The feeling of holding your baby for the first time is always magical, but at the same time, it involves a lot of other factors too. Generally, the first time a mother holds her baby, she feels nervous and, at the same time, happy. This contradictory feeling is quite natural for any new mother. We have curated some Newborn Baby Tips and Guidelines for new mothers.
To hold a baby in your loving arms is a beautiful thing to happen to any parent, however, this comes with a lot of responsibility. There are things that one must keep in mind while doing so. Mostly it is about the sensitive organs of a baby that a parent should not press too hard. Read on to know more…
Newborn baby tips you should be aware of:
1. Preparing to hold your baby
A baby’s immune system is immature, vulnerable, and not strong enough to fight infections. This is the reason why it is essential for you to maintain hygiene while you hold your baby. Wash your hands with soap and keep hand sanitizer handy at all times.
It is also important to be in a comfortable position before holding the baby. Your grip must be firm and protective yet not too tight. You should also exude trust and confidence. Babies sense that in the way they are being held.
Initially, it might feel uncomfortable, or you might feel scared, and this is perfectly normal. With time, you’ll learn to adjust to the baby’s requirement. Your newborn requires essential support around his/her fragile muscles and bones as they have little to no muscle control.
Their neck muscle is not taut, and hence you need to provide proper support for the head and the neck. While you hold the baby’s head, it is essential that you do not press the soft spots on the head. A baby’s bones are still growing and fusing, so you need to be very careful while holding them. While picking up a baby, the first important step is to put your hand under their head as the neck is wobbly. You can place the other hand beneath their bottom and rest them on your shoulder and chest region.
2. Positions of holding your baby
Babies get used to certain positions and are not comfortable with certain others. A very natural hold is the shoulder hold, which makes the baby feel comfortable. You rest the head of your baby on your shoulder, and the baby’s body is parallel to yours; this way, their headrests upon your shoulder without the support of their neck. Keep your hand around the head anyway for safety.
(i) Early position (for newborns)
Why is it important to hold your baby’s head?: This position also allows the baby to hear the heartbeat. A cradling is another way to hold your baby and make them feel natural. The baby is held to the chest level in this position while the parent’s arm remains underneath his or her body to provide support to the head and neck. The baby’s head must be placed in the crook of the elbow to provide it a comfortable space. You can also rhythmically swing the baby to sleep.
(ii) Position 2 (for older babies)
As the baby grows a little bit and gains control over his/her head, you can hold your baby’s hips and position them laterally on your hips with your hand providing support from the bottom. This is a sitting position where the baby is able to look at things comfortable. Another kind of hold is a chair hold where you place the baby in front of you so that the baby could look around. You place your hand under your baby and another arm around it. The baby can lean back on your body and rest on your chest.
3. Why hold your baby in certain positions?
A newborn baby is completely dependent on an adult for his/her security. Babies require support for proper bone growth and muscle development. While an adult has 206 bones. Newborns can have more than 300 distinct bones. But the extra ones don’t disappear or dissolve to bring that number down to 206; instead, they fuse together as they develop.
Skin to skin contact of mother and child impacts their bonding and also keeps the body warm. Holding positions change as the baby’s strength and weight change.
During breastfeeding or consistent holding for an extended period of time, an infant support pillow can come handy. It is imperative to show positive emotions while holding a baby. This results in the better emotional development of the child. Use the fleshy parts such as the palm of your hand and not your fingers to provide warmth and show you care.
If you swing them and move them gently, they will fall asleep quietly. It also helps when a baby is upset and is crying persistently.
These tips are just some of the tips that our grandmothers and doctors have been sharing for centuries. To be honest, a mother knows the best. Her instinct guides her in the positive direction, always. So, dear mom, please trust your instinct, too!