Why You Can't Spoil a Baby

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on February 22, 2022

Month 10, Week 2

Research shows that babies whose needs are met quickly as infants actually become more secure and confident and less whiny as children.

So if your mother or best friend tells you you're spoiling your baby by picking them up, rest assured you're doing your best for them.

  • Work with them on helping them learn to soothe themselves with a blanket or other favorite object.
  • Rock together for awhile in the rocking chair, then urge them to play on their own.
  • Even if you are accustomed to picking up your baby quickly when they cry, if you're upset and frustrated, it's okay to take a few minutes apart while they are in a crib or other safe environment. Calmer parent equals calmer baby.
  • Remember: Babies this young can't remember rules. So you'll have to repeat yourself often and try to stick to a routine in the coming months.
  • Babies may still be wary of strangers or new environments, so expect to do lots of reassuring that everything is OK.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your little one is busy testing you these days, trying out new behaviors to see what your response will be.

They are not "being bad." They are trying to figure out what the limits are in this world of theirs, and they learn through exploration and interaction with that world.

Instead of getting frustrated, set them up for success:

  • Don't expect a 10-month-old to resist temptation. Instead, put tantalizing but forbidden items out of their reach, and offer safe places to explore, like their kitchen cupboard with plastic spoons, cups, and bowls.
  • Try not to say no all the time. Instead, pull them away from the radiator with "Hot! Owie!" and a dramatic face.
  • When they grab at your coffee cup, say "Mama's cup," then hand them their own sippy and say, "Olivia's cup!"
  • Focus on what you want them to do rather than the no-nos.

Month 10, Week 2 Tips

  • Teach your child's caregivers the words your child uses for important things like blanket or bottle. Do they sign? Make sure they know that.
  • Stick to a regular bedtime routine. Knowing they'll get them bath, then their pajamas, then their story and their song helps them understand their world and builds confidence.
  • Use routines and games to make everyday activities, like a trip to the store, interesting and engaging for your little one.
  • Flying with baby? You can bring more than 3 ounces of formula, breast milk, or juice through security if you declare it to security and present it for inspection.
  • To go through security screening at the airport, you will have to take your baby out of their stroller or infant carrier (yes, even if it's just a cloth wrap).
  • The FAA lets kids younger than 2 be "lap babies" (not for free, though), but it's safest to buy your baby their own seat and secure them in a safety seat.
  • If your baby has had an ear infection or ear surgery within the last two weeks, talk to your doctor before flying.

Show Sources


University of Nebraska-Lincoln: "Is Your Baby Teasing You?"

University of Minnesota Extension: "Are You Spoiling Your Baby?"

Zero to Three: "Choosing Quality Child Care."

Zero to Three: "Building Self-Control: Birth to 12 Months."

Zero to Three: "Social-Emotional Development from Birth to Three."

Zero to Three: "Love, Learning and Routines."

Transportation Security Administration: "Traveling with Children."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Travel Safety Tips."

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