Can I spoil my baby? If I feed my baby on demand am I telling her she is the boss? If I hold my baby to put him down for a nap, am I spoiling him?
I have had people ask me these questions a lot. I am sure it is because I come from a big family, and I have a lot of children. I can’t say I know all the answers, but what I do know is every baby is different. Every parent is different. Every family is unique. Parenting is NOT a one size fits all type of thing. In fact, I didn’t even do the same thing with each of my children.
I think the best way to answer this question is to share my personal experiences with you. So, I will start with my own childhood and share all the way up to today as a grandma.
When I was a baby, my mom was always there. I had an older sister who was a toddler. My mom fed us both formula from bottles. She learned that babies need routine and schedules, and that is how she fed all her babies. A bottle every four hours and we were pretty content most of the time. She once told me I was always the most demanding of my sisters, and I can definitely believe that. We knew are needs were met and we felt loved and secure.
My mom swaddled her babies, rocked her babies, talked to her babies, and put her babies down for naps, and put them in a crib at night to sleep. This was what I saw my mom do. My mom gave her babies bottle and pacifiers until they turned one, and then she took them away. This was pretty much true for all the babies I saw my mom care for and raise from infancy. Babies loved my mom and felt safe with her.
What I learned from this childhood was that babies need consistency. When I had my first child, she was very easy to care for and put on a routine, because she had a heart condition and she slept a lot. Once I got her eating on a regular schedule life was pretty easy. But, I wanted to be a great mom, so I took every parenting class the church offered, I read every parenting book good intentioned people gave me, and together with Jeremy, we tried to do it all just right. When baby girl number two came along, everything changed. She had terrible colic, and other health issues. Nursing was good, but after each feeding, she screamed and screamed. She only relaxed when we held her a certain way, and sleep was very difficult. Everyone, and I mean everyone seemed to think they knew the best way for me to care for my child.
I wanted to do it just right, so I did as advised and worked and worked and worked at doing it the “babywise” way. That was the most popular parenting advice in the church a the time. I questioned my instincts as a mom, and I took the advice of others. I did this with the next few babies I had. Instead of creating a peaceful and joyful home, I created a tense, stressful, and confusing home. My instincts said, “just hold your baby, just enjoy your baby, and don’t worry about it.” But the books said, “I needed to teach my baby her place.” The books made it sound like if I held my baby during naptime, I was going to raise rebellious and disobedient children. The books made me feel like a failure as a mom, and made me feel like I had to deny my parental instincts because they were sinful and carnal. Society also said, a woman does it all. She works, and earns money, she keeps a clean home, she has sex with her husband often, she has clean and well behaved children. She does it all. But, I couldn’t do it all and do it well. So, I must be a failure.
The truth is I was an insecure mom, who just needed someone to tell me, “You got this.” I didn’t need to work so hard to figure it all out because the baby years are so short and fast, and I just needed to enjoy them.
Over the years, I have had babies that need a very strict eating and sleeping schedule in a room alone, and I have had babies that were feed on demand and sleep whenever and where ever. I don’t think if you met my adult children you would be able to tell by their relationship with Yehovah and his people which child was easier as a baby. In fact, I don’t think you would be able to tell which babies I held through their naptime, and which ones I never gave a nap, and which ones I fed on demand, and which ones I gave a bottle, and which ones would never take a bottle. You see the truth is life moves so fast, and there really isn’t anything more important than making a baby feel safe and loved. If a baby feels safe and loved this is what will make them want to trust and obey. Sometimes, schedules and routines make a child feel safe and loved, and sometimes stopping and just holding a child, giving them the comfort of our presence is what makes them feel safe and loved.
My youngest child turned five this past week. He is a busy and happy boy. My youngest two boys, may seem spoiled to other people. But you see, I have had lots of children now, and I have learned the hard way that they grow up way too fast. There are times I regret not holding my older children more. Times I regret not stopping and paying attention to them more.
I have grandchildren now, and I am so excited to teach them the Torah, to teach them the ways of our Lord and savior, Yeshua our Messiah. But I am not worried that my children are spoiling them by holding them too much. I am not concerned that they will be disobedient children because they don’t go down to sleep easily. Children learn to love, obey, and respect their parents from their parents loving, obeying, and respecting God.
If I want my children to have a life long relationship with a God that they can not see, it begins with them seeing me be that example of His love and trustworthiness. Children need to feel safe, loved, and valued. If I want my children to value the things of God. I must model that. The most important things to God are relationships. He created all of us to be in relationship with him. He created us as His children, His family. His patience, His compassion, His mercy, His faithfulness, His goodness, His joy, His peace, His kindness, His gentleness, His self-control, and His selflessness is given to us over and over and over day after day, hour after hour, and minute after minute. We do not deserve it, yet He gives if freely.
Can we not do the same for our babies, our toddlers, our children?
Can we not put our own interests and desires, and ambitions aside to care for these little children for a little while?
There is nothing that is more important at this time in a young mother’s life than being the love of Yehovah to her children.
I am writing this post to my children who are raising young children. It is ok. You are doing a great job. Don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way of just being a good wife and mother. This is truly the greatest calling of your life. There will be plenty of time for other ministries, for other hobbies, for other goals, and dreams. But right now you are living the dream, so don’t miss it.
Lastly, you don’t have to tell everyone your family business, and don’t ask everyone their advice. Pick one or two people you trust and admire as a mom, and go to them only. Too many cooks in the kitchen make for a messy kitchen and awful food. Listening to lots of advice, and looking at the internet or other media for answers will just confuse and discourage you, your spouse, and your children. Together, you and your spouse can make the best decisions for your children and home. It is really no one else’s business if you co-sleep, have a family bed, put your child to bed down the hall, or breastfeed or bottle feed. It is no ones business if you let your baby watch television or if you let your son play with Barbie dolls. It is no ones business if your children start school at age 4 or 8.
Pray with your children, pray over your children. Read the Bible to your children, read it over your children. Sing to and with your children. Work with and play with your children.
Children need to be with their parents. They should be with their parents when they wake, when they lay down, when they rise up, when they walk by the way, etc. The only way that is possible is if the children are with the parents all the time. Children belong with their parents.
For today, I hope this encourages at least one mom and lets her know she is doing a great job.
Written by Katie
Things to know as you visit our site
We are Bible believing, scripture only people. We love to learn about the Hebrew roots of our faith. We believe it is important to not add or subtract from the Divine Word of God. The compiled scriptures that agree with one another and have no contradiction is the 66 books of what is commonly referred to as the Christian Bible, or the Holy Bible.
These writings were originally written by men inspired by God. They were written in the language of the writers and readers of the original documents. Many of the original documents have been lost, but God’s Word is eternal and remains. Therefore, it is important to us to study, learn, and consider the culture, history, and language of the original writers of the scriptures.
In our studies we have learned that the true name of God is Yehovah, and His son, our Messiah, is named Yeshua. Therefore, as you read our posts we will use the Hebrew names of God and our Messiah.
- Whole Bible Believer, Torah Observant Christian
- Parenting an Adult Child that is Disrespectful and…
- Thinking on Sign on the Hand, Symbol on the Forehead
- Homeschooling Torah (my official review of the best…
- Copying the Bible handbook (FREE Copywork handbook)
- Christmas, a Biblical Perspective
- Biblical Feasts of Yehovah (NOT JEWISH HOLIDAYS)
- Idol Worship in 2018????
- The God of Miracles is Yehovah Alone (Journey…
- What was Job’s sin? Why did God let Job suffer…
We would love to send you an email each time we have a new post. Sometimes we post a lot, but we're a busy family, so sometimes there are a few weeks between posts. Sign up today and never miss another post!
- All about Animals
- Bible Reading Challenge
- Biblical Living
- Biblical Marriage
- Carman Family Life
- Carman Farming
- CEF (child evangelism fellowship)
- Color Thru the Bible
- Copy Work
- Danger of Homeschooling Series
- Dyslexic perspective
- Fall Feasts
- Family Rule Book
- God's Calendar and Biblical Feasts
- Gospel of Yeshua Messiah series
- Home Discipleship
- Home Schooling
- Journey series
- Journey to Redemption
- Katie, the Cleaning Lady
- Katie's Ramblings
- Mental Health
- My Family by Katie
- Name Series
- Organization (Hirn Helpers)
- Popular Posts
- Rachel's Writings
- Spiritual Warfare
- Torah Talk
- Tyler's garden
- Tyler's Tidbits