By Fredrica Syren
Ever since my first baby was born almost 7 years ago, I’ve heard that you should not “spoil” babies and hold them too much, that they would then require being held all the time and wouldn’t self soothe or sleep. I guess there is some truth to this. If you hold your children all the time they, for sure, will protest when you put them down. Our first slept in bed with us a lot and, yes, she would wake up more, looking for me during the night. Our second would nap only if held and, yes, for a while he surely did not like going anywhere near a car or stroller because he just wanted to held all the time.
Recently though, I read a story featuring a little boy in Pennsylvania who was 2 years old and dying. The article about little Logan Stevenson , told how he had only a very short time left on earth and that he was to be the best man in his parents’ wedding right before he died. What caught my eye was a picture of his mom holding him. I cried for her since I could not imagine how she must have felt, knowing she soon would not be able to hold him again.
As I read this story, I looked down at my five-month-old in my lap, and looked over at my 2- and 6-year-olds who wanted my husband to lift yhem up. How can it be wrong to hold your children? They are kids for such short time.
Human touch is so important to children. It’s been proven over and over again that children who are loved and held a lot thrive. During the baby stage, human touch is the first communication between parent and child. Babies are being held constantly in the womb, so it’s natural that they like to be held all the time once born. Skin contact, the smell of the child and the child’s being held by you are calming to both child and parent. It will only benefit them, not harm them. In the end, most kids will naturally “grow out” of being held when they become more independent.
It made me realize how lucky I am that I can hold my kids all the time. From now on, I will never worry about holding my kids “too much,” and I will spoil the hell out of them.