This is a belief which is heard many times. But just because people believe it to be true what does the science actually say?
Are baby’s manipulative?
Well the short answer is no. The babies brain is simply not at the point where it can anticipate causes and effects. To explain as an adult we can start cooking in the anticipation that we will be hungry, your babies cries because it feels hunger and this is not a nice feeling, there is not the expectation of food. So babies simply are not yet smart enough to manipulate you or anyone else.
What actually is Spoiling a baby?
Well it is easy to spot, the obnoxious child given everything without question while demanding more and more, would in most peoples opinion be spoiled. But how can you spoil a baby? A baby wants are limited to it’s needs, the simple things, to be fed, to be comfy, to sleep and to learn. Cuddles, skin to skin contact, rocking, hearing it’s parent(s) voices. Crucial nothing which can be considered spoiling.
Child development experts agree that meeting your child’s needs is not spoiling. Child psychologist Kevin Nugent stated that "A challenge of the newborn is getting to know that the world is somehow reliable and trustworthy, that his or her basic needs will be met. Responding to baby's cues "isn't a matter of spoiling. It's a matter of meeting the child's needs."
If you follow the logic through a child he is loved and feels secure is less likely to be clingy and needy as they grow up.
Should I cuddle my baby at night?
That is not to say that constantly holding the baby is a good thing. Proper supervised tummy is good for their development and motor skills and of vital importance is a good bedtime routine which will help you as much as it helps your baby.
Holding or rocking a baby to sleep actually means they don’t learn how to fall asleep themselves. So best to place them into their bed when they are still awake, but drowsy so they fall asleep on their own.
For more tips about sleep
When can babies start to learn about boundaries?
As the child develops their ability to want and learn come into play. The experimental yank on the cat’s tail or your friends dangly earrings can give a infant a amusing lesson in cause and effect but after 6 months old these experiments need to be discouraged and your child is of the age where gentle lessons can be introduced.
Limits and boundaries can be set and which is great for the child is that these are consistent, otherwise it is very confusing for little brains. The key lesson is that not you can not always get getting everything, you want, and that even if mummy does not give me all my wants she loves me and will always give me love.
As the words of the Rolling Stones song goes “you can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometime you find, You get what you need”