Can You Spoil a 6-Week-Old Baby?

Q: Can a 6-week-old baby be spoiled? My baby cries when she is laid down and stops when picked up.

A: I do not subscribe to the theory that you can spoil a baby. The attachment between baby and parent is so special, and it is one of the most important aspects of emotional and social development. Infancy is the only period in life when everything comes to a screeching halt -- and when everyone is anxious to immediately meet baby's needs -- just because baby makes that urgent sound, a cry. When a baby's cries are quickly comforted by cuddles, warmth, and nourishment baby learns to feel secure and trust his/her environment. Cries are a baby's way to effectively communicate when s/he is hungry, wet, cold, or wants to know you are close.

Enjoy picking up baby. This period of infancy passes so quickly. Before you know it, you will longingly reminisce as you marvel at how your tiny sweet bundle of joy has evolved into a young person.

Lillian M. Beard, M.D, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is an associate clinical professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. She is a frequent guest expert and spokesperson on national television programs, discussing issues related to children's health. Dr. Beard practices pediatrics in Washington, D.C.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.

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