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Holding Baby Too Much?!

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 



I couldn't find a post for what exactly I was looking for so I thought I'd start a new one. 


My mom and a few select others keep telling me that I hold my baby too much. It's my first baby and she is now 3 months old. I admit do I do hold her a lot but I like to hold her. It;s what she has wanted since she was born. We Co-Sleep and she is next to me the whole night and during the day I am either holding her, wearing her in a carrier or I do set her on her play mat for as long as she is amused by it. She is probably in the play mat for maybe 20-40 minutes all together for the entire day. When she naps I'm either holding her cause it's a light nap and she will wake up easily or I try to lay her next to me on the couch. She sleeps for 8+ hours at night though. She will sleep for 4+ hours wake up, feed and we will change her and she will go back to sleep for another 4+ hours. My husband is really supportive of the way we have been caring for her and she seems happy so I don't see what the problem is. 


My mom keeps saying that she will get used to being held and I will be holding her back from progressing, spoiling her and making it so no one else can hold her. 


I honestly don't believe you can spoil a tiny baby but my mom says you can. 


She thinks I should put her in the stroller more and put her down in the crib at night. I like wearing her and my baby enjoys it too. I feel uncomfortable with her being so far away from me a lot of times, unless she is with her father. 


I know I amy be nervous cause it's my first time but I really don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong but my mom keeps hounding me and it seems like I may be holding her back or something. Our baby hates the stroller and Car seat, she screams and fusses the entire time she is in it. My mom just says to let her be and she will calm herself down but I don't want her to get so upset that she falls asleep. 


I try going by my baby's cues and what she wants to do. I'm a stay at home mom so it's not like she will have to readjust life at a daycare or something. 


I think my mother is mostly worried that I will exhaust myself out being with the baby all the time but I don't feel tired. I enjoy the time we spend together and when she's in the carrier I feel like I can pretty much do whatever I want. When my husband comes home from work he spends a lot of time with her too and it gives me a break as well. 


I just wanted to know if anyone else held their baby and wore their baby for a majority of the beginning of being a mother and the baby grew up normally and happily. 



post #2 of 45

All babies are different, just do what works for you and what feels right smile.gif


When my baby was younger, he had to be held 24/7, when he got a few months old, he hated being worn and loved the stroller and carseat. He started walking at 8.5 months and now at 11 months he's very independent. Our house is mostly babyproofed and he plays by himself almost all day long. 

post #3 of 45
Oh, do I remember those days!

I held my son a lot. OK, all the time. We also co-slept. He is now 17. He sleeps alone. He goes out by himself. He is calm, considerate, and generally liked.

Now, about spoiling. He was held and carried longer than most children his age, because he wanted to be, and I felt he needed it. That is because my parents traumatized him. That doesn't have to happen to your child, so keep that in mind. I don't have any advice on how long it might have been with decent treatment from my parents. I think it's reasonable to expect your child to be bonded stronger than most. She is likely to be quick to know who will support her similar to how her parents support her. By that, I mean she will know who cares and empathizes, and who does not. Children have excellent intuition. If others care about her, she will accept them. If they are likely to harm her, as my parents did to my son, she will dislike being held by them (my son did). I would recommend respecting her choices and preferences regarding people. That way, as she grows, she will trust her inner voice.

As carefully and gently as possible, educate your mother. If she argues.... that's a warning that she might try to go behind your back and "teach" your daughter.

Other than that warning, I think your daughter will be fine. I hope you're surrounded by supportive people who will accept and respect your ways.
post #4 of 45

I held and wore both of almost mine all the time, and co-slept. They're both happy, not spoiled, and independent. My mom said the same thing. Our parents sometimes get defensive when they see us doing different things with our kids than they did with us because they think we're making a statement about their parenting. She might see you hold the baby all the time and think you're upset with the job she did as a mom. I would try to reassure her in some way if it fits into conversation. Some comment about her experience with you and any siblings or something. My mind is blank as to examples. :)

post #5 of 45
I didn't hold/wear DD a lot in early infancy because A) she wouldn't nurse at birth and I spent the first ten weeks exclusively pumping for her and needed my hands (she transitioned to nursing just fine at that point) and B) she was a good sleeper and would sleep better with a little space. I was present and engaged with her but girly loved to do her own thing and took to tummy time in a big way. Other than the physical necessities of pumping, I did what you're doing: followed her cues and respected her preferences. I did use a stroller but she enjoyed it. Babies have different personalities and needs and you are doing a wonderful job parenting your baby in a compassionate, connected way. Mamazee made a great point in saying that our parents sometimes feel put off if we make different parenting choices because it may feel like a judgement on their parenting. I made a careful point to tell my mom that I'm doing the best I can with the best information I have available, much like she did back in the day. No loving parent goes out of their way to deliberately hurt their child, and those who do things we strongly disagree with (like CIO for instance) still do so believing they are doing right by their kids. Have confidence that you're following your instincts that evolved to guide you to best care for and nurture your child, regardless of any helpful outside advice. Congratulations, and you're doing a wonderful job smile.gif
post #6 of 45
You can't hold your baby too much! While it is ok to not hold your baby that much if you need to or want to put her down, it isn't going to hurt her or spoil her at this age if you are holding her most of the time. You don't start forming habits until 4 months at the earliest and even then, you can always change things later. But it sounds like everything is really going great and you are all getting good sleep which is so key at that age!

I held my DD or had her in a carrier almost all the time at that age. I would put her down to pee (sometimes), to shower, to change her, to bathe her & to quickly make food and after the first few weeks I did put her down in her crib to sleep at night as cosleeping did not work for us, but I still held her for most naps or she would just wake. She did not like being on her back while awake (she tolerated it for changing) and hated her carseat until she was ~11 months old. She was ok in a bouncy seat if she could see me for 10-15 minutes every so often, so that's what I did for showers and making food. Now at 3, she is a social butterfly and very intent on doing most things by herself. She still wants cuddles and hugs and whatnot at times, but she isn't spoiled from all the holding I did of her as a baby, that is what she needed to feel secure and I did it because I wanted to and I could. My two nephews are not like her, they are happy to chill on the floor or in their carseats just sort of watching the world go by for long stretches, but my DD was never one of those kind of babies and it sounds like you have a high-needs baby too. People that have never had one really don't get it, my Mom had a hard time understanding my DD. She believed me, but she still didn't really get it until experiencing it with DD herself.
post #7 of 45
Every child is different and you as the Mom will know what you need to do for your baby! Follow your instincts!

I held my son ALL the time!! During every nap, while I did the dishes, I had him in a carrier. I would put him down while I needed to shower and sometimes just place him on the floor on a soft blanket once in a while if I needed a break! But I never felt like I needed a break, I loved to hold my baby! My son is now 3 and extremely independent. He can occupy himself for hours if he needed to. (Meaning playing with toys and imaginative play and supervised of course) He's never had any type of separation anxiety, and he is still such a cuddle bug when he wants to be.

I've watched a few kids who were always put down and who were left to cry it out to sleep, and they struggle with separation anxiety because they don't feel secure. They were the type that wanted to be held but weren't. (Just an opinion) some children are okay to be put down in cribs and not need to be held as much. it all depends on the child! They are all different! Just follow the cues your baby is giving you. You will know what you need to do!
post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for all the responses!thanks.gif


I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one and the babies grew up happy & Healthy. 


I've tried to explain things to my mom but she always says in a very condescending tone "I've never heard of that before" and so I just drop it. We live very far away from them so I guess that helps. 


I just feel a little more confident and reassured now and will continue to do what my baby wants and go off her cues. 


Thanks again!!



post #9 of 45

My best friend came to see us for 3 days when he was 3 weeks old and she suggested cio and try to not hold him so much... It made me doubt... But honestly I'd rather bounce him 10 mins in a carrier for him to sleep rather than let him cry for an hour.


DS needed to be worn/held/nursed all the time until he was 3 months old (now is almost 6 months and although he loves to cuddle, etc, he does very well on his own (except at night)) and it was alright with me (after I read and understood that it was NORMAL). I am a first time mom too, and I know it can be hard not to doubt yourself/compare but like everybody said, as long as y'all are both happy... :)

post #10 of 45
Originally Posted by Otepbunni View Post

My mom keeps saying that she will get used to being held   actually, she will get used to being nurtured, valued, and responded to, that's GOOD!  and I will be holding her back from progressing, spoiling her   not possible   and making it so no one else can hold her. this is only a problem if YOU think it to be


I honestly don't believe you can spoil a tiny baby but my mom says you can.   i agree with you  :)






I just wanted to know if anyone else held their baby and wore their baby for a majority of the beginning of being a mother and the baby grew up normally and happily.   ME!  ds1 graduates HS in a few weeks, and I assure you, it will NOT be necessary for me to transport him across the stage to get his diploma on my back in a ring sling  haha



post #11 of 45
I/we kept both our babies on us most of the time as a conscious parenting decision. We co-sleep and wear them most of the day until they're mobile. After the first three months we do start laying them on the play mat sometimes, usually to do something they don't like being in the carrier for.

My 2.75yo is a happy, secure, independent toddler who enjoys spending time with other loved ones without DH or I needing to be there. Our second babe is only 4mo (almost) so I can't say how she'll turn out :-)

If you read The Continuum Concept or google fourth trimester you will find info on the benefits of constant close contact.
post #12 of 45
Im glad I found this thread. I struggle too with people claimants ng you can spoil a baby. My husband is a therapist and did a lot of research on attachment theory before baby was born.I must say it was a far cy fom how we were both raised but something clicked for us and we became devoted to raising our LO with strong attachment. Some resources I would check out that will co firm your intuition onhow you are marvelously raising your bebe clos to you are attachment theory, babywearing, cosleeping benefits and one of my fav the liedloft continuum concept. I know its hard to hear criticisms on how to raised your child, but I have had to create strong personal boundaries and be scure in what I feel is right. I think you and your baby are the experts here and youre doing what you feel is right. Also when you do research always be skeptical, no one is ever right on...somethings will click and others you cN ignore. Good luck to you smile.gif
post #13 of 45

You've basically just stumbled upon Parenting: The Easy Way(TM). When they're that age, it's not like they can crawl around, so it's nicer for them and you if they just chill out next to you and see what's happening. They feel safe, you don't have to worry about them, they don't fuss, and everyone is fine.


Honestly, she's only 3 months! Why shouldn't she be able to hang out with her own mother, when you're home expressly to be there with her? It just seems silly.


Keep up the good work.

post #14 of 45
From your posts, OP, it sounds like your mother is closed-minded about different parenting choices. It could be because she's used to you always following her advice, so she's peeved that the tables are turned and now you're the one trying to teach her. A lot of parents dont know how to handle their kids being the teachers, especially if its a subject they believe they're experts in (especially older generations). She may or may not feel threatened by the fact that this could be interpreted as you saying she did a lousy job (a PP mentioned this and its a very valid possibility imo). It could also be she simply doesnt like being taught new things from her daughter and since she believes she's an expert, shes going to keep forcing her ideas and judging behind your back if you dont heed her advice. Its typical "i'm right, you're wrong" behavior. In older generations, it was ingrained in people to not "spoil" their babies--dont hold them too much, they need to learn to be independent, let them cry since it "exercises" their lungs, all that nonsense. They have believed this so strongly that it really is a shock for many of them to see their kids doing exactly what they were taught not to do. I've read about it here many times, i experienced it with my mom somewhat and i've had friends talk about dealing with it too. We just need to understand that that way of baby-rearing was ingrained in them and its only been in recent years that things have started to change and its still very common to treat babies like that (my brother and his wife practiced CIO and all that, broke my heart when i heard about it but it also wasnt terribly surprising).

I'm saying all of this because i feel its important to keep it in mind when you're experiencing the onslaught of "do this, dont do that" from your mother. You need to realize that this way outside of the norm for her and many others. Its a revolutionary way of raising kids (which seems funny to me since its so natural) but it really is compared to the "normal" way. I recommend ignoring her as best you can and dont leave your baby alone with her because i can guarantee she wont treat her the way and your DH do, it just feels so wrong to her.

I would remind myself when i'd hear advice like this after i had my first that by keeping my baby close to me i'd be much more able to respond to my baby's needs in a timely manner. Meeting their needs is, by far, the most important thing you can do for them. When their needs are met, they feel loved. When any of their needs go unmet, they dont feel loved. Its as simple as that. Thats not to say that if you dont always manage to do things for her in a timely manner, she will feel unloved, thats not what i'm saying at all. I'm talking about repeated, outright ignoring of basic needs. What your mother and so many others believe is that its best to let them cry themselves to sleep. This is going against one of their basic needs: touch. When we dont hold or touch our babies when they are crying and in need for comfort, this goes against that basic need. If this keeps happening over and over again, the baby will learn to adapt to it, making the parents believe that all is well. In reality this is just means they've learned not to expect this need to be met. They know its not right but theres nothing they can do about it. I believe this makes people feel a general sense of being unloved even if all their other needs get met. This is probably the root of a lot of behavioral problems, among other things. So theres really no need to doubt the way you care for your baby, she is probably very grateful for it.

I just discovered this article: http://www.thewellspring.com/wellspring/sensing/1927/need-for-touch.cfm
Edited by sunshinelove - 3/22/13 at 5:20pm
post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help and Advice.

I have the Doctor Sears books and I've doing attachment parenting cause it feels right to me. And I personally find it easier.

My mom is actually my step mom. I've never known my birth mother and I really want my step moms support with how I'm raising my daughter. I just want to be able to talk to her and enjoy being a mom with her.

I guess I just have some insecurities since this is my first child and I don't have many friends who did the same type of parenting and their babies have grown up.

I love baby wearing, co sleeping and being close to her. I can't imagine doing anything else.
post #16 of 45
I understand wanting her support but it sounds like you might need to let go of that, at least for now. The baby stage will pass and maybe when your daughter is older you'll get more support from her (unless she believes in spanking or harsh punishment). Please dont let wanting her support sway how you raise your daughter. You know what's best for her more than anyone else does.

I understand feeling insecure--i was, too, at first. Just keeping trusting your gut and it'll get easier over time smile.gif
Edited by sunshinelove - 3/24/13 at 12:55am
post #17 of 45
You're doing the right thing by doing what your instincts tell you to do. Keep up the good work but be prepared for lots of criticism. It never really stops and you have to learn to stand your ground. Most people will learn to respect that even if they don't agree with your methods.
post #18 of 45

You do whatever works for you and your baby. Some babies need to be held more than others do, that's just how it is. I had a person tell me I held my DD (now 6 1/2) too much and I told her to kiss my rear end. It's YOUR child, you decide. Mothers can have great advice, but some of it you just have to ignore. If it works for you and baby, then do it! Having your husband be supportive like you say he is, is great!

post #19 of 45



You are doing a great job. Your mom is the grandma, her job is simply to enjoy that grandbaby.  No worries, you can't spoil a baby.  No one ever looks back 10 or 20 years down the road and wish they had spent less time with their baby or held and enjoyed their baby less.  They grow up and don't want to be held and cuddled.  Enjoy your baby!  This time passes so fast. 

post #20 of 45
Originally Posted by Otepbunni View Post

Thanks for all the help and Advice.

I have the Doctor Sears books and I've doing attachment parenting cause it feels right to me. And I personally find it easier.

My mom is actually my step mom. I've never known my birth mother and I really want my step moms support with how I'm raising my daughter. I just want to be able to talk to her and enjoy being a mom with her.

I guess I just have some insecurities since this is my first child and I don't have many friends who did the same type of parenting and their babies have grown up.

I love baby wearing, co sleeping and being close to her. I can't imagine doing anything else.


I have 2 kiddos...and the best advice I could give someone with their first, is do what feels right to you.  Seriously, everyone will tell you "do this, or you will spoil the child".  You will not spoil your child by letting him feel loved and nurtured.  I promise that that is not how children become spoiled. Yes, it will be harder for everyone else to hold your child for a bit, and so what?  When our babies are little, our instincts tell us to hold them close and to protect them...that is normal Mama feelings, 100%.  It's funny that as your kids get older, you tend to forget those really intense feelings...I've gotten lots of advice from Moms who are pretty hovering with their kids, that I shouldn't hold mine so much, or let them sleep with me, or...etc.  Forget it, do what feels right to you....even husbands don't always understand...sounds like yours is on board, and that's great.  Otherwise, don't look for everyone to approve of what you're doing, you'll drive yourself batty.  

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