Can you spoil a baby?

Does picking up your baby for a cuddle make him more needy?

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Small babies need lots of attention.

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Even when they’re not actually demanding attention ie aren’t crying or fussing, it’s tempting to pick them up for a quick sniff and a snuggle.

In the early days it’s only natural that you’ll want to kiss and cuddle her, play with her tiny fingers and toes and laugh with her as much as possible.

But can all this be too much of a good thing for your baby?

Certainly not, says clinical psychologist Jillian Lindon.

‘Babies need lots of physical contact and reassurance from day one,’ she says. ‘At first she doesn’t know she’s separate from you; she simply craves security through physical contact, smell and touch.’

Jillian also points out that when babies cry, it’s for a reason – they’re not doing it to antagonise or annoy. ‘Crying is the only way they know how to communicate and tell us something is wrong,’ she explains.

‘If you respond quickly, your baby will learn it gets results, and will feel secure that her needs are being met. If you don’t respond, crying babies can become anxious and start to cry more, worsening problems.’

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In fact, a baby is born with her sight at a fixed focus of 20-25cm (8-10in). So holding her in your arms at this distance from your face means she’ll be able to see you more clearly and will learn to smile after a few weeks.

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