Can You Hold A Baby Too Much

  • By: shane camus
  • Date: March 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

As parents with a newborn child, a major question raised is, “can you hold a baby too much? The simple answer is No. Research shows that holding a newborn too much does not spoil a child if done right.

Contrary to myths and baseless hearsays, you can never hold your baby too much. In fact, studies suggest that snuggling a newborn reduces tension in the baby.

What Research Says About Holding A Baby Too Much

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It’s natural for new parents to pick up their crying or distressed child. New research shows that holding your infant too long is not harmful. Caution is, even so, suggested.

Traditional parenting critiques your infant constantly held a lot. Researchers say it’s good to hold your kid, particularly while they’re young. The main issue is that you end up clutching them more than you let go as a parent.

Concern grows when other parents, friends, or strangers state that their views on child care trump any scientific truth.

If you’re a new parent, you’ll most likely get overwhelmed with such comments. Can you hold a baby too much? Yet, hugging infants may be beneficial to the child.

The NCH in Ohio researched babies’ responses to touch. The study’s main purpose was to determine how much a baby can be held. After observing over 120 preterm and full-term newborns, the researchers concluded:

  • Premature neonates were less responsive to touch than full-term newborns.
  • Preemies who underwent more stressful medical operations have decreased touch sensibility.

For this reason, preterm babies must get loving care and attention from their parents. The care helps them learn to respond when touched or cared for. In the same manner that children who have spent the whole pregnancy in their mothers’ wombs do.

In 1979, neonatologists Edgar Rey and Hector Martinez conducted a study on whether holding a baby too much can affect a child. Mothers were advised to place their babies between their breasts, diapered and unclad. Consequently, the physicians observed that mortality rates dropped from 70% to 30%.

Why Does Your Baby Need To Be Held?

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Most parents have felt the agony of an abandoned weeping baby. It also doesn’t often happen, depending on what caused the situation. This might be due to several factors. Babies are more prone to be grumpy when they tired or need to breastfeed. But, some parents struggle with newborns that desire to be held on a constant basis.

Child Birth:

It’s not uncommon for children to fear leaving the womb and entering the world. It could be that they’re not ready for the difficulties of a whole new planet (pun intended).

In their mother’s womb, where they spend most of their waking hours, they may feel protected and secure. Adjusting to a new environment after a child’s birth may be difficult. It’s typical for a newborn to struggle with unfamiliar noises, faces, and even the peculiar posture of lying on one’s back.

The Feeling Of Separation:

Around 9 months old, your baby may notice that being apart from the mother causes distress. The child’s anxiousness can get heightened when left alone. As a result, it’s best to cuddle and train them to stay alone for an extended period of time.

The Need For Cuddles:

A newborn baby’s desire to get cuddled by their parents may be driven by a need to stay warm. The Moro reflex may be present, causing the child’s legs and arms to flutter when not handled. Babies automatically pull towards their caregivers, who provide them with warmth and protection. If their mother’s arms aren’t around them, babies have trouble sleeping on their backs. Babies should get cuddles to remain warm throughout the cold.

The Effect Of Skin-To-Skin Contact Between A Parent And Child (Can You Hold Your Baby Too Much)

A study was conducted in 2012 on the cerebral motion function of premature twins. The study discovered that skin-to-skin contact, or kangaroo care, helps babies acclimate to their new environment. It gives the baby a feeling of security and comfort.

According to research published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, carrying a sobbing kid might help soothe the child. This will help them sleep better.

Skin-to-skin contact reduces heart rate and anguish cries in premature infants. Skin-to-skin contact enhances parent-child bonds. By holding an infant, a parent increases their bonding hormone, oxytocin, and increases their sense of security.

According to a well-known study, cradling may help parents bond with their children. Which also decreases stress and shorten hospital stays.

Face-to-face interaction with your newborn is vital as it increases skin-to-skin contact. Any parent may do this for seven to 10 days, at least four times per day. As a result, the baby’s bond becomes stronger, and their body temperature returns to normal.

Breastfeeding increases skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby. Breast milk is better for your baby’s health and growth than formula. A steady supply of all the body’s vital nutrients is provided via nursing. When your infant cries, you must calm them immediately. Keep an eye on them, and don’t let them slip past. You and your kid need to be together for the bonding process.

Wrapping or swaddling your baby increases skin-to-skin contact. As a consequence, they’ll feel more confident and safe. Every simple act of kindness from parents to children strengthens their bond.

Important Facts Surrounding Holding Your Baby Too Much

Screaming babies signify that it’s time to snuggle. A baby’s first three months are distinguished by up to three hours of daily wailing. Crying is their primary means of communication; they often cry when hungry or sad. More than just bodily needs are met when parents react to their children’s screaming. You can give your infant the confidence to explore the world in several ways.

Many experts say that parents should let go of some traditions for the first three months after birth. Baby’s temperament, disposition, and developmental demands increase during such periods.

A proper sleep routine may be formed after three months when most newborns no longer need night feedings. A consistent sleep routine for children may help them build an internal clock and a sense of regularity.

Each person’s nutritional needs must be met. Even if born premature, kids will feed hungry and quit when full. Be ready for unexpected changes in the schedule. Babies generally grow in the first two to three months and six months of development.

Can Holding Your Child Spoil Them?

Parents also wonder if holding a child too much can spoil them, and the answer is no. The idea persists despite physicians’ assurances that it is impossible to hurt a baby by holding if done right. Pediatrics reported in 1986 that neonates who had more screamed less.

Research published in Pediatrics in 2020 found that letting a baby wail is okay as long as the parents treat the child in a loving parent-infant bond. Researchers revealed that babies who were allowed to cry in the first six months of their life had no behavioral or attachment disorders after 18 months. Although parents seldom let their babies scream in the first three months, the study indicated that this behavior grew after that.


The brain of a newborn infant needs extra growth before it is completely developed. Their brains will take years to grow. A close bond with your child may help them adjust to new situations and build self-regulation abilities.

When you provide your child’s basic requirements, you aren’t pampering them. They are also essential for the parent throughout this stage of child development. Signs from your kid may help you understand their wants. This may influence your response.

Many people are unaware that newborns cry in various ways depending on their developmental stage. Hunger and physical pain cause many of these cries. Babies that are tired or overstimulated cry loudly. To be a successful parent, you must understand your baby’s screams and meaning.

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