Can You Spoil a Newborn by Holding Too Much?


Once you hold your newborn baby for the first time, it’s nearly impossible to let go. So, it makes sense why you’d run to their rescue every time they fuss uncontrollably.


Needless to say, it’s an innate instinct to hold your children if they start crying — especially since you want to ensure they’re properly cared for. Additionally, as a new parent, it’s common to worry if your little one is getting more attention from you than necessary and if it will adversely affect them down the road. That thought alone may cause you to ask, “Can you spoil a newborn?”


At, we are the No. 1 source for research-based parenting courses. We’re dedicated to educating you on the best approaches to parenting that will give your tots the best outcome possible as they get older. That’s why we’re sharing our expert opinion on the question topic: can you hold a newborn too much? We will also cover how it will affect your child and more.  

Holding Your Baby

One of the likely causes of your baby crying is because they are hungry, tired, lonely or uncomfortable. There’s also no way of knowing which one you’re dealing with, so part of your job is to figure out the exact reason your child is fussing. As you tend to your child’s needs, you may feel guilty about holding and snuggling them too often during any of these scenarios. So when they’re in your arms and you’re asking yourself, “Can you spoil a newborn?,” the truth is holding them is what you should be doing and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Besides that, the frequency of holding them won’t affect their development negatively. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a study confirmed new babies who were carried more fussed and cried less because they’re happier and more secure.


With that being said, there are actually some benefits of holding your baby regardless of what many may think. Skin-to-skin contact stabilizes a baby’s heart rate and breathing. It’s also been proven that holding your baby helps form attachment bonds which benefits your little one’s development. Carrying your child allows you to bond with them in several ways, including being better able to sense your baby’s hunger cues, making breastfeeding easier. This bond also makes your child feel safe in your arms, which is key to your little one’s mental development.


After realizing that, I’m sure you’re still wondering, “Can you hold a newborn too much?” The direct answer is no, but it’s still important to allow your baby to use their muscles on their own. You should give them time to raise their head and stretch out when needed. It’s also crucial you tend to your own needs by showering, using the bathroom and eating throughout the day. Outside of self-care and letting your tot get stronger, you should hold your baby during their early years of life (and enjoy every minute of it!). 

Can You Spoil a Baby?

After hearing your friends’ and neighbors’ warnings about the risk of carrying your child too often, I’m sure your next question is, “Can you spoil a baby?” The truth may shock you. In fact, it’s almost impossible to spoil a newborn. This is because a newborn baby’s brain is still developing and won’t mature for a while. As we mentioned earlier, your little one will probably cry because they are in need of something from you. Therefore, ignoring your child won’t teach them anything about sorting out their emotions since they don’t understand the principle of cause and effect yet.


It’s also important to note your infant doesn’t use their fussing to manipulate you. That kind of thinking isn’t possible at their young age. According to a 2013 research study, early interactions with your baby are shaped and molded into their brains. This means that every time you check to see what’s wrong, you are reinforcing your ability to be there for your child. This goes back to the question, “Can you hold a newborn too much?” — and now that you know the answer, we recommend focusing on forming the healthy bond they need by constantly being available.


Responding to your infant ultimately allows you to provide what they need for their growth and development. By being present, your baby will learn to trust you’re there for them and will fulfill their needs. As a result, your little one will become secure and confident. Additionally, babies with consistently nurturing parents early in life are more likely to cope better with stress as they get older. They will also get along with other kids in social settings and be healthier adults physically and emotionally. 

Can You Spoil a Newborn As Your Baby Grows Older

After you’ve learned the answer to the common question, “Can you spoil a newborn?,” it's normal to wonder when it’s appropriate to set limits for your little one. As infants, they will cry as a way to communicate basic needs. Once your child is at least six months old, they will start to get more creative with how they ask for things from you. This means your child begins to need some things and want others. For example, if Cameron wants you to get a toy for him that is further away, he will likely take on a new approach rather than crying. This can be anything from pulling your hair, throwing something across the room or whatever else he feels will immediately get your attention.


At this point in their early development, it’s time to create boundaries and teach discipline. We recommend replacing toys they shouldn’t be playing with and distracting them with other ones. To change bad habits, speak to them positively if they’ve done something wrong. Using phrases like, “This is how we put our shoes away,” instead of “Don’t put your shoes away like that!” can make a huge difference in how they change their actions. Modeling good behavior will also show them you don’t need to speak to someone aggressively to accomplish what is asked of them.


In the meantime, enjoy your tot’s early years and be confident about tending to their needs. And, the next time you ask yourself, “Can you spoil a baby?,” remember newborns aren’t capable of being manipulative and you’re expected to nurture them at their young age (which is healthy for their development).


At, we provide the highest-quality online courses to help parents raise healthy and happy children of all ages. Our ever-growing course catalog covers a variety of topics, including ones centered around positive guidance for infants and toddlers.


Want to learn more about how to develop good habits during your child’s early years? Our online parenting courses can help! Visit to sign-up for a seven-day trial and access them for free today!