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Pediatrician Shares His Fool-Proof Secret to Calming a Crying Baby

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a new parent quite like a crying baby.

If you think back to those early days, you can probably remember how helpless it felt to try to calm your baby without any luck. Thankfully, one pediatrician aims to change all that with his genius hack.

Dr. Robert Hamilton, a Santa Monica-based pediatrician with 30 years of experience, swears by his calm-a-crying-baby trick. Dr. Bob, as he likes to be called, was kind enough to post a tutorial of “The Hold” to YouTube that quickly reached 1.6 million views and counting, after being voted to the front page of Reddit. Dr. Bob says he picked up his pro baby-holding technique from years of handling infants during routine vaccinations.

What is this doctor doing that has every new parent jumping for joy?

As Dr. Bob demonstrates, “The Hold” is genius in its simplicity:

  1. To calm your crying baby, fold his arms across his chest and hold his upper body in one hand.
  2. Support your baby’s bottom with your other hand so that he’s positioned at a 45° angle.
  3. Use this hold to rock your baby up and down, while also gently shaking his bottom from side to side.

This adorable little booty shake works wonders — the babies shown in Dr. Bob’s video relaxes immediately.

As a parent who has just made it to the other side of the exhausting baby years and has now entered terrifying toddler territory, I can promise you that I would have kissed Dr. Bob if I had met him even two years ago. Blame it on biology, but there’s something about a crying baby that makes you feel like an absolute failure as a parent. After trying everything I could think of, I had more than a few late-night breakdowns where I found myself crying right along with my baby.

With a quick Google search, it becomes clear that “how to calm a crying baby” is one of the most popular parenting topics on the Internet — with suggestions ranging from cute to corny to clever. Dr. Harvey Karp’s crying baby method, outlined in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block, is an old favorite that involves swaddling and shushing to make a new baby feel like he’s still in the womb.

If that won’t do the trick, maybe your baby will calm down after hearing the latest pop hit, like this cutie who can only be satisfied by the sweet sounds of Taylor Swift. And when you’re desperate to get your crying baby to bed, there’s always this year’s viral tissue hack that claims to put a baby to sleep in as little as 40 seconds.

As with most aspects of parenting, figuring out how to interact with your new baby involves a lot of faking it ’til you make it. Dr. Bob’s parenting secret is making waves because it’s all about mastering the basics — learning how to calmly and confidently hold your baby may be enough to get that little guy to settle down.

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