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Baby Care Basics

How to hold your baby.

By

Newborn Baby and Dad

Dads love to hold babies.

Photo © iStockPhoto

Holding a baby is such a delightful "job." I love to do it! Many people state that they could hold a baby for hours. While this is true, there are many different ways to hold a baby. There are also times where you need to be doing other things while holding baby or there are special holds to help babies who aren't feeling well, etc.

Holding Baby

  1. Cradle Hold Cradling a baby is quite natural and simple. Place the baby's head in the crook of one of your arms and wrap your other arm around the baby or hold the original arm with the second arm. This is a great position for talking to baby or looking at them. Many babies sleep very well in this position. It's also a good beginners position, particularly for younger kids or siblings.

  2. Belly Hold This is a great position for gassy babies! Lay baby chest down over one of your forearms. Use your other arm to lay across baby's back to hold them securely. You can also do this across your lap or use it for burping. A variation is to place the supporting hand between baby's legs for a more secure grip. I find this depends on how long your arms are!

  3. Hip Hold Once baby has some good head and neck control, the hip hold is a great, one armed technique. Sit baby on one of your hip bones facing outward and wrap the same side arm around baby's waist. This is a great way for baby to look around and yet it gives you a free hand!

  4. Shoulder Hold I find this to be another natural hold for a baby. Lean baby up on a shoulder and with the arm of the same side, wrap it around baby's bottom. Use the other arm to hold against baby's back and/or to support their neck. Baby's sleep well in this position too. It also allows them to hear your heart beating and breathing.

  5. Sling Holds A sling is a great device that allows you to carry baby hands free. Baby can be nestled in many positions, including positions for discrete nursing. A sling is also very useful for the parents of multiples, as it is never advisable to carry two or more babies in your arms without the use of something like a sling for fear you might fall.

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