Day 73: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands


I remember the first time I held my first son in my arms. It is sort of surreal experience to look down and see your own facial features reflected on another human being. In some respects, I kind of felt sorry for the little guy. I remember thinking once in those early days "Oh boy, you got my huge noggin." When I was growing up, my friends used to call me “melon head” as I put prize-winning melons watermelons to shame.

At first, it might be a little nerve-racking to hold the little guy or gal because they seem so fragile. There are a few things to remember holding a newborn baby. First, is that babies are much more flexible than even young children. Many of their bones and joints are simply not as developed yet and so they might bend and stretch in ways that you would not expect. This helps the baby for the birthing process.
Secondly, if you feel of depression in the top of your baby's head, don't panic. Someone didn't drop them and they don't have a malformed skull. This is what is known as the "soft spot". Before birth the bones of a baby’s skull do not fuse together, which helps them be able to be born through a very small space without damaging their head. After birth, the bones start to fuse together and the soft spot should shrink in the coming months.
Third, is that infant need extra support to their head and neck. Infants might be happiest in several different positions but whatever you do support the neck. If you don't, their heads can easily flop around which can cause damage.

Fourth, make sure you are holding an infant with clean hands. Babies are exceptionally susceptible to pathogens. Their immune system’s are not fully developed and so must be extra cautious. As a rule, make sure to wash your hands frequently around your infants and specifically before you hold or feed him or her. Avoid touching their mouth, eyes, nose, and ears, as these are common places where germs can enter. For the few first few months at least, it is wise to limit the number of people that you allow to hold the baby, as each new person has potential to introduce different kinds of germs.

Finally, just enjoy the experience. They really do grow very quickly and soon holding your baby will be less like holding the weight of a plastic doll and more like holding the weight of a sack of potatoes. Eventually, it will be like holding something you can’t pick up at all.


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