Whether you’re a father-to-be, your friends are having kids, or you’re planning to apply for a mall Santa gig, knowing the proper way to hold a baby is a skill you’re going to need. While the thought of holding a squirming kid several feet above, say, a potentially skull-shattering concrete sidewalk might terrify you, it doesn’t have to be all that scary.
Usually, as long as the baby seems comfortable and isn’t screaming bloody murder, you’re probably not doing a terrible job. “Babies aren’t as fragile as people think they are,” promises Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, pediatrician at the Everett Clinic and Seattle Children’s Hospital and author of the blog Seattle Mama Doc.
To demonstrate several techniques, we’ve enlisted the help of several U.S. presidents, who never get tired of photo ops with adorable little tikes while on the campaign trail.