From the moment babies are born, parents often receive warnings from well-intended friends and family members not to carry their babies too often, and not to give in to their crying. From the moment they are born, parents are warned to start training their babies to be "independent" or they will grow up to become clingy, dependent children. Parents who fail to heed this advice risk "spoiling" their children and setting up "bad habits" that will be difficult to break later on.
Many parents worry about spoiling their children and easily fall prey to flawed advice. Instead of heeding their own instincts to pick up their babies when they cry, they try to ignore their babies' needs. Such practices not only damage the relationship between parent and child, but it has a detrimental effect upon the baby's development.
The First Fallacy - Babies Should Not Be Carried Too Often
Firstly, babies need to be carried as much as possible. They need to be touched and held. This need is as important to their growth and development as food, water, a clean diaper and sunlight. This need was evidenced at the end of the Second World War when many infants were left parentless. In order to determine what were the best methods for taking care of orphaned babies, a Swiss doctor traveled around Europe studying the different environments that these babies were raised.
In some parts, he saw babies being cared for in American field hospitals with their pristine conditions. Nurses attended to the babies' basic needs by the clock - they were fed special infant formula and returned immediately after to their stainless steel cots. In other parts, babies were deposited at remote mountain villages where they were cared for in the arms of the village women, surrounded by other children and animals. They drank goat's milk and ate from the communal stock pot. These infants lived in conditions that could hardly have been considered hygienic. Yet the results of the study were surprising - it was found that the children who lived in the villages thrived better than those raised in the scientifically-managed hospitals.
It was concluded that:
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Shen-Li is a stay-at-home-mum dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in parenting. She has a formal educational background and former work experience in healthcare. If you enjoyed this article, visit her blog Babylicious and follow her as she learns how to raise a happy, confident and successful person.
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