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Q&A: Am I Spoiling My Baby?

Dr. Christine Wood, M.D


Q I have a 11 week-old who I am nursing. It seems like every time I put him down he cries. The only thing I can do to sooth him is nurse him. Have I spoiled him already? I do pick him up when he cries, I can't stand to let him cry. He also cries when he's asleep and I lay him in his crib. Do you have any suggestions? Oh, by the way, he won't take a pacifier.

A The first thing you want to make sure is that your baby is gaining weight well and he's healthy by checking him at the doctor's office. Occasionally, a baby who is not getting enough breastmilk, and is not gaining weight well will act like this. You also want to make sure that he is healthy and not having problems with excess spitting up, diarrhea or other issues that may make him fussy and irritable. If all of these types of things are checked out and normal, you may have a baby who has made a habit of snacking at the breast. You may want to try to coax him to nurse longer, or offer a top-off bottle of expressed breastmilk after nursing, and see if he will go longer until the next feeding. I would try a babysling for carrying, some babies seem to need more contact, and don't always need to eat.

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Dr. Christine Wood is a practicing pediatrician in Southern California. She attended the University of Detroit for her undergraduate degree in chemistry and received her medical degree from the University of Michigan. She completed her pediatric residency at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. She was Chief Resident there and then worked in the emergency room at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. After three years doing pediatric emergency room medicine she went into private practice. She received her lactation educator certification from the University of California, San Diego.

She is the author of "How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It," a book that addresses the issues of why and how to feed kids healthy. The book also covers information about environmental threats and the role of nutritional supplementation for children. She lives in Southern California with her husband and son.

Christine is also the cofounder of Call Your a website designed to give concerned parents with non-emergency medical questions, solid, no-nonsense information that can give them information in deciding when to call the doctor and some home treatment advice. You can visit her website at

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