This pediatrician has done the impossible: He's figured out how to quiet a crying baby with one incredibly simple and safe maneuver. Would you try this at home?
Anyone who has ever dealt with an inconsolable baby knows that sometimes it seems like there's nothing you can do to stop the tears—but that might just be because you haven't tried this method yet.
Robert Hamilton, M.D., seems to have found the simplest, most effective way to calm a hysterical baby in a matter of seconds: His technique is called "the hold" and he's released a video that shows viewers how they can implement the same technique. Needless to say, the video has gone viral—and has undoubtedly prompted frazzled parents everywhere to breathe huge sighs of relief.
"One of the great joys I've had in life is that I've been able to care for literally thousands of newborn children," Dr. Hamilton says in the video. "One of the challenges pediatricians have in taking care of children is trying to communicate clear and precise information to their parents, a lot of times over a baby who is crying very, very loud. I have utilized a technique that I call 'the hold' over the years, which is very helpful in calming children and keeping them quiet."
He goes on to try the technique on a baby who has just been given a shot. Dr. Hamilton holds the baby with two hands, one placed on the child's bottom, the other underneath his chin, and the child quiets immediately. The video shows Dr. Hamilton try the technique, which involves holding the child at a 45 degree angle, on another child and the result is the same.
Dr. Hamilton urges parents to use gentle motions and shake the baby's "booty" when trying this technique at home. He also adds that sometimes a child won't respond to this method, in which case he or she might be hungry or ill. With that being said, this seems to work wonders when a child is trying to communicate something to an adult.
The doctor spoke with Today about the response to his video, the technique itself and what parents should know before trying it at home. "[It's] a comforting position for a baby because you have to remember where they're coming from—a very tight womb—and they've been in there for a long time," he says of why the technique works. Dr. Harrison says the hold is essentially a method of swaddling the baby.
The technique basically breaks down into four steps. Here's how it goes:
-First pick up the baby and fold his or her arms over the chest.
-Use your hand to support the baby's arms across his or her chest—this also helps support the chin.
-Place your dominant hand over the baby's bottom. To ensure you get a good grip, make sure you're holding the baby with the fleshy part of your hand.
-Position the baby at a 45 degree angle and gently rock the baby back and forth—you can also try "shaking the baby's booty," just be sure to use smooth gentle motions.
According to Dr. Hamilton, this works best on infants between two and three months old—after this point, they're probably too heavy. As for safety, the doctor told Today that this is perfectly safe to try at home and he would recommend it to his patients.
Now we want to hear from you: Would you try this on your child?