Your baby: 5 months

Is your baby spoiled?
Can you spoil a baby? In a word, no — despite all you may have heard to the contrary. Now that your baby is no longer a newborn, some of your relatives, friends, and acquaintances may suggest that you’re “spoiling” her by “giving in” and picking her up whenever she cries. They may say that you’re fostering a clingy and dependent child.
 

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Is your baby spoiled?
Can you spoil a baby? In a word, no — despite all you may have heard to the contrary. Now that your baby is no longer a newborn, some of your relatives, friends, and acquaintances may suggest that you’re “spoiling” her by “giving in” and picking her up whenever she cries. They may say that you’re fostering a clingy and dependent child.
 
That’s just not the case. By responding to your baby’s cries, you are tending to her needs and this helps make her feel secure. In fact, research studies show that babies who have responsive parents turn out to be more independent than those who have restrained parents. Learn more about the fear of spoiling.
 
… but you can set some limits
Of course, you won’t damage your baby emotionally if you don’t drop everything the second she starts to cry. You’ll probably find she can wait a few minutes as you extricate yourself from a phone call or activity. In fact, it’s not too early to start gently teaching your baby about limits. Learn some strategies for behaviour challenges at this stage.
 
Tips from the trenches
“Most babies are not the perfect sleepers we’ve been groomed to expect. Don’t be shocked when yours isn’t either.” — Emily, mom to three
 
Ready, set, start solids
Swipe! Your baby scoops some food off your plate and, before you know it, it’s headed straight for her mouth. If that’s the scene around your dinner table these days, your baby may be ready to start eating solid foods. Experts recommend that babies begin to eat solids at six months of age. As always, babies are unique, so pay attention to her cues. Check out our easy-going approach to starting solids and the latest guidelines to get you started. And, from allergy worries to vitamins, here are the ABCs of baby food.

 

Are you ready for another baby?
If not, you may be trying to figure out a longer-term plan for birth control. You may find your pre-baby method doesn’t quite suit you any more. For example, if you’re breastfeeding, you might prefer a different method from the Pill (though the “mini-pill” is considered safe). And if you’re having some vaginal dryness, you may need to add a lubricant or spermicide cream to your regular condoms. We’ve done the research on your best options.
 
Good Question! When should I introduce books to my baby?
Now! Chances are your baby will enjoy looking at books that have bright simple drawings. Since “reading” books is a sensory experience at this age, make sure the books you choose are sturdy enough to withstand grabbing, pulling, eating, and even drools of delight. And don’t feel you have to read the whole story each time you open a book. Instead, you may want to try to engage your baby’s visual interest by pointing out the pictures and talking about them. You’ll both enjoy the close bonding time… even if you never find out what happens in the end.

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