We live in a culture that seems to believe that newborns need some form of independence. People seem to believe that you can hold a baby too much, cuddle them too much, and basically love them too much.
This is a person that is brand new to the world. This is a person who knows nothing beyond the safe and warm embrace of the womb. Now they have joined the world and all they know is the sound of their parents' voices and the comfort of their parents' arms.
And yet, we as parents are encouraged to not hold the baby too much. We are told to put the baby in a bassinette or seat or swing so that they learn to be on their own. We are encouraged to separate ourselves from the individual who has been growing inside of us for nine months.
I can see the logic in this, partially. If you are always holding your child then you'll never get anything done. If you are always holding your child they may never adjust to sleeping on their own. If you are always holding your child then the moment you let them go they will protest this separation.
But in those first few months, it is difficult to embrace this logic. When you have to pick up your child every two to three hours for feedings it is hard to put them down in between. And no matter how much people will push for you to sleep separately from your child, in those first few months you will do whatever you can just to sleep.
Newborns do not need to learn independence. Newborns need to be loved. They need cuddles. They need that skin-to-skin contact with their parents. They need to be connected to the people who are responsible for their life or the people who are responsible for their care. That early bonding is crucial. It is important.
So yes, I will give credit to the statistics that tell me certain things are bad. I will acknowledge the risks in what I do or don't do with my child. But you cannot love a child too much in those early months. You are not going to create a clingy child. That is something you can worry about when they become old enough to understand how to manipulate your emotions.
Newborns just want to be held. They just want to be loved. And you have every right to do just that. You have the right and the freedom to decide how you want to handle your home life with your child. No one can dictate that to you, not if you don't let them.
Everyone will have an opinion. Everyone will tell you what is the right thing to do when you bring your baby home. And amongst all the voices you will find tidbits of information that is actually useful to you.
There is no right or wrong way to handle those first few months. There will be sleepless nights. There will be crying without reason. There will be times when you don't think that you can handle it anymore.
But the important thing is that you continue to love your child. And let them know that you love them.
Do whatever you have to do to raise your child. Don't get hung up on what other people say or suggest. Do what works for you. Put your child down if that works best or keep cuddling them.
You both will discover the best course of action for you. And things will change as he or she gets older.
Life is chaos, but it's always an adventure. Parenthood is just another element of that chaos. Some people will wonder if it's all worth it. Some people will tell you that it's not. Personally, I'm loving every minute of my new adventure.