by Suditsha Sanyal
Parenthood is indeed the most remarkable phase. The joy and happiness of holding your little one for the first time surpass and outweighs everything in this world. The tiny hands, the lovely sleepy eyes, the little cuddly adorable tiny soul just steals away your heart in a fraction of a second. They become your new world, they complete you and you are a new person altogether. You just can’t hold yourself from feeling on top of the world. That’s the kind of immense power that being a parent has on us.
While you just want to cuddle and love your child, at the same time you might feel nervous and unsure as a first-time parent as to the correct way to hold a newborn. And it is absolutely fine to feel that way for the very obvious reasons because they are too delicate and need to be handled carefully. It is certainly right on your part to think about their safety and comfort first.
Though it may be a nerve-wracking feeling, don’t worry! Let me tell you about 8 safe positions to hold your newborn.
Before you hold your baby do remember to keep in mind a couple of things. Always sanitize your hands. Don’t ever show any negative feeling because that might negatively impact you and your baby. Feel confident and make yourself comfortable. Take additional support like a pillow. Be extra cautious with their neck muscles especially for the first three months. And don’t press any soft spots on their head.
1. Shoulder hold:
Also known as snuggle hold. Bring your baby parallel to your body and lift them to your shoulder height. Allow the baby to rest his/her head on your shoulder. Now place your one hand on the baby’s neck and head to provide support and the other hand on your baby’s bottom. This hold allows the baby to hear your heartbeat.
2. Cradle hold:
This is one of the natural holds. Bend down to pick up your baby so that it becomes easier and safer for the baby. Maintain eye contact with the baby, this has a soothing effect on the baby. First, gently lift up your baby by sliding your palm under your baby’s neck and head thereby providing support. Now place your other non-dominant hand on baby’s bottom from the opposite side in such a manner as if you are hugging the child. Lift the baby and hold him/her close to your chest this will provide additional support and will further help in sliding your hand in a cradle position. Now slowly move your non-dominant hand in an upward motion by sliding it up from baby’s bottom towards his/her head thereby supporting the neck muscle. Slowly slide your dominant hand (with which you were initially supporting your baby’s neck) down your baby’s back in such a manner that the baby’s neck is resting in the bend of your elbow while the other hand is supporting your baby’s bottom. Cradle position is ideal for breastfeeding and making your baby fall asleep.
3. Face to face hold:
This is one of the easiest and wonderful holds to interact with your baby. Place one hand behind your baby’s neck and head while the other hand on your baby’s bottom. Bring your baby close to your chest facing you.
4. Belly hold:
This hold calms a fussy baby and is ideal for making the baby burp. Place your baby on your forearm with his stomach facing down and his/her face slightly outward. Make sure that the head is resting in the bend of your elbow. Let the legs hang on either side of your hand. Hold the baby close to yourself. Now place your other hand on your baby’s back thereby giving him/her a feeling of security.
5. Chair hold:
This hold is also known as “Hello World” hold. This hold will make your curious little one happy. Here is how to do it. Let your baby’s backrest on your chest thereby providing support to the head and neck muscle. Now place one hand on your baby’s chest so that baby doesn’t lean forward or on sides and place the other hand on baby’s bottom. If you are trying this position while you are sitting then simply place your baby on your lap and place your hand on his chest. While his back is resting against your chest. It is also advisable to try this hold position once your baby’s neck muscle is developed which is usually after 3 months.
6. Lap hold:
This hold can be used when you are bottle feeding your child. All you need to do is sit and place your feet firmly on the ground or on the floor and make sure that your knees are joined. Place your baby on your lap facing you in such a manner that your knees support his/her head, while his feet touches your waist region. Now gently place both your hands behind his/her head while your forearm runs along the side of your baby’s body.
7. Football hold:
This hold is quite similar to that of cradle hold and can be used while standing or sitting. This hold is very useful for feeding purpose as well. Gently place your hand on your baby’s neck and head and rest the baby’s back on the inside edge of the same forearm. Slightly curl the baby around the side of your body so that the legs extend behind. Place your baby close to you. Use the other free hand to feed your baby or to provide additional support to the baby.
8. Hip hold:
This is a very common and simple hold but tries this hold only when your baby is slightly older and has complete control of his neck and head. All you need to do is just make your baby sit in your hip bones with his feet hanging on both sides and his/her head facing outward. Now wrap your arm around her waist. You can use your free hand to provide additional support to your baby by holding their feet, bottom or back or simultaneously you can also use it for performing other tasks.
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