The crossover hold, also known as the cross-cradle hold, is a breastfeeding position where a mother supports her baby with the arm opposite to the breast she’s feeding from. For example, if the baby is nursing from the right breast, the mother would use her left arm to support the baby. This hold allows the mother to control the baby’s head and direct the baby’s mouth to the nipple, making it easier to latch correctly.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Crossover Hold is a breastfeeding position where the mother uses her arm on the opposite side of the breast she’s nursing from to support the baby. This method provides better control over the baby’s head and makes directing the nipple into the baby’s mouth easier.
  2. It’s an ideal position for premature babies, twins, or infants who have trouble latching. The mother can effectively see the baby’s lips, mouth, and tongue, enabling her to adjust and correct the latch if necessary.
  3. The crossover hold can sometimes entail strain on the mother’s shoulders or back because it requires her to lean over the baby. Therefore, it’s recommended to provide proper support, like pillows, to ensure both the mom and baby’s comfort.


The term “Crossover Hold” is significant in motherhood as it outlines an effective breastfeeding position, which aids in ensuring the child’s health and comfort during feeding sessions.

This position entails mothers using the arm opposite to the breast used for feeding to hold the baby, crossing over their body.

It provides mothers with more control and visibility, allowing them to guide the baby’s mouth to the nipple more effectively.

It’s recommended for mothers who have small or premature babies, babies with latching issues, or mothers who have had a cesarean section.

Thus, understanding the Crossover Hold can influence the ease and success of breastfeeding, which is a crucial part of early motherhood.


The crossover hold, also known as the cross-cradle hold, serves an essential purpose in the initial stages of breastfeeding. It is specifically designed to offer enhanced control to the mother while nursing her newborn baby.

This hold plays an integral role in ensuring a proper latch, reducing the risk of problems like nipple injury and underfeeding. A proper latch allows the baby to efficiently get the milk they need while reducing discomfort for the mother, making breastfeeding a more pleasant experience for both.

In the crossover hold, the mother uses her arm on the opposite side of the nursing breast to support her baby, hence the ‘crossover’. Her hand supports the baby’s head while the forearm holds up the rest of the baby’s body, leaving the other hand free to assist in guiding the baby’s mouth to the breast. This hold offers the advantage of allowing the mother to see her baby’s mouth, so she can observe and adjust the latch as needed.

This is particularly beneficial for first-time mothers who are learning how to breastfeed, as well as for babies who may be having trouble latching correctly.

Examples of Crossover hold

Breastfeeding: The crossover hold, also known as the cross-cradle hold, is a common method used by mothers while breastfeeding their newborns. In this position, the mother supports her baby’s head with the hand opposite to the breast she’ll be feeding from. This allows the mother to have more control in guiding the baby’s mouth to her nipple and helps babies who have trouble latching.

Bottle Feeding: The crossover hold is not just limited to breastfeeding mothers. It can also be employed by bottle-feeding mothers or caregivers. They hold the baby across their lap, and provide the bottle from the opposite arm. This can often create more skin-to-skin contact, making feeding times more comforting for the child.

Parent-Child Bonding: Even when not feeding, mothers might use the crossover hold to comfort or bond with their babies. By holding the baby close to her body, a mother can better sooth a fussy baby, help them get to sleep, or simply provide warmth and security. The crossover hold can be particularly effective because it allows babies to listen to the mother’s heartbeat, a sound they find calming because it’s familiar from their time in the womb.

FAQs for Crossover Hold

What is the Crossover Hold?

The Crossover Hold, also known as the cross-cradle hold, is a breastfeeding position where the mother supports her baby’s head with the hand opposite to the breast from which the baby is feeding.

Why choose the Crossover Hold?

The Crossover Hold can be particularly useful for mothers with small babies, premature babies, babies having trouble latching, or mothers who have had a Caesarean section and want to avoid placing their baby on their abdomen.

How to do a Crossover Hold?

To do a Crossover Hold, sit up straight in a comfortable chair. Hold your baby across your lap, with your baby on his or her side facing you. Support your baby’s head with the hand from your opposite breast. Use the same hand to guide your breast as your baby latches on.

What are some tips for the Crossover Hold?

Ensure that your baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line. Your baby should be belly-to-belly with you. It may help to place a pillow on your lap to bring the baby to nipple level.

What to do if experiencing pain during Crossover Hold?

If you are feeling pain while breastfeeding in the crossover hold, it might be due to the baby’s latch. Make sure the baby’s mouth is wide open and he or she is taking a large portion of the breast into his or her mouth. If you continue to experience pain, it is recommended to seek help from a lactation consultant.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Breastfeeding
  • Latching
  • Infant nutrition
  • Comfort feeding
  • Colostrum

Sources for More Information

  • BabyCenter: An enormous resource for new and expectant parents, full of useful information on a variety of topics related to pregnancy and motherhood.
  • Verywell Family: A comprehensive website offering expert advice, helpful tools, and detailed guides for all stages of pregnancy and parenting.
  • La Leche League: An international nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed.
  • Parents Magazine: Online platform of a reputable magazine providing tips and guidance related to all aspects of parenthood including motherhood aspects such as breastfeeding techniques like Crossover Hold.