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Holding Your Baby Safely

After all those months of carrying your baby safely inside you, it can be a little awkward to hold her after birth. Most parents are naturally nervous the first time they 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:

Support his head and back. When you hold baby, always support his head and back with your arm and hand. He cannot hold his head up alone because his neck muscles are still weak.

When you pick him up, put your hand under his back as you lift him so that his head, neck and back are comfortably and securely supported.

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 away 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 own body.

Touch and talk. To familiarize yourself to your baby and for extra tender loving care, 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. Always slip one hand under baby’s neck and head before picking her up – that’s where your top-heavy newborn needs the most careful support.

The Five Best Ways to Carry a Baby
There are several different ways to carry a baby. Adapt the way you carry her to her age. Remember that you cannot put an infant’s head on your shoulder without a supportive hand. That can cause neck and spine injuries.

1. The cradle carry – Used for small infants, the cradle carry lets you easily cradle your baby in one of your arms as you walk.
2. The shoulder carry – When babies are a month older, you can rest her on a shoulder. Just make sure always to support baby’s head until she can do it herself.
3. The hip carry – The hip carry, which leaves one of your arms free, is for older babies who’ve mastered head and neck control.
4. 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.
5. Laying the Baby Down – When it’s time to put your baby down, support her head until it touches the mattress or car seat.

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