What is my baby
trying to tell me?

Understanding Sleep

Place your baby to sleep on a firm surface, free of any objects, and on their back. Newborns fall asleep in light sleep and go into deep sleep in about 20 minutes.

Light Sleep
Deep Sleep
baby sleeping

Understanding Cues

Your baby is able to tell you what they need without words by using their body cues. Responding to their cues can help your baby be calm and happy.

What is my baby trying to tell me?
Now is the time to feed, before they get too hungry.
Notice the difference between “I am hungry” cues and “I need something changed” cues!
This means they are uncomfortable or bothered by something. Let them turn away or rest. Noise, lights, or too many people can be tiring for babies.
What is my baby trying to tell me?
What is my baby trying to tell me?
These cues mean they are ready to stop eating.
This means they are ready to interact, learn, or play with you!
What is my baby trying to tell me?
What is my baby trying to tell me?

Understanding Crying

It can be very upsetting for parents when their baby cries. All babies cry sometimes. Babies cry for many reasons, not just because they are hungry or need a diaper change. There are things you can do to help your baby feel better.

To learn more about crying, go to www.purplecrying.com.

Quick Tips for Parents

To find a WIC clinic near you call 800-522-0874 or visit our website wic.in.gov. Learn more about safe sleep for babies.

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This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

The ‘I’m a WIC Client’ button now directs to Nutrition and Breastfeeding, the content offered on the site has not changed.

Side Lying Hold

Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Cross Cradle Hold

Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Football Hold

Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:

Breastfeeding Holds

Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: