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Q&A: Can a Baby Be Spoiled?


Q Can a baby be spoiled?

A In general, I do not feel that you can spoil a newborn up to about 4 months of age. However, around 4 months, babies are starting to develop more awareness, and can cry from boredom. Most parents come to recognize the type of cry their baby is having. If you know that everything is fine with the baby, you can let them cry for short periods of time. Allowing them to cry themselves to sleep, especially if they have sleep problems, can start around 5 or 6 months of age.

Christine Wood, MD

Click here to Ask Dr. Christine Wood questions about your baby's health

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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Loraine Roads Apr 2, 2009 11:41:10 PM ET

I feel that a baby can be "spoiled" at any age. when a baby cries(if not sick, needing a diaper, or food, he is learning a pattern so he can get what he wants, namely being picked up every time he cries. i do not recommend just leaving a baby to cry, sometimes just talking to the baby can help unless this pattern has been established,so picking him up is the only thing to do for a while, then put him back in bed. i am almost 70 and i have had lots of experience with taking care of children the old fashion way.

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