Once a baby develops the muscle strength and control to hold her head up—usually at around 6 months—she's ready to perch where she can see what's going on.
Step 1: Pick up with both hands Pick up the baby with both hands. At this age, it'll be easiest to slip your hands under her arms.
TIP: If you're picking the child up from the floor, squat down to her level by bending at the knees. That way you won't strain your back.
Step 2: Place baby on hip Once you're fully standing, place your baby on whichever hip is most comfortable. Most moms prefer to hold a baby on the opposite side from their dominant hand so that hand is free to use.
Step 3: Position baby Position her so that her legs are straddling your hipbone and her bottom is sitting just above it. Slip your arm on that side down around her back and hold her upper thigh to support her.
TIP: So you don't get too tired, shift your baby to the other side occasionally.
Step 4: Jut out hip If you're standing still, lend the baby more support by shifting your weight slightly so the hipbone she's resting on juts out.
FACT: Women's hips are naturally wider than men's, in large part to allow for childbirth.