It's the holiday season — which usually means there's way more food, family, and babies around than normal.
But if you've never held a baby before or you're just terrified of babies in general, this can be very daunting.
First things first: Keep it simple, and watch someone more experienced hold the baby first.
The easiest way is a simple cradle hold, making sure you support the head and neck.
Another good position is holding the baby over the shoulder.
And try to your best to relax, because "babies can smell fear," says Coble.
"If you're nervous and anxious or jumpy, the baby can feel that too and it'll make them more upset and uncomfortable," Coble explains. It's best to go into holding the baby with a calm, relaxed demeanor — just like the baby's mom does every time she holds them. Besides, the only way to get over your fear of holding babies is to practice and keep holding them.
It's actually pretty difficult to just drop a small baby due to sheer lack of coordination.
If the baby starts crying, try gently rocking or walking around — movement is very soothing.
And just go ahead and brace yourself for spit up.
"It's important to be prepared for vomit and spit-up so you aren't shocked or jolt away when an accident happens," says Coble, which could worsen the situation. She suggests having a blanket between you and the baby and not wearing any strong perfumes or colognes that could irritate them. "If they do spit up, try to sit them up as straight as possible over the shoulder and keep the head up so they can cough properly," says Coble.