As soon as I gave birth to my first daughter, I got a lot of, let’s say, unsolicited advice as many new parents tend to get on parenting. All from many people I respect and love. One of the first pieces of advice or scolding I got that really stuck with me was, “Put that baby down, you’re going to have her spoiled.” I mean my baby wasn’t even two days fresh out of the womb before I started hearing this.
Now, I know the people giving this advice were just trying to help a new mom like myself out, mixed with a little bit of how things were back in the day. But for me, as a new mom, I just wanted to cuddle and smell on my baby as much as possible. I was also really impressionable at the time so I sat down one day holding my clingy, fussy, crying newborn thinking to myself, “Wow, can I really spoil my baby?” Now, first of all, I’m no baby whisperer nor am I a medical professional and I’ve only been in the mom game for four official years, but research is mainly on the side of the theory of food spoils not babies at least according to research I’ve done.
According to child development experts, babies thrive on attention and it is beneficial to both their emotional and physical development to have their needs met when they show cues. Meeting their cues and cries also instills trust in them to the new world around them. And also, most babies do not understand that their cries can get them what they want until later on in infancy. Therefore, their cries are mainly a way to communicate their needs in the newborn stages.
I’m in no way trying to imply that a parent has to be consistently hands-on, holding their baby at every waking moment from sun up to sun down. As the parent of your baby, YOU do what’s best for YOU and YOUR baby. As a new mom, what worked best for me was holding my baby. I truly think I was way more clingy than my newborn was.
That said, that new baby of mine is now a four-year-old going on fourteen who is still my baby in my eyes but a world away from physically being that little newborn baby she was. She loves her mommy, but she also tells me to put her down and sometimes she playfully wipes my kisses, but I just load her down with more.
I guess what I’m trying to put out there is that the newborn stage flies by … almost as fast as those two hours of sleep you get at night during that stage. Just enjoy it and soak it in, because one day they’ll be a four-year-old who tells you they’re not a baby anymore. That they are a big girl, and you’ll be begging them to cuddle and let you hold them.