Many well meaning relatives and friends might suggest you are spoiling the baby if you hold them too closely or nurse them too often. Mother’s intuition, though, says something quite different. Research now supports what mothers have always known. Babies tend to be healthier, smarter, and happier if they stay with their mother or another family member most of the time. A baby’s sense of smell is amazing. Within days, a baby can recognize his mother and his father’s scents. Babies like to be around the smells and touches they know. If someone holds the baby on a continual basis, research shows that they learn about the world around them much faster. There is more for them to see than if they spend their days lying on the floor. Moreover, most babies sleep deeper when they are held closely against your body.
It can be tough to be close to your baby all of the time though. There are usually things you need to get done. One way to handle this is through a baby sling. These are great for breastfeeding mothers, because you can feed while wearing it. Moreover, they are quite versatile. The baby can be held in a number of different positions while wearing one. Studies now show that children, who are kept close, as in a baby sling, become more secure and independent as they grow than children who do not receive this kind of care. They learn about feelings of love and security at a much earlier age.
A big part of creating this type of attachment is your breastfeeding relationship. You should nurse your baby on demand. This will not only help ensure a solid milk supply for you, it will also serve as a source of comfort for your baby. Studies have shown that breastfeeding acts as an analgesic for your baby’s brain. Anything that might ail them can be made to feel a bit better if they are able to feed as often as they wish. A baby’s mouth is one of the most sensitive body parts. Sucking feels good and fulfills a need. Pacifiers simply cannot fulfill this need. Not only can they fall to the floor and become dirty, they can also cause nipple confusion in some babies. They may be useful in certain situations, but you should be quite careful if you use one. Watch your baby for cues as to what he needs. He may need to be close for a while, he may need a little snack, or he may need to eat dinner. Whatever he needs, filling his request will not spoil him, as a relative may have suggested.
Caring for your crying little one can be very challenging. Many may tell you that the baby must learn some self-soothing techniques, and that if you pick them up or nurse them every time they cry, you will spoil them. The simple truth is, though, that babies are more likely to learn self-soothing techniques if they feel safe within their current environment. The best way to help them feel safe is to respond to their demands. It not only offers them a sense of security, it also helps them to feel good about themselves, which will, in turn, lead to a sense of independence.