Pregnancy and Parenting Features

How to Hold a Newborn Baby

Once your new arrival is here, you might find yourself wondering what the best way to hold your delicate newborn is.

You may be a first-time mom/dad and have no clue on the best way to hold them. Or you may even be an experienced parent, but have forgotten how tiny and fragile they look.

There are many different ways to hold a baby, for both comfort and security. There will also be times when you need to be doing other things while holding baby or you will need a particular hold for a sick or fussy baby.

Newborns have very little head control. Their heads can loll to the side uncomfortably. So however you hold your baby, you’ll need to make sure his head is supported and has something to lean on.

How to Hold a Newborn –

    • The Cradle/Rock Hold:

Probably one of the most natural and simple holds for a newborn baby, the cradle hold is very easy to do. Place the baby’s head in the crook of one of your arms and wrap your other arm around the baby or hold the original arm with the second arm. This is a great position for talking to baby or looking at them. They feel comforted and secure in this snug, curled up fetal position and will often sleep for long periods. It’s also a great position for beginners, and particularly for younger kids or siblings.

    • The Shoulder/Upright Hold:

Another natural hold for a baby is the shoulder hold. Lean baby up on a shoulder and with the arm of the same side, wrap it around baby’s bottom. Use the other arm to hold against baby’s back and/or to support their neck. Baby’s sleep well in this position too. It also allows them to hear your heart beating and breathing.
A variation of this is to turn your baby the other way round, supporting his back against your chest and placing one arm under his bottom and the other across his chest. This hold is good for babies who like to see what’s going on around them.

    • The Belly Hold:

This is a great position for gassy or colicky babies. Lay baby chest down over one of your forearms with his head in your hand. Use your other arm to lay across baby’s back to hold them securely. You can also do this across your lap or use it for burping. This secure hold allows pressure to be put on his tummy to relieve pain and discomfort.

    • The Sling Hold:

A sling is a great device that allows you to carry baby hands free, close to your body. Baby can be nestled in many positions, including positions for discrete nursing. Babies often love being in the sling, close to your beating heart and nestled into a fetal position. They tend to cry less and feel comforted by being held so close for longer periods.

    • The Lap Hold:

Sitting with your knees propped up, lay your baby face-up. With his head resting against your knees and his feet nestled on your tummy. This hold gives your arms some relief and offers maximum interaction with your little bundle.

    • The Hip Hold:

After the newborn stage and once your baby has some good head and neck control, the hip hold is a great, one armed technique. Sit baby on one of your hip bones facing outward and wrap the same side arm around baby’s waist. This is a great way for baby to look around and it gives you a free hand too.

Holding your baby is one of those delightful jobs that will always feel good!

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