Holding a baby isn't the most complicated thing, but when you have to hold them for a long time it can start to hurt your back. This method will help you avoid back pain when you have to hold a little one for a long period of time.
Photo by Andy Mort.
Esther Gokhale spent 20 years with indigenous populations all over the world studying the practical ways parents carried their children for long periods of time. Steve Schiff at Fatherly explains one of Gokhale's best found methods for carrying a baby that's six months old or younger:
...you should hold them at your side, with their legs hugging your back and front. Use your bicep rather than the hand, wrist, or forearm to bear the weight, and face your palm up... It keeps your shoulders open and avoids tension in a bundle of nerves in your neck known as the brachial plexus. This, in turn, lets you breathe regularly, which means more oxygen is moving through your system and keeping your muscles from tiring faster.
If you're just holding them for a little while, there are a lot of other practical ways to hold them, but this method works well if you need to hold them for longer than half an hour (or if you have a bad back). There are more great tips for avoiding back pain while carrying babies of all ages at the link below.