Saturday, May 4, 2013

Don't Hold the Child!

I don't know how many parents are out there who feel this way, but I have recently come in contact with someone who has 5-month-old baby. The father says the baby should never be picked up just to be held. The baby holds its own bottle. I don't know if burping is allowed, but it is necessary in order for the baby to get rid of the gas that builds up so it doesn't have a tummy ache. When babies don't feel good they are fussy. After all, they can't tell you how they feel.

This father gets upset if he finds a babysitter holding his baby. He thinks the baby will be spoiled and he doesn't want that.

What he doesn't seem to know or understand, is that if a baby never gets picked up and cuddled, that baby will grow up to be cold-hearted and angry. He or she will feel unloved and unwanted all their lives. If the parents decide to play with the child or hug and cuddle it once it becomes a toddler or older, it may repair some of the damage, or the child will feel that it is being manipulated and will be either sullen, or appear to acquiesce on the outside while seething on the inside. Be careful. If this is how you treat your child, you may be raising a murderer or other violent criminal.

Babies should not be picked up every time they cry. A mother learns to tell when her baby is crying because it has a need, or just because it wants attention. It does not harm a baby to be allowed to cry itself to sleep when it is just being stubborn, or is using crying as a way of getting attention. However, the parent needs to think about how much time he or she spends interacting with the child. Even infants need to be played with (gently).

Remember, babies are little people, with the same needs and wants as adults (emotionally), but they are unable to express those things in words. It is up to the adults in the baby's life to learn to listen to the differences in the child's cries to discern what the need is. If you don't play with the child, he or she will be fussy, whiny, and temperamental (which he/she may be anyway, but at least it won't be the fault of the caretaker or parent).

When you aren't sure what to do, consult a pediatrician or an older person who has raised children. Children don't get spoiled because they are loved; they are spoiled when they are coddled and catered to.

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