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Die Angst, das Baby zu verwöhnen

“If you always jump straight away, she’ll never learn to calm herself down.” “If you give him your little finger today, he’ll take your whole hand tomorrow.” “Why do you carry a baby all the time? No wonder it always cries as soon as you put it down. It has to learn to cope without you”. You may have already come across statements like this. Right after the table of contents, we explain where this fear comes from.

✅ Table of contents:

  • 👶Where does the fear of spoiling the baby come from?
  • 👶Why we can’t spoil babies
  • 👶Proximity is a basic need
  • 👶How babywearing can strengthen the bond between you and your baby

Where does the fear of being spoiled come from?

But where does this fear of spoiling the youngest members of our society with too much attention come from? Especially when we adults associate pampering with beautiful things. We usually like to spoil our partner and we are also happy when we are surprised with a delicious breakfast, a massage or a hot cup of tea after a hard day.

The fear of spoiling the baby comes from a time when it was important for children to function. An authoritarian parenting style was normal. And there was little scientifically based knowledge about child development. Children have often been described as little tyrants who want to manipulate and control their parents.

Today we know that young children, and babies in particular, are not yet able to do this due to their development. There are now so many valuable insights. If we deal with this, it can help us to shed old beliefs and see our children for what they are: unable to survive without us at the beginning of their lives and one hundred percent dependent on our love and care.

It is important to know that babies never cry without a reason. Crying is an important means of communication to make us aware that something is wrong. In addition to crying, there are of course several other signs by which you can recognize that something is wrong with your baby.

Why we can’t spoil babies

Human babies are born with an immature nervous system that is only partially developed. Put simply, the autonomic nervous system consists of two components. On the one hand, there is the sympathetic nervous system. It is fully functional right from the start and ensures that babies draw attention to themselves in stressful situations. Possible triggers for stress are needs such as hunger, comfort or closeness. For a baby, failure to fulfill these basic needs can ultimately lead to fear of death.

And then there is the parasympathetic nervous system, the antagonist of the sympathetic nervous system. It provides relaxation in stressful situations. However, it is still immature in babies. It only develops over time and has to be trained like a muscle. But how does this training work? You don’t have to read ten guidebooks or attend a training course to understand this. You do it intuitively.

If your baby cries, take it in your arms and find out what it needs. This allows your baby’s nervous system to mature. By repeatedly responding to your baby’s needs, your child or their nervous system learns to categorize feelings and needs and can develop their own strategies for dealing with them. It can easily take 2-4 years before your child gradually learns to calm themselves down. Until then, it is dependent on your co-regulation.

So what happens when you respond to your child’s needs and give them the attention they need? When you recognize your baby’s needs and breastfeed them and you comfort your baby again and again, hold them in your arms, talk to them and accompany them lovingly? You are not spoiling your baby, but rather helping its still immature nervous system to develop well and strengthening it for the rest of its life. And you are making a decisive contribution to the development of a good parent-child bond.

Closeness is a basic need

In addition to the need for food, emotional satisfaction is particularly important for babies. One of the basic needs is the need for closeness. But why is that?

Your baby doesn’t know:
that we live in the 21st century and the baby monitor is right next to him.
That mom and dad haven’t moved on with the rest of the family and left it behind, but are just staying in the room next door.
That you don’t live in a cave surrounded by wild animals, but in an apartment or house with windows, doors and smoke detectors.

When your baby is exposed to feelings and needs such as loneliness, fear, hunger or thirst – which it cannot yet regulate itself – it needs the security of knowing that its attachment figures are close by. It draws attention to itself by crying, for example, in the expectation that its caregivers will look after it and, of course, spoil it.

If you as a caregiver recognize what your baby’s needs are and how you can support them, they will experience that they can rely on you. Your baby is happy and so are you. Over time, you will learn to recognize what your baby needs. If you have your baby close to you, this will be much easier. Make your everyday life easier by carrying your baby. Besides, it’s nice to spoil your baby. Best with the elastic sling cocoo-me® Sling🙂


How babywearing can strengthen the bond between you and your baby

Attachment is the emotional bond that a person forms with another specific person and that connects them across space and time. John Bowlby.

The recurring and prompt fulfillment of needs creates an ever stronger bond between you and your baby. Your baby learns that it can rely on you.

Human babies are carriers. Being carried is what they expect from us. In addition to many other benefits, such as the optimal maturation of the hips and the perception of all body and remote senses, babywearing can also strengthen the bond with your baby.

When your baby is so close to you, you are much more likely to notice the first signs that something is wrong. You will notice very early on when your baby is hungry, tired or has had enough of everything.

Your baby can also constantly check back with you and rely on your assessment of the situation (for example, if you open the door for the letter carrier or if it suddenly gets a bit noisy outside). And it has the opportunity to withdraw at any time by turning its head away, for example because it cannot process any further external stimuli or because it is tired.

Your baby is also integrated into your everyday life. With this direct proximity to each other, you will both communicate much more with each other and you will recognize your baby’s signals much earlier. It will probably also be much easier for you to organize your everyday life in this way, as you will be much more flexible and free. All of these aspects can have a positive effect on your bond.

So don’t worry about spoiling your baby. You can comfort your baby at any time, carry it, let it sleep close to you and give it the attention it needs. Enjoy this intimate time!

The blog post “The fear of spoiling the baby” is written by Laura Janotta(VONBEGINNANGEBORGEN.DE)

  • Babywearing consultant
  • Certified FamilySteps® course instructor
  • Specialist for formula-fed infants
  • Breastfeeding companion
  • Specialist for baby-accompanied complementary feeding

Pictures: Gumpinger & Sturm GesbR



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