to have and to hold

if there’s one thing almost everybody i know seem to agree on when it comes to raising a child, it’s that he shouldn’t be held often.

i can’t count how many times i’ve been advised by well-meaning friends and family to make sure i don’t hold my son too much, for fear that he’ll get so used to it that there would be no other way to calm or comfort him and i would be unable to do anything else but carry him all day long.

i was told to feed him while propped on a pillow, lull him to sleep by patting him while in his crib, and when crying, to not pick him up unless i absolutely have to.

i have to admit that i had agreed wholeheartedly with this piece of advice while i was pregnant, and had resolved to follow it. what i had not counted on was how much i would enjoy holding my infant son.

oh, of course there are times when i couldn’t wait to put him down, but most of the time, i love feeling my son snuggled against me, cheek on my arm, his baby weight on my tummy. i love watching him eat while in my arms, his little mouth making sucking noises, his unfocused eyes on my face.

i didn’t think i was holding him too much, didn’t think comforting him with my warmth was such a bad thing, but soon people began commenting that i had gone and done it, i had held my son too much, too often, and he has gotten used to it. and so i tried to stop; i fed him while propped on a pillow, tried to lull him to sleep by patting him while he was in his crib, tried to not pick him up as often.

every time i *did* pick him up, i felt guilty, as if i was doing something wrong.

one day i looked at my crying son, went with my gut, and picked him up.

i decided i really didn’t need the extra stress and guilt. i know he felt more secure when he’s in my arms. i know he slept better when i rock him to sleep. soon, he would grow up and i would not be able to hold him the way i do now.

so yes, maybe some people will think i hold my son too much, and they might even be right, but i think i’d rest easier knowing i held him when i felt he wanted to be held, rather than let time pass and wonder if i didn’t hold him enough.

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4 Comments on “to have and to hold”

  1. ikik says:

    Jona! He’s only an infant for a while. Just hold him while you can .

  2. Elmo Lago says:

    Go for it Jona. Ypu’re doing the right thing. When they start running around, how you wish they’d stop for awille to be hugged. When they start having friends, how you wish thry would allow you to hug them, when they start dating, how you wish they’d stay home enough justto see them. When they get married, how you wished they would have time to see you enough. So your doing the right thing … Storing enough hugs, kisses, looks to last you a lifetime.


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