Before having a baby I only thought of holding my child in the traditional cradle hold. But after talking to physical therapists and people in related fields I realized the importance of varying your holds while you carry your baby. Infants of course love being touched and held. These different holds allow them to see the world in different ways. You can move forward, backward, side-to-side, in circles, dance around, up and down, and show them all the possibilities of movement! We love doing this to music – pausing and stopping, going faster and slower, etc. It’s the best time to point things out in the home that are at a higher level – totally new world for them! And a big plus is that these various holds give your arms a workout! Flying Baby This is great for when your child has more control over their body, especially their head. You can sit on the ground (or your bed) with your knees bent and position your baby on your shins. You can then lie down own your back while raising your baby so that your shins and your baby are parallel to the ground. This will make them feel like they’re flying high! And once they gain more control you can actually bring them high into the sky without the support of your shins!
It’s exactly what it sounds like. You bring you baby to the side almost in a seated position and hold them securely with your arm. This allows them to feel the natural forward and backward motion as you walk and move around. It prepares them for what to expect when walking!
In this position your baby is also on your side, but here they are on your hip almost hugging you with their legs. It’s best to put your arm around their back and reach down to their leg for increased support. This helps them practice head support and gain upper body strength.
In this hold your elbow is bent and your baby is under you arm – literally almost like you’re holding a football! Much heavier than a football as they get older though! This is also great for learning about forward movement and what it feels like to crawl or walk one day! <
Many times we hear from parents how hard it is to do tummy time, but what you can do to make it more fun is hold them in the air on their belly. That way they are still practicing lifting their head and getting stronger overall. Holding them on your chest facing you is also a form of tummy time. Remember the more tummy time you do the better – it even affects fine motor skills such as writing later on in life!