“Calm your baby in seconds,” says one headline. “Stop it crying EVERY time,” reads another. Is it really as easy as Dr Robert Hamilton makes it look? I grabbed the nearest infant to put “The Hold” to the test.
To calm the baby, you’re instructed to fold his arms to his chest, and hold them in place with one hand. From there, support the baby in a face-down position with your other hand under his bum, and “shake his little booty.” When Dr Hamilton does it, the babies stop crying instantly. I tried this about 800 times over the course of an evening (because that’s how often babies cry) with my six-week-old daughter, Daphne. And sure enough, she calmed down almost every time.
In truth, there are many ways to calm a crying baby. Anything involving walking or bouncing is a good bet, and the Hold includes that motion. Face-down is a position babies like, and some kids feel secure when they’re swaddled — not unlike the way Dr Hamilton immobilises the babies’ arms.
My verdict: this isn’t perfect, but it worked upwards of 90 per cent of the time. It’s a really good way to push all of a baby’s comfort buttons. There’s a downside, though: holding a baby away from your body is tiring for your hands and arms. Once she calmed down a little, I found I could hug her sideways to my chest, keeping her in the same position, and she would usually stay calm. (If you thought the Hold would calm your baby down permanently, like so you could put her down, HA HA HA. Nope. She will only stay calm for as long as you are holding her.)
Babies older than three months are too big for this hold, so if you have a newborn, try this move now — while you still can!