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parent holding a newborn baby

How to hold a newborn

Holding your newborn in your arms is amazing. But with such a tiny, delicate little person, make sure you hold them with confidence and proper head support.

    3-minutes read


    For new parents, holding your beautiful new baby is proof that your hard work has paid off. But soon there’ll be a queue for cuddles. And with baby being passed around family, friends, friends of friends, and neighbours, it’s worth everyone knowing how to hold a newborn safely.

    Tips on how to hold a newborn

    • When holding a newborn, ensure newborn’s head is supported by placing one hand under baby’s head and neck and support them at all times until their neck muscles are stronger.

    • Put your other arm and hand under their body.

    • You can now lift baby up. If you prefer, support their head and neck in the crook of your arm. Babies like the feeling of being held snuggly so grip firmly but gently.

    • Alternatively, lift baby under the arms, using your fingers to support the neck.

    • When moving around, either cradle them in your arms or rest them against your shoulder, with their head turned to one side and your hand on their back. Remember, newborn head support is key when it comes to holding a baby safely.

    • When you’re ready, let others have a hold. This helps baby get used to other people. Yes, it’s quite normal for babies to cry when someone else holds them. It’s also normal for some to get nervous when holding a baby so you might have to give a few words of encouragement.

    • Show others how to hold a baby before slowly and gently transferring your baby into to their eager arms. Talk to baby the entire time to soothe any fears – don’t be afraid to take them back if you think they’re distressed.

    • A muslin that smells of you can help baby feel safe in the arms of someone else.

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