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FAQ Frequently asked questions
Do I need to support my newborn's head when I lift them?
Yes. For the first few months, your baby may not be able to support the weight of their own head. If you pick them up without supporting their head, it will probably flop backwards, distressing your baby and potentially causing …
Why do small babies have wobbly heads?
Small babies' heads weigh more than any other part of their bodies - up to a quarter of their weight in most cases. Babies do not need to use their muscles when in the uterus, so when they are born, they have very weak and undeveloped neck and head …
What is the best way to pick my newborn up?
For starters, be careful of your back when lifting a baby - bend your knees first, then lean over. Then: always slide one hand underneath baby's head, fully supporting their head and neck; slide your other hand down to support their bottom and …
Can I put my newborn in an upright stroller?
Upright strollers do not provide any support for your baby's head and neck, so they are unsuitable until your baby is able to control its head. Some strollers have removable padding, specially designed to support newborns and have them in a …
Is it safe to put my newborn in a backpack baby carrier?
Wait until your baby has head control before using a backpack baby carrier. As they are behind you, you cannot see if they are distressed or if their heads have flopped down against their chests, or worse, backwards.
What are fontanelles?
Fontanelles are the soft spots on your newborn's head, where the bones of their skull have not fused together. It is OK to lightly touch these when washing baby's hair or combing it, but protect these areas from impacts when lifting baby.
When will my baby be able to hold up its head without support?
By the time your baby is three months old, they will usually be able to hold their head steady for longer periods of time. Still, take care to support their head if they are still slightly wobbly and provide head support by …
My baby was preterm - will this affect their head control?
In many cases, yes. Preterm babies are often slower to develop physically than their peers. Each baby is unique, but it is perfectly normal for a preterm baby to be a few months behind a full-term baby of the same age.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 14 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Votes: 518 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Safely holding a baby