Handling Your Newborn

If this is your first baby, you might be a little surprised at how tiny and fragile your little one really is. Here are a few important tips for protecting your newborn: 

  • Happy couple holding a babyDon’t let anyone smoke around your baby. Secondhand smoke is dangerous.
  • Wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your newborn, and make sure everyone else who handles your baby also has clean hands.
  • Support your baby’s head and neck. Cradle the head when carrying your baby, and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay him or her down.
  • Do not shake your newborn, and don’t let anyone else shake him. If you need to wake your infant, don’t do it by shaking. Instead, tickle your baby’s feet or blow gently on his cheek.
  • If you feel like shaking your baby out of frustration, it is okay to walk away. Place your baby in a safe place, such as the crib and spend a few minutes alone until you feel calmer.
  • Make sure your baby is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller or car seat. Limit any activity that might be rough or bouncy.
  • Your newborn is not ready for rough play, like being jiggled on the knee or strolled at more than a walking speed. 
  • Never let anyone throw your baby in the air and catch him. This can cause irreversible brain damage.

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