All babies cry. On any given day, a newborn might cry for up to two hours, or even longer, but the reason is not always so obvious. They cry to communicate hunger, pain, fear, a need for sleep, and much more.
So, what can you do to soothe a crying baby? “The Hold.”
In the video, “A Pediatrician Shows You How to Calm a Crying Baby,” Dr. Robert C. Hamilton, of Santa Monica, Calif., explains how The Hold stops a baby from crying in just seconds. In two separate scenarios, Hamilton picks up the crying patient by pulling the right arm close to the chest, and then the left arm across the chest, as he gently holds the arms, and bottom, rocking the baby up and down. “Sometimes stir him [or her] to the left, and stir him [or her] to the right,” he says.
Hamilton suggests holding the baby at a 45-degree angle to avoid the baby tilting its head back. The baby should be held with the fleshy part of your dominant hand, not with your fingertips. The fingertips from the other hand should support the baby’s chin, so the head is lifted.
“I shake his little booty like that,” he says, as he calms the crying baby. He adds: “Everything you do is very gentle. You don’t want to do jerky motions ever.”
Generally by doing The Hold, the baby does quiet down. However, if the baby does not, there are two things that could be wrong. The baby could either be ill or hungry.
The Hold is a very helpful technique for the first 2 to 3 months of age. But as they get older, babies become too heavy, and it’s very difficult to hold a baby at that point.