Horrible Case of 'Lap-Child'

Updated on April 30, 2010
E.M. asks from Twin Falls, ID
74 answers

I have a new little girl who's only about a month old, but she is my first and so everytime she cries i have to pick her up!! i know that i'm teaching her bad habbits, but i can't just sit there and listen to her cry! everytime she starts i tell myself that i'll just let her be, but than i convince myself that she really has something wrong:( what can i do to make myself feel better about letting her cry?

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

What bad habits? I only have one son, and by the time he was 1 yr old, my shoulders ached so much from picking him up all the time. I wore him in a sling as long as I could, and my lap was where he wanted to be (especially for story time) till he grew way too big to fit anymore. When he was in 1st grade he'd still run up to me at the end of the day for me to pick him up in a big bear hug. I don't regret a single minute of it. Babies are made for snuggling and cuddling. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it.

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G.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Why would you let her cry? Crying and all of the other sounds babies make are their way of communicating. I believe that you can not love a child too much. I raised three boys and held them as often as I could. They grow so fast and too soon won't want to be held. My boys are all well adjusted, loving and respectful. They weren't "spoiled" by being held too much as babies. That's so old school.

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D.S.

answers from Denver on

I read that you can't "spoil" a child by holding them until they are over a year old. I found the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp to be very helpful in handling my infant sons and their crying. Good luck!

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P.M.

answers from Portland on

There's no such thing as a bad habit in a tiny baby. Wear her around while she's small. She's in what Dr. Harvey Karp (The Happiest Baby on the Block) calls the Fourth Trimester, in which she's learning to adapt physically and emotionally to a completely new environment. Give her the attention, touching, cuddling, and loving talk that she needs now to give her the best possible start.

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D.W.

answers from Gainesville on

She's a month old! You can not spoil a baby that young. I don't really think you can spoil a baby by being an attentive, concern parent. Google "4th trimester" because that is where your baby is. She is learning about the world but needs/craves the comforts of the womb. She needs security, comfort, and you right now. Also, take a look at some of the things Dr. Sears has to say about crying and comforting an infant.

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R.J.

answers from San Diego on

It is IMPOSSIBLE to teach a baby bad habits, because they have NO UNDERSTANDING of how the world works. Not even that fear or sadness will pass. You are teaching her how the world works... to expect love and comfort and security, or to expect fear and loneliness and sadness. LISTEN to those instincts of yours. Something is very wrong when a baby cries... even if it's just fear. As an adult you have 20-40 years of knowing that fear or pain will pass.. and as an adult you still probably have doubts when in the middle of some kinds of fear/pain/heat/cold.

Babies are raw. They don't know anything yet, and their brains aren't even developed. It's like insisting that using a diaper teaches a bad habit of messing your pants, or that breast feeding teaches the bad habit of cannibalism. It just doesn't translate.

Babies know what they NEED.
Children know what they WANT.
ADULTS have agendas.

If your baby is crying she's telling you what she NEEDS to the best of her ability (aka she'll stop crying when that need is filled), not working to an agenda, or developing a bad habit. By fulfilling those needs, you're teaching not HABITS... but trust that her NEEDS will be met.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

She's an infant. 1 month old.

Keep in mind:
1) a baby this age is still needing to "bond."
2) Bonding... ALSO affects brain development and emotional development in babies and older children.
3) Lack of bonding AND comforting, in severe cases, leads to "Reactive Attachment Disorder." These babies cannot "bond"... because they were not nurtured or held by their Mom or caregiver. And in many cases, it is not reversible. Once the damage is done, it is done.
4) You are NOT spoiling her. A baby NEEDS to be comforted and held... in order to develop: confidence, sense of security, sense of self, sense of self-reliance, and even for their immune system.

I recommend the book "What to expect the first year" which you can find anywhere and online.

ALL children, even Teenagers... need comforting by their Mom/parent... otherwise, they learn that their parent is NOT there for them... and then this can develop into personality/behavioral problems.
EVEN adults, need attention... and comforting. NORMAL.

PICK HER UP, when she cries. She needs you. She is only a newborn. Don't make her cry and leave her crying. Crying on end like that... even affects the brain. Adversely. And the development of a baby.

NOT carrying her or comforting her or holding... leads to the baby learning that they CANNOT RELY ON YOU, the Mom. And this is worse. In extreme cases, a "cold" Mom or inattentiveness, leads to improper brain development of a baby. And their whole development.

A baby.... keep in mind... will ALWAYS need and love to be held and comforted. You need to get used to that. It is demanding and that is what it is to be a child and a baby. They need that as much as they need air to breathe. Even a Teenager needs this. Even a spouse needs this. Its human nature.... and develops a more well rounded child. It ALSO will aide in developing "empathy" later. Which is very important in a child.

You are teaching her she can't rely on you. Her Mom. She is learning that her needs will not be met. She is learning that crying is useless to communicate... .and crying is all a baby knows, to communicate with their Mommy. She is learning that she is not important.
She is learning the "bad habits" that you are afraid of her learning. By detaching from her... she is learning that she is alone, and will not know love.

BUT the MORE you are there for her... the more she will learn good things... and be a loved happy well-rounded baby and child and teenager and adult.
all the best,
Susan

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S.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Congratulations on your loving relationship with your daughter! May it continue always!
Trusting your mother to comfort you is not a bad habit, it's a necessary life skill.
If you want to "feel better about letting her cry," you'll have to defy biology, which would take so much of your precious energy and would not make sense. You are programmed to repsond when your child cries. The sound is meant to bother you and move you to action to help her. To ignore it would be like continuing to watch television while the smoke alarm is going off. Her cries mean something--they are telling you she needs you. Communicating is not a bad habit, and teaching her that she can trust you to respond will be valuable to your relationship now and forever. Also--if she just cries and cries, she's wasting calories she could be using for learning and growing, and that doesn't help either one of you.
Babies are to love. It's OK to let go of all the mental gymnastics and just enjoy snuggling your darling baby. As she grows, her needs will change and life will not feel so intense.
My sincerest best wishes to you!
P.S. There's at least one La Leche League group in Twin Falls if you are interested in meeting other moms with gentle, responsive parenting philosophies who manage to meet their children's needs without going crazy or feeling conflicted by bad advice. You can find them at www.lllusa.org. They've saved my sanity dozens of times!

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B.B.

answers from Missoula on

When your baby cries, soothe her. She needs to be held and cuddled at this point. There will be plenty of time later to help her learn to soothe herself, right now, pick her up when she cries. There isn't much you can do to "teach bad habits" to a one month-old baby :) - just enjoy her!

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K.G.

answers from Fort Wayne on

hold her, hold her, hold her. you will NOT spoil her, she needs that warmth and closeness. dont cheat yourself out of this time!! it will fly right by. my DD was held all the time i would doze off with her on my chest, now she is 9 months old and i am lucky if she stays in my lap for more than 5 minutes and then she is off playing. enjoy this time.

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B.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with SH, everything she said.
At this age, and for many more months, she still thinks she is a part of you, she doesn't realize she is her own person. When she cries, she thinks you are still attached and will always be there. Right now, and for months to come, you DO need to respond to her, every time, because right now that is what she needs, how she will grow, how her brain develops. She will not thrive properly, nor will she form proper attachments, if you don't respond and fill her needs. She can't do anything for herself, she relies on you 100%, so follow her cues, pick her up and nurse her when she cries. Get a sling and wear her, don't let her cry. Trust me you will raise a much more secure child if you respond to her cues and fill her needs.

Think about it, would you trust your husband if he ignored your every request and let you cry and be upset about it? Probably not, you would start to resent him and learn to not ask or trust him. Same with your baby, if you ignore her cues, she learns she cannot trust you and will stop 'asking' for your help, she would rather just go without than be let down.

You can't spoil a baby!

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K.M.

answers from Boston on

E., what she is doing is so normal, all newborns cry when they need something, and what they need is either food or security. They don't even know they are soiled at this age, all they know is "hungry" or "lonely" or "both."

Your job is to solve those problems every time they come up!

First, hungry: remember that she needs to eat so very often that it will seem like she was only eating a minute ago and here we go again! Sometimes they need to eat as much as every two hours!

Second, lonely: The only tool a human baby has to ensure her own security is to cry until somebody picks her up. Imagine if she were on the savannah in Africa -- the quiet babies are lion snacks, the ones that cry get picked up and carried to safety! She is TERRIFIED of being alone, for good reason! Your instincts to pick her up are EXACTLY right!

Don't fight nature. Hold her, hold her, hold her, you are doing the right thing, you will learn to do everything one-handed in no time.

Have somebody show you how to wrap her in a tight swaddle so that, once she has been changed, fed and burped, she will sleep as long as her tummy will allow. That's your window for taking a shower, eating a meal or taking a nap. It is short.

You will read a lot of posts on this site about how to get babies to sleep at night and how to get them to "cry it out." That is for MUCH OLDER babies, ones that should be going all night but are refusing to go to bed. It takes a long time for a baby to sleep "through the night" which is really only 5 or so hours at first -- at least 4 months and more likely 6 months. The age at which a baby is ready to sleep for a long stretch (5-6 hours) depends on their growth rate, the size they have attained, neurological maturity, a lot of things. NO WAY is your newborn ready for that routine.

Enjoy her as much as you can. There will be more and more calm alert moments as time goes on, for the time being, you will probably need to cuddle her to get them.

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K.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Just curious, what horrible habits you could be teaching a 1 month old? If you have a heart, there is nothing you can do to feel better about letting her cry. I don't let my baby cry, they cry for a reason and it is our job to figure out what they need. Now, if they're 3 and crying all the time, that's a different story, but babies can only communicate through crying. My three month old will sometimes cry if he's lonely and as soon as I come back in the room he stops crying. Of course, I still have to pick him up and snuggle for a bit, because I feel so bad that he was lonely. Enjoy the baby stage and hold her all the time...it goes by way too fast!

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L.L.

answers from Provo on

E.,
Hooray! I'm so glad you're enjoying your daughter. Children are such gifts, and babies are such delights. Don't worry about enjoying her by holding her. Perhaps there will be a time soon when you may be tired, and it might be a little easier to let her cry. When that happens, don't worry about letting her cry. Heaven packaged us with mouths and lungs and babies learn how to use those as well just as much as smiling and laughing. It's all a part of our earthly experience, wouldn't you say?
I'm sure you'll find a balance you feel comfortable with!
Happy Mothering,
L.
P.S. I loved a definition of spoiling that I learned from another wise mother. She told me that spoiling is when you do for a child what they can and should be doing for themselves. That has helped me with my crew.

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

you cant spoil an infant. Hold her as much as you want.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

if your little girl is only a month old she is not spoiled and its not a bad habit. The only way she knows to get her needs met is to cry. Pick her up and cuddle her and enjoy it. They grow so fast. you can let her cry it out later when she is bigger but for now snuggle her and feel good about it. there are too many children who cry because no one cares.

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J.P.

answers from Denver on

Honey, you can't spoil a baby!!!!! The only way a baby can communicate is through cries. Think about it--for nine months she was held 24 hours a day. If you only hold her 12 hours a day that a 50% decrease to her. A baby cannot manipulate--their brain is not advanced enough to do that for years. She is completely helpless without you so of course you feel the need to pick her up. We are evolutionarily designed to pick up a crying baby. I also love "The happiest Baby on the Block". Also, check out attachment parenting (a big thing with Dr. Sears). I have used attachment parenting with both my children and people are always asking me how I parent because they are so good (51/2 and 2 years old). For your babies brain development it is essential that you hold her and answer her needs----you are not messing her up by picking her up. You would be messing her up if you let her cry! So trust your instincts because they are obviously very good!!!! You go Mom--you're doing exactly what a good mother does.
J.

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M.S.

answers from Columbus on

I totally agree with Dori.

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E.R.

answers from Colorado Springs on

you cannot spoil a child under 6 months! pick her up and give her what she needs!

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A.B.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Don't beat yourself up for holding your little one! You can't spoil a baby, no matter what any one says! If you need to have your arms free, try wearing your baby - I love my Moby wrap but there are plenty of different carriers out there. And if you need a few minutes without baby there is nothing wrong with putting her in a safe place - like a crib or pack and play while you take a breather (or just need to go to the bathroom or take a shower)! My oldest (now 2.5) didn't nap longer then 10 minutes most days until he was 6 months so there were times when I just needed to let him cry for a little bit while I took care of myself - I'm talking basic needs - bathroom breaks, eating, and very quick showers. Before he became mobile I would put him in his bouncy chair and set him up in front of the shower so that I could talk or sing to him and play peek-a-boo with the curtain.

Good luck and hugs!

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K.K.

answers from Great Falls on

So this is a super touchy one and first and foremost remember that not any kid is the same.
We only have one DD and we knew it, we decided to keep our family small despite all the stereotypes (I'm an only and my husband has a sister). My husband didn't read ANY parenting books with the philosophy that people have been doing this forever...so we have our own way of doing things.
We didn't intend/realize that we were holding her constantly while she slept, it was just so nice to sniggle with a sleeping newborn, cherish, sniff, imprint etc. and then he stayed at home with her when I went back to work, (and we continued to hold her). She never had a diaper rash, super happy, high percentiles, great well baby check ups etc. Until we had to transition her to her own crib (I co-slept until she was about 10 months), she didn't cry longer than 3 minutes! (I do admit that co-sleeping for that long was a bit too long since it broke my heart more and she had more skills and stamina when we finally did it, but that's another blog. ;o)
You would think that she's a total lap kid/hide behind your leg, but she's always been outgoing and wanting to interact with other children and as a kindergartner she has great social skills and independence. She had NO tears on the first day of school, (I can't say the same).
We like to believe that she has a deep rooted sense of security and comfort from her infancy in our arms.
I know this is only one of the 20+ responses and it will be a broad spectrum, but what feels best/right for you and your baby.
kindly,
K.

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M.M.

answers from Fort Collins on

comfort in numbers so I'll repeat what the other mom's have said. Hold your baby as often as you can. Stare at her, imprint this stage in your mind because it won't last long. A newborn (I think under 9mths at least) does not use crying as a tool for manipulation they use it for communication - I'm lonely, I'm hungry, I'm in pain. She cries because she needs something and if it's only a cry for affection then hold her and enjoy the cuddle time (and be thankful that she needs comforting and not in pain). Send an Email to other mom's you know asking if they will lend you their baby carrier for a couple of days and try different brands until you find the one that is right for your baby (she will tell you if she doesn't like it !!) and you. Avoid buying one until you know if you like it. My daughter hated the peanut, the ergo but was very happy in the Bbay Bjorn. Just her, other mom's will no doubt have a different brand they recommend. A swing is very helpful too (get one that allows a new born to lie flat rather than one with a plastic thingy in the middle which is better for when they can sit up). My daughter slept better when being held but then I never got any rest during the day so I loved proping myself up with 10 pillows in bed and laying my baby on your stomach so we could both take a nap (can also use a Moby wrap to 'bind' her to you if your worried she might roll off your stomach or that you will roll onto her). It's good for milk production too if you go skin to skin.
good luck and congratulations.

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J.O.

answers from Denver on

Who the heck told you you shouldn't pick up your baby or you'll teach her bad habits?!

Pick that baby up and love her silly when she is crying OR EVEN WHEN SHE IS NOT! You aren't teaching her bad habits. You will be teaching her that she is safe, secure, loved, and that her needs will be met. Crying it out is for much later on. Next time you see the pediatrician ask him/her what age they recommend for that.

let go of the guilt mommy...there is none to be had for this :)

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V.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

E.,

I see you've got 39 answers already so I'll make this short and very to the point, and hopefully all those other answers say the same thing.

Pick her up and love her and hold her close and enjoy every minute of it silly! She's going to be just fine. You can't spoil a month old baby. It won't make a bad habit.

Relax. Enjoy her.

V.
mother of two with another on the way!

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J.P.

answers from Boise on

Wow, you have gotten a lot of comments already and I may not be popular after this, but just wanted to see things from your side. When you say every time she cries, you pick her up. Are you trying to get her to sleep, or are you just setting her down during her wake time, and she cries so you pick her up?

I am one of those (horrible) mothers that like schedules, even for newborns, and my son learned to self soothe early. We did (most of) the babywise method, but that is for getting them to sleep. As far as wake times...I'm not sure if I ever put him down at that age...I didn't even want to hand him over to anyone else!! "Sleep training" is different than other daily interactions, and if you want to snuggle with her, do it.

If this IS about sleeping, then I would read some books and have it in your head why you are doing what you are doing. It can help to have some resolve, because, even though it is so much easier earlier on, and you will be really happy that you did it, it is also VERY difficult to do. That being said, my son slept through the night starting at 8-10 weeks.

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J.F.

answers from Colorado Springs on

You are doing the RIGHT thing by not letting her cry, especially at this age. I was always responsive to my daughter, even when other people told me point blank that I was making a mistake, and she is now a happy, well-adjusted 4-yr old. She never wanted to go to other people, which offended some and they would express it by telling me I was making her that way. I just respected what she showed me she needed, and she has turned out great so far!! Don't buy into "crying it out." Babies who get what they need from mom are shown to be more stable and less clingy later on than kids who are forced into things and whose needs are not met. Listen to your baby, listen to your heart, and don't let ANYONE tell you that you are doing wrong by giving her what she needs. Especially at this tender age. Congratulations on your little one. Sounds like you are doing a fine job!

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V.B.

answers from Houston on

At a month old, pick her up! At this age, it's fine to tend to a baby's cry because there is usually some reason for it. As she gets older, she will be able to play and get more interested in her surroundings and should be able to "hang out" without you holding her all of the time. But, right now, you are all she has and all she is aware of, so go for it! Enjoy that baby while you can because they don't stay that little very long.

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S.M.

answers from Mobile on

At one month old, you SHOULD be picking her up every time she cries!! At least until 3-4 months of age, you need to soothe her and take care of her. It is very important neurologically and developmentally that you try to soothe her. The crying typically peaks around 6wks, and then tapers off again. A helpful book is "the happiest baby on the block". It will give you a lot of wonderful tips to help soothe your child. Concentrate on making sure she's had enough to eat and getting sleep. I used a moby wrap, and it was wonderful. It is a great carrier, and they are so soothed by being close to you. She'll cuddle in, and probably fall asleep. Please please please pick her up when she's crying. They can't even start being spoiled until close to 6mths of age. There's no teaching bad habits at this age.

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K.W.

answers from Boise on

I almost cried reading this! There is no such thing as "spoiling" an infant! Your baby NEEDS to be held! When she is 3 and having a tantrum, that's a different story, but a one month old baby needs to be held and talked to in order to feel safe. Please, do not ignore her cries. She may need to eat, be changed, or just to be loved. She just spent 40 weeks being as close to you as any human can be,so to ignore her cries is to ignore her needs. She will become more independent than you can handle before you are ready. Please hold your baby while she is still a baby. It won't be long before she will literally walk away from you.

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K.V.

answers from Columbus on

First of all you are doing nothing wrong. A mother should go to a child crying if they are less then two months old. At about 7-8 weeks you should start letting her cry a little before picking her up. During the day you can try to sooth her by talking to her a little the only exception is at night. During the night you want to limit your talking because this will stimulate her and wake her more. But right now you cannot spoil her nor are you teaching her bad behavoirs. Instead enjoy it because this time goes quickly.

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M.H.

answers from Denver on

Don't be ridiculous!!! There is no such thing as spoiling a new baby. The baby wants you, so she cries, and you pick her up. This is the natural thing, and there is no reason on earth not to do it!
Trust your instinct - if you want her, if she wants you - be with her. Give her what she needs. She doesn't have the capacity to manipulate - she is a small vulnerable little baby. She needs you.

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C.T.

answers from Denver on

Hi E. - enjoy her all you want. There's no way to spoil a newborn. She needs you to hold her close and in fact it is detrimental to her to not be held.

A great book for new moms is the Baby Whisperer by Traci Hogg RN. It has lots and lots of practical suggestions and lots of great insight into babies. congratulations!

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M.C.

answers from Detroit on

I have an 8 month old who cries a bit too, but I'm always picking him up. He's happy when he's being held or when I carry him in my Baby Bjorn. You cannot spoil a baby--it's impossible because they are completely new to the world. Hold her, comfort her, feed her, love and bond with her. If it gets too much for you, have hubby or grandma take over. There will come a day when she will be more independent.

M

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A.C.

answers from Denver on

At this age, you are not teaching her bad habits, you are teaching her trust and attachment. When you pick her up, you are teaching her that if she expresses her needs, her needs will be met. This is literally the foundation for the healthy self that you want her to build to sustain her into adulthood. As she gets older she will learn to soothe herself and to cope with the frustration of having to wait a little bit to have her needs met. But, for now, it is your job to teach her that you are there to respond to her needs. There is not necessarily anything "wrong" with her when she cries, but there doesn't need to be...she just wants to be with you. She has gone, literally overnight, from being with (inside) you 24 hours a day to being separate from you. It's a huge adjustment...give her a lot of time and hold her as much as she wants.

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L.D.

answers from Dallas on

I work with infants. She is still little and getting to know you. Holding her is not going to hurt her. In the near future though you will need to let her cry a little so that she can learn to use her muscles etc. She's smarter than you might believe, but there is no such thing as to much love for a newborn!!

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K.B.

answers from Denver on

Please do not EVER listen to anyone who tells you not to pick up your crying baby.
It is totally impossible to spoil an infant. Crying is a natural communication skill for infants and CONGRATULATIONS , because you have been following your natural mothering instincts by responding to her and picking her up. You should absolutely pick her up everytime she cries and start figuring out what she is trying to tell you. Soon, you'll be able to tell the difference between different sounding cries that she will use to tell you if she's hungry or tired or just needs a hug or wants to see your smile. Hold her a lot as well.
By holding babies and picking them up when they cry, we teach them love and teach them that they can trust us and that we will be there for them. There is no other way to teach these things to an infant. She needs to learn that you will meet her needs, no matter what. She needs to learn that she can have some control over her life by crying and communicating. These early times of developing trust in others, set the stage for success in other life relationships down the road.
Later on, when she is a bit older, and you have established a trusting relationship with her, you can start to teach her to wait a little bit befor you pick her up and you can teach her to start playing and supporting her to learn how to entertain herself and become a little more independent as ahe grows.but that comes later.
Please e-mail me at [email protected]____.com if you would like a list of good parenting books and websites that are helpful, and specific to attachment, bonding, and responding to crying.
Good luck and Congrats on your baby girl.
K

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J.R.

answers from Denver on

She is completely dependent on you so you are right in picking her up. Crying is the only way she can communicate a need. She's only a month old... You should respond when an infant cries. Its not until several months when they can start self soothing.

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D.S.

answers from Colorado Springs on

She is a month old! There is nothing wrong with holding , touching, cuddling, cradling your baby. Now is the time for you to establish a bond with your baby, she needs to know that she will be taken care of as she is learning and you are learning about each other and yourselves. Just take care of her and her needs all too soon you will probably need to go back to work and leave her in the care of others. Spend time with you baby, she is your most precious asset.

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M.L.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I was that sort of mama, too! There is sometimes a popular school of thought that tells mothers to set fixed schedules for their newborns. But you can't spoil a one-month-old baby. Of course, spoiling can start with parents with bad habits! But you're certainly not teaching HER bad habits. They have to be older for that business to start.

Look at it this way. She's new around here, and she simply can't communicate in any other way but crying. She's not even quite good at smiling yet! When she gets better at that, presto! Another way to communicate. When she discovers her voice, she'll get even better at communication (and it's so much fun). But right now, if she has any need or discomfort at all, there's only one thing she can do: WAAAAAH!

Your job is to try to figure out what she's trying to say. Hungry? Diaper? Tummy ache? Cold feet? Sometimes it's pretty hard to decipher. My first two babies did a whole lot of crying at first - tummy trouble, mostly - and I had to be as patient as I could and hope they'd do better later on. They did.

Check the basics (above) first when she cries. Make sure she's fed, dry, and not too cold or too hot. If she can't stop crying, maybe she does need some rocking. As time goes on, you'll recognize specific sorts of crying, and you'll have a better clue whether she needs to vent a little and will settle down in just a few minutes (some babies are wired that way) or whether she is really uncomfortable.

But please be assured that you're not spoiling her right now. Cuddle away! Or send her to my house and I'll rock her for you for a while - my oldest grandbaby is too far away for frequent cuddling time! Oh, wait... I'M too far away from YOUR house....

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M.V.

answers from Denver on

Keep picking her up! A one month old is crying for a reason and it's your job to figure it out. Around 4-6 months the child may be old enough to self soothe, but right now, he can't.

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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

she's only a month old? PICK HER UP WHEN SHE CRIES- you're not teaching bad habits you're making her feel safe. Repeat-SHE"S ONLY A MONTH OLD. Its not about you feeling better, its about her feelings. If she's not hungry, or wet maybe she's just in need of holding.

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J.F.

answers from Denver on

NEVER let her cry! She is way to young.... you can not spoil a baby especially and infant! They have shown that letting kids cry it out actually does more harm that good in the long run!
She needs to know that you will come for her and learn to gain that trust!
One day you will want to hold her and she will run off and play, so do it while you can!
Check out baby wearing and all the different ways you can "wear" her each day and still get things done!
It will end, so just hang in there.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

She will only be this little once. Pick her up and enjoy this time with her - soon, she won't want to be held and that will break your heart.

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K.S.

answers from Columbus on

You are in no way teaching her bad habits! You are teaching her that you care for her & that you will respond to her needs. Continue to foster that even as she ages & she will become much more confident & independent. Congrats on the new baby & continue on the great path of nurturing & loving.

M.W.

answers from Fort Collins on

There's no such thing as a spoiled baby! Love Love Love as much as you can. When she gets older and becomes busier you'll miss being able to hold and cuddle her! Do it now while you can!

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J.D.

answers from Denver on

Of course you have to pick her up! She's crying. You can't spoil a newborn. So, pick her up and enjoy every minute of it. You can't teach bad habits to a one-month-old baby. She's too young for crying-it-out.

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J.G.

answers from Provo on

Newborns at least until 4 months typically cry for a reason and that first three months stage is considered "the fourth trimester"
and swaddling, sucking, swaying, shushing, etc are all normal needs at this stage. Crying it out a little after feeding, changing and meeting all the baby's needs is then okay after the first few months. I've always held and cuddled my babies when that young and they feel secure and tend to be very content as they grow older. My philosophy is snuggle and love them and follow your instincts...and they know their needs will be met so they don't need to fuss constantly.

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Feel better about letter her cry? Nope! But... Feel better about picking her up!!!!!
At this age her #1 socio-emotional task is to learn that there is safety and security in mom. She NEEDS to know that you are there and will respond to every need she has ... after all, she can't do anything for herself. Babies need to be held and cuddled often and it's good parenting to pick them up and soothe them when they cry. And you're not teaching her bad habits - kids who feel safe and secure, who know that mom is there for them, actually are more willing to try out new things as they get to that age. The know that they have a safe base to go back to. And kids who don't have that security often develop attachment issues that lead to more clinginess etc.

So go ahead, pick her up whenever she cries, love and cuddle her. I did the same with my babies, and now they are all confident school-age children, who are also very loving and cuddly as well!

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M.W.

answers from Boise on

just hold her - they grow up too fast!

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R.S.

answers from Denver on

Pick her up! Hold her! Comfort her! You are not 'teaching her bad habits', you are teaching her that when she needs you, you are there! There is nothing wrong with that! My first was very clingy (I have 4) and that's just what she needed...so I wore her around in slings and wraps and we both loved it! I never could let my babies 'cry it out'... it just doesn't sit right with me.So we cuddled together and made the most of that precious time that is so fleeting. "The Baby Book' states that some babies are higher need than others.(My second baby loved it when we just put him down!) You go mom, you let that baby wrap you around her finger and don't feel guilty for a second. You are giving her what , for whatever reason, she needs. Good for you!!!!

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M.W.

answers from Provo on

Try comforting her by not picking her up. Like lay next to her if she is on the floor, stroke her head speak soothing words or sing. Plus she is just a month old, so it's not a huge deal right now, you still have time to work on it. Also remember it is okay to hold your baby and sooth her. I would just put her down once she is soothed and calm so she knows it's okay to be by herself. Also if you are interested read 'Becoming Baby Wise'. It teaches you to help babies sleep through the night. You don't have to do everything in the book, but it does have good advice. I love ut that I can just lay my 3 month old down and she falls asleep on her own. Yes sometimes I have to hold her and rock to sleep, but on average I just lay her down. I also try soothing her from the begining, in her crib before picking her up. Good luck and don't stress too much, just remember she is baby and over time will have good behavior that you teach her.

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A.R.

answers from Boise on

You can't spoil a baby - best advise ever given to me, and totally true. They cry less when you respond to their needs over time.

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N.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Ya know what..I hold my babies all the time. You cannot spoil an infant, and holding her is not teaching her bad habits. They want to be close to mama! They were right there for 9 months. Babies are actually healthier and more emotionally mature if you hold them. Baby "wearing" is really popular because of this. It's wonderful for babies! So invest in a sling or wrap and keep your baby with you. Then you can hold her and get things done at the same time. She'll be a happy baby in the long run. So keep holding her. :)

T.M.

answers from Reading on

She's too young to "just cry". At this young tender age you cannot spoil her. Love her, hold her, enjoy her. You can start teaching/training her when she's a little older.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

I never let my daughters cry, either. It will wear you out, but it won't spoil her. She is too little to satisfy herself so she needs you to do it for her. Soon, she will be crawling and picking up toys to put in her mouth. Then, she won't want you to pick her up. Believe me, she will be grown up before you know it. Enjoy and pamper her now while you can!

E.S.

answers from Fort Collins on

You can't spoil an infant. I wouldn't even think about whether or not it is "too much" until after the baby is 6-9 months. By then the baby will be getting more independently mobile and will not want to be held as much anyway. When babies are tiny, they cry because they NEED something....not because they WANT something. You SHOULD meet her needs. That will help her to grow into a more secure individual...and actually will make her MORE independent in the long run. As she grows (like over age one) you will notice her crying and fussing over WANTS as well. As a parent, you decide which of those you meet... Meeting all of her WANTS when she is older, could spoil her....but that is a long way off. Nothing to worry about now!

Book suggestion: Love and Logic Parenting for the Early Years (Birth - Age 6)

Updated

You can't spoil an infant. I wouldn't even think about whether or not it is "too much" until after the baby is 6-9 months. By then the baby will be getting more independently mobile and will not want to be held as much anyway. When babies are tiny, they cry because they NEED something....not because they WANT something. You SHOULD meet her needs. That will help her to grow into a more secure individual...and actually will make her MORE independent in the long run. As she grows (like over age one) you will notice her crying and fussing over WANTS as well. As a parent, you decide which of those you meet... Meeting all of her WANTS when she is older, could spoil her....but that is a long way off. Nothing to worry about now!

Book suggestion: Love and Logic Parenting for the Early Years (Birth - Age 6)

H.H.

answers from Killeen on

If you are worried about a bad habit with picking her up, first try to soothe her with your voice or touch without picking her up. You can never give your child too much attention, but it is helpful for her to be able to soothe herself when you are not always able to pick her up right away. She's only a month, so enjoy it while she is little ;)

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S.B.

answers from Boise on

Hold her all the time. When she gets older you will have wish you had held her more! Try babywearing, it is a great technique for keeping her with you while still leaving you free to do other things. Many cultures have done it for ages and their babies still end up being independent. Good luck!

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C.E.

answers from Provo on

pick her up. enjoy this time with her! all too soon she will be too heavy or too interested in playing or you will have your hands full with another child. you're not teaching her anything bad by coming to her aid when she cries. you're teaching her that she can depend on you. she needs your touch. there will be plenty of times in the future that you can not hold her and she will have to cry (like when you're cooking or on the toilet). you don't need to actively let her cry to teach her to be tough. is someone telling you not to hold her so much? i know my husband sometimes would tell me i was holding the baby too much. i think his motivations were worry that the baby would always be dependent on me, worry that i wasn't getting a break, and his own jealousy. i told him that i was going to hold my baby as much as i want because i enjoyed it and if i needed a break i would ask him to take the baby. he eventually got used to it. there have been times when i had my hands full and asked him to hold the crying baby but he said to let him cry, he'll be fine. i disagreed so i picked up the baby, put him in his arms, and went back to my task. he needed to learn to be more attentive to babies himself. with our third child, he seems to have gotten the hang of it.

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Babies don't pick up bad habits. That will happen much later. She's crying because she is afraid, wet, hungry, thirsty or lonely. With time, you will understand what the problem is.

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M.H.

answers from Denver on

That baby has been inside you for 9 months--constantly being held and "rocked" by your movements. She is adjusting to life outside the womb. Of course she needs holding and loving. Invest in a good baby carrier (an ergo, sling, mei tei, hands free carrier, moby wrap, etc...) and just wear her around so she is always close to her. Wanting to be loved is not a bad habit--it is an essential human need, and you holding and loving her is not a bad habit--it is communicating love to your baby. HOLD AND LOVE HER!

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M.F.

answers from Pocatello on

You should pick her up every time she cries. She is learning to trust you. Go to the Dr. Sears website or buy his book about attachment parenting. The more you hold her, the more confident and secure she will feel.Don't forget that just 4 weeks ago your baby was int he safe environment of your body.
I have a baby who is 7 weeks and is the happiest baby I know. She is held a lot and I also put her in a Moby Wrap or a Sling. She doesn't cry and is so content. This is a tried and true method not only by Dr. Sears, but my baby is a 4th child and the other 3 have grown into wonderful, secure, happy children.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SPOILING A BABY. Enjoy her and love her and know that this special time goes by so quickly. Pretty soon you will be asking for hugs, etc.

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E.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

She's only one month old- pick her up! You're not teaching her bad habits, you're responding to her needs. She's not old enough to be capable of self soothing- that doesn't come until about 6 months. When she's this little she needs you to hold her.

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G.V.

answers from Fort Collins on

You are not teaching her bad habits! At one month old, she needs to be picked up when she cries. The best way to raise a child who is independent is to make sure she knows that you will be there when she needs you. Trust me, after having 3 kids, it is to both of your advantage that you pick her up.

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S.M.

answers from Fort Collins on

I don't want to tell you you're doing anything wrong by letting your baby cry BUT I also want to tell you that if she is only a month old and crying because she wants to be held it's probably what she really needs. They outgrow that need for touch all too fast so enjoy it while it lasts! Pick her up and snuggle her! Congrats on the new addition I love my baby girls!!!

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B.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Oh please, pick her up. Don't let her cry. When she gets older, you'll know when to pick her up and when not to. You will not spoil her at one month. She needs your warmth....ahhhhhh, I miss my little one being so young. Now, she doesn't really want to be held and she's only three. Sometimes, for a game (for me), I'll tell her, let's pretend you're a baby...and she let's me hold her, but just for a bit. Pick her up, kiss her, hug her...spoil her! :)

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H.H.

answers from Hartford on

wow. i cant read your answers and you got a lot but really you are fine, the first three mo. they are too young and they need to have theri needs met. crying is there way ot "talking" so listen.

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J.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

First of all, I am one of those moms who wants to teach her kids to be happy being independent. Like you, I didn't want my kids to fall into bad habits where they had to have me holding them 24/7 to be happy. In the first 3 months of a child's life, however, research has shown that there is no such thing as teaching them bad habits. Hold her & pick her up as often as you can. At this age the contact is very good for her. That will teach her security that will help her be more independent in the future. Somewhere between 3-6 months, they become more ready for independence. At that point, let her fuss a little more before running to her rescue. Hang in there!

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K.M.

answers from Billings on

1. You can't spoil a baby less than two months old. You are repsonding to her consistently, so she knows her environment is safe. You're investing in her sense of security. Do not let anyone make you feel like a bad mom for that!
2. At some point, you will need to know that she can cry for a little bit. When she is three months old you can work on letting her fall asleep on her own. Develop a routine for bedtime-- nurse, book, song, special blankie, backrubs, etc. Then one last kiss and "goodnight!" . Close the door, and watch the clock. Give it five minutes, though it seems like eternity!! If you don't watch the clock, guaranteed, you'll be in there in 20 seconds. Come back, pat her back again, say night night... then give it 10 minutes (you're actually training yourself here!) Keep adding 5 minutes until she falls asleep. Keep track of the time. The next time, it will happen sooner.
But in the meantime, your consistent, reliable response will actually make her MORE likely to be able to fall asleep without you later, not less. Continue to nurse her right away when she wakes at night hungry.
3. Yes, at some point, you will learn to ignore her crying. When she's asking you to buy a lollipop at the grocery store, or NEEDS a certain toy, you will certainly let her cry without giving in! Again, it's an issue of trust. If you've told her, "no," then she will feel secure if you stand by your word, regardless of her tears.
You are already a great mom!

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S.W.

answers from Denver on

Oh my...I have 3 children...if your month old baby is crying, pick her up! Don't listen to anyone other than your motherly instincts! There are far too many books out there, too many ways to do this and that and too many conflicting opinions. Just pick up your baby! I'm not saying books are all bad, but simply take what you like and leave the rest. I've only utilized them to open my brain and get my thinking started up...not as rules to my life as a mother.

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S.L.

answers from Boise on

You can't spoil a child under 6 months, so stop worrying! She needs to learn that when she cries, you will help her, so do it and don't feel guilty! You can, however, begin to teach her to fall asleep on her own, by putting her down in bed when she's almost asleep. She's even a bit young for that, though, really.
When she's 6 months old, she will start to understand that she can wait a little while before mom comes, but that you hear her and will help her. But for now, enjoy the only chance you'll have to cater to her every whim, and in the meantime, work on your own attitude toward crying (I know a lot of moms who can't stand to hear their baby cry and can end up with spoiled kids)

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J.S.

answers from Provo on

There's nothing wrong with picking up your baby every time they cry when they're this little. They need the contact and the reassurance that they're loved and cared for. It isn't until after four months or so that they're even old enough to pick up "bad habits". If you're one of the moms who aren't in to the cry it out method, don't feel bad. There's lots of us out there and it doesn't make you a bad mom. You need to go with your own gut feeling because you're the only one who knows your baby the best. There are some babies out there on whom the cry it out method doesn't even work, so like I said, only you can know because she's YOUR baby and you shouldn't be worrying about it until she's at least four months old or older. Hope this helps!

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

Honey, she's only a month old! She doesn't know spoiled. She just knows uncomfortable. Of course if she's been fed, burped and changed, she may just need to be reminded! LOL!

When my oldest was about that age, she tried that - I told her she had been fed and burped and changed and there wasn't a dang thing wrong with her and firmly told her to "GO TO SLEEP". She did! :)

Strangely, she seemed to settle down better if Daddy was in the house. He didn't have to pick her up, or even go in her room. Just knowing he was home was enough. You might also try a snug-sack if you're able. Wearing babies seems to calm them down for when you can't carry her. You could also try the burrito wrap - just put her on a receiving blanket with her head
pointed toward 1 corner, fold up the bottom and the sides in and wrap her up!

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S.K.

answers from Denver on

Babies that young do need to be held a lot. Try a sling and let her just be with you, and she'll feel secure.

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