Will I spoil my child if I hold him/her everytime he/she cries?
It’s not possible to spoil a baby. A parent’s attention and love is what helps him/her grow into a happy child. Babies are happier and cry less while in their parents arms. They are able to see and learn more about the world surrounding them when held in the arms, instead of being down in the stroller. They also sleep better and deeper while in arms. Skin to skin contact is not only beneficial because the baby will cry less, but it also helps to increase mother’s milk production and helps with brain development.
When you were pregnant, you and your baby were together 24/7. He was being rocked and soothed by you every minute of the day and night. Now that your baby is outside the womb, he needs help getting accustomed to this new world. Holding your baby and responding to his needs will give him the ability to feel secure and, eventually, become independent. Remember, they’re only little once and when they start crawling or running away from you, you’ll wish you could hold them in your arms.
When should I introduce a bottle?
A bottle could be introduced after the baby has passed his first growth spurt, which usually occurs at about 2-3 weeks and lasts anywhere from three days to a week. During a growth spurt, your baby will nurse more frequently to increase your milk supply. Allowing the baby to do this will ensure that you are making all the milk your baby needs without the interference of a bottle.
Have another person offer the bottle when the baby is not hungry, since he won’t be fussy and will be more willing to try something new. Go to another room or out of baby’s sight. Make bottle time a fun time; place a few drops of milk from the bottle on his lips, let him take them inside his mouth and wait until he opens his mouth to put the bottle in. It may take a few tries before he accepts the bottle. Please be patient. If your baby gets upset or becomes agitated, stop this process and try again later when he is in a better mood.
If there is nobody else available to give him the bottle, you can offer it to him. However, hold him in a different position than when you breastfeed him as he will associate that position with nursing and will go after your breast, refusing the bottle.
When can I give my baby solid food?
AAP (The American Academy of Pediatrics) and WHO (World Health Organization) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. After that, complementary foods can be introduced. However, breastmilk still continues to be a primary source of nutrition for a baby until he is one year old.
When introducing solids, only one food should be given at a time for about a week and then you can move to a new food. If you have tried different foods individually and your baby has not shown allergic reaction symptoms such as rashes, redness of the anus, vomiting, gas, runny nose, fussing and spitting up more than normal, then you can start mixing the foods and giving them to your baby. For more tips on introduction of solid food, go to Introducing Solid Foods