How to Hold a Baby Correctly: 11 Steps

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How to Hold a Baby Correctly: 11 Steps
How to Hold a Baby Correctly: 11 Steps

Picking up a baby for the first time is quite a scary experience, especially if you have no idea how to proceed. There are many ways to hold a baby, the most common being one in which you hold it lying down. This position, which is very secure, is useful for feeding, catching, and calming him, as well as allowing you to make eye contact with him. The first thing is to lift the baby towards your chest while supporting the baby's head, neck and bottom. Finally, you should rotate it so that its head fits snugly against your elbow. Practice the sitting position, and soon you'll be an expert. Come on?


Method 1 of 2: Entering and Exiting Position

Cradle Hold a Baby Step 1

Step 1. Lean towards the baby

Rather than simply lifting the child towards you, it's safer to reach down and position your hands correctly. Thus, you reduce the distance that the little one must travel with just the support of your hands.

To pick up the baby, the easiest way is to lay him on his back. Your body should be parallel to his

Cradle Hold a Baby Step 2

Step 2. Place one of your hands, palm up, under the baby's head and neck

When picking up a child, especially if the child is a newborn, it is important to provide a lot of support for the head and neck, as they cannot do this. Place your dominant hand at the base of the baby's head, "embracing" the baby's head with your fingers.

  • Place your palm behind the baby's neck, opening your fingers to create a wider base for support.
  • Don't take it so firmly. The idea is for the baby's neck and head to rest on your hand.
Cradle Hold a Baby Step 3

Step 3. Place the other hand, also palm up, under the baby's bottom

With the baby still lying down, slide your non-dominant hand under her bottom. Take her to the other side of the child, as if you were hugging her.

  • Again, spread your fingers wide to give the little one as much support as possible.
  • If you are right-handed, your right hand should be under your baby's head and neck and your left hand under your baby's bottom. If left-handed, reverse positions.
Cradle Hold a Baby Step 4

Step 4. Lift the baby and bring him towards your chest

When you're leaning over the little one, with both hands positioned correctly, lift it up and bring it against your chest. Holding it against your own body provides additional support and eases the transition to the final position.

Cradle Hold a Baby Step 5

Step 5. Rotate the baby to support his head on the elbow of your non-dominant arm

With the small one firmly against your chest, slowly rotate it into the final position. Rotate him toward your non-dominant hand, placing his head and neck on your elbow. The non-dominant hand should be in the same place, supporting his butt.

  • For example, if you lifted the baby's head with your right (dominant) hand, you should place the baby's head on your left (non-dominant) elbow.
  • You started with the baby's body parallel to yours. Now, rotate him slowly so that his body is perpendicular to yours.
Cradle Hold a Baby Step 6

Step 6. Slide the dominant hand out from under the baby's head

It is important that she is well supported and held on her elbow before withdrawing her hand. Remember: Hold the baby close to your body firmly but not squeezing.

  • You can reposition your dominant hand to provide more support for the baby's butt or torso, which is very important if you are standing upright and is extremely useful for rocking the little one.
  • If the baby is propped up in your lap, use your dominant hand to do some other activity, such as breastfeeding.
Cradle Hold a Baby Step 7

Step 7. Continue supporting the baby's body as you lay him down again

When it's time to return the baby to the crib, follow the reverse process to picking him up. Remember to lean your body as close to the crib as possible to minimize the distance your baby will travel without full support. Place your dominant hand again under his head and neck. Then rotate him so that he is holding his body firmly, parallel to yours.

  • Continue supporting the baby's bottom with your non-dominant hand.
  • Put the baby's butt back in the crib and finally slowly lay the baby's head down.
  • When the child's entire body is supported, remove his arms from under him.

Method 2 of 2: Applying the Technique

Cradle Hold a Baby Step 8

Step 1. Hold the baby horizontally in a sitting position

Prepare a comfortable chair and sit down as soon as you pick up the little one. This is a great way to practice carrying the baby. Knowing how to hold it seated can also help you feed the little one.

  • A rocking chair or comfortable armchair are great options.
  • Practice holding the little one in a comfortable chair to gain confidence.
  • If the baby tries to let go, use your lap or a pillow to support him as you reposition your arms.
  • Using a chair and your lap as support will help you free up your dominant hand for other activities, which is very useful for breastfeeding your little one or adjusting his outfit.
Cradle Hold a Baby Step 9

Step 2. Hold the baby horizontally while standing

Once you are confident in your ability to hold the baby horizontally while sitting, practice holding him like this while standing. In this position, use your dominant hand to provide extra support for the little one's torso.

  • Try bending and straightening your legs to rock your baby while he is lying in your lap. Spread your legs a little for more support.
  • You can also do sideways movements while holding the baby to help him calm down or fall asleep.
  • When you are ace, practice walking with the baby in your lap.
Cradle Hold a Baby Step 10

Step 3. Wrap the baby up before picking him up

If the little one doesn't sit still on your lap, it may be easier to hold him if he's wrapped in a blanket.

Wrapping him will not only help to comfort him, it will also help to balance him more easily, as he will not be able to swing his arms and legs

Cradle Hold a Baby Step 11

Step 4. Feed the little one while he is lying on your lap

Whether with the breast or the bottle, this position is ideal for breastfeeding the baby, especially if you are supporting the baby on your lap, as you will be able to release your dominant hand to help you take the milk more comfortably.

When nursing the baby, rotate him slightly so that his chest is against yours. Let his arm down and use your elbow to lift his head toward your breast


  • When holding the baby horizontally, the baby's head should be a little higher than the feet. This position will be more comfortable for both of you.
  • Since babies can only see about a foot in front of their eyes, leaning toward them maximizes eye contact, which is very important if they are irritable, as it will help to calm and comfort them.


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