Baby Handling Techniques

Today we are going to talk about the appropriate way to hinge at your hips to squat down when you are holding a baby or picking up toys. First, we are going to have Jennifer hold the stick along her spine and bend forward as if she is going to pick up her baby. Notice how the stick comes off her buttocks as she goes forward and as she comes up it’s all back muscles that are working. I want to teach her how to hinge at her hips, bend her knees and now she becomes a seesaw so her center of of gravity stays in the middle as she pushes through her legs to come back up. Hinging at your hips and pushing though your legs so the quads and glutes do absolutely everything. 

Now we have Cash here so she can practice shifting side to side. When you are doing this you are going to press one foot into the ground as she allows all the weight to go into the other leg. She is going to push off and accept weight… Push off and accept weight… Now she feels every ounce of Cash in her legs instead of her back. Now let’s show you how people do it incorrectly. She shifts weight to the right hip then to the left. Notice how there is so much movement and she is not using her legs. As you do it correctly, you are doing your exercises without having to carve out time for them. 

When we are working with holding our babies when sitting, whether you are breast feeding or just loving on them, you can do this and not have extra pain. Make sure your feet are flat on a surface. If they don’t rest flat on the floor, then you are using other muscles rather than settling into your feet. The other thing you want to make sure you look at is if the arm rests are high enough so you can relax your arms and not be holding the baby up. When you hold the baby up, you are using extra back and neck muscles. 

When getting up from the seated position, you want to hinge forward at your hips, look at the ground with your nose over your toes, push at your legs to come up into neutral position. Frequently, when mothers stand, they will tend to push their pelvis forward to take them out of neutral alignment. 

There are a lot of different carries you can get. No matter what kind of carrier you use, you want to be sure your spine, ribcage and pelvis are stacked on top of each other so all of the weight of the baby goes into your legs and feet. With this carrier, the tendency is to lock your knees and push your pelvis forward. I want her to have weight in the middle of her feet, knees not bent but unlocked and her ribs and pelvis to line up. Now if I press down on her she is solid as a rock.

When you are looking at buying a carrier, make sure you get one that has a belt that helps you have weight on your pelvis. If it is too high up it will hurt your lower back. Also, you want to have support on your shoulders, so that the weight is dispersed all the way down to the feet. 

Now we have to make sure we correctly and efficiently move our babies from our arms to our carriers. Hip hinge close to the carrier, once you are down, you are going to move the baby into the carrier and when you stand back up your are going to keep looking at the baby and push up with your feet up. 

Now that the baby is safe in the carrier, we want to be able to pick the carrier up with as little stress on your back as possible. So you are going to hip hinge down, pull the carrier near your body and push through your legs to come back up. 

Next, we will show you how to move the baby using the handle. Your principles for moving anything are to hip hinge, keep weight close to your body and imagine laser beams on your shoulders and hips. You want all four laser beams to light up your baby or the task that you are doing. So we are going to hip hinge down, grab with your arms, push with your legs and when you go to leave you are going to pivot with your feet. 

To get the baby out of the baby carrier, hinge at your hips, bring the baby close to you, then push through your feet and think about your knees going away from each other. This engages your glutes much more and decreases any tension in the inside of your knee.