“You Can’t Spoil a Baby!” Research Says To Comfort Crying Babies

What’s the first thing moms do when their babies cry? They pick them up, sing songs their little ones like, and cuddle. Well, we also have these people who say that new moms spoil their babies.

Some moms are advised to adjust their babies to their own schedule. A new mom should live her life as she did before.

Really? I don’t think so. Babies need their moms all the time. They are hungry, cold, hot, sad or in pain. Your baby needs you.

If it cries, it needs you. It may be a simple hug, but yes, your baby needs that hug more than anything in this world.

Parents sometimes ignore these cries because they don’t want to spoil the baby. Well, they are wrong. You can cuddle and comfort your baby as much as you want.

Notre Dame psychologist Darcia Narvaez and her team released the most interesting findings. According to them, babies are healthier and develop into happier adults when they are raised with affection, sensitivity and playfulness.

Professor Narvaez warns parents who ignore their baby’s need for comfort.

Babies cry because they are hungry or sleepy. Sometimes they need to be held and comforted. Your responsibility as a parent is to make your baby feel secure and confident.

This security and confidence will help your baby feel better and gain more independence.

Peter Gorski, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, in Boston, and chairman of the American Academy of Pediatricians’ National Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption, and Dependent Care, says that by comforting your toddler you will boost its independence.

Children are more eager to explore boundaries and explore the world if they know they can depend on their parents.

Parents need to pay attention to their instinct and hold their babies. She worked with Lijuan Wang and Ying Cheng, and the results of their efforts were released in the journal Applied Developmental Science.

The team observed over 600 adults. They talked about their childhood and analyzed details from their past. This includes the affectionate touch they received and the free play they were allowed. Positive family time was also evaluated.

The results showed that adults who grew up as happy children weren’t anxious and their mental wellbeing was better.

“These things independently, but also added up together, predicted the adults’ mental health, so they were less depressed, less anxious, and their social capacities — they were more able to take other people’s perspective. They were better at getting along with others and being open-hearted.”

Babies need attention. This attention will help them develop on every level.

J. Kevin Nugent, director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital in Boston and a child psychologist, explains that babies learn from their interactions with the parents.

The baby needs to know that his needs will be met. Infants need to know that there’s someone who will take care of them. Comforting is actually meeting your baby’s needs.

“What parents do in those early months and years are really affecting the way the brain is going to grow the rest of their lives, so lots of holding, touching and rocking, that is what babies expect.

They grow better that way. And keep them calm, because all sorts of systems are establishing the way they are going to work.

If you let them cry a lot, those systems are going to be easily triggered into stress. We can see that in adulthood — that people that are not cared for well, tend to be more stress reactive and they have a hard time self-calming.”

This may be exhausting and challenging for some parents. You can always ask for help. Call your friends or family. New parents need help.

The risk of spoiling a toddler appears in the second half of the first year. That’s when you will need to make adjustments.

Ester Schaler Buchholz, Ph.D., author of The Call of Solitude: Alonetime in a World of Attachment (Simon & Schuster, 1997) explains that babies need care and love, but they also need to trust themselves and their caregivers. This will help them figure things out on their own.

Parenting is exhausting and beautiful at the same time. Don’t worry, everything is a phase.

The crying will disappear one day, and you will miss comforting your baby. So, enjoy your long nights together, and give yourself more time. You are a parent. That’s your superpower.