Monday, February 24, 2014
Spoil Yourself -- Hold Your Baby
When you are pregnant you get so much (unsolicited) advice. And when you have the baby, you get even more! How many times have you been told that if you hold your baby too much, you'll spoil your baby? We have strong feelings on this subject over at Birth Boot Camp:
I remember a few days after my first child was born, I was on the phone with my dad and I made a comment about being able to put Daymon down for a little while to get something done! I was excited about it and my dad was like "Duh, Donna. You shouldn't have to hold your baby the entire day. Don't you know you'll spoil him if you do that?" Well, no Dad, I didn't know that. It made me more than a little paranoid though.
I wasn't sure exactly what he meant by "spoiled" though. Did that mean he would be an absolute brat when he got older? Was he going to manipulate me into me doing whatever he wanted? Neither sounded great. Who wants a bratty kid, right?
The thing is, when I held him, he was pretty happy. We lived in married housing at BYU and while there were lots of babies, I didn't want my baby to be the one crying, annoying everyone. And so I held him. A lot.
A few things happened from holding by baby:
1. He didn't cry.
2. I didn't cry.
3. He learned to trust me.
4. I learned his cues and to trust myself.
5. I learned how to be his mother.
6. I had a great milk supply.
Like with so many things, it's important to trust and follow your instincts when it comes to mothering. Holding (or wearing) your new baby almost always feels right. Before birth, your baby was never separated from you. They want to be held. They are used to the way you smell, sound, walk, and talk. They want to be close to their food supply for crying out loud!
Know what's funny? My kids don't remember this at all. OK, that's not really funny. It's more sad than anything. I do believe it made them confident and trusting, and dare I say, independent? Even though they don't remember that time, I remember it. I treasure the time I spent doing nothing but holding my babies. Now that they are big people, they don't sit in my lap and I don't cradle them in my arms like I did when they were babies.
So, when all those people tell you not to hold your baby because you might "spoil" them, you go right ahead! You won't spoil your babies -- you're spoiling yourself with one of the greatest gifts you'll ever enjoy.