Before you get worried wondering, the quick answer is:

“NO”. You CAN’T spoil a baby.

There are many reasons.

Babies need consistent Loving Attention. Not only for physical survival but for the emotional security and intellectual development to build a strong foundation for the rest of their lives.


I remember. Here’s one of my memories of infancy at around a month old:

In a dimly lit room, lying on my stomach in my crib, I awoke to sounds of people laughing in the other room. I wanted to go out and enjoy the fun, but I couldn’t get up. Just lifting my head took a huge effort, so I called out for someone to come and get me. Sadly, no one heard me. I cried out over and over, to no avail until I became so exhausted I fell asleep again. I awoke later as my Mama was coming into the room.  She picked me up and smiled. I was exhilarated and thought, ‘Finally! Now I’ll get to see all the people and find out what made them laugh!’  But when we got to the other room all the people were gone! I was disappointed.  Funny how a baby can be aware of more than we realize!

Remembering how it felt to be a baby made it easier to identify with my children’s needs when I became a mother. Especially their need to be seen, heard and known.

I found scientific affirmation of my impressions from Dr. Gabor Mate. He calls the instinctive hunger to be SEEN, HEARD and KNOWN the need for ‘Attunement’

If we are ‘Attuned to’ as infants, we will have greater inner security, an all-important anchor to keep us steady through hard times, and an increased ability to comfort others. Attunement can prevent ADHD in children as well as Anxiety in adults.  [1]

Carl Rogers calls it, “Unconditional positive regard”, wanting the best for our offspring from the deepest part of ourselves. 

That kind of love can never ‘spoil’ anyone.

The joy on this baby’s face demonstrates the happiness and emotional security kids can experience when they have good communication and feel ‘attuned to’ by their moms.
(Thank you to my friend Candi Alvarez Matz for allowing me to share this lovely photo.)

Dr. Claudia M. Gold, best known for her work promoting children’s mental health, writes, “the science of early childhood tells us that the brain grows in relationships.

“When a parent gazes into her baby’s eyes, she literally promotes the growth of her baby’s brain, helping it to be wired for a secure sense of self…” [2]

“The brain makes millions of synaptic connections every minute. It is in infancy that the parts of the brain responsible for emotional regulation have the most rapid development.” [3]

Whoever is taking care of the baby should give that baby everything it needs. In others words, feel free to ‘spoil’ your baby.

When it feels loved and wanted, given “Unconditional Positive Regard”, the person that emerges from that child will succeed in relationships through all of it’s life.

And long before, you, the caregiver, might even find yourself smiling like the mom in the picture above.


“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.”  Old Adage

If not the entire world, then certainly the world of that child.

Wishing you ‘unconditional positive regard!’


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Creator, GoMommyGO 


[4] Attachment Theory: