How to hold your newborn baby

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  • It may seem like one of the most instinctive parts of motherhood, but if you’ve ever wondered how to hold your baby correctly, you’re not alone.

    There are a number of schools of thought on the right and wrong way to support your fragile newborn, and it can be difficult to wade your way through the advice to the answer that works for you – especially if you’re a first time mum.

    How to hold a newborn baby

    We asked Lisa Clegg, a qualified maternity nurse, parenting expert and author of The Blissful Baby Expert how we should be holding newborn babies as they grow up. Here’s what she had to say:

    ‘A newborn baby’s head is the heaviest part of its body and to begin with they don’t have much control over it, so it’s important you support it and take the weight.

    There are various ways to hold and cradle your baby and with practise it does get easier, as you gain more confidence in handling your little one.

    The cradle hold is the easiest to master, which sees you holding your baby close to your body with their head in the crook of your arm supporting it.

    Newborns also like to be supported up on your shoulder or lying snuggled on your chest with their face turned to the side.

    As they move out of the newborn stage and become more interested and aware of their surroundings they may like you to carry them facing outwards. By that stage they will have good head and neck control, and won’t need you to support their head. You can even do this with one hand by holding your arm across and down their body and support them under their bottom.

    As they begin to learn to sit up, then many parents find carrying their baby round perched on one hip is easiest, leaving you free to have the other hand to do anything else.’

    Things to remember when holding your newborn baby

  • If you’re feeling nervous about holding your little one, try being seated while you get them comfortable and try out different positions
  • Remember a newborn baby is used to the support and steadiness of a womb, so try and move slowly and fluidly to avoid making them nervous
  • Make sure you support their head every time you pick them up or move them as their neck is weak and very delicate at this time
  • When picking your little one up out of their cot, place both hands underneath their armpits and use your fingers to support the back of their head
  • Another easy and foolproof way of picking up your baby is placing one hand underneath their head and one underneath their bum, using your forearm to support the spine
  • Pay attention to your baby’s mood while you’re holding them, if they seem fussy or uncomfortable you may need to change position
  • Has this helped when it comes tot holding your newborn baby? Let us know in the comments below!