Holding an infant is one of the greatest joys that a parent can experience. At the same time, it can be a source of anxiety or nervousness, especially in the case of inexperienced parents. Safety is also an important consideration as parents attend to some important or urgent tasks while holding the baby in their arms. Hence, it is important to know how to hold your baby in a comfortable and safe position.
Keep the following guidelines in mind before you hold infants:
- Ensure that the baby receives support for the back and head.
- Be gentle at all times, ensuring that you have a firm, but not hard, grip on the child.
- Be careful when bending with the baby in your arms.
- As far as is possible, avoid doing other tasks while holding your baby.
Here are some ways to hold your child safely:
- Use one hand to support the child’s bottom and hold the head using the other hand so that your child’s feet are touching against your stomach.
- “Cradle” your child gently to place the head in the crook of your inclined elbow and use both hands to support the child’s back comfortably.
- Place your baby’s head on the shoulder so that the child’s chest faces you while keeping one hand to balance the bottom and the other to keep the head in one position.
- When you are sitting, let your child’s back and head rest on your thighs with the feet touching your stomach.
- When you are sitting, allow the baby’s back to lean on you and use one hand to hold your child across the chest while using the other to support the bottom.
- Use a name-brand baby carrier.