8 Things that You Should Never Do with an Infant

When we meet our baby, we often don't know what to do with all of the information that we've gathered about infant care. Inform yourself about the things you shouldn't do with our post today.
8 Things that You Should Never Do with an Infant

Written by Thady Carabaño

Last update: 26 May, 2022

When an infant nestles in his or her mother’s arms, it’s a beautiful moment. There’s no question that the mother will overflow with beautiful feelings, but she might also be a tad nervous, especially if she’s a first-time mother.

Despite all of of the advice from grandmothers, sisters, aunts and friends who’ve already experienced motherhood as well as the prenatal classes and hundreds of website searches, a new mother might not know what to do with all of that information when holding her baby for the first time.

We’re going to summarize the basics for when the baby is already at home. The main idea is to start off motherhood on the right foot.

Below, we have eight situations that your baby should never experience.

What you should never ever do with an infant

1. Leave an infant alone


First of all, don’t leave your baby alone in the bed, crib, changing station or in another room. At no moment should  an infant should ever be unattended or alone.

Crying is a form of communication. If your baby cries, it’s because he or she needs something: to be fed or changed, something might hurt, or your baby simply might just want to be with mom.

Some people say that the baby needs to learn how to be independent. However, they’ll learn how to be independent later on in life.

As with all mammals, an infant depends on the mother to be close by and attentive. After being in mother’s womb for 9 months, where there was nothing but mom’s voice, babies will cry to be with her.

2. Scheduled breastfeeding

Even though it’s a harder course, if you’ve decided to breastfeed, there’s nothing that can compare with the moment when your baby drinks while looking up at you. Congratulations!

Breastfeeding shouldn’t have a schedule, but it should be on demand. With milk formulas, babies need to be fed every 3 hours.

An infant doesn’t just need his or her mother’s breast milk when feeling hungry or thirsty. In addition, it’s also the only way to connect, to find comfort and feel mom’s love.

3. Let an infant cry alone

Letting an infant crying alone

There will always be a grandmother or aunt that’ll tell you to let your baby cry alone in the crib for training. Those who more opinionated might even say that your baby cries to manipulate you.

Manipulation is a concept that applies to adults, not to an infant. The key question to ask yourself is: after waiting for 9 months, am I going to leave my baby alone to cry?

A crying baby that’s not attended will eventually stop crying because he or she will have come to understand something: you don’t care about what happens to them.

Crying is a baby’s only form of expression; when a baby cries, he or she is telling you something.

4. Leaving infants to sleep alone

An infant doesn’t sleep like an adult does. Every two or three hours, the baby wakes up to look for mom in order to sleep again. You can’t teach a baby to sleep but rather, a baby will naturally sleep on his or her own.

Falling asleep by themselves is a process that happens over time as they grow up. If you’re unsure about sleeping in the same bed with your baby, keep the crib close by so you can be by their side as soon as possible. Doing so will also help you minimize the times you’ll have to get up at night.

5. Shaking infants aggressively

Shaking infants aggressively

We have to say it: after a rough night where your baby keeps crying and nobody knows what to do or what’s wrong, it can really make you feel hopeless. The parents who say that they haven’t ever been tempted to shake their baby to stop the crying are probably lying.

An aggressive shake won’t help your baby calm down. It’ll probably only scare them and make them cry even more.

In addition, you could hurt their delicate little body. Loving and frequent embraces will provide them the peace and tranquility that they need to calm down.

6. Not holding them

The safety of a mother’s arms relax infants. If a baby doesn’t regularly relax in mom’s arms, the baby will have a hard time calming down and going about life.

After 3 hours of physical separation from mom, a baby’s pain response activates. The result is stress and, in the long-term, emotional scarring.

Infants can’t fend for themselves. They need as much contact as possible with their mom. They need to be cared for, protected and given the things that they need. Limiting contact with the baby from the start weakens the hormonal receptors for happiness (serotonin, endogenous opioids and oxytocin).

7. Punishing them

Punishing them

A spank teaches a baby to distrust the person who’s taking care of them. In addition, babies learn to hold back their needs, lose their motivation because of the world around them, lose confidence in themselves because they devalue their impulses and lastly, accept pain and stress as a norm.

To raise happy babies that’ll know they’re needs will be met, you have to be patient. Sure, it’s easy to get hopeless sometimes. Taking care of an infant is a messy business! But babies need the care that comes from an adult’s patience.

Remember: when most loving people can control their negative emotions, they’re guaranteeing more empathetic and cooperative adults in the future.

8. Not trusting your instincts

There are a lot of opinions out there, varying from what the experts say to what other mothers will tell you. While a community of other women and mothers might be a great help at the beginning, when your heart tells you to go a different way, trust it.

Maternity reconnects a woman to her nature and to her purest instinct.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.