According to a study, mothers who hold their children skin-to-skin experience less stress. That being said, it’s pretty important how you hold the child, since many of the common methods can harm a baby’s health.
Bright Side thinks it’s important that we all pay special attention to the proper way to hold children. And it turns out that even a baby carrier can be dangerous, as well as swinging kids by their hands — you can read about that in the bonus part.
When you hold a baby, it is crucial that you support their head. Newborns don’t have developed neck muscles. They could suddenly move their head which could mean difficulties with breathing and injuries if their neck isn’t properly supported. They won’t be able to support their head by themselves until they are at least 4-6 months old.
You can use carriers, but the main thing is that you have to know how to use them. It’s necessary that the baby’s legs should be supported by the carrier and be held in the same way as the mother would hold the baby. Then the joints will stay in place and the spine won’t be harmed. Otherwise, if the kid’s legs dangle, this can lead to serious hip diseases like dysplasia or dislocation.
If you hold your baby chest to chest, then you should pay attention to the position of their face. It should be above the shoulder. If the kid’s face rests against your shoulder, it can make breathing difficult. Also, part of your clothes may get into their mouth.
It’s necessary to switch the sides that you carry your kid on. As we said earlier, baby’s necks are weak. So it’s important that the muscles develop on both sides. Otherwise, the neck muscles on one side may develop less and the child could have problems with turning their head.
You shouldn’t hold the child only by the buttocks and the head. First, there is a risk that the child may fall. And second, the spine is overloaded due to the lack of proper back support. So, it’s necessary to support the kid’s back with one hand and their head with the other.
It’s not good to carry a child facing away from you. It makes it harder for you to control the kid. Also, it creates pressure on their spine and dangling legs, the same as with the wrong carrier. Therefore, it’s better to hold the baby facing your chest. Pay attention and make sure to support the baby’s legs and back.
Don’t pull a child up by their hands. This can cause something called nursemaid’s elbow, also known as pulled elbow or radial head subluxation. This means that the elbow bone is partially displaced at the joint. This condition is common among kids up to 5 years old.
It can also be caused when you pull a child or swing them. But when children reach 5 years old, their bones become stronger and a pulled elbow is less likely to develop.
Have you ever held a baby using one of the ways described above? Which other dangerous positions for a child do you know of? You can share your experience in the comments.
Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for BrightSide.me