For new parents who have perhaps never before held a newborn baby before their very own little bundle of joy arrived, holding that tiny, defenseless, dependent little scrap can be terrifying! Where and how to grip baby in a way that is gentle enough not to hurt, and at the same time firm enough not to let the baby fall, how do you support baby’s neck, and so on are questions that could besiege a parent.
In particular it can be scary when one hears about stories such as the Mount Vernon mother who accidentally suffocated her 11 day old child whom she was carrying in a pouch. So to understand how to hold a new born correctly, read on-
Slip the hand that you do not favor (your left if you are right handed and vice versa) under the baby’s head, slide your other one under the baby’s bottom.
Now supporting the baby fully, lift the little baby towards you in a scoop like motion.
Cradle the baby close to you, with the head close to the chest and then gently slide out the favored hand from under baby’s head letting it nestle in the crook of your other elbow.
Your non favored hand should now be supporting baby’s bottom, and with your dominant arm you can give more support to the baby.
When holding a newborn baby, keep the following in mind –
- If you are diffident about holding a tiny infant for the first time, have another person put the baby in your arms and then when you get used to holding the baby, try picking him or her up by yourself.
- New born babies have very little muscle control and the baby is not able to support his or her own neck, and won’t be able to do so for several months. So one must support the little neck at all times to prevent it from flopping back or forwards.
- Try and position the baby so that they can hear the steady beat of the adult’s heart. Babies can find it comforting and soothing to hear the sound that is familiar and evokes the sensations of being inside the mother’s womb once again.
- Care should also be taken for the fontanel, which is the soft spot at the top of the head where the skull bones are yet to fuse.
- Always hold the baby in a way that keeps the nose and mouth clear of any item of clothing, part of body and so on.