From the moment your little one is born, he will want to be held closely as much and as often as possible. This skin-to-skin contact is essential to warm your baby and to help him regulate his breathing, as well as to soothe him.
Once you bring your newborn home, you will spend a lot of time holding your baby — not just for comfort, but also to move him from place to place. Take time each day to just hold your baby close and get to know him. Also, let friends and family carry your baby and hold him. Let your child bond with other important people in your life from an early age.
Remember, though, newborn babies are fragile little things, especially for new parents. If you have not spent a lot of time around babies, you will find it scary to pick him up, let alone carry him. Men tend to be especially clumsy the first time round only because they’re still inexperienced. A baby’s neck is not much unlike a baby bird’s: weak and unable to support itself for the first few weeks. So before you carry your baby anywhere, keep in mind that you will have to pick him up correctly first.
How to carry your baby
The fragility of the little one is a little intimidating at first, but here are some tips when learning to carry your baby:
- Before you lift your baby, be sure to talk to him so that he is aware of your presence. You do not want to startle him.
- Carefully support his little neck and head when you pick him up, and make sure his head remains supported the entire time, even when you lay him back down.
- If your baby is lying face down, gently slip one arm under his chin and neck, and the other around his thighs. Now you can turn him around while maintaining support throughout.
- Now that you have picked up your baby, you can carry him around. The most common way to carry a newborn is to tuck him close to your heart and let his head rest on your shoulder. Be sure to support his neck with one hand, while your other hand is firmly underneath his bum.
Different ways to carry your baby
Take a look at the different ways to carry baby on the next page…