Spoiling a newborn?

Janice - posted on 11/18/2011 ( 56 moms have responded )

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Today on face book an acquaintance (from HS) of mine posted that

"The theory that a baby as young as D can't be spoiled is garbage. He knows what he's doing. There's no other explanation why he'd cry when we put him down. He knows!!!"

This really made me angry! He is a little baby, he wants to held because human touch and comfort is a real need for infants just like food! He is under 2 months old! I wanted to post something but we only talk if we run into each other at the mall once every year or two, so I didn't think it was my place.



So does anyone else agree with her? Why do you think so?

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Johnny - posted on 11/21/2011

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To me there is a big difference between putting a baby down because you absolutely have to get something done or your arms are going to fall off or you might just go insane from the crying and specifically opting to purposefully leave a baby to lie around crying to teach them a lesson. The chasm between those too things can barely be crossed. Lots of people who raise happy kids have other children to attend to, chores to get done, may not like slings and have to put the baby down, no matter what. That's life. But to actively make a kid miserable, that's emotional abuse.

Karla - posted on 11/19/2011

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Lacye…



I think of it this way, a baby is on a trajectory of understanding. We’ll say adulthood is 90 (allowing for more understanding as an adult) and they begin at zero. From what I have learned a baby understands discomfort, but even if they had words and the ability to talk it’s not likely that they could articulate what’s bothering them, only that they are bothered.



So by the time they are 3 years old and they are getting fussy they still don’t say, I’m hungry or I’m tired even though they now have words and ability. They whimper about and get mad easily. So Mom, with her greater cognitive ability, says “I just fed him lunch, he must be tired – nap time!”



When they are 10, they come home from school, they are moody and don’t want to do homework, Mom thinks, “They need a snack and some cuddles.” – They still aren’t articulating their basic needs.



Even in adulthood it took me some time to recognize my moodiness might be related to the fact that I hadn’t had a decent meal all day, or that I had only 3 hours sleep, or that I need a hug.



(edit to add)

During all this development, they are beginning to understand their needs but they are also feeling a lot – especially feeling secure that the adults in their life understand them, meet their needs, and love them. This is done through care – food, shelter, understanding and displays of love.

Karla - posted on 11/19/2011

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No, I don’t believe one can spoil a baby with attention.

I find it interesting that people may believe that a baby knows what it wants. Generally “knowing” something means a cognitive understanding. I believe babies do not understand their needs, or wants or even their discomfort. Their reaction to discomfort is a basic reaction without understanding.

It’s so important to remember that an infant’s only method of communication is reactionary and crying indicates a greater basic need for something. It’s up to us, with our cognitive understanding, to figure out their need.

Studies have shown that babies’ basic needs of food, physical care, and comfort are all vital needs.

I’m wondering if it could be put gently to an overwhelmed mother – something like this: It sounds as though you are overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood, I know it’s difficult. It may feel as though your baby is purposely making demands, but please know you are meeting his basic needs right now. What you do with your baby today will help him feel secure and loved. Hang in there!

What do you think?

Merry - posted on 11/20/2011

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And then that baby that was constantly attached to you and never left your arms and cried if you put them down turns into a two year old.
Then that two year old wanders away at the children's museum totally confident you are there even though you cantsee them and goes off playing with a big group of kids he's never met and handles himself well even though he's the youngest in the group and he checks in with you on his own and runs back to play no fear.

:-) that was Eric yesterday.
My clingy spoiled baby has become a secure independent and smart toddler.

[deleted account]

I don't know how many times I heard, "Sara, you are spoiling that baby!" when my oldest was an infant. Mostly from much older people who were taught to raise their children very differently from how we generally do things now. I became very self-conscience about it. Luckily, I had just as many people tell me the opposite. :)

With my second, I'm so much more confident in my decisions, and I don't know if anyone has said this to me because I've learned to ignore almost everything.

I've come to realize that I am my baby's security. She was inside of my for 9 months and when she came into this world, I was what she recognized.

Then she received 100% of her nourishment from me. When I disappeared (aka walked into the next room) it was probably frightening to her, because her security and food were gone. She did not have the mental capability to understand that just because you can't see something it's not gone forever.

A baby crying is so much deeper than her being spoiled. I understand that I have another child to tend to, and sometimes I do put her down and she cries. It happens. But I try to minimize that. I can see that she's slowly becoming more confident and secure and independent. She won't be attached to my hip and boobie forever. :)

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Stephanie_plebilla1991 - posted on 05/18/2013

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I just had my baby and she's two days old and she cries when I put her in her crib but I love holding her but I feel like if I fall asleep I can drop her I only slept 2 hours and yesterday too but when she's with me she doesn't even move but when I put her in the crib she cries i love to see her face I'm trying to breast feed her but it hurts and I feel like she's not satisfy so I give her formula the nurses tell me I can't use the pump because it forces the milk out and then nothing comes out

Lora - posted on 11/28/2011

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Sounds to me like Mom should have went and got her a puppy instead of having a child. A baby at that age only knows that something isn't right. You cannot spoil a newborn child. Baby has been inside Mom for 10 months, in a warm dark place and is fed all the time. Baby goes from that to being born which is traumatic in itself. People are social creature. We want to be loved and held, talked to. I would cry to if all I did was lay in bed everyday. Baby D's Mom should have left the Mothering to someone that wanted to Mother.

[deleted account]

It's a 'hard' question, because does he know ...YES ... we DESIRE touch from birth .. he was inside you 9 months & heard your heart beat & stomach noises, etc ... the 'silent' lonely world is scary ... he wants comfort. A child WILL get use to be laid down ALL the time, but they will not develop as well, especially mentally & emotionally as a child that is cuddled & held and talked to a lot, so it's what do you wnat FOR you and what kind of development do you hope for your child. A baby that is held a lot & talked to a lot tends to be more social and well adjusted also. They also tend to listen better to instructions and throw fewer tantrums because THEY have been held, talked to and LOVED ... what we SEW into our children we reap from them as we go along in life. It's 'our' choice to a large extent as to how our children develop and cope with life. I hope this helps a bit ... being spoiled is not the same as 'craving' the BONDING of those who supply a child's needs and crying for a human TOUCH. Spoiled is as they get older and DEMAND, scream, throw fits for what THEY want instead of being reasonable about things.

Carol - posted on 11/28/2011

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Oh poo, sorry i just remember. He also told me if i held him to much he would get sick. My kid isn't a bird, or a puppy and its not like his mom was going to abandon him because of my smell. His mom is supposedly this ' mother to moms' yet her son is this moronic about a new born?

Carol - posted on 11/28/2011

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No, my husband tried to ull that on me when we had our son. Oh if you hold him to much you will spoil him, how by letting him know im there for him when ever he needs me?

Julie - posted on 11/27/2011

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My son was born 8 weeks premature. He spent 42 days in the NICU. Then he got strep pneumo meningitis when he was 2 months old and spent another 20 days in the hospital. So the first 3 months of his life he was used to always having people around him. Now that he's 14 months he often will cry when we lay him down in his room because he doesn't like being alone. It scares him. I do think older babies know what they are doing when they cry, but they are not trying to be manipulative. That is the only way they know how to communicate that they need something. Sometimes they don't necessarily need to be held, but they want to be where you're at. It's comforting to them until they are old enough to have a little independence and trust that when they are alone it's o.k. and they will see you again. Anyway it doesn't sound like your acquaintance has children or knows very much about it. Usually ignorant, know-it-all people like that won't change their minds, but they're entitled to their opinion even if it's wrong:) You know the truth and you keep picking up your son as much as you want and enjoy snuggling him because before you know it he'll be all grown up and will be too cool for mom to hug him. Because of your love though he will be secure in himself and a confidant young man.

Janice - posted on 11/22/2011

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I got my Ktan at my surprise shower! So excited to try it. I hated the sling I had for my daughter. I didnt like the Ergo for me but it was good for my hubby and hiking. Need to learn how to breastfeed in the Ktan so I can chase my 2 year old!

Cant wait to "spoil" my new LO. ;)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/22/2011

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I like the K'tan it was only 50$ USD and It works nicely. You don't have to bother with yards of fabric either/

[deleted account]

I tried a couple of different ones that I received as gifts or that people let me borrow. But I didn't want to spend money on one unless it was guaranteed that it would work for me. I've heard mixed reviews on the Moby, so I wasn't sold on it. I like the sound of the Ergo, but never scraped up enough money to buy the thing. So I learned to do most things one handed. Usually now though, I can put Jacie in front of an empty tin box and she'll bang on it and be happy.

Merry - posted on 11/22/2011

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I tried using a sling with Eric but hated it. It never felt secure and he wiggled too much so I didn't use it! With fia igot a moby wrap and loved it! Sodifferent, she wasso secure and she loved it too. No shoulder or back pain. Then I got the mei tai and I love that one too! Ibet if I had one of those for Eric I would have liked it. It may be about finding the right one? Or maybe some moms just don't like it no matter which style you use! It's just a lifesaver for me. And of course my mind thinks that what's best for me has to be best for everyone else :) I know that's not true though. Case in point, my kids hated the swing,so there's obviously differences.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/21/2011

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I'm a fan of wraps and slings to a point. My K'tan was a blessing when I moved across the country this summer with my then 3 month old and a bunch of luggage and a stroller. But my now 7 year old was a blessing as well on that trip.

That said I can't wear the K'tan for extra long distances now that my baby is getting bigger and she wasn't a fan of it herself.

I think sometimes baby wearing depends on the baby and the mommy. Oh and the daddy because DH loves to hold and wear our baby too.

Janice - posted on 11/21/2011

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Yes Johnny I completely agree. I think that if you have the attitude that your infant can get spoiled then you may leave them to cry just because or to "teach them a lesson." I think most moms have to let their infant cry for some reason or another. But if you know that your baby is just crying because they need comfort you will attend to them as quickly as possible.

Amie - posted on 11/21/2011

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What Johnny said. There's no reason to be so mean to an infant - nevermind infant, to a child period. It would be like turning your back on your toddler who needs you to kiss the owie better - even though it's in their head and what's really wrong is they scared the bejebus out of themselves. I will give them a quick kiss and send them on their way - then they're fine. I won't pick them up and carry them around consoling them though. By the time they're toddlers mine have been independent enough to just need the quick kiss and off they go, tears are gone.

I wasn't a fan of the wraps or slings either. I did use them - when I needed too. I have 4 kids, there were times when it was needed. If I was at home though, I made sure to get my babies as comfy as possible before tending to other things. They loved their swings, so that was always nearby in case I needed to put them down and run.

In short - no, you can't spoil a baby or even a child with affection. What a load of horse patootie.

[deleted account]

I was never comfortable with slings or wraps either. I tried. I wanted to wear them and like them. I just couldn't do it.

Merry - posted on 11/21/2011

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That's why there's slings and wraps and carriers! Voila! Baby is held and mom is free to do whAtever needs doing :)

Debbie - posted on 11/21/2011

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babies do need the touch, laughter, voice, cuddling of their mothers. I do believe they can become spoiled. Babies do know if you put them down, they do know when they are hungary or need a changed diaper. They also can ball their heads off cause they want you to sit down and hold them. I think a good schedule helps any situation. Holding them and chaining yourself down, would be spoiling to me.

Mommy - posted on 11/21/2011

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So many people told me I was spoiling my baby when she was under 3 months old because I would pick her up when she cried. I finally told one woman "Look, I teach a human development class for undergrads, and you have no idea what you are talking about. You can't spoil a baby this young, and if you are so concerned about it have your own kid and raise them however you like." BTW, my daughter, the same baby I "spoiled" sleeps in her own crib every night since she was 3 months old, and is incredibly independent.

Frances - posted on 11/20/2011

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I have four kids and I don't think you can spoil a newborn. I wanted to be certain that the first lesson my children learned is that they are loved. I think a baby who feels loved is more happy and well-adjusted than one who is left to cry.

Stifler's - posted on 11/20/2011

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And Janice i know what you're saying Ive seen and heard this attitude that babies can be spoiled if you're always giving them what they want and don't stretch out feeds to 4 hours etc. I bought it with Logan but now I'm just like where the fuck do these people get off.

Stifler's - posted on 11/20/2011

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BAHAHAHAHA. Is this person for real. Or joking. With my first I let him cry a bit while i did stuff because I couldn't deal with him constantly crying all day whether he was held or not but with the second she cried a lot less so if she cries I pick her up. I haven't copped any backlash for it and anyone who wants to lecture me on spoiling my kid will be lectured back about cruelty to babies letting them cry on the floor while you do stuff. Sometimes i can't believe I did that with Logan.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/20/2011

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My husband and I are unknowingly practicing attachment parenting with our 8 month old because she co sleeps when she gets out of her crib at night. She'll nap in our arms during the day and we usually end up carrying her intsead of placing her in her stroller to go for a walk or go to the mall. She also used to have her crib in my room before I moved up here.

I did the same with my older daughter. She even shared a room with me until she was 4 years old and was crawling in my bed until we moved in June. We still shower together and I bathe the baby with me in the tub because she gets scared in the baby tub.

I love that both my girls feel secure enough to be independent and know that their parents will be there if they need us. My 7 year old has learned that she can count on mommy to be back because she was with me so much when she was a baby. She never even cried when I left her at a sitter!

Janice - posted on 11/20/2011

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I think when people comment on how independent she is I will start saying "Oh, that's just cause I held her a lot as a baby" ;) hehehe

Janice - posted on 11/20/2011

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LOL Laurelai and Julianne! So true, Kadence was such a "needy" clingy infant and now she is so independent! In fact I've even started to consider a harness for when we are out something I never thought I would need!

[deleted account]

Thats the way gabby is now! She was always in my arms as a baby, you wouldn't believe how many times i was told i was spoiling her and would make her clingy/insecure. Just last night we went to the Christmas parade and she started walking away while waving bye to me. Apparently she can go up to the parade herself if I'm taking too long chatting with someone.
That proves to me you can't spoil a baby with affection.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/19/2011

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I don't believe you can ever spoil a baby too much. Yes you should teach right from wrong but babies learn to feel secure and loved when you hold them and cuddle them when they cry.

Merry - posted on 11/19/2011

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I think babies know if they feel good or bad. That's about it in the beginning. They don't have language so how could they actually know what's wrong? They know something's wrong so they cry. Mom fixes it and they feel good so they settle.

Babies run on instincts not on conscious thoughts.
So when they cry it's not really that they're trying to convey what's wrong, theyre just expressing that they have something wrong that needs fixing.
Moms can hold baby mot of the day and bed share at night if they want to go with our biological norms.
Yes we have invented cribs but standerdly, baby mammals sleep with their mom.
That's how we are wired.
Society fights that but that is how humans, as mammals, are designed.

Lacye - posted on 11/19/2011

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So when a baby cries it doesn't know that it wants to be changed or wants food? I don't agree with that. I believe that while babies are still developing, they do understand some things. If that was the case, the baby wouldn't understand security and love because by your theory, he doesn't have the cognitive thinking to know what that is.

Janice - posted on 11/19/2011

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Yes, Karla exactly!

As for responding to this womans FB post, I was surprised it came up on my page - a lot of my "friends" are hidden. I dont see her enough to comment and those close to her all hit like and supportive "yes, they are little s*%ts" type comments. But if it was someone I was I bit closer with I would absolutely say something similar to your post :)

Medic - posted on 11/19/2011

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I do not think you can spoil a baby. I also don't think slinging them or holding them when they want will spoil them. They will decide when they are ready for more freedom. My 5 year old wants to be held sometimes and that is fine, it is not that often and to tell you the truth I LOVE the fact that he is secure enough to ask his dad or me to hold him sometimes just because he wants it.

Lacye - posted on 11/18/2011

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Yes babies want to be held, but they don't need to be held all the time to the point where the mother isn't getting any sleep.

Merry - posted on 11/18/2011

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All smart healthy babies want to be held.
It's a basic survival instinct!

Lacye - posted on 11/18/2011

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Can you spoil a child, yes. Can you spoil a baby that young, no. If he screams every time she puts him down, it's because that is what she "programmed" into him. She taught him that if he screams, Mommy will hold longer. This is one of the first things a baby will learn. I'm not saying don't hold your child because that's not it at all. But if you start out holding the child all the time, that's what they are going to get used to and what they expect.

Johnny - posted on 11/18/2011

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No, I don't agree with her. But I would agree that at times it can feel like it. Being a mom is exhausting and draining at times. However, it does bother me the prevalence of this attitude in general society. It is one thing to feel and think this when you are being pushed to the limit and overwhelmed. It is another to go against all the very strong evidence to the contrary and insist that baby's are out to get us and mess with our minds. I find it silly and the consequences can be quite horrible.

Ez - posted on 11/18/2011

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No, you can not spoil any child with love and attention. But I agree with some others.. sometimes when you're at the end of your tether it can feel like even the smallest baby is getting a kick out of making your life difficult lol.

Physical contact is just as much of a need as food, warmth or cleanliness. That is the most basic reason why I don't like CIO.

Janice - posted on 11/18/2011

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Okay, so maybe she could have been venting but I do hear this often and people really do mean it. I just get so very frustrated that we (American society in general) get mad at babies (those under 6 months) for needing to be held, not sleeping thru the night or eating too often.
Obviously, there are times when you just cant answer their cries that very second. And if yours is a "needy" one there are times when you just have to walk away from the screaming for a few seconds. I know this - my daughter had colic!

Sorry Liz, I know this has come up before but I wanted to read some views on it again ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/18/2011

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NO! I do not believe you can spoil an infant. All they need is close bonding, food, and diaper changes. They don't need gifts, special pretty cloths, or top brand strollers. They want love and to be held. I do NOT think you can spoil a baby by holding it to much.

Jennifer - posted on 11/18/2011

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Hopefully, she was venting, but yeah, I think a baby can be 'spoiled'. I think they can get use to being held and not like being put down, and want to sleep close to mommy. I think they can get use to noise and normal house activity and sleep through it, I think they can get use to being up all night and sleeping during the day. I think they can be trained to a rigid schedule, and taught certain times we do this-and then we do that. I believe infants will learn to cry less if allowed to cry it out. Doesn't mean I'd be that rigid!!

I would put my babies down while they were still awake but very sleepy, and stay close till they were asleep, and it worked like a charm for me. I kept them very close while they were awake, carring them in a 'play yard' or bounce seat and always was signing or talking to them. I used a sling if it was safe doing so. My babies were very content, and I never had sleep issues. BUT my neice was a different story!! Cranky ass kid!! Non sleeping little beast! lol, and at 17 she is STILL that way. She was NOT spoiled, if anything, it was the opposite. I babysat her from 6 months till she was 3. Many times overnight. She was the most demanding kid I was ever around. She NEEDED more. I did treat her different, I did give her more, but she also learned that there were times I couldn't give. It was hard! She had to learn, though. My daughter was a newborn, and I had a three year old son and another 2 year old that I kept. My neice did cry when I could not be there every second, but she did get use to it. We had none of the dramatic 'crying it out' scenes, but if I couldn't hold her, I couldn't!

I think parents are too nuts today! It's either cry it out, all the way, or answer every whimper. It doesn't have to be that way. There is a middle ground! A baby has needs, and a baby has wants. Answer your babies needs, then answer YOUR needs(and sometimes, 10 mins alone is a NEED) after that you'll be more able to answer the baby's wants. Sometimes I wonder about the women who 'snap' with post-partum depression. I wonder if they were just trying so hard to be the perfect mommy that they just forgot to look after themselves. Ladies, you just can't do that!! Your child will pay a worse price if you let yourself get crazy from it all! I did the best I could for the kids I cared for, I answered at least 75% of their cries, I didn't worry about spoiling them, even when the thought crossed my mind. I also did not let guilt tear me up(this one was harder!) if I needed a few mins. Balance is key that we so often overlook!

Merry - posted on 11/18/2011

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When a baby cries they just know something is wrong. They rarely know what is wrong just that something feels wrong.
If all that's wrong is they are lonely then so be it but in their mind comfort is just as dire a need as food.

[deleted account]

Yep they know they want to be held and comforted and protected.That's normal and some babys need more comforting like my first born.Its not about being spoilt or spoiling them.Your basically meeting there needs as helpless infants.If you think that way as a mom/parent then you need your head checked.Its our job to meet our childrens needs.I did and shes perfect.My second wanted space and did not want to be held or comforted a lot.So i took her lead.

Jenni - posted on 11/18/2011

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Yeah, it's possible she's just frustrated. But for the sake of debate. No I don't agree. ;)
I actually don't agree that anyone can be spoiled with human contact and affection. It's just something that I believe is only beneficial.

Krista - posted on 11/18/2011

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I really hope she's just speaking out of frustration, and doesn't actually think that. Hopefully someone who is closer to her has set her straight.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/18/2011

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Maybe she was saying it in a joking type way too. I say shit like that all the time but I don't mean it. In the midst of a sleepless night it sometimes feels like they do it on purpose. Believe you me, I was thinking this last night. And then of course the baby promptly falls asleep and stays asleep not held after my old daughter wakes up. What's up with that? lulz. So no, I don't think you can spoil a baby. But yes, sometimes my brain is like "WTF KID".

Ashley - posted on 11/18/2011

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Honestly she probably just feels overwhelmed i have two bio children and a step daughter and with my first he never stoped crying ever i couldent put him down he wouldent sleep if i got him to fall assleep if i tryed to move he would wake up and scream for hours, my secound child never cry's unless she is hungry or needs a change. With my son i got so streesesd out i realy thought he was doing it on perpose to make me crazy, of course he wasent i was just sleep deprived and crazy lol, with my daughter my mind set is opesit because she so rarly fusses that as soon as she does im right there happy to comfurt her because she alows me a breck, i can put her down to do whatever. So i wouldent get upset at her she loves her baby she just needs a breck and some support and she will be fine. Also maybe tell her to get a electric blanket it was something sugested to me after my son got older if she puts it in her swing at a low setting the heat my trick him, she just needs to know she cant leave him unsupervised with it.

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