Tip: When applying baby lotion, it is always best to have your little one strapped properly to a changing table or on a towel on the floor. Lotioned babies can be quite slippery and difficult to hold safely.
Because your baby’s head is the heaviest part of her body, holding her properly is essential to her spinal health. The neck is normally very fragile. Your newborn has very little control over her neck so it is your responsibility to make sure you are holding your infant correctly until she gains adequate control of her neck.
For other great tips on taking care of your newborn, read more articles from Baby Magic – the USA manufacturer of that fantastically fragranced baby lotion in the pink bottle!
Holding baby safely is encouraged to avoid Shaken Baby Syndrome, or SBS. SBS is a major cause of brain damage and has the potential to become fatal. In fact, SBS is usually a sign of child abuse. SBS can cause varying extents of cerebral-palsy, blindness, and cognitive impairment. Avoid accidentally shaking your child or moving her too quickly. Their fragile necks cannot take whiplash and are prone to severe damage. Therefore, holding baby gently, firmly, and properly is crucial to her spinal health.
For neck support when you are not holding baby, roll a towel or blanket and place it underneath her neck when she is laying down or trying to sit by herself. You can also buy a neck pillow to give her ample support in a car seat, stroller, or wind-up swing.
By her second month, your baby will have gained enough strength to lift her head slightly when lying on her tummy or turn her head to the side when propped up on your shoulder. By the time she is about three to four months old, she should be capable of holding her head up at a 45-degree angle. You may even notice her looking around at all the life surrounding her. Holding her requires less caution at this age, but it is still important to be careful of her posture. By the time she is over six months old, she should be able to hold her neck steadily when seated or propped up on your shoulder.