This is how a guy can hold a newborn baby like a pro. Within one week, I’ve become a professional baby handler…and it took my own child to show me how it’s done.
In the past, if anyone tried to get me to hold a newborn baby, I’d stiffen up and accept the baby like some robot. Fearful I might drop the fragile creation, I painstakingly stared and prayed he or she wouldn’t move or cry until the parents extracted their child back.
The hospital can be a super awkward place for a new dad, but when Aurora was first handed to me, dropping her wasn’t even on my mind. In that moment, nothing could wrench her from my arms.
Since then, I’ve found I can hold a newborn baby easily. No doubt, paternal instincts kick in. My in-laws may have thought my sudden ease was a little too much. The nurses in the hospital didn’t seem to be extremely careful, though. Bottom line: relax. A guy can hold a newborn baby like a pro with just a few easy tips:
1. Head support
Babies have incredibly unpredictable heads. The key to remember: wherever the head goes, the body goes. A few days ago I took pride in the strength of our babies neck muscles. She was holding steady, so I grabbed my phone to document this special moment. No sooner had I picked it up, her head went diving in the other direction. Luckily, I had a strong grip on her body.
2. Bottom support
If the head and neck are supported, you can pretty much hold the newborn baby in any position: cradled in the arms, over the shoulder, or against the chest.
3. Compact and tight
Something I never knew until I became a father is babies feel most secure when their position is like what they had in the womb. A tightly swaddled baby who can barely wiggle or move is most calm.
I was surprised when I jokingly put a Boba wrap on. Aurora was super fussy at first and I thought this was because she was suddenly shrink-wrapped against my body. But she quickly became calm when I started walking around. It wasn’t long before she was fast asleep in what I thought was an awkward upright position.
You can replicate this with your arms by keeping the babies body close next to yours and holding the arms and legs in so they aren’t flailing around.
If none of these techniques make the baby happy, movement in the form of walking, light swaying or bouncing might do the trick.
And if none of these things work out, you can watch The Happiest Baby on the Block if you’re super motivated. It’s a retro video that worked great for me.