How Delicate Are Newborns?

When a baby is first born, they look impossibly tiny and fragile. Whenever you let someone hold them, you reflexively say, "Support their head!" or "Watch their arm!" First-time parents often are quite frightened of accidentally harming their child. Babies, however, are much tougher than you may think, which is a good thing for everyone involved.

Head Support

You will need to support your baby's head and neck for the first month, but all this act requires is to keep a hand behind the neck and lower head or to cradle the baby's neck on your arm. Their muscles in that area are still weak, but they will soon get stronger. By the time they are a month old, they should be able to support their heads themselves, at least for short periods of time. In fact, some babies can hold their heads up even more quickly. When your child is around six months old, they will have better control of their neck and head, and you can put that particular concern behind you.

Immune System

A newborn baby is not as vulnerable to illness as you may think. Although you do not want to unnecessarily expose them to germy environments or sneezing relatives, research has shown that they are better able to fight off bacteria than previously thought. Although their systems go about it differently, they are able to mount a pretty strong defense against illness and infection as soon as they are born. Remember that babies have survived being born in pretty harsh conditions since people first roamed the earth.


Some people hesitate to even pick up a newborn for fear they will break as if one wrong move will snap a limb. Remember that your baby has just made a pretty wild and rugged entrance into this world, one that applied a great deal of pressure to their bones. Traveling through the birth canal is no picnic. In fact, babies are really flexible and pretty tough. Of course, you want to be cautious with your baby, but you can quit worrying about breaking them.

New parents quite naturally worry about the health of their tiny new family addition. Newborns do seem quite helpless. Fortunately, they are much tougher than they look. Babies are built to develop quickly, fight off disease, and survive awkward handling by the people who love them. Take care of your child, but relax enough so that you can truly enjoy their first months. For more information, contact an expert from centers such as Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology.