Doctor Reveals Technique for Calming Crying Babies

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This could be the godsend bleary-eyed new parents have been praying for: the best way to calm a crying baby.

It’s called, “The Hold” and Dr. Robert Hamilton, with Pacific Ocean Pediatrics in Santa Monica, Calif., showed it off in a video posted to YouTube Sunday. By midday Thursday, it had been watched nearly 6 million times.

To demonstrate the feat, Hamilton gave his babies a shot then comforted them when they began to cry from the painful and presumably confusing sting.

This is how it works:

    • Fold the baby’s arms across her chest
    • Secure her folded arms with one hand
    • With your other hand, cradle the baby’s bottom with fleshy part of your hand
    • Gently rock the baby up and down, stirring her to the left and to the right

It’s key to hold the baby at a 45-degree angle, Hamilton said. Holding the baby upright gives them enough movement to throw their head back, which can make them more upset and out of control.

In the video, Hamilton’s babies calm down almost immediately. But if your baby doesn’t relax soon after putting them in The Hold, Hamilton said it may be worth considering that the baby isn’t feeling well. Or perhaps they’re just hungry.

This move, Hamilton notes, is best for babies 1 to 3 months old. After that, they’re typically too heavy to safely hold in this position.