How to Hold Other People's Babies


how to hold a new baby
Never Come Between a Mom and Her Baby
Before I had kids of my own, I never offered to hold a baby. They confused me. I didn't know if I should try to hold their head up or if it would cause them to be anal retentive if I imposed my will upon their tiny heads. (Yes, I realize that's not exactly the right part of the body. Sue me. I was childless and clueless.) After I had my own baby, and then another, I realized that holding a baby was all in the wrist. That, and that I could relax and give a snuggle or two without fear of damaging a child for life.

However, recent events have caused me to reconsider my cavalier attitude about holding other people's babies. Because you know, I still might be doing it wrong. And you probably are too.

Just as every mom is different, every new mom is not only different, they are much, much, much more neurotic about the baby rules. I get it. I used to cringe when people did not wash their hands before touching my precious first born. Of course, by the second baby, I was pawning him off on the local hobos if it meant I could drink my latte in peace. Which makes you forget that brand new moms are much pickier about the germs. You're probably making them sick to their stomachs every time you touch a tiny hand or nose. Just sayin'.

Also, how much is too much? I have one distinct memory of an overly-friendly near stranger who spent way too much time with my baby girl. I could actually mingle with a crowd as she cuddled up with my new little gal. Except I didn't because I was following her around the party spy-like, and never relaxed for fear that surely this woman was going to sell my beautiful baby on the black market. Again, with the new kid, I would have welcomed the break. Even if the hobos somehow came back and wanted to give him a cuddle.

So what I've concluded is this: Never hold a new mom's first baby. Never. You'll only make her nervous, nauseous, and not at all appreciative of your lesson in giving zerberts. Trust me, as I'm an expert at offending new moms.

Do you get nervous holding other people's babies?

baby development, baby health, childcare


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

ashjo85 ashjo85

I have a two year old, and thought nothing of holding a good friend's first born when he was about three weeks old. Except my daughter was a solid 8 pounds when she was born, and this little guy was about 5 pounds soaking wet. I felt like I might break him! It made me nervous and uncomfortable. My friend didn't seem perplexed as he got passed around the table, but I was sweating bullets. The difference is amazing!

Eques... EquestrianMom

I don't hold other peoples babies unless they are really, really relaxed about it. And I like to wash my hands first, because I understand while I was not terribly picky with my firstborn, many mothers and fathers are very protective.  I only held my brother in laws baby like, twice, because I thought Dad would have a heart attack each time, his baby liked to be held in a different position then my son did, and he felt I didn't do it right! LOL! Their second he is way more relaxed about, probably because he's passing her off so he can run to catch his first toddler now :P

ChicH... ChicHippie

Hand washing is a big deal for us because of my son's health issues but I don't recall being nervous when others held/hold him.. but I worked in child care for years so I'm sure that's part of it. I do have to watch my grandmother closely when she's holding him because I caught her trying to give him a jolly rancher candy when he was 4 months. I about died!

ChicH... ChicHippie

Oh and to answer your question .. nope.

Hayli... Hayliesmom

I rarely ever hold someone's tiny baby.  Once they can sit up and hold their head up on their own though, I hold them if I'm close with the mother.  After they're about 2, I pick up any toddler who raises their arms :)  

Roses... Rosesandlilys

Never hold a new moms first baby? Thats ridiculous. Babies would never be held if that were the case. I loved letting people hold my son, even when he was a newborn. It was a joy to watch people light up when they saw him, and I rarely ever had to ask someone to was their hands, they always did without me asking. 

nikki... nikkik526

I dont really know many babies other then my two, so theres really none for me to hold. Most of my friends kids are 1.5 yrs old or older and I will pick them up if they raise thier arms to be held.

Lora Roy

I love holding babies and kids my problem is I never want to give em back!

Kritika Kritika

Lora wait till one throws up on you lol...

momto... momtolittleg

I didn't mind people holding my daughter- most of the time I figured THEY were better at it than I was!  I won't seek out babies to hold, but if someone asks me to hold theirs to give them a hand, or if they seem to expect me to offer, i don't mind.  One of my best friends just had her second baby, and I didn't think twice about taking him, feeding him (with a bottle, obviously) and changing him when he needed it.  Though that was the first baby boy I'd changed since I was a teen- a bit different, lol!  But with people I don't know so well, I watch my boundaries carefully.

1-10 of 30 comments 123 Last