Holding your baby will spoil him? 'Absolutely NO' say these reports!
It's crazy how new parents get inundated with unsolicited advice. The one that took the cake in my case was 'holding your baby for too long will spoil her'!
When my baby girl was born, the well-meaning relatives and friends poured in their expert advice on parenting. Right from their take on breastfeeding to whether I should give her a pacifier, there were many unsolicited pieces of advice coming my way. What took the cake was how 'holding your baby for long will make her stubborn as she grows up'. But then,
A. Look at her and tell me you wouldn’t want to hold her ALL the time.
B. How does a mum’s touch negatively affect a child’s well-being and make her stubborn?
They had responses for that as well. So, I should be resting instead of cuddling her and tending to her when she cries. Apparently, if I rush to her as soon as she starts whimpering, I’ll instill that ‘bad’ habit in her of expecting to be entertained each time, every time. And once she realises I am not going to be there for her all the time, she will start throwing tantrums. Also, since I had full intentions of heading back to work, post my maternity break, I should let her get used to the idea of no-mommy for longer spells. Ouch!
Back then, I had no logical justification for my behaviour beyond ‘I’m never getting this phase back and I may as well cherish each moment’. It’s been eight odd years, and as I watch her run around with just enough time to spare for a peck on my cheek, I’m glad I held on to my mom-logic (which is on a different plane, as most moms might agree)
Guess what? A recent study suggests that there might be some grain of truth to this ‘mom-logic’. Apparently, premature babies who experienced skin-to-skin contact in their early weeks had higher IQs and were less prone toward hyperactivity and aggression. Yet another research states that even full-term babies who experienced skin-to-skin care in their early days had better cardio-respiratory stability, higher breastfeeding rates and were less prone to prolonged crying.
In fact, the act of holding your baby has a soothing effect on them and has a remarkable impact on their contentment and even their ability to feed frequently. And need I even get started about the benefits of a mother’s touch on colicky babies? Right! So all these studies just prove time and again that if anything, holding, carrying and snuggling your baby just has goodness written all over it. Some of the other benefits of skin-to-skin touch between babies and parents are:
- A parent’s touch promotes the feeling of being loved, accepted and safe in babies.
- A parent’s touch ensures that the baby is less fussy and more content and comfortable.
- A parent’s touch improves babies’ brain development.
- A parent’s touch increases weight gain for premature as well as full-term babies.
- Holding your baby is relaxing for the parents as well. It also helps lessen postpartum depression.
So the next time a well-meaning aunt wags that finger at you for holding your pot of love for too long, don't despair. You are on the right track and all the 'parenting advice' that states anything other than that, needs to be royally ignored.
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