Handling a Newborn

mother kissing newborn

Cradle the head when carrying your baby and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay him or her down.

When I came home from the hospital, I was only five pounds!

My father once told me he had to hold me with a pillow in his lap because he was scared I would slip through his fingers.

Holding a newborn for the first time can be scary.

If you have never held a newborn, or if you are apprehensive about it, here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable handling your little one.

{ MORE: How to Take Your Own Newborn Photos }

  • Be careful to support your baby’s head and neck.
  • Cradle the head when carrying your baby, and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay him or her down.
  • Be careful not to shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration. Shaking that is vigorous can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. If you need to wake your infant, don’t do it by shaking — instead, tickle your baby’s feet or blow gently on a cheek.
  • Always make sure that your baby is securely fastened into his or her carrier, stroller, or car seat. 
  • Limit car rides and any other activity that would be too rougor bouncy.

{ MORE: 7 Rules for Visiting a New Baby }

Remember that your newborn is not ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air. Just relax! With a little practice, you will be a pro in no time!

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Handling a Newborn

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53 comments

  1. Profile photo of Samantha Samantha says:

    My first I wasn’t very scared but since he is almost 4 years old now I am nervous about having a itty bitty baby again. My four year old wrestles with us and falls and gets back up. This little man can’t do that. I know I will be fine but it is going to be odd at first.

  2. Profile photo of joyce joyce says:

    I know my husband will be afraid to hold our son. He thinks he will break him.

  3. I can handle her. I got this…I might be nervous at times but I’ll have help

  4. Profile photo of heelsandsass heelsandsass says:

    Even after reading, I am still a bit scared to handle my son for the first time.

  5. Profile photo of life life says:

    i hope i can handel my second baby like i did my first

  6. I think my husband was more scared than I was, even after our 3rd child…

  7. Profile photo of julie julie says:

    wow interesting ill never hurt my on child by shanking him..i saw a video in the hospital how babies can be hurt by shaking them it was sad knowing that there on dad,moms are the one who shake them..

  8. Profile photo of JoyRied JoyRied says:

    I’m am very worried with hurting my baby when he comes, but my husband has held a lot of children before and is very confident.

  9. Profile photo of MamaCat MamaCat says:

    My husband hadn’t really been around babies so it was interesting watching him get used to holding our daughter. It’s funny though how different you feel when they are yours!

  10. Profile photo of Sierra-Dawn Sierra-Dawn says:

    I am a phlebotomist and I have to draw blood from newborns. I think being around the neonate nurses helped me be confident when holding my son for the first time

  11. Profile photo of Kesha Kesha says:

    im scared my baby’s dad is going to be either scared or too rough…thats if he even shows up

  12. Profile photo of Tori99 Tori99 says:

    I handled others newborn before…but I haven’t handle mine. It is mostly instinct. I hope mine will not be too hard.

  13. Profile photo of Stephanie Stephanie says:

    The first time I held my daughter 9yrs ago I was sooo scared but now with my son I think I could handle it

  14. Profile photo of Stephanie Stephanie says:

    When I first had my daughter 9yrs ago I was scared to hold her but I got the hang of it fast so now having my boy in about 2 and a half weeks I think I’ll do good holding him

  15. Profile photo of Janice Janice says:

    The first time I held a baby I worried about hurting the baby. I even cried if someone else held my baby.

  16. Profile photo of Janice Janice says:

    It always seems there is a newbie in every room, nervous about holding the baby!

  17. Profile photo of Janice Janice says:

    Caring for a new born needs confidence and tender loving care, Usually that comes with instinct.

  18. Profile photo of melissa melissa says:

    This is very informative

  19. Profile photo of Ada Ada says:

    Throwing babies up in the air is a no no.

  20. Profile photo of Jennie Jennie says:

    Should I limit it more?

  21. Profile photo of Jennie Jennie says:

    My son loves car rides.

  22. Profile photo of JamJam JamJam says:

    i cant wait til i can hold herin my arms, im never going to want to put my beautiful angel down

  23. Profile photo of Valerie Valerie says:

    One thing I am sure of is holding my son, and I just can NOT wait to have him in my arms(:

  24. Profile photo of Valerie Valerie says:

    Sunlight exposure needs to be limited, and bumps along the sidewalk can cause to much shaking.

  25. Profile photo of loretta loretta says:

    ”Whats the harm in taking them for a walk in a stroller its not going to hurt them”

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