New parents might get nervous or scared when they have to hold their delicate baby, provided it’s a tricky task and requires time to perfect. You might remember the first time you held a newborn while your hands shivered, and a wave of unfelt emotions gushed over you. 

“A challenge for the newborn is getting to know that the world is somehow reliable and trustworthy, that his or her basic needs will be met,” says J. Kevin Nugent, director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital in Boston and a child psychologist (Source). It is only natural to be afraid of holding such a fragile creation, but there are several techniques you can master to make your hold safe and comfortable for your baby.

How to hold a baby?

It is essential to learn how to hold a baby for new parents or anyone that wants to help a baby stop crying. There are several correct ways and techniques to hold your baby, so he/she feels comfortable and loved. We’ll look into a few methods in this informative article.

How to hold a newborn baby properly?

Newborns are fragile and do not have the body and neck strength to support their head. You need to be extra careful and gentle when holding a newborn, so they don’t pull any muscles or get uncomfortable.

We’re listing an easy step by step for you to learn to hold a newborn.

  • Gather yourself, be confident and collected before reaching out for the baby.
  • Place your one hand under the baby’s head and the other under their buttocks.
  • Lift the baby and spread your fingers under their body to maximize support.
  • Hold the baby against your chest with one hand continually supporting their head/back and the other hand supporting their body.
  • Keep switching arms to prevent them from getting sore.

This shoulder hold technique allows the baby to hear your heartbeat and helps you bond with them. 

How to pick up a newborn?

Delicate babies can get their arms pulled or get their neck bent if they’re improperly held or picked up awkwardly. Carefully follow the listed easy steps to learn how to pick up a newborn safely. 

  • Reach out to your baby and make sure there are no obstacles in between
  • Lean down towards the baby
  • Put your hands under the baby’s head and buttocks
  • Spread your fingers under his head to provide maximum support
  • Gently and slowly pick up the baby
  • Pull the baby against your body with constant help to their head

It is of utmost importance that you’re confident and collected while trying to pick up a baby because an improper grip can cause your baby to slip from your hands.

How to hold a newborn while bottle feeding?

Feeding is an essential daily event for parents as well as the baby. You must hold your baby in a position that helps him/her feel comfortable and safe taking their nutrition. We’re listing two simple ways to hold your baby while bottle feeding.

1. Cradle hold: Cradle hold is the most mainstream technique used to carry babies. It comes naturally to most people, and babies stay snuggled up against you. You need to place your baby’s head on the crook of your arm and use the other arm to support the rest of their body. Pull your baby closer to your chest. The arm under the baby’s head should be kept a few inches higher, so the baby’s head stays a semi-upright position. 

2. Sit him up in your lap: This technique requires you to sit in a comfortable space and works best for prevention against harmful gas accumulation and acid reflux. Place your baby in your lap, so they sit upright. Let your baby rest against your stomach/chest or the crook of your arm. 

We strictly advise not to feed your babies while they’re laying down as it can cause the liquids to flow into their ear and cause an infection.

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How to hold the baby to make him/her burp?

Babies can suffer from painful gas and cry whenever they feel uncomfortable. There’s an easy holding technique you can follow to burp your baby and make him/her feel comfortable. 

Here’s a step by step for you to learn.

  • Place your baby’s chest on your forearm, so his head is on the crook of your arm
  • Baby’s legs can freely hang, or you can use your hand to support them.
  • Gently rub baby’s back to make him burp
  • Baby’s face should be uncovered and facing outwards

How to hold a 5-month-old baby?

A five-month-old baby starts going through several transitions of his/her life, such as attempted speech, crawling efforts, sitting with support, a better grasp on things, etc. They are fussy and are always looking for new things to observe. So you must hold your baby in a way that accommodates his/her curiosity. 

At this point, the baby has better control over its head and does not need as much extra care as a newborn. Let us explain two different ways to hold your five-month-old baby.

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1. Hello world: This technique works best for curious babies that need to look around while they’re held. Place your one hand under your baby’s buttocks and place the other hand on their chest to support their body. Let your baby rest their back against your chest. If you want to try this sitting down, you can place your baby in your lap and remove your arm from under their buttocks.

2. Hip hold: This is the most common way to hold babies that are around four to six months old. Place your baby on the side of your hip bone and place your arm under their buttocks for support. Use your free hand for multi-tasking.

Can you hold a newborn too much?

There are a lot of myths surrounding the fact that babies should not be held for very long, or they can be ‘spoiled’ by doing so. It is also believed that you can damage a baby’s spine if he/she is held upright for too long. There is not much truth in these statements, and contrary to popular belief, babies cannot be spoiled or damage their spine by sitting upright. You should dedicate as much as you can for your baby to make them feel loved and safe. 

Keep in mind: Here’s a list of things to keep in mind while holding a newborn for a more extended period.

  • Keep their body and head supported at all times
  • Make sure to keep their face uncovered so they can breathe easily
  • Pat them, ensure skin to skin contact
  • Make sure you’re not nervous or scared
  • If you feel tired, don’t over-exert yourself as it can cause mishaps
  • Avoid negative emotions

Final word:

There are not many experiences that reciprocate the feeling of a mom holding a baby. To enjoy this experience to its fullest, you need to be skilled at holding your baby, and this article provides you with most of the necessary information you need. You can try different positions mentioned and choose whichever one suits you and your baby.

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