How To Carry And Hold A Newborn Baby
Newborns seem so fragile that most people are afraid to pick them up. Most new moms and dads don’t know how to hold a baby and feel hesitant to carry them around, in case they would harm the baby but you can “rock-a-bye-baby!” all you want with your little one.
Holding a baby needs just a little bit of caution. If you follow the instructions, you will see that there is no rocket science involved in this and it will become a custom for you after a while. So let’s see how it’s done.
How to Pick Up Your Baby:
Picking up a baby is the first and most important thing to do. Newborns have to be supported by the head, especially around fontanelles (soft spots). For picking your baby up, you just have to follow some simple steps. There are two possibilities:
When The Baby Is Lying Down:
Picking up a lying down baby is usually easy. Just follow the four steps, and the baby is in your arms.
1- Lean Close to the Baby:
Bend at your knees and come close to your baby. If there is any obstacle between you and your baby remove it first and then, lean to pick her up. Otherwise, the hindrance will put an extra strain on your body. Moreover, your arms will be stretched and strained as well.
2- Reach towards the Baby:
Come near your baby in a position where she can see you. Babies recognize the arms reaching to pick them up and they adjust their position as such (extend or stiff their legs, raise their hands or wide their arms). That’s how they approve of you to pick them up.
3- Put Your Hands Under The Baby:
Put your one hand under the baby’s head and the other under her bottom. Keep the fingers of your hand under the head wide to provide support to baby’s neck. It is essential to protect the head as the baby herself cannot support it so take extra care of the grip of your hand under her head.
4- Pull Her to Your Chest:
When you are sure that you have a complete grip on both of your hands, just pull the baby to your chest. The chest is better support for the baby, and in this way, she feels comfortable.
When Receiving From Someone Else:
It seems difficult to take the baby from someone else, but if you have a good communication skill, you have the job done.
1- Get Close To the Other Person:
Try to get as close to the other person as you can to make the passing quicker and easier. Then, you have to make sure that you mirror the person’s position, i.e., stand if he is standing, sit if he is sitting and vice versa. Otherwise, you won’t be able to keep your balance after receiving the baby.
2- Put Your Hands In The Right Position:
Put your hands under the baby in the appropriate way. One hand should be under her head and the other under her bottom.Remember to support her head, neck, and spine completely.
3- Inform Other Person That You Are Ready:
You have to communicate well with the person so that baby is transferred safely. When you have a firm grip on the baby, tell another person that you are ready so that he can release the baby. Be very clear while communicating like “You can let go now” or “I’m ready.” There is no need to rush. Don’t say you are ready when you are not. Just make your grip firm first then take the baby.
4- Pull Baby Close To You:
As soon as the other person releases the baby, pull her close to your chest. This will keep her safe, calm and happy. Now you can enjoy time with the little baby. Play with her, sing to her and keep her happy.
When Baby Is Sitting:
When your baby grows up and can support herself, you can leave her sitting in the chair, and she can travel with you sitting on a car seat. So, here are some tips to help you out:
When Baby Is Sitting In The Car Seat:
First, you have to set yourself firmly in the car seat. In this way, you can avoid twisting of your body. Make sure to put the car seat in the middle of the backseat, so it is within your reach from both sides. While picking up the baby, leave the car seat in the car because it will be a burden other than the weight of the baby. You know that weight of the baby increases as he grows up, so it is always wise to set the seat in the car without the baby in it.
When Baby Is Sitting In The Chair:
Babies love to sit in the chair when they are about four to six months. Picking her up becomes quite easy at that age. Put your hands under your kiddie’s arms. Remove the tray, if any, so there is no hurdle in the way, and you don’t have to stretch your arms, and then pull her up.
How To Carry A Baby:
Your question ”how to hold a newborn” has a straightforward answer. Here are a few things you have to take care of while holding and carrying your baby:
Wash Your Hands:
The immune system of the babies is weak and becomes strong over the years. In the early age, they are vulnerable to the germs and catch fevers, infections, and colds easily. Thus, you must wash your hands before holding your baby. Keep a hand sanitizer for guests who wish to carry your baby.
Be Comfortable And Confident:
Stay calm and confident before lifting your baby up. If you are shaky, you may drop the baby and also, little ones are sharp to sense the tension in the atmosphere. During the early months, it is completely fine to be a little afraid, just don’t forget to take a deep breath and then, you can pick her up.
Provide Full Support:
Little newborns cannot hold their head on their own. Head is the heaviest part of the body for them. Thus you have to provide full support to the head, plus, to the neck and hips of the baby.
Choose Your Position:
There are a variety of ways to hold the baby. Try various holds for breastfeeding or burping or to calm your baby. It’s convenient to try the hold which is best suited to both of you. Here’s a brief description of the ways you can hold her:
1- Cradle Hold:
It’s the easiest and the best way to hold your baby. For this hold:
Lay down your baby and then pick her up by sliding one hand under the neck and the other under the bottom.
Move the hand under neck gently and slowly to the bottom such as the head and neck slide along your arm, making a way of the head into the crook of your arm.
Your other arm can provide extra support.
2-Face To Face Hold:
This type of hold is perfect for interacting with your baby.
Put one hand under the head and neck, and the other one under the bottom.
Hold your baby in front of you, just below your chest so both of you can see each other.
Now, you can smile at her, enjoy talking or making faces to her.
3- Belly Hold:
It is best if you want to calm your wailing baby or, for burping. You have to:
Adjust the baby such that her stomach is down, the head is on your elbow, the chest is on your forearm, and the face is in an outward direction.
Keep her feet on both sides of the arm at some angle so that the baby doesn’t fall down.
Now, gently pat or rub her back with your other hand until she burps.
4- Chair Hold:
When your little one is more than four months, you’ll notice that she is curious, and wants to look around. So, carry her in the chair hold and let her say Hello to the world.
Let your baby rest back on your chest so that her head is supported.
Put one arm under her bottom and the other across the chest, and you will be her chair.
If you are sitting down, place her in the lap and remove the hand from the bottom. This will be easy for both of you.
5- Shoulder Hold:
It is one of the natural holds for a baby. In this way, she can listen to your heartbeat and feel comforted near you.
After picking up the baby, bring her close to your chest.
Put one hand behind her head and the other behind the bottom.
You can enjoy by singing lullabies or reading a story to her and entertaining her.
6- Lap Hold:
You can hold your child this way in sitting position when you are bottle feeding her.
Place your feet on the ground firmly and place baby in your lap such that her head is on your knees and face is up.
Place both your hands beneath her head, so that your forearms are all along her body for support.
Don’t forget to tuck her feet in your waist or the naughty baby will jump from your lap.
This type of hold is for the babies more than four to six months because they can support their head on their own.
Place baby’s side or midsection against your hip/side. Make sure that baby’s right side is on your left and vice versa so that she doesn’t feel disturbed, and also, her head should face outward.
Put your one arm at holding hip side to support the legs and back of the baby.
Freehand can be an extra support; can be used for feeding or other useful tasks.
For feeding the baby, this is an ideal hold. You can feed your baby whether you are standing or sitting.
Support the head and neck of the baby with one hand and his back with the forearm of the same hand. Adjust her head and neck with the other hand.
Now make baby curl towards you with her legs extending behind your body. Keep her as close to the chest as possible.
Use your free hand to feed her or to pat her on the hip, or it can provide extra support.
How Not To Hold the Baby:
Usually, parents are careless while holding the babies. They commit some serious mistakes. Let’s shed some light on a few of these errors.
Head and Body Misalignment:
Some people don’t pay attention to the posture of the baby in their arms. Usually, babies turn their heads away from their body and in this way their head is in one, while the body is in the other direction. It can cause pain so, whenever you see them turning their head, adjust it accordingly.
Pressure on Fontanelles:
Fontanelles are the soft spots on the head of a child. One is at the front of the skull (anterior fontanelle), one is at the back (posterior fontanelle), while two smaller ones are present on either side of the head. Be careful about these soft spots while picking your child up and don’t press hard against them.
It is a common mistake to hold the baby with one hand while doing different other things with the other hand. It is very dangerous and may result in a fall or a serious injury. So, never do hazardous jobs, like using knives or cooking, when you are carrying your baby.
Less Body Contact:
Most of the experts discourage carrying baby facing away from the parent. It causes inadequate support to the head and back, and less support to thighs may cause dysplasia. Moreover, body contact gives comfort and warmth to your baby so, keep her as close to the heart as possible.
Babies need care and attention, so don’t be afraid to pick them up. Just follow the few safety measures, and you can carry your baby and move around with her as you like.
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