How to Hold a Newborn With Confidence

  1. When someone first hands you a baby, our first reaction is to lay the baby on it’s back while we are holding it. What I do is turn the baby so that it is laying on its side facing towards my chest at a slight angle. When the baby is the position of facing straight up, this will trigger their falling reflex and they will instantly fuss and cry.
  2. The next thing I do is grab a blanket (if it’s not already in one) and cover the baby with it entirely. If you know how to swaddle, that’s even better. But if not, just remember that babies like to be tightly bundled with only their faces showing. People tend to think that they want their arms free but babies don’t have control over what their arms do yet and instead their flailing arms can be quite upsetting to them.
  3. I often stand when holding a baby or try to rock them somehow if I am sitting down. Think about how the baby was in the womb (constant floating and rocking). Try to imitate this and you will find that they calm down almost instantly.
  4. Keep bright lights out of their faces. I have noticed that bright lights startle most newborns but they can be easily lulled back to sleep if removed from the source.
  5. If a baby is crying uncontrollably, I shush them as much as possible. What I mean by this is that I put my mouth to their ears and quietly say “shhhhh, shhhhh, shhhhh.” This instantly calms them. According to the “Happiest Baby on The Block,” this method calms them down because it imitates the soothing sounds of the womb.  My cousin swears that the fan in the bathroom is all it takes to calm her newborn.
  6. The first couple of times you do this, you may be nervous. Babies CANNOT tell if you’re nervous. It’s your simple methods that may be upsetting them. The most common upsetting method people do is to lay a newborn on their back. If you know these little things, you can be high-strung and they will still be very calm and happy.

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