How to hold someone else’s newborn (& Friday links)

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I got a kick out of the article “How to hold a Stranger’s Newborn,” when it ran in the New York Times last fall. It was one of those headlines that resonates because even as a parent to two young children, I can still feel occasionally feel nervous about holding someone else’s newborn—and this seemed to suggest that I’m not the only one.

For my part, the nerves have nothing to do with any worry I’m going to drop the baby or make it cry (I would never! And they all just do!), but rather that I can get self-conscious about the parents watching me hold the baby. Do they think I’m going to drop it? Did I let them see me wash my hands just before? Are they looking for an excuse to take the baby back?

The article addresses this, with advice from Pat Rice, “a psychologist who has been volunteering for 19 years as a ‘trained cuddler’’ in [a] neonatal intensive care unit”:

“Try to avoid feeling self-conscious or attempting to impress nearby adults. ‘’Be more consciously in your heart when you’re holding babies,’ Rice says.”

In your heart. Isn’t that sweet?

Other tips I loved:

‘‘’Tell the baby your name, and say their name.’’’

“Make that tiny body in your arms your temporary nucleus. Start with the classic cradle hold, but change positions if the child cries, arches its back or looks exasperated.”

“Speak and sing.” (Rice often tries Louis Armstrong’s version of ‘‘When You’re Smiling’’ or just repeats: ‘You’re O.K. It’s going to be all right.’)

“Calm your emotions.” (And “generate compassion.”)

Aren’t new babies just the most marvelous, bizarre little things?

Here are some more things you might find interesting… 

Having just started Modern Romance, I’ve been thinking about this more lately: A Social Media Code of Conduct (Agree? Disagree?)

Bone broth is trending. Really? Have you tried it?

I tried using a curling iron for the first time in years a few weeks ago and immediately burnt my finger. Working up the nerve to try again

The Netflix of Broadway shows

Some tips on how to get baby gifts you can truly be gracious about.

Okay, we’ve watched Making of A Murderer. We can all discuss. This New Yorker article was a nice counterpoint.

Re-reading this 5 Things Tahoe in hopes of making a visit soon. Curious, locals, what’s your favorite part of the region to stay? To ski?

Four kinds of parenting.

Have you read this or this book? Both sound very intriguing.

Mexico City made the top of this list for places to go in 2016!

Speaking of cool destinations: 10 things to do in Oakland. (And a 5 Things guide from a while back.)

Finally, did you enter to win the three cookbooks? Still good odds! (And I’m loving all the recommendations!)

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P.S. One other lovely bit from the article above: “After Rice picks up a child in the NICU, he can see [his impact] in real time on the baby’s monitor screens: The heart rate slows, and oxygen saturation levels rise. A successful encounter usually ends with a sleeping baby.” Oh my goodness. I think my oxygen saturation levels rose just thinking about that.

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