Kenya Moore, the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star, was criticized recently for the way she was carrying her baby in an Instagram post.
In the photo, she was carrying and kissing her baby Brooklyn, just over a month old. People said that the way she was carrying her baby was how not to hold a baby.
What can you read in this article?
- Newborn holding positions
- How not to hold a newborn baby
- Tips in properly holding your newborn
Some fans adored her photo, and others chided the fact she was kissing her baby and holding her baby the wrong way. One comment said Kenya shouldn’t be holding her baby underneath the baby’s armpits as the baby will become sore from being held in the air by the armpits.
Babies are fragile. Carrying a baby the wrong way could cause lasting damage to your little one.
Commenters were critical of how Kenya Moore was carrying her baby | Source: Instagram @thekenyamoore
Newborn holding positions
Before getting into all the newborn holding positions, make sure to do these steps first!
- Make sure your hands are clean. And not just when holding your newborn but in everything that you do that involves your newborn. Washing their bottles, folding their clothes, arranging their stuff. Everything should be hygienic and clean. Even your clothes should be clean!
Keep an alcohol or sanitizer, and wipes nearby for easy access.
- Be ready. By ready meaning there’s no one nor anything waiting for you to attend to. Your focus must be in your baby. Since you’re still practicing, your full attention should be in every bit of the holding process.
- Provide support in any of the newborn holding positions. Whatever that position may be, make sure that you support your baby’s head, neck, and back. Be careful of your baby’s fontanelles, or the soft spots in his or her head.
Newborns have yet to develop their neck muscle control to support their head on their own, especially that the head is the heaviest part of their body. At 4 months, your baby would normally be able to hold his or her head on their own.
- Slowly pick up your baby while placing one hand under your baby’s head and the other under their bottom. Raise their body to your chest level. Don’t forget to support their head and neck.
One of the easiest newborn holding positions there is. Once your baby is at your chest level horizontally, slide your hand from their bottom to their neck. Your baby’s head should be in the crook of either one of your elbows.
Here’s how to hold a newborn upright. Your baby’s body should be parallel to yours. You can rest their head on your chest and/or shoulder. Make sure that you have one hand supporting their head and neck, and the other, their bottom.
This position is like the cradle hold, but your baby is laying stomach down on your forearm. Support him or her with your other arm.
Get comfortable in a chair with your feet firm on the ground. Slowly place your baby on your lap, their head on your knees, facing up. Support them with your hands on their head and neck, and your forearms behind their back. Their feet should be tucked in your waist.
Face your baby towards you while supporting their head and neck on hand, the other hand supporting their bottom.
Don’t forget to establish eye contact and communicate with your baby while holding them, in any newborn holding positions that may be!
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Maybe you’re wondering, how do you hold your baby when feeding and burping?
Hold your baby in a shoulder hold and support their head and back while gently patting their back with your other hand.
You may do a lap hold, but your babysitting down. Support their head and chest with one hand by cradling their chin with your palm. Use your other hand to gently pat their back.
Lastly, you may also hold your baby face down on your lap. Don’t forget to support their head and make sure than the chest is higher than the head. Gently pat or rub their back.
When it comes to feeding especially breastfeeding, there are different newborn holding positions you can try.
Pretty much the same as described above. If you’re a mom who had undergone a caesarean section operation, it might be better to skip this one and try other positions as this might hurt your scar.
Get comfortable lying on your side. Lie your baby on his or her side as well, facing you. Support your back with a pillow, and your baby’s with a blanket or a smaller pillow.
If you have a pillow under your head, make sure it does not block your baby’s head or face. Once you’re all set, guide your baby’s head to your breast and maintain supporting your baby and watching while he or she is feeding.
Lie back in a comfortable semi-circle position on your bed or couch, (not flat on the bed). Place your baby in front, their tummy on your tummy. If this is uncomfortable, try laying them down on one side instead.
This position is usually used for moms who have twins or two breastfeeding babies. Sit upright and have pillows support either of your side. Position your baby on your sides, with your hand supporting their necks. Their hips should be close to yours, and their nose close to your nipple.
It’s important to support baby’s head as she can’t move her head on her own | Source: File photo
How NOT to hold a newborn baby
No head support
Baby’s neck muscles aren’t developed, and it usually takes about a month for baby to move her head on her own. So when carrying baby, her head might flop to one side, which might injure or make her difficult to breathe. Holding baby by her armpits not only makes her uncomfortable, it lacks proper head support.
Always make sure you support baby’s head with your full hand or arm. It takes a full six months plus before baby can support her own head.
No back and hip support
It’s just the head, you need to support baby’s back and hip as well. Most parents carry baby under the head and buttocks only, which could less to stress injury, stress to the spine or a fall because there’s not much balance in such a large surface area.
Place a hand or arm under all of baby’s back and hip, and another hand (or the same arm) to support baby’s head. If you’re carrying baby against your shoulder, being chest to chest should serve as enough back support for baby.
Face on shoulder
When burping baby, moms usually carry baby chest to chest. Make sure baby’s face isn’t covered against mommy’s shoulder. Not only is it difficult to breathe, whatever fabric you’re wearing can get into baby’s mouth or nose.
Always check if baby is able to breathe properly. When burping baby, make sure her head is above or facing away from your shoulder.
You wanna show off your little one to the world, but don’t make facing outwards a habit. This can put unnecessary pressure on her spine, undue pressure on the groin or chafe her inner thighs.
Even with baby carriers, always opt for baby to face inwards chest to chest. Having baby embrace you is more natural and helps you become closer to her.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be doing other things while carrying baby. This includes menial things like drinking a hot beverage or using your phone. This includes carrying baby down the stairs – don’t do it. When you don’t focus, baby could fall and have a serious injury, or worse.
Focus on the things you need to do, and leave baby in her cot or under your loved one’s care.
Facing baby away from you is one way how not to hold a baby – opt to face baby inwards instead | Source: Picswe
- Keep your hand free from holding anything (hot drinks, plates, etc.), or doing something (cooking, cleaning, etc.)
- Hold your baby securely when going up or down the stairs.
- Never shake your newborn, no matter what happens. Shaking can cause bleeding in their brain, and can even cause death.
- Your newborn is not yet ready for rough play like being shaken or thrown of in the air.
More tips for a happy baby who wants to be carried
- If baby gets moody or starts crying when you carry her, maybe she’s uncomfortable. Try holding her in a different position. Or gently rock baby, holding her on your shoulder. Remember to give baby room to breathe – either above your shoulder or her head turn aside.
- Nervous about holding baby? Try a seated position, especially if you don’t feel strong enough to carry baby.
- For hands free carrying, invest in a baby carrier or a Boba Wrap. Don’t forget to read and follow the instructions on how to wrap baby.
Additional information from Margaux Dolores
Atlanta Black Star, Healthline, Raising Children, Kid’s Health, NHS UK