So I heard you cannot spoil a newborn. While I don't take it 100% at face value I do believe attending her needs is more important than worrying about spoiling her.

Now the question is, when can a baby be spoiled and I should be more careful about "bad habits"? She is currently 2 months old. For example:

  • Feed to sleep (she needs to be full or won't sleep for long)
  • Hold to sleep (sometimes, usually only during the evening witching hour)
  • Attend her crying almost immediately
  • feed on demand (sometimes she drinks very little then cries for hunger in an hour)
  • No fixed nap time (although her sleep time is fixed)
  • 1
    Note that drinking very little can also mean she was just thirsty, not hungry. Also, frequent feedings ("cluster feeding", with quite short intervals), especially in the evenings, is quite common for some babies.
    – Stephie
    Commented Oct 29, 2017 at 18:12
  • 3
    Honestly, if anybody started talking to me about "spoiling" my newborn, I would politely ask them to shut the %$#^ up. This seems like a throwback to the days when it was believed you shouldn't hold your child and just leave them to cry because it was good for the lungs, and so many other amazingly stupid things that have been believed in the past. Seriously, give your newborn whatever she needs. When it comes to love and affection, give her more than she needs. If you find you've created a habit that doesn't work anymore for your particular situation, then ease out and create a new one.
    – Eli
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


She is not much more than a newborn (that ends at 28 days - or 4 weeks); she's an infant/baby. She has more needs than "habits". In fact, I can't think of a single 'habit' a two month old baby can have. And I'm thinking hard. Maybe she has the gross motor skills to successfully suck her fists now, but it isn't a habit yet. She will develop habits. But not right now.

If she cries, she has a need. Her basic needs are food, warmth/comfort (e.g. from dirty nappies), exposure to stimuli (e.g. language), reassurance, and sleep.

The world is a harsh place for a baby. How well adjusted a person will be depends a lot on what you teach her about the world now. If you don't meet her basic needs, she will learn that the world is unsafe.

Whether you want to meet some of those needs is your choice. The way you frame certain behaviors ("sometimes she drinks very little then cry for hunger in an hour") makes it sound like she's doing something "wrong". Breastfeeding is part art, part knowledge. Maybe she didn't get enough milk and really is still hungry. Maybe she has gas and is crying because of that.

In many cultures past and present, certain needs are disregarded in favor of other behaviors, so you would be far from alone in choosing to ignore certain needs. But they are needs, not simply wants, at this point.

When can you spoil a baby? I think there is no exact age, but the many pediatricians say you can start "Ferberizing" a baby (teaching self-soothing to allow the baby to get to sleep on her own) at 7-8 months. This was confirmed in a reasonably sized Austrailian study.

I would imagine this is the earliest you can start to train a baby.

A case can be made for speech as an example of training a baby. Some babies can say their first word at 7 months (very unusual, but it happens.) Others are still only babbling at 8-9 months. As with everything, babies vary in their abilities, but within a range.


I think the important thing to realize here is what is spoiling. To be clear anything related to basic need isn't spoiling. My kids can eat as much veggies as they want during dinner. Go to bed as early as they want (as long as they stay in bed till 630) and if they feel the need I'll always tell them I love them. There is no overdoing on those items

What isn't covered is candy between meals. Being mean to each other or getting new toys while they have plenty at home

Feeding and holding for 2 month olds sound to me as items from the basic need category

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .