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Are we "spoiling" our baby?

(27 Posts)
zosie24 Sun 23-Oct-11 15:16:09

Hey everyone!

First time mum to our 4 week old baby! I feel everything is going really well, and I feel like I'm coping. I have a good relationship with my parents, but would like to know how you all handle advice/opinions from them?

We are bottle feeding on demand, putting our baby in his sling (which he loves!) or holding him when he is fussing and wants to be held. He sleeps in our room in his own cot. My mum thinks this is making a rod for my own back and we are spoiling him. That if I don't move him to his own room soon, and start a proper routine, he will never want to. Also, that when he cries we should just put him in his cot and leave him to cry it out. Do people really do this?! When did everyone start a routine? I'm the first of my group of friends to have a baby, and haven't gone out to any of the mums and baby groups yet, so don't have anything to compare against, or anyone to really ask.

I'm really struggling to say "thanks for your advice, but we just want to do what we think is best for us and our baby!"

ASuitableGirl Sun 23-Oct-11 15:21:57

At 4 weeks you can't spoil your baby smile

Also SIDS advice is to keep your baby in the same room as you for the first 6 months.

Keep enjoying your baby smile

jezebelle Sun 23-Oct-11 15:25:26

You can't spoil a newborn !! and for the sake of the risk of cot death DO NOT PUT HIM IN HIS OWN ROOM smile and tell ya mum to butt out, its your baby smile

GoodAndBluts Sun 23-Oct-11 15:26:21

You sound like a lovely mum, nothing wrong in holding them when they are this young. He is too young to spoil.

My three were in my room until they were 6 months, maybe older.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Oct-11 15:29:14

I think you have to do the 'thanks for your advice but...' speech earlier rather than later. Mums (and MILs, friends, random strangers) just want to be helpful and usually their advice is not given out of malice but based on how they raised their own children. Don't dismiss this advice out of hand... official advice changes almost every year but babies haven't changed at all smile ... and, if you're really struggling, your Mum will always try to give the best of her experience. If you're not struggling say 'thanks but I'm doing it this way' and carry on as you are.

My DS is 11yo and my mum still tries giving me advice how to bring him up. smile Not necessary to fall out over it, just be assertive.

Gigondas Sun 23-Oct-11 15:40:42

Agree with cogito. Sounds like you are doing a good job smile but advice does change so there is a lot of difference in what used to recommended and what is suggested now (eg sleep on front not done now etc). so tell them nicely thanks but if you want advice you will ask.

Also I think amnesia crept Into my mums memory re kids as she did everything earlier , we were never any trouble etc etc so I took some of her advice with a large pinch of salt

matana Sun 23-Oct-11 20:00:08

Oh those lovely, lovely newborn weeks [goes all misty eyed]

Just enjoy it, you really can't spoil a baby that age. I didn't stint on cuddles and picking up my DS when he cried. And i certainly didn't leave him to cry. He's now the most independent, outgoing and determined little 11 month old i know. I love seeing his personality develop bit by bit, but do admit i sometimes long for those early days when i could cuddle him quietly on the sofa watching TV. Now, he doesn't stay still long enough!

ChippingInToThePumpkinLantern Sun 23-Oct-11 20:12:40

Well there are two issues here aren't there smile

Whether you are actually spoiling the baby & how to fend off unwanted advice, preferably without upsetting other people.

You can't spoil a 4 week old baby. You can get them used to being held a lot and picked up at the slightest noise... there are very very different opinions on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing - that's for you to decide.

As for unwanted advice - what you said is a reasonable option smile You can soften it by saying that things have changed since you were a baby, you have done the research and you have made decisions in line with that and current guidelines.

RitaMorgan Sun 23-Oct-11 20:15:13

You're doing brilliantly! Just do as you are, respond to your baby's needs, for at least the first 6 months - then you can worry about routines and sleep if you feel you need to.

breatheslowly Sun 23-Oct-11 20:32:24

You can't spoil a 4 week old baby. He is lucky to have such responsive parents.

Even if he is learning stuff at the moment, what would you like him to learn? You seem to have the choice of "if something isn't quite right and I cry no one comes to me" or "When something isn't quite right and I cry one of my parents holds me and makes me feel alright again".

You seem to be following some of the ideas of attachment parenting and you might like to read some of the Sears and Sears books.

We fed DD on demand and she co-slept with us until she was 6 months old and too wriggly. She went into her own room quite soon after that and with no trouble. She sleeps through in her her own room unless she is ill. She is now 13mo and remarkably independent.

RefereezaWanka Sun 23-Oct-11 20:35:45

You are doing just fine. Don't listen to all this 'rod for your own back' daftness!

Fed both my babies on demand with no issues.

Both slept in our room with us (in a cot near our bed) until they were about a year old. They settled in their own rooms very quickly when they were ready.

I have always picked up a crying baby and neither of my children (now 6 and 3) are remotely clingy or spoilt.

IndigoSunshine Sun 23-Oct-11 20:46:50

My boy is 7 months old and still has his day naps cuddled up with me <shock, horror!>
He still sleeps throughout the night (except for those few when his teeth are really bad) and is not clingy. At that age, of course you want to hold and cuddle them as much as possible. I certainly would not put a crying 4 week old in a room on their own to 'cry it out'.. how cruel!? I've ignored all pieces of 'advice' from family and friends and I certainly haven't made a 'rod for my own back' or damaged him in any way.
You are the parent so do what you want with your child (within reason of course!) and let the unwarranted so-called advice slide like water off a ducks back smile

BlowHole Sun 23-Oct-11 20:50:48

Rod for your own back is bollocks imo. You are increasing the baby's sense of security by teaching him that you are there for him when he needs you, this will lead to him being less clingy not more smile
If you're anything like me, you won't be able to stand hearing your baby cry, and your instinct will be to comfort him, I believe this is the right thing to do. Can't understand people who can leave their babies to cry.

NinkyNonker Sun 23-Oct-11 20:59:46

Never, you can't spoil a baby and you sound like you are doing brilliantly. At 15 months we still don't leave DD to cry, I carry her in a sling etc etc and she is an independent little soul who sleeps in her own room now.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sun 23-Oct-11 21:04:56

Just reiterating what everyone else has said, but you can't spoil a baby that young. Cuddle them as much as you can! You'll miss it when they start moving and want to be exploring instead of cuddling! You're doing brilliantly.

Regards advice, just smile and thank whoever is 'advising' and carry on doing what you're doing. Follow your instincts! Best piece of advice we got was 'don't take anyone else's advice' grin

zosie24 Mon 24-Oct-11 11:20:06

Thank you for all the replies.

I think I just needed a confidence boost, and for someone to tell me I'm doing everything right. But I suppose everyone has a different way of doing things and all babies are different, so it doesn't really work like that, does it?!

I feel alot better after a decent night sleep (shock!) and a good chat with my DH. Our baby seems happy, so we must be doing something right.

Will check out the Sears and Sears book too!

Tempingmaniac Mon 24-Oct-11 11:29:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DuelingFanjo Mon 24-Oct-11 11:33:01

Just wanted to say the same as everyone else. You can't spoil a baby that young. I started setting a bedtime routine at about 16 weeks but my son still sleeps in with us at 10 months. The Sears and Sears book is a great recommendation.

KnitterNotTwitter Mon 24-Oct-11 11:39:02

Repeating what all the other posters have said...

Your DM will be suggesting that you do what she did - because she will think of herself as a good mother. By choosing something different - particularly if you tell her that the advice has changed and what she did isn't suggested any more you will be implying that she made bad decisions. The trick is to explain that you want to be a good mother by doing things your way; the same as she was a good mother by doing things her way.

notcitrus Mon 24-Oct-11 11:45:48

One of the few bits of advice I agreed with was "you can't spoil a baby under one, nor cuddle them too much" - and it seemed to work. Mostly. Certainly the 'blatantly just trying to get attention' stage only started around 15 months.

Dealing with 'helpful' people is a different problem but after the first time I lost it a bit and told my mum "Either you butt out of how I'm looking after ds, or you can not see your grandson at all" it was amazing how much our relationship improved! I should have done it years ago!

KnitterNotTwitter Mon 24-Oct-11 11:45:54

I took a lot of comfort from books when finding my own way through the parenting maze...

Three in a bed - is great on the benefits and safety aspects of co-sleeping
The Continuum Concept is useful for principles on child rearing albeit dated
Definitely the Sears books - Attachment Parenting is good
Also 'what every parent needs to know' has lots of the science of child brain development in a very friendly format

Lots of studies are being done linking parenting strategies and outcomes later in life - but obviously they're long-lead time studies.

I have read of a proven link between Cry It Out strategies and poor stress coping mechanisms in later life and/or poor emotional control. And poor emotional control leads to poor decision making.

So much of the deep learning that we can't even describe and the child certainly doesn't know it's aquiring is gained during the early days and months.

If you're into the science then other good books are 'the child who was raised as a dog' and 'born for love' which contain case studies of the impacts of bad/misguided parenting on child development.

noviceoftheday Mon 24-Oct-11 11:46:08

As everyone else said you can't spoil a baby, but hey even if you want to, then that's your perogative and no one elses! Two things have worked well for me in response to "advice". To my mum who I can be more frank with... "you have had your turn raising children and did a fab job as all of us turned out well, however it's my turn now so let me things my way." (Note this is a version of "you have had your day, it's my turn now" which worked well in the lead up to my wedding! grin). To everyone else, nod and ignore. Do not say anything. Do not engage. Repeat do.not.engage. grin.

akaemwahahahafrost Mon 24-Oct-11 11:54:45

If you leave your baby to cry it out he will simply give up on trying to communicate his needs to you because he will know you won't come to help him. How sad would that be?

This is a fabulous book and will tell you everything you doing is spot on. Why love matters.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Oct-11 11:56:35

Remember a lot of the previous generation were heavily influenced by Truby King and various ideas he had about routines and discipline, which dated from something like the 1930s. They were also bossed about a lot by other people and made to feel there was a right and a wrong way to parent (or 'mother', as it was called then). However things have moved on since then.

I would ignore their 'advice' and keep going with what your instincts are telling you at least until 6 months or so (when most babies are physically capable of sleeping through the night because the glycogen storage mechanisms in the liver are sufficiently well matured) and not to worry about manipulative behaviour problems until well over 1, or when your baby's language starts to develop a bit. Even then instinct will get you a long way.

PipPipPip Tue 25-Oct-11 21:26:50

Just want to chip in to say KEEP IT UP! You're obviously doing great.

Only now that our daughter is 6 months old are we getting into a sleep routine and encouraging her to sleep in her own cot all night. Until now, we've muddled through with lots of cuddles, co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand.

I'm enjoying getting a little structure back into my life - and it hasn't been that difficult, either, despite leaving it six months.

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