If you have a child, you have probably gotten some advice from others about how to handle them. Although the advice may be well-meaning, it is often unexpected and, at times, even unwanted. It often revolves around how much attention we are giving our children and the possibility that we might be spoiling them.
When we think back, we might not have only gotten that advice from others, we may have even given the advice before we have children of our own. Once we have children of our own, however, we tend to know what is best and it doesn’t matter who says those things to us, it really is not any of their business.
The thing is, when we hold our babies all day long, it isn’t exactly like we have a choice. When we put them down. they would cry and scream.
Perhaps we could have allowed them to scream and they might have learned to “self soothe” but our instincts told us otherwise. If our baby was crying, it was because they needed held and it didn’t matter how much someone may have looked at us, we didn’t care.
After looking into the situation further, we have come to learn that our instincts were correct. When they were fussy, they needed to be held and research is backing it up. In fact, science has learned that it is impossible to spoil a baby and holding them is important for their health and wellbeing.
A study that was released in Pediatrics looked into the effects of skin to skin contact on premature infants. It was not only important for their early development, it had a positive effect many years later as well.
Those preemies who had more skin to skin contact had larger areas of gray matter in their brain and had higher IQs. They even earned more than those who did not have the skin to skin contact. It had a positive effect as well on aggression and hyperactivity in school.
This study did look only at premature babies but studies on full term babies have found similar benefits from being held. It came from a 2012 study from the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register. It showed that full term babies who were held early in life had better stability in their cardio-respiratory systems and cried less.
Not only is this true when they are first born, it also shows positive benefits for weeks after they were born. This also was a study published in Pediatrics, and it showed that snuggling had a big impact on their ability to feed and contentment levels. In addition, carrying the baby for the majority of the day reduced colic and fussiness that tend to be a problem around 6 weeks of age.
Holding the baby during painful procedures, such as heel pricks and vaccinations reduced the baby’s experience of pain. Sin to skin also helped babies to breastfeed well and holding babies helped to form a lasting bond between parent and child.
For those who love science, an article published in the journal Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews by an MD and lactation consultant had something interesting to say. During the time of infancy, the brain is in a critical state of development and aren’t fully formed. The kind of care the baby received was crucial to optimal development of the brain.
“The amygdala is in a critical period of maturation in the first 2 months after birth,” writes Dr. Phillips. “The amygdala is located deep in the center of the brain and is part of the limbic system involved in emotional learning, memory modulation, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Skin-to-skin contact activates the amygdala via the prefronto-orbital pathway and thus contributes to the maturation of this vital brain structure.”
To be honest, I could continue to go on and on with these facts but the opposite is not true. There is no scientifically backed data that shows a baby can be spoiled. Not a single report.
On the other hand, the majority of the research shows that not holding the baby enough could seriously affect their development and health.
If we could go back in time to when we had a young child, this information would have certainly come in handy. But when you get right down to it, we didn’t need the numbers; we knew what our babies needed and we provided it for them.
This all comes down to the natural instincts that mothers have for their children. They don’t need the research to back them up but it is nice to have it anyway.
So the next time someone tells you that you are going to spoil your baby, you know what you have to do.
Via: Scary Mummy
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