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How to Hold a Baby

Updated on April 6, 2018
LindseyWeaver4907 profile image

Lindsey is a mom of five children and a freelance writer with a passion for many topics.

Holding Your Newborn

Being a parent is an exhausting and rewarding experience. Being a new parent or having a new baby might cause anxieties about how to care for that little human. There’s so much information thrown at parents that it can cause the head to spin. Take a deep breath mamma or papa, because I’ve compiled a list of eight different positions to hold that baby.


Cradle Hold

If you’re ever feeling unsure about how to hold your baby try the most nature positions first. We’ll start with the cradle hold. This is the first position you’ll hold your newborn in. The baby’s head will rest in the crook of the elbow, the length of their body resting on your arm, the bottom in the same hand. For extra support put the other arm on the outside of the arm baby is on.


Shoulder Hold

This is another natural beginner position to hold baby in. Place baby’s head on your shoulder, one hand under the bum and the other supporting baby’s back so they don’t fall over. This position is a bit more relaxing on mom or dad’s arms.


Football Hold

This is the best hold for feeding baby and you can hold them close and bond while doing it. Like the cradle hold baby will be in the crook of your elbow, but on their side. Use the arm their head is in and support their back. Use the other arm to support their bum up to their shoulder. Draw them close to your chest. Using a pillow offers extra support if you’re seated.


Belly Hold

The belly hold is a great position for burping those stubborn bubbles. Lay baby down on your forearm, facing out so they can breathe. Your hand should cradle their crotch. Use your other hand to massage their back and burp them.


Face-to-Face Hold

This is fun hold where you can interact with baby. Have baby rest below your chest. Use one hand to support their head and the other hand support their back and bottom. You can smile and talk to your baby and see their reactions, and even see those gassy smiles.


Lap Hold

If you bottle feed this is a restful position to do that but, it is also another fun interaction pose. Place baby in your lap, and either using one or both hands, support their head. Baby’s feet should be around your waist area.


Hip Hold

This positions should not be used until baby has full head control. It allows baby to sit comfortably on your hip and look at the world around them. Pulling baby toward you, settle them on your hip bone. Support baby by wrapping your arm around their lower back and bum. Watch as they enjoy their new view.


Chair Hold

If you have a curious baby then this is one that lets them look out at the world. Hold baby in your hand so they look like they are sitting in a chair. Place your other hand on their chest to stop them from swaying or falling. Let baby use your chest as a back rest. This is another position that should not be done until baby can support their own head.

There are many things to worry about as a parent, but holding your baby should not be one of them. Changing into different holding positions will help your tired arms from falling off. There are different ways to hold baby, but these are the basic holds for when your baby is a newborn to around three months old.

© 2018 Lindsey Weaver

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