If you are trying to figure out why your baby is crying, consider whether he is more like a football or a koala bear. It takes a mom a long time to discover her baby’s preferred hold. (Moms are the only ones who worry about it; Dads just go for the football.) Some babies like snuggling toward Mommy’s heartbeat, while others are only happy facing out to observe the world. You have to keep trying different positions until you find one that works for you and your baby.
The Cradle Hold: Place your baby’s head in the crook of one arm and wrap your other arm around the baby. This hold is the most natural; even little girls hold their dolls this way. If only every baby preferred this one, we could solve most of the world’s problems in one day.
The Snuggle Hold: Place your baby’s head close to your chest so that he can hear your heartbeat. Hold him under his bottom and keep him close to you. This hold is usually the most comforting and reassuring for a newborn. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle? Well, as Mommy’s Law would have it, probably yours. So read on and try some more.
The Kangaroo Hold: Pretend your baby is in your “pouch” facing outward and support his bottom with one arm. You will also need to use your other arm to support his upper body. Note: Resist the temptation to hop around the house and call everyone “mate.”
The Belly Hold: Lay your baby face down across one of your arms, and use your other arm to support his back. This hold is very effective for a gassy baby.
The Shoulder Hold: Place your baby’s tummy up on your shoulder and support him under his rear end. This adds another great pressure to a baby’s tummy that helps to release gas.
If your baby consistently needs the Belly Hold and Shoulder Hold, consider investing in a gas mask.
The Hip Hold: Once your baby has full neck control, you can start resting him on one of your hips. Now you have a free hand! Just remember that your baby is hanging off your side when you walk through doorways and around corners.
The Clueless Hold: There is one hold that is almost guaranteed to make your baby fussy. The many people who are clamoring to hold your adorable baby will naturally hold him in a “cradle” position, which puts the baby’s mouth right near their chest. This is like holding a fudge-laden brownie in front of a dieter and not letting him taste it. In other words, why torture the baby? Most moms and caregivers are not even aware of this. When someone wants to hold your baby, always request that they hold him facing AWAY from their chest.
The Handoff: Pass your baby to anyone else and go take a nap.
If you have tried everything else and still cannot get your baby comfortable, try passing him to someone else. It may sound crazy, but many times this works because the baby needed a change of scenery. It almost startles him into silence.
Notice the name of this hold. Do not try to get fancy and attempt a Hail Mary, Bomb, Flea Flicker, or any other football pass. A Pump Fake is okay.
Check back next week for more help with baby cries…