New baby boot camp—Babycare 101

We give you step-by-step instructions on how to hold baby, change a diaper, bathe and feed her, and put her to bed.


Picking up a tiny, vulnerable newborn can be intimidating, so the first thing to remember is not to be scared. “Newborn babies are not fragile,” says Janet Fyle, a midwife from the Royal College of Midwives, UK. “You can hold them firmly — they don’t break.” Take care to support her head and neck, though. A newborn has soft joints and little muscle control, meaning her head can flop about.

• Lift her gently and slide one hand under her bottom, cradling her head with the other hand, then raise her gently towards you. Be as smooth as possible so you don’t startle her. Rest her against your chest with her head and back supported against your arms.
• Alternatively, lift her under the arms, supporting the back of her head with your fingers, then turn her so she is cradled in your arms, her head in the crook of your elbow.
• You can also lean her head against your shoulder and hold her bottom in one hand while supporting her upper back with the other.