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How to Hand Off a Newborn

As much as you may hate to give him up, at some point you're going to have to let somebody else hold your new baby. Here's how to safely hand him over.


  • : Never hand a baby to a young child. Instead, place the baby on the child's lap—and stay close by.
  • Step 1: Offer burp cloth Offer a burp cloth to the person who's going to hold your baby—especially if he or she is dressed up or if your newborn is a frequent spitter-upper.
  • Step 2: Never extend baby You can hand your baby off while you're cradling him in your arms or holding him on your shoulder. Either way, keep him close to your body and have the other person come to you to get him—never extend the baby in your arms out toward the other person.
  • TIP: If you're sitting, have the other person sit beside you for the handoff and twist your body sideways so that you're facing each other.
  • Step 3: Cradling position To hand off your baby from a cradling position, have the other person slip her hand under the baby's head with her fingers spread to support the baby's head and neck. At the same time, she can slide her other hand under the baby's bottom and hips and lift him toward her.
  • Step 4: Shoulder position To hand off your baby while holding him on your shoulder, bring him away from you just enough so that the other person can slip her hand between your hand and the baby's head, while using her second hand to support his lower body. Now go take that much-needed bathroom break and don't worry: he's in good hands.
  • FACT: An old superstition says that a newborn should be carried upstairs—never downstairs—the first time they leave the room they're born in, in order to guarantee success in life.

You Will Need

  • A new baby
  • An adult with clean hands to pass her to
  • A burp cloth

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