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  • Writer's pictureNurture Infant House Tampines

Steps to prepare and how to hold your newborn safely: A Guide for Parents

When the nurse brings your newborn to you, you are filled with emotions. Your hands may shake and tears of joy start streaming down your face.

As a new parent, you may wonder how to hold your newborn in your arms safely, fear of hurting or dropping your newborn.

In this article, I will be sharing steps to prepare and how to hold your newborn safely.

Prepare to hold your newborn.

Your newborn’s immune system is very immature.

Wash your hands with soap and clean before you take your newborn.

This is essential to stop spreading infections.

Be gentle and calm despite nervousness.

Support your newborn’s head and neck as he has little neck muscle control.

This is critical until your newborn reaches three months when he develops a good control over the head and neck muscles.

How to pick up your newborn?

Place one hand under your newborn’s head and another beneath the bottom.

Raise your newborn’s body to your chest region and hold him.

How to hold your newborn?

Your newborn might like to be held in some positions while he is uncomfortable in other positions.

Try to see which positions your newborn likes or doesn’t like.

Shoulder hold

Lift your newborn to your shoulder height.

Rest his head on your shoulder so that he can look behind you and also hear your heartbeat.

Support his head and neck with one hand, and the bottom with another hand.

Cradle hold

Slide your hand from your newborn’s bottom up to support his head and neck.

Gently place your newborn’s head into the crook of your elbow.

Now move your hand from your newborn’s neck to the bottom and hips.

Bring your newborn close to you and you can quickly bring him to sleep.

Belly hold

Lay your newborn with your stomach facing down on one of your forearms with your head up over the elbow.

Let your newborn’s feet land on either side of your hand, at an angle closer to the ground level.

Lay your other hand across your newborn’s back to make him feel secure.

This position is helpful while burping your newborn. Gently stroke his back to release the gas.

Hip hold

Hold your newborn’s hips once he gains complete control over his head and neck.

Try this when your newborn crosses three months.

Face your newborn outward and make him sit on your hip bones.

Wrap your arm around your newborn’s waist.

Your newborn will be able to look at things around him comfortably.

Face-to-face hold

This lets you make your newborn smile and interact with him.

Support your newborn’s head and neck with one hand.

Offer support to your newborn’s bottom with another hand.

Hold your newborn just below the chest facing you.

“Hello World” hold / Chair hold

Is your newborn a curious baby?

This lets your newborn see what is going around.

Let your newborn lean back and rest on your chest so that his head has proper support.

Place one hand across your newborn’s chest to prevent him from leaning on the sides.

Place your other hand under your newborn’s bottom.

Give your newborn good support.

If you want to try the same hold while sitting, there is no need to support his bottom.

Recommended to try this when your newborn crosses three months.

Football hold

This suits feeding your newborn and you can use it while standing or sitting.

Support your newborn’s neck and head with your hand and the rest of her back with your same forearm.

Adjust your newborn’s head and neck with the other hand.

Make your newborn curl towards your body side with his legs extended behind.

Draw your newborn closer to your chest.

Use the other free hand for offering extra support to the head or feeding your newborn.

Lap hold

Use this while bottle-feeding your newborn and can be used while in a sitting position.

Place your feet firmly on the ground level when sitting and take your newborn onto your lap.

Your newborn’s head should be near your knees with your face upwards.

Place both of your hands beneath the head for support and your forearms all along the body.

Let your newborn’s feet tuck in at your waist region.

How to hold your newborn after feeding?

Tips to hold your newborn.

Pay attention to your newborn’s mood while holding him.

If your newborn is crying or is fussy and irritated, change his position to make him comfortable. This will help you avoid discomfort for your newborn.

Your newborn’s head should always be free so that he can turn around to breathe.

Make sure you are in skin-to-skin contact when you hold your newborn.

This helps to keep your newborn warm and improves bonding.

If you are nervous holding your newborn, you can choose a sitting position.

Sit and hold your newborn if you are nervous or do not have enough strength to carry your newborn’s weight.

Do not hold your newborn while cooking or carrying something hot.

Put your newborn onto an infant support pillow while you are breastfeeding.

If you want to wake your newborn up, touch his cheeks or tickle his feet gently instead of shaking him.

Use both hands to hold your newborn while you are climbing and getting off the stairs for extra safety.

Click here to see how to hold your newborn to stop crying?

How to hold your newborn during a bath?

To prevent accidents like drowning or swallowing water.

While you lower your newborn into the bathtub, hold him with one hand beneath his bottom.

Use the other hand to support his back and shoulders.

Once your newborn is settled in the bath, you can use the hand which was supporting his bottom to wash his body.

With the other hand hold your newborn firm and keep his head above the water level.

You can use bath support to free your hands.

What matters most to parents? Our most-read articles:

Importance of a conducive learning environment

Holistic Child Development

What to prepare for infant care

Tampines parks that you can bring your child

Cost of infant care


Nurture Infant House, one of the best infant care in Tampines, provides an infant care programme for infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. Teachers from our infant care Tampines or infant care at Tampines are trained, qualified, respectful, responsive to the infants. They are flexible with their approach to learning and can interchange their teaching method to accommodate your infant’s preferred method.

The infant's daily routines in our Tampines infant care include a good mix of structured activities such as introducing infants to a variety of colours, textures, and sounds etc, eat time, playtime and rest.

We have over 30 years of experience in nurturing thousands of infants, toddlers and preschoolers so you are looking for a good Tampines infant care, Tampines preschool or Tampines childcare, do consider Nurture Infant House.

Located beside our Tampines infant care is our Genesis Childcare 1989.

If you are looking for a Tampines preschool or childcare Tampines near Tampines Central for playgroup, nursery or kindergarten, you can consider enrolling your child in Genesis Childcare 1989. Our Tampines childcare is one of Singapore's leading childcare services. Visit our childcare at Tampines and Tampines preschool to learn more about our curriculum and how we ensure a holistic development for your child.

Lastly, would you like to visit our Nurture Infant House to find out more about our environment and setup as well as understand our operations by talking to our teachers and supervisor?

Book a school tour now! Click here to read our Google reviews too!

You can visit us at the following venues:

Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433

Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)

Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293

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