There are few things more confusing and — let’s admit — more terrifying than trying to understand, as a new parent, why your infant is crying. Even tougher can be figuring out how to soothe them into blissful quiet.
There’s no shortage of information dedicated to the pursuit of quiet, happy babies, and entire industries are set up to make that dream a possibility. Desperate moms and dads the world over know what it is to pore over whatever popular parenting book is in style with a flashlight gripped between their teeth at 3 a.m. against the backdrop of a screeching child and a recording of womb noises blaring through a speaker.
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They also know that, for the most part, these soothing tips and tricks don’t work all that well and certainly not consistently. That’s where pediatrician Dr. Robert Hamilton and his magical “hold” come in. He recently posted a video that shows his foolproof, fail-proof way of getting babies to settle down, and it’s pretty amazing:
Video: Robert Hamilton/YouTube
Dr. Hamilton, who practices in Santa Monica, California, posted the video just two days ago, and it’s already been viewed more than a million times, which just goes to show you how quickly a little golden nugget of wisdom like this can spread, especially if you haven’t slept in days and are looking for something, anything, that will actually work.
It’s one thing to read in a book that swaddling your baby in a mastodon-fur blanket, draping them in agate crystals and walking them across the floor in counterclockwise circles is the way to peace and tear-free tranquility; it’s quite another to see someone accomplish that tear-free state in a matter of seconds, baby after baby.
In short, it’s spreading so fast because it works.
The good doctor started doing “the hold” when he needed a technique to talk to new parents over the sounds of their wailing baby, and it’s pretty simple to do.
First, you fold baby’s arms over his adorable little chest and hold them there with your nondominant hand…
…and grip the baby’s bottom and diaper area with your dominant hand.
Then you rock the baby at a 45-degree angle, giving their adorable baby bottoms a little wiggle as you go.
And that’s all there is to it! Obviously you can only do this while they’re small enough to be handled this way. After a few months you’ll have to find a new trick, but by then you should have gotten at least a little more sleep.
We love everything about “the hold” and Dr. Hamilton, who seems like a pediatrician who genuinely cares about the patients in his care and is knowledgeable as all get-out, to boot. That combination of kindness and know-how can be hard to come by when you’re sussing out practitioners, so it’s great to see it does, in fact, exist!