Defense Tactics

How to Draw & Shoot While Carrying A Baby

Training in personal protection, including self defense tactics, comes as we imagine multiple scenarios, especially when we’re out about town with our little ones. Such scenarios might include:

  • strapping & unstrapping baby in car seat
  • shopping at a mall
  • walking to & from a park
  • walking around your neighborhood
  • sitting & watching a sports’ event – baseball, soccer, hockey

Drawing & Shooting While Carrying A Baby

These 6 steps are what you can practice to be ready to stand against any threat even while carrying your baby.

The focused mission is always to keep your baby safe no matter what and survive yourself so you can continue to be with your baby.

If you carry your infant baby on your back, then a two-handed aim and shoot might not be a problem for you.

drawstrokewbabyHowever, if you carry your toddler on your hip, then here are the steps you need to think about and practice.

  1. Hold child in your non-shooting arm.  This may seem obvious to an avid shooter but realizing moms are so versatile, they can switch back and forth to balance weight or to conduct different exercises.  The key here is to be aware of your surroundings and not be doing other things when you need your shooting arm free.
  2.  The minute you sense a threat, turn your torso away from threat so you keep child out of the line of return fire as much as possible. Turning your torso will require single handed shooting.
  3. Snatch fabric out of the way, if your handgun is concealed.
  4. Get a firm grip on your handgun.
  5. Vertically draw your handgun up and turn muzzle immediately toward threat. You can actually start point shooting from this angle if the threat is so close you can’t raise the muzzle up.
  6. If your distance permits, raise gun to shoulder level so eyes can line up your sights.

“Thank you” to Growing Up Guns for the torso turning example image above.

How does a mom practice drawing and shooting single-handed at the range while carrying her baby? Good question!  And we’re going to ask LimaTunes (Melody Lauer) and Growing Up Guns to help with these answers.



The mindset, skills, tactics and gear issues can be worked with dry-fire in the home. Home is completely absent of the loud noise and traumatic environment that a gun range would be to an infant.

At home, follow safe dry-fire protocol and include the little one.


At the range, use a sack of kitty litter or potatoes or anything that simulates the weight and floppiness of a baby to work through the mechanics.

What to Work On:

Work your draw-stroke, reloading, trigger manipulation, recoil management, and so on. This is the time to work out the mechanics of managing a gun one handed while having an arm occupied with another task. It’s harder than it sounds. Seek training.

Practice clearing type 1, 2, and 3 malfunctions one handed. Your carry gun has a ledge on the rear sight to facilitate one handed manipulations, right? Can you rip out the magazine one handed? Ever thought about it? Practice your one handed reloads. You just never know.

Simulating a child at the range and then working with your child at home should allow a person to get a pretty good picture of the challenges involved in shooting with a child in your arms. It will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t. You will learn things about your gear (holster, gun, belt, shirts, jackets, etc), and what you are physically capable of doing with a squirming child in your arms. You might even decide that your ONLY option is putting the child down because you aren’t confident enough shooting one handed. You will never know this unless you do the work.

Two more things that are paramount to mention. . .


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