Are You Spoiling Your Baby?
Some parents think if they rush to their baby every time it cries they will create a whiny, spoiled baby who will grow to be a spoiled child and later a spoiled teenager. This is simply not the case! Most of us have a strong urge to attend promptly to baby's distress (the crying bothers us). Those natural urges are quite appropriate. If we respond quickly the baby learns that he can trust you to take care of him and that trust in mom or dad leads to a secure attachment.
Recent research has shown that babies who get a quick and consistent response, especially during the first 6-8 months of life actually cry less than infants who have been left to cry for periods of time. When their needs are met, they develop a basic sense of security that allows them to be more confident and ready to explore and learn. These babies then become more independent as toddlers.
Remember -- your baby's cry is a way of asking for something. Your baby needs you not only to provide for her bodily needs but for comfort and reassurance. Because there are many different needs, it's important to know and use a variety of ways to respond to your infant. Sometimes if you answer quickly when your baby begins to fuss, the sound of your voice alone will be enough to soothe. Moving close and talking softly in her ear can provide comfort as can holding your hand gently on baby's back or tummy. Very young babies often like to be swaddled. The snug wrapping provides warmth and security. Some babies seek comfort through sucking on a pacifier, wrist or thumb. Others prefer motion to soothe them -- rocking, being carries as you walk, riding in a stroller or car.
Other studies indicate that continuous low-frequency sound can be effective in calming a baby - a ticking clock, humming with your lips pressed on baby's forehead or top of head, a music box, or singing softly -- tunes can be from the Beatles to Brahms.
Meeting all of a baby's needs can be a tough job. No one does it well all the time. It is good to remember that it is the "average" of all experiences that is important to your child's development.
Also see: XPLOR Guide Sheet GH 6121 - Baby Basics Social and Physical Development