Quick answer to – is it OK to not hold your baby all the time?

Yes, it is perfectly okay to not hold your baby all the time. While holding and cuddling your baby is important for bonding, it is equally important to encourage independence and provide them opportunities for self-soothing and exploration.

Extensive response

It is completely acceptable to not hold your baby all the time. While it is important to show love and affection through cuddling and holding, babies also need opportunities to develop independence and explore their surroundings. Encouraging self-soothing skills and independent playtime can positively contribute to their overall development.

One famous quote on this topic is by pediatrician Benjamin Spock, who said, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” This quote applies to parenting as well, as it signifies the importance of trusting your instincts as a parent and finding a balance between providing care and fostering independence.

Here are some interesting facts related to the topic of not holding your baby all the time:

  1. Promoting independent playtime: Allowing babies to have their own space and time for independent play helps them develop essential cognitive, motor, and problem-solving skills.
  2. Self-soothing: When babies are given the opportunity to self-soothe, they learn valuable skills for emotional regulation and can become more independent sleepers.
  3. Physical development: Giving babies space to move and explore their environment helps strengthen their muscles and encourages motor skill development.
  4. Bonding through interaction: While holding your baby is important, it’s equally important to engage in face-to-face interaction, talking, and playing together to foster a strong connection.
  5. Parental self-care: By encouraging independence, parents can find time for self-care, which is crucial for their own well-being and mental health.
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Please note that parenting practices may vary, and it is essential to consider individual circumstances and consult with pediatricians or trusted experts for guidance tailored to your baby’s specific needs.


Pros of Not Holding Your Baby All the Time Cons of Not Holding Your Baby All the Time
Encourages independence and self-soothing Potential decrease in bonding time
Provides opportunities for exploration Requires close supervision for safety
Supports cognitive and motor skill development May require extra effort in engaging with the baby
Allows for parental self-care and well-being Needs to be balanced with appropriate parental attention

Video answer

The video discusses the appropriate time to let visitors hold a newborn baby, which is around two months old. It is important to ensure that visitors wash their hands and avoid holding the baby if they are smokers or sick. Other precautions include not allowing others to kiss the newborn or wear strong fragrances. If the baby becomes overstimulated or cries, it is recommended to take them back and provide comfort. Polite ways to communicate these guidelines to visitors include making a social media post or using baby carriers to discourage unwanted touching. The main focus is on protecting the baby’s health and well-being, as newborns have delicate immune systems.

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The Bottom Line As long as your baby’s essential needs are being met and you actively engage them in a loving way, how much or how little you hold them is entirely up to you. If you want to hold them, do. If you want to put them down, even if they cry, that’s fine as well.

You really shouldn’t hold the baby 24/7.

No. No, you cannot hold a baby too much. A recent study conducted at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, centered on 125 premature and full-term infants and the how important TOUCH was to their brain development. And the study’s results show that touch is even more important than PREVIOUSLY assumed.

More interesting questions on the issue

What happens if you don't hold your baby enough?
The response is: Many children who have not had ample physical and emotional attention are at higher risk for behavioral, emotional and social problems as they grow up. These trends point to the lasting effects of early infancy environments and the changes that the brain undergoes during that period.
How often should you hold your baby?
Response: The longer you hold your baby, the better. Any amount of time is good, but it is best to try for at least 1 to 2 hours each day.
Is it normal to not want to hold your baby?
1 in 5 women struggle to bond with their baby and it’s even more common with the second child. You are not alone and you have nothing to be ashamed about. I felt so guilty and I didn’t even want my husband to know.
When should I stop holding my baby all the time?
It is best to hold the baby on demand up to the age of 12 months old. Babies up to this age are still developing emotionally and may require frequent attention and care from their parents. However, you may also try identifying the possible need of the baby.
Do babies need to be held?
Your baby needs to be cared for — and, yes, held — frequently, especially in their early weeks of life. And it’s your job to do those things for them. Some babies may need to be held more than others, of course. With time, you’ll figure out what your baby responds to best.
Should You Hold Your Baby too much?
As an answer to this: Inevitably, this will spark some criticism, often from a well-meaning relative, friend, or acquaintance, though even strangers sometimes feel compelled to weigh in. “You shouldn’t hold your baby too much,” they tend to say. “You’ll spoil them.” A typical new parent might respond to this lofty statement with some panic, or at least some concern.
When to stop holding your baby all the time?
Response: Keeping your baby in almost your constant contact for 9 to 12 months, won’t “spoil” him. So, don’t be confused about when to stop holding the baby all the time. Go ahead and hold your baby in your arms as much as possible. No matter what others say about it.
Should you hold a baby if they cry?
The answer is: If you want to hold them, do. If you want to put them down, even if they cry, that’s fine as well. There is no one perfect way to parent nor is there a perfect amount of holding for your baby. Instead, follow your instincts and give yourself grace as you navigate life with a baby.

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Pregnancy and the baby