Baby Basics: Carrying Positions & Diaper Changing

These tips will teach you how to comfortably and safely hold an infant and the ABC’s of diaper changing.

Holding a Baby

The golden rule to remember when holding an infant is that babies cannot hold their heads up until about 4-5 months of age, so you need to support young babies’ heads when holding them. When putting a baby down, make sure to support the head until it touches the mattress. Once a baby is old enough to hold up her head, you can carry her on your hip.

Some common carrying positions:

- Place the baby’s head in the bed of your elbow and use your arm to support her body

- Place the baby’s head over your shoulder; use one hand to support her head and the other to support her body.

- Hold the infant like a football, with her head in your hand and her body under your arm; her feet will be pointed toward your elbow.

Changing Diapers

Before a parent leaves, ask to be shown the changing station. Throughout your time with the baby, it’s important to check her diaper periodically and change it if needed.

To change a diaper:

1. Unfasten the diaper tabs and lift the child’s bottom out of the diaper by gently lifting the ankles.

2. Cleanse the baby’s skin with a baby wipe to prevent diaper rash.

3. Slide a clean diaper under the baby’s bottom, making sure that the tabs are located under the bottom.

4. If parents have asked you to apply an ointment, this is the time to do so.

5. Close the new diaper by pulling the front up over the baby’s belly and pulling the tabs open and around so that the diaper is snugly fastened

Never leave a baby unattended on a changing table! If you need to reach for something, keep a hand on the baby’s belly.

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