QOD: I’m afraid to pick up my baby. Help!

Babies don't come with a manual! You can learn how to hold them by practicing!

Not everyone has had experience holding a newborn so please don't feel bad or unprepared if you are not quite comfortable. Newborns are floppy!

When picking them up from a crib or changing area, it's nice to slide your forearm up their back until your one hand cups the back of their head in your palm while using the other arm to help cradle the rest if the body.

If you are nervous, practice holding the baby while you are sitting so you get to experiment while in a safe spot. Practice placing the baby down next to you and then picking them up again until you feel comfortable.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, January 2019

Comments

  1. I was the oldest of three sisters, as well as the town babysitter, so I felt pretty comfortable holding my baby from the beginning. I still feel like newborns are so fragile. It amazes me how OB’s and pediatrician’s handle newborns with such ease and confidence. I guess practice makes perfect.

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  2. Oh, and when I held a week-old baby just 2 months after my son was born, I couldn’t figure out how to hold him right! I’m pretty sure it’s just different with your own. 🙂

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    1. My husband was just saying the same thing… That he is awkward with newborns unless it’s his own!

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  3. I was definitely nervous before my son was born because the youngest baby I had ever held before was several days old, and I had NEVER changed a single diaper in my life! But when he was born, it was all just so natural. His pediatrician visited every day we were in the hospital and asked me one day if I had a lot of experience with babies. He said I looked like the perfect example of a “natural”! 🙂 On the other hand, I still think my husband looks awkward holding our son (now 15 months old) sometimes!

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