Ah, the joys of motherhood! When your newborn baby is passed into your hands, you are filled with feelings of joy, gratitude, and excitement and yet somehow hiding underneath all of this is a slight bit of anxiety. When you hold a newborn baby for the first time, you forget all the pain and exhaustion you went through for the past 9 months and suddenly, your world is a happier place. This is a comprehensive article about how to hold a newborn baby.
Looking at the fragile new life in your hand, it is natural to feel slightly nervous and be apprehensive of how you will be able to handle your baby in the best possible way. The first thing that needs your attention is how to hold a newborn baby. The baby’s neck muscles are very weak and thus you need to know just the right way to hold him. Here, we will give you a step by step guide on how to hold your newborn correctly so that he is in a comfortable position.
Also read: How To Hold A New Born Baby
How to hold a newborn baby
#1. Clean your hands
The most important thing for you is to remain clean and hygienic, as the newborn baby is susceptible to infections. Not only you, but people around you and any caretakers of the baby also need to be cautious. Hands should be carefully washed before you hold a newborn baby. You can use an alcohol-free sanitizer or else wash hands with disinfectant soap and warm water.
#2. Take a comfortable position
Before you hold a newborn, it is essential to make yourself comfortable first. It can be terrifying for some people to hold their baby first time in their arms, but the anxiety won’t work here, and you will have to keep up your confidence. So, relax, be at ease, and make sure to get rid of things that could poke the baby including watches, spiky necklaces, or safety pins attached to your garment. Also, cut your nails short as it often hurts the baby naively leaving a scratch.
#3. Decide how do you want to hold your baby
First of all, you need to pick the baby in your arms in such a way that you provide a comfortable support to the head and the neck of the baby. These are the most delicate parts of the baby. The baby’s neck is quite heavy and the neck muscles are not developed, hence it needs proper support. You will have to support the neck and the head of the baby until he is four months old. Because only then they are able to exercise control over their neck.
How to hold a newborn baby (holds)
Place one of your hands under the head of the baby and the other hand under his bottom, after which you can hold the baby in these positions:
#1. Cradle Hold
The most convenient and one of the best ways to hold a newborn is the cradle position. In the cradle hold, you have to hold the baby horizontally at the level of your chest, where one hand supports the entire back and bottom of the baby and the other hand is under the neck. The neck, supported by your palms, will rest on the elbow of your other hand.
Also read: 21 Helpful Baby Care Tips For The First Few Days
It is a good position for breastfeeding slightly older babies who can easily latch and is also a good position for skin to skin contact.
#2. Shoulder Hold:
In this position, the baby will rest on your shoulders. To hold a newborn in shoulder position; raise the baby till your shoulder. The body of the baby will be vertical or parallel to you. You need to provide support to the head and neck of your baby with one of your hands and the bottom of the baby with the other hand.
It is a good hold for calming the baby, since the baby is able to hear your heartbeat.
#3. Face to Face hold
This is a holding position recommended for you when you want to interact with the baby. To hold a newborn in a face to face position, you need to put your one hand behind your baby's head and neck, and the other hand under the bottom of the baby. Now, hold the baby right in front of you, facing him, just below your chest.
It is best for slightly older babies, who have begun to respond and is ideal for interaction.
#4. Belly Hold
This is a holding position where the belly of the baby rests on your arms. Put your baby in a stomach down position resting him on your forearm with the head on your elbow. The feet of the baby will lay on the side of your hand. You can put the baby in this position if the baby needs to take a burp after he has been fed. You can also keep rubbing the back of the baby to help release the gas.
It is an easy holding position for relieving the baby of gas.
Also read: Taking Care Of A Premature Baby: 10 Best Tips
#5. Football Hold
Hold the baby in this position when you want to breastfeed your baby. Carry the baby horizontally in your arms. The head and neck of the baby will be supported with one hand and the forearm of the same hand needs to support the back of the baby. You can use the other hand to give extra support to the baby.
This is a good hold for breastfeeding, especially for premature babies or twins and is especially helpful after a cesarean section.
Now that you are aware of how to hold your baby in different positions, you also need to take care that the baby’s head should be able to move and breathe. You also have an option of using a baby carrier to hold the baby which is easily available in the market.
Also read: Breastfeeding Positions For Your Baby
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