Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spoiling my newborn??

i've been thinking alot about this recently because i've had several conversations this past week in which people end up saying the same thing to me - that {insert action of mine} is essentially "spoiling my baby." is it even possible to spoil a newborn?

now, i will admit, i tend to be a little "hippie" in my approach to parenting J (and in general) - i mean, we're cloth diapering, baby-wearing, no stroller owning (not yet at least), exclusive breast-feeding, co-sleeping people. and i do try as best as i can to minimize the amount of crying that he does (and that i hear). not necessarily because i hate to hear J cry (which i do), but because i really want to find out quickly why he is in discomfort and resolve it. and he has made it incredibly easy on us so far since he only really cares about being fed.

it's weird to me when people make comments about spoiling babies because to me that implies that babies are manipulating/conspiring against us. and i don't believe that newborns have the ability to plot like that. i do understand setting boundaries and letting them know where they fall in the pecking order once they get a bit older (and you *know* they are manipulating), but a 3 wk old? J (and babies his age) only cry so that one of their basic needs can be met. and is it not my duty as his parent to meet all of his *basic* needs (i.e food, shelter, clothing, etc)?

so, unfortunately (well, fortunately for him), no, i won't be letting him "cry it out" anytime soon. and no, i won't be banishing him from our room. and we will continue to do what we've been doing because it's been working for us. now don't get me wrong, i pass no judgment on those that do things completely opposite from the way i do them. whatever floats your boat! but i'm really curious what other people think about this one. can you really spoil a baby???


Susan said...

I agree with you that at J's age, it is completely impossible to spoil a baby. Right now what many people would call spoiling other would call bonding. More power to you for doing things your way. Like you said to each his own. I might not do things exactly the way you do them, but each family has to do what works best in their household.

Rachel said...

I think it's crazy when people say that! Babies are meant to be held, comforted, and taken care of. You're doing a great job...just ignore people when they say ignorant things like that!!

Thinking-Mom said...

In a word - NO. Children do not develop the ability to manipulate until well into the second year of life. Dr. Sears' recommends beginning to delay your responses to your baby around 9-10 months so they do not become a demanding toddler.

There are a lot of so called parenting books out there that focus more on control than they do on a child's needs. Parental control comes later. Right now, your baby is developing a trust vs mistrust relationship with you. By responding to his needs immediately, you are proving to him you will be there and he can trust you. Which fosters a less fussy baby.

I was just remarking to my husband the other day about how much my 2.5 year old loves nap time and bed time. She has always been a fussy baby and high need gal from the very beginning. I've always nursed her to sleep and laid next to her until she fell asleep. She wasn't fully in her own bed until 18 months. She didn't sleep all night until 24 months.

But while 99% of my friends 2 year olds who were "sleep trained" and "cried it out" pitch fits over bed time and generally are little tyrades if you say the word "sleep", my daughter looks forward to it. She comes and gets me and asked if we can go night night. That is our time to cuddle.
I truly believe the extra time and energy I spent on her gave her a calm sense of security about bedtime when most kids are freaking out.

This is the most demanding time in a child's life and its easy to focus on what is convenient. But doing the right thing is often hard work and many people might tell you that you are "spoiling" or "starting bad habits"....but you are making an investment that will pay off in the end.

Do what you know is right. Tune out everyone else. ;-)

Mackey said...

I agree with Rachel. You can never hold,nuture,love on you baby enough. You march on with what works for you. After all, J is YOUR baby. YOu are doing right by him.

Preppy Penelope said...

I TOTALLY agree with you. Have you ever read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp? Reading this book helped me realize that you can't spoil a new baby! That it's silly to think that women have been "spoiling" their babies for hundreds of years all over the world by giving them plenty of attention, love, physical contact, etc. Just so you know I am loving your birth story, etc. I hope that I can model my experience after yours!! I want to cloth diaper, etc. :) Thanks for all of the words of wisdom :)

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