After all those months of carrying your baby safely inside you, you may be a little confused about holding your baby after birth. It is perfectly normal to be nervous the first time you hold a newborn baby. But it won’t take long before you–and the people you trust–will be handling your baby with ease. Here are some tips:
- Be confident.The best thing you can do to help both you and your new baby feel comfortable is to handle her with gentle confidence, in a way that evokes the security she’s felt for the past nine months inside the womb. Babies like to be held close and snugly, so use both hands and keep your baby close to your body.
- Touch and talk. It’s important for baby to be aware of you before you pick her up. Gently touch baby and talk to her to let her know you’re there. Then rub your hand on her tummy or back for a few seconds before you lift her up. Go slowly. Never make quick movements with a newborn baby; they can startle and upset baby. Also lift a young baby slowly; never swoop her up. Always slip one hand under baby’s neck and head before picking her up–to protect the neck area since that’s where your newborn needs the most careful support.
The four best ways to carry your baby
Once you’re holding your baby, there are several different ways to carry her. Try all the different ways to find out which one/ones is/are most comfortable for you and your baby.
- The cradle carry: Used for small infants, the cradle carry lets you easily cradle your baby in one of your arms as you walk.
- The front-face carry: Place one arm under your baby’s buttocks, and wrap your other arm around her chest to hold her close to you. That way, baby can face the world around her.
- Laying the baby down: When it’s time to put your baby down, support her head until it touches the mattress or car seat.
- Hold baby next to your body for as long as possible–the less time baby’s in the air and away from you, the happier and safer she’ll feel.