A simple demonstration by a Californian pediatrician on how to calm crying newborn babies down in a few seconds has started to accumulate views on the popular video-sharing platform YouTube.

The video features Dr. Robert Hamilton, a pediatrician currently associated with the Pacific Ocean Pediatrics, Santa Monica. In the video, Dr. Hamilton is seen explaining the technique he adopts for calming down infants visiting his clinic in situations such as after giving them shots. He refers to the process as “The Hold”.

According to the doctor, The Hold has four main steps. They are as follows:

  • Folding and crossing the infant’s arms across his/her chest and securing them gently using any one of your hands
  • Pulling the little one’s bottom down using your right hand (this should be done with your dominant hand; so, if you are a southpaw, use your left hand)
  • Holding the baby gently at an angle of 45 degrees for maintaining control in case he/she rocks the head back
  • Gently rocking the little one up and down for stirring him/her counterclockwise or clockwise

The pediatrician also noted that jerking movements must be avoided.

Dr. Hamilton educated the viewers about the part of the hand one should use when managing a baby and also explained how to support the chin of the baby.

According to Dr. Hamilton, if The Hold doesn’t bring any result, the baby might be hungry or ill. The video, which was posted last Sunday, shows how the method worked on two babies in his practice.

Clinical psychologist Christine Chambers, who teaches pediatrics at the Dalhousie University, Halifax, said that she isn’t surprised to see the video going viral. This is because she is aware of the fact that new parents always stay in search of magical solutions for calming crying babies down.

According to Chambers, who is herself a mother of four, this viral video by Dr. Hamilton is showing a modified version of a baby care technique called “facilitated tucking”. The traditional form of facilitated tucking requires holding the baby in a flexed position, mostly in an incubator or crib. However, Dr. Hamilton’s demonstration involved holding the baby in the air.

Chambers said that there are some evidence which confirms that facilitated tucking can help in reducing distress and pain in babies, but added that the process was never as effective as sucrose, breastfeeding, and skin-to-skin, each one of which is a proven pain management technique for babies.