You dreamed about holding your kid for the first time throughout your pregnancy, and now that they have arrived, you may be wondering what to do with them in a way that keeps them safe and secure.
There are various methods to carry a baby, depending on the situation. While picking up your infant from her crib, bottle- or breastfeeding her, bathing her, burping her, or comforting her may require slight variations in how you hold him.
We recommend that you read through this section to learn how to safely and comfortably carry your baby each time.
When it comes to holding a newborn baby for the first time, every new parent is apprehensive — that’s human nature. There are a few things to keep in mind when caring for your child, which we’ll break down depending on the scenario in the following sections.
The essential thing to remember while carrying or holding your newborn is to support his head and neck. Your baby won’t have adequate head control until he’s around four months old, so it’ll be your responsibility to make sure his head doesn’t flop back and forth or snap from side to side.
Picking Up Your Baby
The following are a few tips to remember while holding your baby: When you pick up your baby from her crib, be sure to support her head and neck, taking special care around the soft and sensitive areas.
Slide one hand under his head and neck while the other hand rests on his bottom when picking him up. Bend your legs to avoid straining your back.
Now that you’ve got a firm grasp on your baby pick her up and bring her close to your chest as you straighten out your legs.
Adjustable mattress heights are standard in cribs, so you won’t have to bend over quite as much during the newborn phase. As your baby gets bigger and more mobile, you’ll need to lower the mattress to prevent him from escaping.
Lying Position Hold
To keep your baby in a reclining position, cradle his head with one hand and support his head against your chest.
Using your other arm, support her neck while placing her head in the crook of your elbow. With your other hand, support her bottom.
This posture is terrific for making eye contact with your child and smiling and conversing with him, which can help his development and enhance his emotional security. Interacting with your infant in this manner might assist you in bonding.
Upright Position Hold
To hold your baby upright, support her head and neck with one hand while resting her on your chest and shoulder. Support your baby’s bottom with your other hand.
The essential thing is to support the baby’s head and neck while picking him up, transporting him, or holding him. You may try two distinct holds with your baby: the laying position and the upright posture.
The laying position allows you to have eye contact with your child, talk to him, and develop a relationship with him.
How to Hold Your Baby During Skin-to-Skin Contact
If you’re looking for a way to connect with your baby, try skin-to-skin contact, known as kangaroo care. It’s a bonding technique that you may immediately begin after your baby is born.
Skin-to-skin contact entails laying your almost naked baby on your bare chest, with his chest touching yours. Drape a blanket or a gown over his back to keep him warm. Skin-to-skin contact promotes bonding and helps keep your baby’s temperature, breathing, and heart rate stable.
The advantages of skin-to-skin contact for new parents can include increased self-esteem as a parent. And nursing moms may experience an increase in milk production.
Skin-to-skin contact may be the first time you or your partner get to hold your baby. It entails laying your nearly naked newborn on your bare chest with the two of you beginning to bond.
It might also assist in temperature regulation and other critical elements. Continue skin-to-skin contact until your baby is approximately a month old.
How to Hold a Baby With Colic
Colic is a term used to describe an episode (typically your baby’s first three or four months) when an otherwise healthy infant cries inconsolably for three hours, more than three days a week, for three weeks or longer.
Colic can be challenging, especially if nothing seems to work. Holding the baby close to your body while breathing slowly and quietly may help, and this might assist him in calming down.
If your baby is placed face-down on a flat surface, you can also rock him gently in your arms or hold her near in a baby carrier.
When your baby is colicky, it may seem as if nothing can ease his discomfort. Hold him close to your body while breathing slowly and gently, which might soothe him. Try rocking or wearing your baby in a baby carrier.
How to Hold a Baby While Bottle-Feeding
Whether you’re bottle-feeding or nursing your baby, support his head in the crook of your elbow and his body along your inner arm while cradling him in a semi-upright posture (to assist with swallowing).
When your baby is lying flat, don’t offer her food, and choking also exists as a possibility when she’s lying completely flat. Also, don’t let her fall asleep with a bottle since this can lead to ear infections and tooth decay.
If you’re bottle-feeding your child, sitting in an armchair or glider or propping up your arms with pillows may be most comfortable.
When bottle-feeding your baby, you’ll want him to be in a semi-upright position so that he can swallow more efficiently and there’s less risk of choking or liquid going into his ears. Sit in a comfortable armchair or glider with your arms supported to feed your kid.
How to Hold Your Baby While Breastfeeding
Here are four breastfeeding positions you can try with your little one:
➣ The cradle hold is the most popular, and this is the most common technique, and it’s what moms with limited experience typically try first. Cuddle your baby on the same side as your breastfeeding arm. With her body turned inward toward you, support her head with your elbow.
The Cross-cradle Hold
➣ It’s comparable to the cradle hold, except that you’ll hold your baby with the arm on the opposite side of the breast he will be nursing from. Support your baby’s head with one hand, position his bottom in the crook of your elbow, and support your breast from below using your other arm.
The Football Hold
➣ As you may guess, this pose has you tucked your baby under your arm as if she were a football. Support her back with your arm and hold her to your side at the same level as your waist. Tilt her head up toward your breast and try this posture if you
➣ Place your baby beside you and raise your breast so that he has simple access to your nipple while lying on your side. This position is excellent for late-night feedings (remember to put your child back in his crib afterward). It’s another good one to try if you’ve had a C-section.
The cradle hold, cross-cradle hold, football hold, and side-lying position are the most common breastfeeding postures. Try them all and choose what works best for you and your baby.
How to Hold a Baby When Burping
Here are three different ways to burp your baby (choose the one that works best with your baby):
- Keep your baby upright as you relax his head on your shoulder and support his head and back. Use your other hand to pat his back softly.
- Keep your baby’s head, chin, and chest while she sits on your lap with one hand. With the other hand, gently pat her back.
- Put your baby in your lap, on his tummy, with his head higher than his chest. Employ your other hand to pat or massage his back gently.
There are three distinct ways to burp your baby after a feeding. The first is an upright posture, the second is a seated position, and the third is a stomach-lying posture. Choose the one that works best for your baby. Also, remember to try different positions for a fussy baby.
How to Hold a Baby When Bathing
When bathing your infant, use one hand to support her head while the other hand guides her into the baby tub.
Make careful to keep most of her body and face above the water and retain a grip on her. Don’t let your kid out of your sight for a second.
Warm water should be used with your free hand to wash your infant’s body gently.
When bathing your infant in a baby bathtub, always support her head and neck, and keep the majority of her body above the water level. Please do not leave your child unattended, and bathe her with your free hand.
How to Hold a Baby When Feeding With Solid Foods
When feeding your baby solid foods, make sure he is sitting upright. Choking is reduced by providing him while seated upright, and it will also aid in his readiness to sit at the table with you when he becomes a family member.
Support your infant in your arms or put him upright in an infant seat. If he’s old enough to sit correctly, a high chair may be used beginning at around six months of age.
When your baby is eating solid foods for the first time, use a high chair or an infant seat to keep her upright and supported in your lap to minimize the risk of choking. When she’s around six months old, you may try sitting her in an infant seat or a high chair.
How Not to Hold and Handle a Newborn Baby
When carrying your baby, keep your attention on them and avoid attempting to multitask. Avoid performing any activities that might be harmful while multitasking, especially if you’re wearing oven mitts. For example, never hold a hot drink or cook while holding your baby.
Concentrating on your baby and holding her firmly decreases the danger of tripping or accidentally dropping her.
Shaking your baby can be harmful to their health. If you’re irritated and your newborn is screaming, lay him down in his crib and go away for a few minutes to another room. Reenter the area when you’ve regained your composure and are ready to return.
When it comes to your friends and family holding your baby, don’t give them your child if they’re standing. The best thing is to ask them to sit down before putting their kid in their arms for safe cradling.
Some other vital hints to keep in mind:
- Request that any individual who handles your baby wash their hands first or use hand sanitizer
- Please ensure that the individual caring for your newborn supports their head and neck.
- Never, ever shake or roughhouse your baby with anything else, including being bounced on the knee or thrown in the air.
When you hold or carry your infant, please pay attention to her so that you don’t accidentally trip or drop her. Avoid doing anything else that might be dangerous, such as cooking or carrying a hot liquid.
Also, make sure everyone who holds your baby supports her head and neck. Never shake your baby; this can cause severe damage.
Safety Tips for You as You Hold Your Baby
It may be tempting to use the same approach for holding your baby each time. However, you should learn how to hold him differently since this will help you avoid injuring yourself or developing muscular imbalances.
When you grip your child too tightly, he can get frightened and uncooperative as well as cause discomfort by putting strain on your
Keep your child as near to and centered on your body as possible to avoid harm. Carry your kid on your body rather than your hip since this may lead to shoulder, hip, and spine discomfort.
Make sure your spine is straight, your shoulders are back, and you’re pushing from the core (abdominal muscles) to carry and lift your baby.
Bend your knees as you bend over, then straighten your legs as you stand back up when picking up your baby from a lower position like the crib or play mat.
It’s vital to pay attention to how you carry yourself when picking up your baby so that you don’t harm your back. Always maintain a straight spine, shoulders back, and abs activated.
If you’re bringing your child from a low situation, bend your legs. Carrying your kid on your body rather than your hip will avoid hip problems.
Final Thoughts How to Hold Your Newborn
Holding your child isn’t difficult; nevertheless, there are a few essential guidelines to follow. The most significant is to keep your attention on him and away from distractions or multitasking with anything that may be harmful.
Whether you’re feeding your kid, burping him, or practicing skin-to-skin contact, the basic holds we’ve outlined can help guarantee both of you are comfortable and secure.
It’s beautiful to hold your kid — these are the times when you and your baby will be close for a long time. Take pleasure in the embraces!