« Parenting

You can't spoil a newborn

by Nikki Montgomery

You've probably heard it before, maybe from your mom or your grandmother, "If you pick up the baby when they're crying you're going to spoil them." The reality is you can't spoil a newborn. The only way your baby can communicate with you is through crying. They cry when they're hungry, when they're tired, when they need a diaper change, when they're uncomfortable, when they're bored and when they want to be near you. Your heartbeat, your scent and your voice are all soothing to your baby. 

If you think I'll just let them cry because they need to learn to self soothe, that's not the best thing for your baby. Infants can't self soothe. If your baby stops crying after a while they've just given up hope that you'll come find out what's wrong. 

Crying releases stress hormones that will stick with your baby throughout his or her life. If you make it a habit to respond quickly to your baby's cries they will be calmer sooner and they'll be more confident and less stressed as they grow older. Having that comfort from parents can make a world of difference in your baby. 

As a mother of newborn twins I know first hand how stressful a crying baby can be. You change their diaper and they still cry, you move them to the swing and they still cry, you put them on the playmat and they still cry, you give them a pacifier and they still cry, you feed them and they still cry, you rock them and they still cry, you bounce them and they still cry, you shush them and they still cry.  Take a deep breath and remember they love you and you're doing the best you can. Call someone who said, "If you need anything give me a call" when you had the baby. It's okay to take a break. Let someone else take over trying to soothe the baby and you go for a drive, sit down with a calming cup of tea, take a shower or take a nap. For your sake and the baby's you need to take care of yourself too and stress is bad for you too.

Just know that holding your baby when they cry is not going to spoil them no matter what your mother says.

Brought to you by