There are few experiences that compare to holding a newborn for the first time. The sweetness and innocence of having a tiny person in your arms tend to fill most people with a sense of joy. However, the fact that holding a newly born baby for the first time is enjoyable does not mean that everyone knows practices newborn handling safety. Read on for some of our newborn handling safety tips to assist you, your family and friends in protecting your baby.
Head and Neck Support
One of the most common of all newborn handling safety tips is to make sure that you support the baby’s head. After birth, these little bundles of joy undergo a massive amount of development, but it takes a while for them to build up the strength required to support their own head. Therefore, the best way to help them while holding them is to cradle their head while carrying them. If you need to hold your child upright or lay them down for any reason, be sure to provide adequate support for their head and neck so that it is not flopping around. These guidelines are exceptionally critical to share with young children that may be holding the baby as they may be used to baby dolls.
Wash Your Hands
As you may imagine, infants do not have fully developed immune systems. As a result, they can be extremely susceptible to infection from a variety of sources. Unfortunately, when someone comes into your home from outside, they are also bringing the germs of everywhere they have been with them. Therefore, it is a good “house rule” to require everyone to wash their hands when they come into your home. However, at a minimum, everyone should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before touching the baby.
Avoid Rough Play
Our final newborn handling safety tip is one of the most vital because it can have dire consequences for your child. Rough play would include (but is not limited to) jiggling on the knee or throwing a baby in the air and catching them. These types of activities are dangerous because they can cause bleeding in the brain which can lead to brain damage or even death. Another potential hazard that many people don’t consider is waking a baby. Never shake a baby to wake them. Instead, opt to tickle their feet or blow gently on their cheek to stimulate them awake.