6 Different Baby Holding Positions

Being a new parent can have it’s challenging and confusing moments. All of a sudden, you’ve got a tiny human […]

Baby Holding Positions

Being a new parent can have it’s challenging and confusing moments. All of a sudden, you’ve got a tiny human to take care of and they do not come with an instruction manual! If your baby is the first in the family or you just haven’t had all that much to do with babies, you may not know exactly how you should be holding your baby. As with everything, practice makes perfect and it will eventually become second nature, but until then, take a look at our guide to different baby holding positions for some helpful guidance and a few ideas!

There are so many ways that you can safely and comfortably hold your baby. Utilising different positions is a great way of building your baby’s strength and development. It’s also important for you to look after your own body by having a variety of comfortable positions.

When picking your baby up, slide one hand under baby’s head and neck and the other hand under their bottom. It is important to bend your knees to protect your back. From here, you can move into a variety of positions.

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The Cradle Hold

This is the ‘go-to’ position when holding a newborn and feels the most natural. Baby’s head should be resting in the crook of your arm, supporting their neck and head, with your hands supporting under their bottom. This position is comfortable for both you and bub and allows for face-to-face communication.


Face to Face

Supporting baby’s head and neck with one hand and their bottom with the other, hold baby just below your chest with their feet against you for extra support. This position makes interacting with your baby so much easier as you can clearly see each other’s faces.

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On Your Chest/ Shoulder Hold

While supporting baby’s neck with your hand, rest them on your chest and shoulder with your hand supporting under their bottom. This position can be helpful if your baby has wind or just doesn’t want to be on their back anymore. A great position for cuddling bub!

Outward Facing

This one’s for the curious babies! With baby rested up against your chest for head support, place your arm around their front and hold between the legs. This arm also acts as a barrier to stop your baby falling forwards. You can place your other hand/ arm under baby’s bottom in a chair position for extra support.

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Football Hold (Alternative breastfeeding position)

Support the neck and head with your hand and the rest of their back with that same forearm. This position can be a lifesaver when breastfeeding, especially if bub has developed a preference for one side. Sometimes it’s more comfortable for your baby to lay on one side as opposed to the other, so holding them this way meets their needs and also helps to avoid neglecting one side!

Overarm Belly Hold

A lot of babies love this position and seem to settle when held this way as it can help with releasing gas. It’s a great one to try while burping your baby. Lay your baby with their stomach on your forearm with their face towards your elbow and legs either side of your hand. You can use your other hand to hold bub’s back for a secure feeling of hold your other hand to support more weight.

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We hope this guide on baby holding positions has given you a little bit of peace of mind as we know it can be daunting holding a newborn for the first time. As always, please contact us if you have any questions. For serious concerns, seek out advice from your women’s health physio or GP for specific advice.

Which position is your favourite? Be sure to let us know!

The Upside Team


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