Is there such a thing as carrying your child too much?

Jessica - posted on 05/19/2013 ( 41 moms have responded )

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Everyone says my 10 month old is spoiled because she loves being carried and cries when I put her down. They also say that's why she hasn't learned how to walk.

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Jennifer
You can hear in the words you wrote how yeah you may have held them but did they sense love or that they were a burden. I watch my friend whose baby is only 7 days younger than my baby get so ticked off and annoyed at her baby that she grabs her in anger, holds her briefly then puts her down in another room and leaves her there to cry.. So you tell me what is this baby learning? My friend did this ever since her daughter was 3 months old. She literally tells her daughter stop it you are very annoying. Her baby has gotten so bad that no one wants to watch her. She cries all day and hardly sleeps at night. Her daughter has picked up from her parents that she is annoying and a burden. My friend can not understand how Ava hardly ever cries does her own thing and only wants to be held briefly. Our kids are a reflection of our parenting not because of a natural desire to be held. There are specific needs a baby has and far too many parents just don't want to take the time to love and nurture their baby and why? because it interfers with what they are wanting to do. How to be with friends or be around other children is taught. So what have you been teaching them? I can't believe you are going to blame your child You turned a natural instinct to cry and made it a burden. I helped a two year old boy with potty training because this woman I met gave up. As I watched her I could see her yelling getting frustrated and angry. After 1 month I had him out of diapers because I removed the fear he had, I had compassion, praised him and reasurred him he was fine. With babies and children AND adults you have to remove fear before you get results. Babies and children are hard work but you need to have a humbling spirit understanding patience and a lot of love. I wish more parents would study child psychology. Every parent does the best they can I guess

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/23/2013

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Oh, and I NEVER heard a mom say " I regret holding/ cuddling with my child too much", but I have heard moms say " I wish I could have spent more time with them when they were little ".

Michelle - posted on 05/24/2013

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This is my first time being on this sight. The most sensible thing I have read on here was from Danielle stating your child can never be loved or held too much. Everyone needs to realize all kids are different as are all parents. Getting personal with each other only makes things harder. We already at times feel insecure as these gorgeous things we created do not come with a manual. We need to embrace each other and help each other. Not run down and try to be a right fighter. Enjoy your day ladies. I'm going to hug and hold my nine month old son for as long as he will let me!!

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/24/2013

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Jennifer, his theory has yet to be disproven. It is very practical to realize a baby that feels safe and protected will have high self esteem which will lead to a child feeling more capable of trying new things( becoming independent). It sounds like your family could have over indulged your kids in other ways which could lead to spoiling. I know my baby's grandparents tend to be pushovers and let my child get away with things that I will not. This could perhaps be the reason for the behavior you explained but it is not from being held too much.

Sally - posted on 05/22/2013

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Small children are designed to be carried close to mom most of the time. The idea that they should be independent is historically very new and only exists in a very small part of the world. Giving your child the attention she needs is likely to make her more independent when she is developmentally ready. Putting her down when she needs to be held is more likely to make her clingy and whiny. Also very few 10 month olds walk--claiming she can't do it because you carry her is just silly.

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Audra - posted on 05/28/2013

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Its okay to hold your baby but your baby does need to get down from time to time to in cease his/her mobile skills. Children need down time as well as being held and cuddled. Don't let anyone tell you that you cant spoil a baby because that's also a matter of opinion. Does the baby ever allow you to place him/her down? If not its because he/she is so use to being held that its all they want you to do. I work with children ages 6 weeks to 5 I've worked with them for over 20 years. Kids need a variety of things to do. Sit in the floor with her and read a book, play with blocks etc. As far as walking goes no matter what they will do that in their own time. Good Luck mommy.

Amber - posted on 05/26/2013

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same here. I am a mother of 6 and let me tell you. They grow too fast! Enjoy carrying them around, the season of life doesn't last long. Before you know it, they will be in the 4th grade, walking by the way, and becoming more independent.

Susan - posted on 05/25/2013

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PS forgot to say - my girl spent a month standing up and plonking back down on her butt again before she finally walked at 14 months. Don't stress.

Susan - posted on 05/25/2013

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I agree with Kylie, my girl first stood up a week before her 1st birthday, pulling herself up using a drawer in her open wardrobe. Which promptly slid towards her and she fell on her butt. :0)

One of my nephews was walking while holding onto my German Shepherd's back at 7 months. His brother walked much later than that. All kids are different, some are in a hurry some aren't.

As my 8 month old girl crawled away from me first time in day care, without a backward glance, the head midwife told me (In case I was about to congratulate myself raising a brave and not-clingy kid); "It's nothing you're doing right or wrong it's part of the character they're born with" . :0)

When you're a new mum it seems there's so many people and advice columns/ books setting you up to feel inadequate and just plain doing it wrong.

I just thank God, for the sensible nurses and midwifes at my Early Childhood Health Centre - they kept me sane and kept me grounded.

Marilyn - posted on 05/24/2013

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Balderdash. A baby can't have too much holding, love, affection, or anything of the sort. My eldest was very much like your baby--he wanted me to hold him All The Freaking Time, I had to rock him to sleep every night, he cried if I left the room for ten seconds, etc. I wore him in a baby front carrier while I made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, made beds, and did all other household chores. He was happy, which meant he wasn't screaming, which meant I was happy. Besides, it was so very flattering that he loved me so much he wanted to be with me every moment!

He learned to walk around his first birthday. This is very normal. I've known some children who didn't learn to walk until almost two years old, and they have turned out just fine also. Every child progresses at a different rate.

And let me tell you something--he is now a happy and confident 4-year-old who eagerly goes to preschool and has a blast, excels in Sunday School at church, and just recently went on an all-day fishing trip with just Grandpa--no Mommy there! He is well-adjusted and loves everyone he meets (sometimes more enthusiastically than I would like).

So don't you let anyone tell you how to take care of your child. She belongs to YOU, not to them. If you want to hold her, hold her! The time will come soon enough when she's too big to carry around, and your arms will ache for the chance to do it again! There are numerous studies also that say babies need lots and lots of touching. I'd say you're doing a great job! When she's ready to walk, she'll let you know!

(Oh, and my second child--I would have been happy to hold him all day, because he's the sunniest little thing ever, but he was having none of that! Kicked breastfeeding by 4 months and wouldn't stay in my lap for anything, except at nap time. He's always got to follow his brother around! Every child is different!)

Stephanie - posted on 05/24/2013

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I have heard that carrying your baby all the time isn't good bc the baby than won't want to be anywhere else but in the mothers arm

Jennifer - posted on 05/24/2013

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No. Babies that age don't quite yet have the thought process to manipulate you into spoiling them or to learn behaviors of a "spoiled child." Ten months would be an early walker, so it's very normal that she isn't walking yet. My son doesn't like being restricted or having his hands held, so I never helped him learn to walk. He just did it one day. She will do the same when she is ready. I think you will regret pushing her out of her comfort zone. Instead let her decide what makes her feel safe and secure, which right now sounds like being held by you.

Staci - posted on 05/24/2013

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Each child is different. My first born, he's 20 now, was spoiled because I carried him all the time. I was 18, I didn't know. It was so bad when I went to the bathroom I had to put him in the carrier in front of me and take him in there. Samething happened when I wanted to leave him in his bed. I couldn't leave the room. He didn't want me out of his sight. I would get down to the floor and crawl out so he couldn't see me. (LOL). I laugh now but then I was delirious. When I had my 2nd and 3rd child I did things much differently. My kids also walked at different ages. My oldest was 13 -14 months, my second the same, my daughter was 8 months.

Kyley - posted on 05/24/2013

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No. 10mos is a little early to be walking anyways. not unheard of but not the norm. who is telling you this stuff?

Ginger - posted on 05/24/2013

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They will learn to walk before Kindergarten - dont worry about it. Do what your gut tells you to do - you are the momma, and ONLY YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD!

Ahmie - posted on 05/24/2013

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my eldest turns 9 this weekend and I have 4, the baby will be 6 months tomorrow. All of them have been held as much as they wanted within certain limits. My 3rd desperately hated his car seat and would cry in it even though there was an adult sitting next to him to reassure him and make sure he wasn't gagging or anything. He stayed properly buckled in while the car was in motion and was unbuckled and picked up as soon as the car was in park. He just turned 3 and is extremely independent. My 2nd is the one who had the least responsive infant care (my in-laws moved in with us while I was pregnant and I was unable to convince my MIL that babies do NOT need to cry to "exercise their lungs" until he had learned that he needed to cry in real distress in order to get her to pick him up. He is nearly 6 and is my most needy, dependent, un-confident child. I hear "I can't" from him SO much with very simple tasks that I know he is capable of, it drives me bonkers. I blame that on his early learning that he needed to cry and cause a fuss in order to get attention and not having his attention needs met in infancy, so now I get to say "don't tell me what you can't do, show me what you can" until I'm saying it in my sleep to the sounds of the cats.

My eldest walked at about 15mo, my 2nd at 11mo, and my 3rd at 12mo. These are all within the range of totally normal. Walking at 10 months is an exception not the rule. There are cultures in the world where children are not set down until they are a full year old, and they turn out just fine (other than the mortality rates from diseases...).

I highly recommend getting yourself a baby carrier. My eldest LOVED a frame backpack carrier I got at a thrift store for under $5, we could put him in that and get some housework done and it was so much more convenient than a stroller that we wound up getting another one and squeezing it into the floor space under his carseat in the car (freeing up the trunk space that would have been taken by a stroller & making stairs a non-barrier for family outings in the process). We finally got an Ergo carrier with our 3rd and LOVE them, the baby falls asleep very quickly when worn in a back carry and the weight is distributed so it's no burden to wear him for long periods of time. Ergo carriers go up to around 40lbs, so my skinny nearly 6 year old (34lbs) can still go in it and occassionally does. The 3 year old (28lbs) is in it for at least 30min multiple times per week. WELL worth the investment. Amazon has the best price on them.

Joy C - posted on 05/24/2013

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I think you have to find a balance. Who decides its "too much"? I am a foster mom and daycare provider so I am with kids all the time. Every child is different as well as every parent. You can care for children the same way and get different results. Children do need to figure out how to find comfort and entertainment on their own at some point. How they get there may be different for every child. Some may do it naturally others may need a little help figuring it out. My goal as a parent and provider is to help children grow to be healthy productive members of society. Being able to care for themselves and clean a kitchen would be a nice bonus :)

Jennifer - posted on 05/24/2013

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Daniel, no matter whom wrote what, their theory is just a generalization. What their theory failed to do is to assess the extreme case or the exception case. My kids were the exception. They were spoiled by the grandparents, the aunts and the uncles. We were the first and the only couple that had kids in our families (on both side). My kids were constantly held by them since birth. When we decided to move out and lived our own family life, we continued the routine our kids were accustomed to thinking we didn't want to have to may suddent change. If you ever watched TV and saw a 5 years old boy/daughter still clinging to his mom's milk. That was us. Until now, my children are grown, the aunts and uncles were still staying at home with my in-laws, my parents (thanks heaven they are still alive and they are wealthy enough to continue providing my siblings and my husband's siblings with the life style they have been having).

April - posted on 05/24/2013

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I'm not sure about carrying too much, but 10 months is still a pretty early walker, so chances are she wouldn't be walking yet anyway. My kids walked at 15-16 months and I didn't carry "too much".

Vuyo - posted on 05/24/2013

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Hi Jessica, everyone told me that i held my baby too much and i should stop (i'd even hold him when he was sleeping! i just wanted to) i ignored everyone else's advice to stop and my son started walking at 9 months, so holding has no relation to when the baby will walk. Ever since he started walking, he's incredibly independent and adventurous and i wish he would let me hold him more (he's 16 months old now). So hold your baby as much as the both of you want!

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Jessica
Baby Ava never really crawled she started on her own standing up and holding onto the sofa and things She went right into walking but this didn't happen until she was 1. She also had surgery at 6 months so I believe thisplayed a part. My point is I hold Ava everytime she wants to be held but what I also did for her was placed her behind a toy that moves one where she stands up behind. The first week she hated it but then on her own she did it. We have this train that moves if you push it.Gracee went right into crawling and loved it at the age of 8 months. She refused to walk even though she could stand up straight. Gracee got good at crawling she was fast did rolls spun around man she was just loving it. She'd crawl up to Ava who was trying to walk start giggling and had Ava chase her. Then one day when she was 14 months Gracee got up and start walking. I filmed both of them on their first walks. Now Gracee every once in awhile still goes down to crawl but now they both are into running. Too many times people share how their baby is walking at 6 months ect... don't get caught up on other babies All babies are individual They have their own agenda. I've learned from my two how so different they are. Don't worry once she starts wanting to walk she will want to be heldless. I bought the girls the leap frog activity table and they use it to standand play. Everyday I'd put it into a new position so theyd have to crawl or walk to it. What helped Ava was I'dput it close to where she stood next to the sofa thenI'd move it slowly further and further away.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/23/2013

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Jennifer, It almost sounds to me your explaining a child with insecure attachment issues. Look at Bolby"s theory of attachment. A child that feels insecure with their bond with their mother forms these very clingy personality qualities. They do not feel confident so they are less willing to try new things, attach too easily to others, and are overly clingy bc they are so unsure of their relationship with their mother. It can also go the opposite way in which a child is very reserved to allow anyone to become close with them

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/23/2013

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Jennifer, it sounds like there is an underlying problem that isn't associated with holding your kids too much. A child that feels safe and loved is proven to become more independent . A loved child's feels confident which leads to independence . The attachment theory is something to look at. It explains all that I have stated. A child that feels frightened or does not have his needs met become either extremely clingy or emotionally distant. There is no negative down sides to meeting a baby's emotional needs! You can spoil a child by giving him too many toys , but you can never spoil a child by giving it too much love

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/23/2013

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Lena, I do agree with your idea of patenting and I feel that many parents don't understand how selfless they need to be in order to have happy and thriving kids, but I don't feel the OP is frustrated about holding her baby. I think people are telling her she is doing the wrong thing by holding her child and it is making her nervous that maybe they are right. I had many people tell me to stop holding my daughter all the time bc it would be harder on me , and I thought" who says patenting was suppose to be at my convenience?" I never cared What they said, but some people can get confused on what is best when people criticize their parenting

Lisa - posted on 05/23/2013

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I raised both my kids the same, with a lot of love and attention and, affection. My son naturally was independent, but my daughter (at age 11) still wants to be held and be the center of attention. My point is every child is different and if your child wants to be held at 10 months old then hold her! Shes only 10 months old and has the rest of her life to be independent. Babies need to be nurtured and made to feel secure at this age. Also, most 10 month olds aren't walking yet, so you holding her alot is irrelevant. Dont push so hard for your child to be advanced or to grow up, because it goes by way too fast on its own!

Jennifer - posted on 05/23/2013

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Yes there is. As much as I hate to admit, it caused certain limitation to my kids. They are now dependent on others. They always want to have someone around them at all time. One of the kid even tolerate an abusive friend simply because she is available and willing to be around my kid since no other kids want to be around the abusive friend.
My kids were slow in walking, lazy and refused potty training. This caused a lot of burden on us. We are not lazy parents and we don't mind the work, but they were hanging on our feet every single minute to the point we became paralyzed.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/23/2013

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I held my daughter constantly. She is not spoiled and believe me in a few short months she will be so independent and not wanting mommy to hold her all the time. I feel like babies tell us what they need, and for some reason if we give it to them people say " we are spoiling them". Your baby needs held so hold her! I woke up today and looked at my 16 month old and thought " where did my baby go?". She talks, and runs, and has her own opinions! I'm glad I held my baby a lot bc now she's miss independent!

[deleted account]

Although I agree with what you say there is a time for everything. Right now for a baby developing they need the assurance you are there for them whenever they need you. My daughter I held whenever she wanted me to I never denied her but that doesn't mean Iheld her for hours. Even for afew minutes let her know I am always here for her. Now that she is 15 months she only comes when she is tired, crying or scared Other wise she has become Little miss independant. Confidence doesn't come by teaching a baby they are on their own or allowing them to cry it out or by refusing to pick them up when they show they want to be held. There has to be a balance. I can honestly say mybaby Ava knows I will love on her the moment she needs me to and because she knows this the only reason she crys is if she got hurt, hungry sleepy or her diaper is dirty. Baby Gracee who we are going to adopt is a baby who was neglected and she will stand there and cry dry tears every hour craving me to pick her up. I hold her but it'snever enough and the moment I put her down she screams. So instead of teaching her I'll hold her all day I've turned it into a game. She starts crying loudly so i'llsay mommy is going to get you and I go up to her inafake chase then I swoop her up high into the air give her a thousand kisses, hold her in my arms and say Where is baby Ava Gracee then holding her we run towards Ava who now is screaming in excitment and it becomes a game After that Iput her down and Gracee goes back to playing with Ava. Gracee missed out on that skin to skin hold, mommys loving touch and now she craves it. She was left crying on her own, no cuddle time no one to hold her without her crying or screaming for it. She also has shown trust issues. I can have Ava stand next me without crying or screaming and make her a bottle Gracee she'll watch me get her a bottle but cry and scream until I hand it to her. Hold them as much as they need it teaches Mommy IS always here for you and because they know this they don't worry your not there. I said it before one day you'll sit there and want tohold thembut they will want to play instead. Confidence is a continual developement. At every stage of your life you have to reteach yourself to be confident and independant. You letting fear get in the way of everything has nothing to do with the nurturing stage, Somewhere in your lifes journey you allowed someones words or actions to affect you Someone or some situation has allowed you to live with doubt and fear. Remove fear and you'll be amazed at how high you can hold your head up and how much straighter your back will become. I have had to teach my niece s and nephews to never fear school, people, situations any thing life throws their way. Fear shuts down a persons ability to function and not to think staright. We may all grow up but I have seen the baby in every adult Ihave met, helped and seen. When adults want to fight or argue, play share talk everything we do there is still that baby in you. Thats why even adults are whiny, needy lazy ect....... and upto this day we too have our moments when we need someone to hold us or show us Everythings going to be OK. Wives want their husbands to hold them we still crave that hold. KEEP HOLDING YOUR BABY

Ji-Young - posted on 05/23/2013

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To be honest, I think there needs to be a balance. I always have to remind myself with my younger one [that is incredibly adorable and loves to be held and hugged by me] that we are to train them up to be able to do things on their own. To think on their own. To make choices on their own. That all starts from letting them do as much by themselves as possible. I'm always tempted to do everything for my kids since my mom raised me that way. I look back and wish she had let me do more because it builds confidence and independence. Till this day, I still need people to push me to do things. I let fear stand in the way of a lot of things. So yes, it's hard to say no to that cute little face but you need to let them grow and develop. That's just my opinion.

Robertaingram - posted on 05/22/2013

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Are they carrying the baby for you? If they are not, than they should mind their own business. My daughter was very clingy and still is until this day (9 years old) and I love it!

Luludi - posted on 05/22/2013

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I remember my worries about spoiling my first baby...she liked to sleep lying on my belly, with her head on my breast. It was delightful, only ruined by the constant worry of spoiling her, of her getting used to sleep only in that position. Then, from one day to another, she suddenly didn't like it any longer. And she was still very little, 3 or four months old I think. I rellay regretted not relaxing and enjoying it more and not allowing it more often. And my second one never liked this position, so I could not compensate... We should always remember that everything is a matter of few months with babies, they change and grow so fast!
Secondly, she hasn't learned to walk because few kids walk at 10 months! I carried my first one much more than the second because I had only her to look after and she started to walk one month earlier than her little brother. She was 12 and he was 13 months old.
If it is a problem for YOU, for your back, or whatever, try to change her habits a bit. But if it is only a matter of what everyone says, don worry about anyone.

Ceatana - posted on 05/22/2013

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If shes not walking its not because of that my 2yr old didn't walk till after she turned one but I later found out that she needed tubes in her ears after that she had better balance...but some kids need more attention then others but you also need to get her to understand that she can't always be held try to put her down but stay close at first so she still feels safe and knows your close then over some days separate your self but when she calls for you make sure your there she needs to trust that even if she can't see you your still around and there for her baby's are very smart

Jay - posted on 05/22/2013

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O please .... carry her as much as you want. This phase goes away so quickly. Kids mature and become independent slowly and surely. WHen will everyone stop with their very convincing but fallacious advice so that parents who just do what the rest of the world naturally does, do not feel guilty?

Jackie - posted on 05/22/2013

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Your daughter may be feigning that she cannot walk. If she is healthy and has no medical problems, put her down an tell her it is her turn to walk. She will want to keep up and will learn to walk.

If she cries or begs to be carried be firm and consistent, "My back hurts; it is your turn to walk." Think how not walking is delaying her normal development.

Carrying your daughter could cause back ailments and stress to your posture.

Strength Jessica! Good luck.

Jessica - posted on 05/21/2013

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Thank You so much it makes me feel so much better knowing that I'm not being a terrible mom :D

Jessica - posted on 05/21/2013

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As a Mother of 4 I can tell you that giving your 10 month old what she emotionally needs is never wrong. My first and last were very independent as little ones crawling all around and playing by themselves. They both walked at 12 months. My middle 2 were very clingy and would cry when I put them down. Of course sometimes you need to, but I would try and hold them as much as possible or play with them on the floor. They both didn't walk until 16 month, but they are very independent, confident, and secure kids. I believe if I had kept trying to train them to play independently, they would have taken it as rejection at that age and possibly not be so independent now. And no harm was done at all by walking late. As a new Mom it is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on your little ones milestones especially if others are focused on them. But focus on nurturing her person instead. Happy Mothering!

[deleted account]

Jessica as a new mom trust me keep doing what you feel is right. I love holding my baby because a time will come when she won't want to be held as much. My daughter by passed crawling and went straight to walking just before her first birthday. They have an internal clock and on their own they will do it. I held my baby so much that now she doesn't cry for me to hold her. My friend who ignored her daughter now has a crying baby who wants to be constantly held. My baby Gracee went straight to crawling at the age of 8 months and didn't learn to walk until she was 14 months old. When it comes to eating I have people telling me what to doand I have found my babies let me know what they want follow their lead and watch your baby communicate what she is doing. You can not spoil your baby. Congrats and keep up the good work. Hold her as long as she wants one day you'll notice her not wanting it as much and You will be the one missing it. :)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/20/2013

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No I don't think there is such a thing. My daughter and son were both the same way. Sure they get plenty of floor time, they just like to be higher up than on the floor all the time. I can understand that. They see the world from a different perspective when being held. Plus they find comfort in a loved ones arms.

She is to young to learn to walk. Don't fret. You will not be carrying her for the duration of her life.

Mary - posted on 05/20/2013

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For 10 months, that sounds pretty normal. A LOT of babies aren't walking at that age. Your daughter sounds like she is right on track developmentally if she is starting to pull herself up and taking some steps while holding onto things. Some babies aren't big crawlers for whatever reason, and it has nothing to do with how much their parents hold them.

If you are truly worried about this, you could make it a game for her to crawl TO you. Praise her lavishly when she reaches you, put her down somewhere else, and encourage her to do it again. However, it really doesn't sound like there is any real issue here other than people giving you unnecessary, unsolicited, and unfounded "advice".

Jessica - posted on 05/19/2013

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she crawls, but she doesn't like it much, she's been pulling herself up to standing position and she walks while holding onto the furniture. We play on the floor but she crawls up to me and wants to sit on my lap the whole time.

Michelle - posted on 05/19/2013

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Well she isn't going to crawl and walk if you carry her everywhere so in a way they are right.
Do you leave her on the floor at all? She should have plenty of floor time with her toys to help with her fine motor skills. You might have to get down with her and build with blocks or do some of the easy wooden puzzles.
All kids love to be carried, that the lazy way to get around. My 3yo still wants to carried sometimes but she's far too heavy to carry her for long. She still loves to walk and run though.

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