From an early age, your baby needs closeness and comfort as well as food, warmth, and sleep. To begin with, you will probably feel quite nervous about handling and cuddle him, your hands seem so clumsy, his limbs so floppy, his head and neck so fragile. Your normal, care full handling won’t hurt him, even the soft fontanelle on the top of his head has a tough membrane to protect it. But you may startle him if you pick him up suddenly, making him fling his limbs out, or frighten him if he thinks he will fall. It won’t be long before you are both much more confident in each other. As your baby gains control over his muscles, he may enjoy some boisterous games, at four or five months he may love to be swung up above your head, or perched high on your shoulders. If he’s timid and some babies have handled him gently until he is more outgoing. Respond to your baby’s moods, and let him set the pace of your physical play.
Table of Contents
Talk to your baby as you transfer her from one position to another, your voice is familiar and reassuring. Remember that until she is about eight weeks old she cannot control her head or muscles. You need to support her body all the time so that her head does not flop or her limbs dangle.
1: When your baby is lying on her back, slide one hand under her lower back and bottom.
2: Slide your other hand under her neck and head, going in from the opposite side.
3: Lift her gently and slowly, so that her body is supported and her head can’t roll back.
4: Carefully transfer her head to the crook of your elbow or your shoulder, so it is supported.
1: Put one hand underneath her head and neck, then hold her under the bottom with the other. Lower her slowly, gently supporting her until the mat or mattress is taking her weight.
2: Slide your nearest hand out from under her bottom. Use this hand to lift head a little so you can slide out your other hand, and lower her head down gently. Don’t let her head fall back on to the surface, or jerk your arm out quickly.
1: To pick your baby up from her side, slide one hand under her neck and head, the other beneath her bottom.
2: Scoop Your baby into your arms, making sure her head doesn’t flop. Lift her slowly and gently.
3: Hold her against your body, then slide your forearm under her head.
4: Now her head is supported in your elbow, and she feels secure.
1: When you put your baby down to sleep, lower her to the mattress, keeping her nestled in your arms and her head supported in your elbow.
2: Once she is on the mattress, slide out the hand under her bottom.
3: Lift her head to slide your arm out and lower her gently on to her back.
1: When your baby is lying on her stomach, slide one hand under her chest so you forearm will support her chin when you lift, the other under her bottom.
2: Lift her slowly, turning her toward you. Bring her up to your body and slide the arms supporting her head forward until her head nestles comfortably in the crook of your elbow. Put your other hand under her bottom and legs, so she is cradled and secure.
1: Clip the sling on around your waist, if you find it awkward, clip it in front and swivel it around.
2: Pick your baby up and hold her against your shoulder, your hand behind her head.
3: Sit down on a chair and lean back, so that the weight of your baby’s body is supported on your chest and stomach. Pull the pouch up and maneuver her legs through the holes, always pulling the sling and not your baby’s legs.
4: Pull the shoulders straps up and over your shoulders, using one hand to take your baby’s weight all the time.
5: As you sit forwards the sling will gradually take her weight.