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Spoil a Newborn?

By Jodie Lynn


My mother-in-law thinks my newborn is spoiled just because he stops crying when I hold him and rock in the rocking chair. She says I will regret it later. Is she right?


Newborns can't be spoiled. They need the warmth, comfort and security of being held. I believe studies have been done that show babies who did not get held enough (in former Soviet bloc orphanages) had trouble bonding with people. This is why children's hospitals have people come in and hold premature babies when the parents are not available. Hold your baby as often as he needs to be held and as you need it too. The time spent holding a baby is never time wasted. - L.H. in Florissant, MO


The most common ways babies communicate with their new world is through various types and intensities of crying. Your baby boy could be wet, hungry, cold, angry, frustrated, overstimulated, not feeling well, lonely or something else entirely and holding him fulfills his current need for comfort for whatever the reason. It has been well-established that there is not a such a thing as spoiling a newborn or any baby under the age of twelve months. It is actually doing just the opposite. Through human touch and cuddling he feels protected, encouraged and loved and is building his self-confidence and trust. As he gets older he will want to be held less frequently, especially if you will sing, talk or hum quietly while holding or rocking him or both. For example, when he gets around six months old, he could very well be extremely happy just to be near you hearing your voice. In every child's life, as they approach multiple milestones, many times all they need to be inspired to continue whatever they are learning at the time is a simple hug and smile. When he begins to walk, he will look to you for physical and emotional confirmation that he is doing something great and will readily seek that little boost of encouragement cleverly demonstrated by you through a simple smile or hug. Always remember, everyone enjoys a hug regardless of age.

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I am pregnant with my first baby and would really like to continue to exercise right up to the time of delivery, if possible. Of course, I realize I may need to slow down a little, especially during my last trimester which will begin in three weeks. What do sport doctors who specialize in exercise routines for first-time moms, recommend changing during the last trimester? Are there certain running and weightlifting activities to avoid during these last few weeks?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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