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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.
    2-minutes read

    At a glance

    When holding a baby always support their head and neck

    Babies like to be held snuggly – but gently


    Use a muslin that smells of you to help baby feel safe in the arms of others

    Enjoy every moment of baby snuggles, they’re the best thing in the world

    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 your newborn safely.

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Show others how to hold your baby before slowly and gently transferring 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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