Hold On to Your Baby: How to Calm a Crying Baby

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Babies cry for so many different reasons, from teething, hunger, crankiness, pains or fever. They also cry on planes, in public places, around strangers, at the doctor’s room and often when you wish they wouldn’t.

But sometimes it can be difficult and stressful to identify the precise reason as to why your baby is wailing like there’s no tomorrow, particularly if they are well-fed, comfortable, and not ill. It is at this point were “keeping calm and carrying on” just won’t cut it.

You may have come across a viral video of a knight in shining white armour and his ability to peacefully and painlessly calm a crying baby. The man is no knight, although he does support a spiffy white lab coat. He is a well-trained and experienced pediatrician called Dr. Robert Hamilton.

Dr. Hamilton is the pioneer of “The Hold”, an unusual technique for calming down crying babies. His unconventional swaddling technique has received much praise. Parents and doctors alike have tried and tested ‘The Hold’ and they too have spoken of its success. Judging by the more than 24 million views on his YouTube video, it’s safe to assume that it works. But before you run-off to your mewling infant, remember that “The Hold” doesn’t work for every child. According to Dr. Hamilton, it works only for babies within first 2 to 3 months of life.

Dr. Hamilton’s “The Hold” consists of some 4 very simple steps: 

Step 1: Fold the baby’s arms to their chest, then hold them sturdily in place with your hand.
Step 2: Support your baby in a face-down position with your other hand under your baby’s bum.
Step 3: Slightly shake your baby’s bottom and rock them at an angle of 45 degrees.
Step 4: Witness the silence before you. 

Watch Dr. Hamilton perform “The Hold” below.


In conclusion, there are a dozen other ways to calm a crying baby. Such tricks include singing or talking to your baby in a tranquil voice, going for a walk, rocking your baby in your arms, taking them for a drive or a ride in the stroller as well as new-age rocking machines and apps. But if you find that your baby frequently cries, it is advisable that you visit your pediatrician or local GP. Just a heads up, don’t be alarmed should your baby cry there too.

For more helpful tips and tricks on all things baby, toddlers, preschoolers and pregnancy, visit the Profmed Baby Blog. If you are interested in joining Profmed, send us an email on profmedbaby@profmed.co.za or contact 0860 776 363.


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