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Don’t mess with the snuggle

Your arms are aching and your mother-in-law says you’re spoiling your baby by picking her up when she cries. Don’t sweat it. Snuggling may be exactly what she needs.
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You’re not alone if you have a young baby who cries the minute you try to put her down. Since babies are completely dependant on the care of grown-ups for their survival, they’re born with a strong drive to be held all the time.

The good news is it’s not possible for a baby to be spoiled by too much attention. In fact, the opposite is true. Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry.

Babies kept in physical contact with their caregivers were found to cry an average of an hour less per day than babies who weren’t. Those that were held and responded to quickly were also found to be less clingy and more adaptable to new situations when they turned into toddlers.

But this hold-me-all-the-time phase is definitely challenging for parents. One solution is to buy and wear a strap-on front carrier that will allow your baby to keep in close physical contact with you while freeing your hands to do other things.

And when you have to put her down, your baby will probably be comforted by having you nearby. A reclining high chair in the kitchen will let her gaze at you and hear your voice as you get a drink or make a sandwich. During the first month, a firm bundle wrapping can help to comfort an unhappy newborn — though pediatricians don’t recommend bundling a baby past that age. After that, a cozy sleep sack or pajamas will help her feel secure.

Once baby reaches six months and older, she’ll be able to sit up and support her own head and have more control over her hands. By that point, she’ll also be more content to entertain herself with hands-on activities like activity seats, highchair tray toys or banging spoons on pots.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble.

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 68reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I never understood the idea of "spoiling" a child by picking them up and being attentive to them. Makes no sense to me. Yet this is what I am repeatedly told. Old wives tale I guess, at any rate I will definitely be using this article as part of my defense! April 18, 2015
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I say it's my son and you can never spoil your own baby too much. I believe he will grow up completely healthy and happy by being "spoiled" by mommy. It's just love and being a single mom makes it even harder to not love them that much more. April 1, 2015
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I get so upset when people tell me I am "spoiling" my baby by holding him too much! I waited a long time for my little miracle and I will hold and snuggle on him all I want! Thank you for the article! November 21, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by The first few months, babies are still adjusting to the "outside" world. They got so used to being warm and snuggled inside and it takes a bit of time to adjust to having so much space all around. People tell me that I am spoiling my daughter when I held her a lot when she was newborn to about 2 months.Little by little her senses are developing and is learning to be not too "clingy." She has learned that she can trust that someone is always around for her. August 10, 2014
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