How to calm a crying baby

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Babies cry for so many different reasons, including 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.

The problem is that we don’t always immediately know why our babies are crying, particularly if they are well-fed, comfortable, and not ill. If you’ve experienced a hysterically crying baby but you just don’t know what’s wrong, you’ll know that at this point “keeping calm and carrying on” just won’t cut it.

The viral video that showed us there is another way

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

Dr. Hamilton is the pioneer of ‘the Hold’, an unusual technique for calming crying babies. His unconventional swaddling technique has received praise around the world. Parents and doctors alike have tried and tested ‘the Hold,’ and they too have spoken of its success. The 4-minute video has more than 44 million views on YouTube, so it’s safe to assume that it works.

Before you run-off to your mewling infant though, here’s the bad news. According to Dr. Hamilton, the Hold only works for babies within the first two to three 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”.

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 paediatrician or local GP. Just a heads up: don’t be alarmed if your baby cries 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.