It is impossible for parents to hold or respond to a baby too much.
In fact, babies NEED constant attention to grow emotionally, physically and intellectually.
Responding to babies isn't about spoiling, it's about meeting their needs.
If a baby cries, it's not because he or she is manipulating you. They don't even know what that is, yet. They simply are trying to COMMUNICATE that they are hungry, tired, lonely or uncomfortable.
Holding them when they want to (which is likely, a lot at first) isn't about spoiling them either. The proximity they need is developmentally appropriate.
Think about it this way: they've been IN your belly. They want to keep hearing your heart, your voice, feel your skin, it's as simple as that: a transition period and we need to make it as smooth as possible for them to be happy and comfortable, so it's not so drastic. You want a happy baby? Give them just that.
Also remember, they can't developmentally crawl or walk yet, because they are not ready for independence. They are completely dependent during this stage. They NEED US in every way. We can't force independence. It grows and comes from a secure and confident attachment.
Holding them a lot also encourages more interaction, more bonding... not only for mom but also for fathers and caregivers.
And in fact, there's tons of research that shows that by holding babies you are providing them with many benefits such as body temperature regulation, curbs crying, helps regulate breathing and heart rate, improves weight gain and results in a better rate of growth.
It also boosts oxytocin levels, which makes mama feel loved and happy, and helps with breastfeeding too, all much needed through the emotional and exhausting postpartum stage, emotionally, and physically, as it reminds us to take it easy on bodies, with as much cuddles as we can get.
More about the newborn stage in the Newborn And Nursing On-Demand Course