Is it OK To Hold Your Newborn Every Time He Cries?
As a new parent, you may have gotten warnings from well-meaning family members and friends about potentially "spoiling" your newborn by paying him/her too much attention. A lot of parents worry about whether they should pick up their child every time he/she cries or dropping everything to tend to their needs.
Here’s How To Deal With A Crying Newborn.
Can You Spoil Your Newborn?
You can never give your newborn too much attention. In the first few months of life, your baby needs as much of your attention as possible, and you won't create bad habits by being responsive to your baby's needs. Newborns are unable to consciously link cause and effect, so if your baby is crying, it's probably because they are hungry, cold, hot, in pain, in need of a diaper change, or just want reassurance that you are close by.
The Importance Of Responding To Your Baby
Your little one relies on you to provide what he/she needs to be comfortable. If you consistently respond to your child's cries by giving them your full attention, he/she will learn to trust that they can rely on you to fulfill their needs, and this will help them become secure and independent over time. Babies who receive adequate attention also learn to cope better with stress, plus they form healthier physical and emotional attachments with others.
Understanding Feeding And Sleeping Patterns
You might worry that holding your little one too much will affect his/her sleeping pattern. This is a legitimate concern, but it can help to be aware of what to expect from a newborn baby's sleeping patterns.
Although newborns spend most of their time sleeping (around 16-24 hours on average), most of them do this in short naps. During the first couple of weeks with your newborn, you can try settling techniques such as establishing a sleep routine and emphasizing the difference between day and night to help your baby adapt to sleeping for longer periods.
If you're concerned that your newborn cries all the time demanding to be fed, you're probably right. During the first few weeks, babies generally need to be fed every 2-4 hours. Therefore you must respond to their cries for attention in case they are hungry.
It might be worth noting that after some time, most newborns will establish a practicable pattern of demand feeding. Given time, they learn to do a majority of their feeding during the day and consequently feed at night, which makes it easier for you.
Older Babies Are A Bit Different
Once your baby hits the six-month mark, their wants start to become different from their needs. You can start to set some gentle limits and teach them discipline. This is because, at this age, they are more capable of understanding that they can't always get what they want, but you still love them.
It is impossible to spoil a newborn. This is because they cry to be held, fed, loved, and comforted – basic needs for young babies. At this point, they still have very simple wants and needs. It, therefore, falls upon you as a parent to listen to your gut and respond to them as best as you can.