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Babies need nurturing like they need air

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 19 July 2022

"Is your baby sleeping through the night yet?"

"Don't hold him too much!"

"Just let her cry."

"There's no benefit to breastfeed him past 1 year old."

We hear comments like these from our family members, our pediatricians, our childcare providers, our politicians, even some parenting books touting old-fashioned ideas of how children "should be" raised, based on personal opinion rather than mountains of research otherwise. It's subtle revelation that westernized society is still scared of giving "too much" nurturing to our babies.

The fact is, nurturing isn't damaging. Babies and children, and adults, need nurturing like they need food or shelter. Nurturing is an essential basic need, and we are biologically designed to expect and receive nurturing.

When a baby's need for nurturing is consistently met, trust naturally emerges and sets a foundation for a warm, sensitive parent-child relationship that doesn't have to rely on threats, shame, punishment, rewards, or other forms of coercion to control child behavior.

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babies need nurturing like they need air