The Cross-Cradle Hold
Similar to the cradle hold, the cross-cradle hold provides you with control over your baby’s movement while also offering head support for the child. It is essentially the same as the cradle hold, except this time you will be using your opposite arm to hold your baby.
Here is how to do the cross-cradle hold:
- Again, like the cradle hold, sit in an upright position. Use any support, like pillows and chairs, if necessary.
- Hold your baby across your body with pillows for support.
- Make sure that the baby’s knees, tummy, and chest are all facing you.
- Wrap the baby’s arms tightly around your breast.
- Check if the baby’s eyes are fixed on your face or on your shoulder.
- When nursing with the right breast, use your right hand to shape your breast and the areola into a sandwich with a “U” hold.
- Your left hand should be around the baby’s neck, supporting the base of his/her head. At the same time, your right arm gives additional support to the baby’s back, keeping the baby’s body close to you.
- To nurse the left breast, reverse your hands.
Other people refer to the cross-cradle hold as the transitional hold, which can be beneficial for preterm babies who are in need of more support and guidance.
These first two positions for breastfeeding are normally done in the early stages of lactation.