Friday, December 23, 2011

Breastfeeding = Spoiling?

Little Miss spent earlier this week crazy teething (yay tooth #8 finally breaking through!) and a head cold with lots of diarrhea. It was fun.

In hopes of getting some sort of nutrition in her we headed to Target for some baby food pouches (if only I had a sili squeeze...) thinking maybe she would drink it.

Checking out the conversation went somewhat like this-

Cashier picking up food pouches "I wonder if my son would have liked these when he was little..."
Me containing Little Miss in the cart "It's our attempt to get nutrition in her other than breast milk during this horrible teething phase"
Cashier clearly shocked "You're still breastfeeding her?!" "How old is she?"
Me "Yep, 14 months"
Cashier "I didn't want my son spoiled so I chose not to breastfeed him. Maybe if I have a girl I will breastfeed her though. I should have breastfeed my son anyways as heck, he's spoiled."
Me "eh, spoil away! That's what babies are for!"

Two things I'm confused on- One, I'm still wondering how breastfeeding = "spoiling" of babies?? I'll admit, by western standards Little Miss is "spoiled". I have no doubt even if I formula fed, she would still be "spoiled". She cries, we respond. She wants to be held, we pick her up. She wants to nap being held or snuggled close to us, we oblige. It is simply our parenting style. It suites her quite well, obviously, as she is thriving and extremely happy as commented by just about every.single.stranger she meets! Secondly, quite the gender expectations already! Girls can be spoiled, boys can't? Boys must be tough and manly even at the very beginning of life and girls are expected to be the prissy high maintenance ones?

So what are your thoughts on spoiling babies?? Do you see breastfeeding as spoiling?? I truly am curious about this- no judging. no debating.

4 comments: said...

I don't think that breastfeeding is spoiling...I think it's a choice for each family...

Michele said...

Responding to your baby is NOT spoiling. Research shows that babies who cry and are responded to cry LESS than babies who are not and that, from the traditional attitudes on 'spoiling' babies who are parented by AP parents (attatchemnt parenting) tend to develop a greater sense of self and independence as they grow. Not to mention, that breastfed babies (through age 2) tend to score higher on development assessment tests! While BFing and AP may not work (or be possible) for all parents, there is nothing bad about it!!

squirrelgirl said...

I don't think babies can be spoiled. Toddlers, yes, but infants, no. And in any case, breastfeeding is not spoiling - it's providing nutrition in the most natural way possible.

Annie Kates said...

You are being an attentive and caring mama. I was not one to let my babies cry. They cried because they needed something. My children self- weaned from nursing and I have never regretted it. Nursing a child goes far beyond nutritional aspects. It is a comforting technique and a perfect chance for a mother to reconnect with a busy toddler. Follow your gut and your heart and you won't do wrong.