. Babies have simple innocent wants and tend to be easy to please. Picking him up is just one of the ways to show him that you care and that he’s not alone. Responding to his cries differently may tell him that you really understand what he wants which would make him feel more secured.
How to decide that it is okay to pick up your baby
Parents should decide from the beginning on how they intend to raise their child and how they plan to do that together. It’s important that they agree on their thoughts so as not to confuse the baby when he gets varying responses from the parents. If at all, you feel like your baby is becoming too dependent, you can help him by allowing him to cry a minute longer and then decide to pick him up. Just like other children, your little one may also experience some little night terrors and would react by crying out in the middle of the night. Try to find out first if he can easily go back to sleep before you pick him up.
If I want to spoil my baby, is it also good?
Spoiling the baby is usually synonymous to teaching the baby some “bad” habits. However, this can be altered by teaching the baby some “good” habits. One of the first good habits that you can teach your baby is making him learn that it’s time to sleep after you fed him at night. This is something that he can easily learn from a very young age. To do this, you can tell your baby that it’s time to sleep by toning down the lighting system in the room, by making sure that the room is quiet and free from noise and distraction and by avoiding your child to be engaged in a conversation. On this day and age of selfies, it may also be unwise to take some baby snapshots while you encourage your baby to smile and say “cheese.”