We all know that shaking your baby (or any baby for that matter) when he’s crying is 100% definitely a major, mega no-no. It’s dangerous, and potentially deadly.
That said, a light-touch rock and a gentle little booty shake (yes, booty shake) can actually stop a screaming infant in their tracks.
Paediatrician Dr. Robert Hamilton of Pacific Ocean Paediatrics in the U.S. has found a method of holding and rocking baby’s bottom, which he calls “The Hold” stops babies crying.
What does Dr. Hamilton do?
His 30 years as a paediatrician have taught this doctor a few things about calming kids down. His method includes folding baby’s hands across her chest, securing the arms gently, grasping the nappy area and rocking (very gently) at a 45 degree angle. The result? Along with putting an end to the tears, the comical looking hold looks like baby’s booty is shaking!
Now, you’re probably wondering, “Can this be true? Is it a joke? This baby bottom method can’t really work, right?” But, it does. The paediatrician demonstrates his baby-calming technique on a YouTube video. Imagine a trip to the doctor’s office with your newborn. Between the overwhelming array of sights and sounds, there’s the exam, vaccinations and a world of strangeness (at least for your baby – who doesn’t know why he’s there or what exactly is going on) it’s pretty likely that there’s a whole lot of crying going on at the paediatrician’s office. Dr. Hamilton deals with these babies on a daily basis.
In the video he demonstrates (on actual crying babies) how the whole process works, and how he gets the babies to go from crying to calm in what seems like seconds.
- Picking up the crying baby, the doctor gently folds arm across arm to make them feel supported and nurtured
- He then positions the infant’s body and rocks away back and forth, and then sometimes around in swirling circles. NOTE: slight movements, nothing jerky or forceful.
- He notes that in order to get the calm, you need to keep the baby at a 45 degree angle.
- Picking up baby and holding her straight up and down simply won’t do.
- Your newborn’s still-floppy head won’t get comfy and she could quickly toss it back in one of those awkward baby movement moments.
- The slope of the 45 degree angle keeps baby from tossing her head around and helps keep them calm.
Watch it for yourself here:
Ok, so technically you are helping your baby ‘shake his booty’. But, you aren’t ever actually shaking him. The doctor notes that all of the movements must be gentle. Put any thoughts of jerky motions aside. Shaking, shimmying or any other not-so-gentle motion won’t calm your baby. It may make things worse or end up hurting him. In order to reap the benefits of Dr. Hamilton’s method you need to actually follow his technique to a tee. The doctor’s minimal, gentle motion is almost like a human baby swing or a glider.
So, let’s get back to the reality of this method. Does “The Hold” do anything more than cuddling? It seems so. The position may look awkward or strange at first, but Dr. Hamilton claims that it really works – and quickly. Even though the method seemingly works wonders with newborns, don’t necessarily expect it to stop crying in an older baby. If your 6-month-old is on a crying jag, “The Hold” isn’t likely to work. Dr. Hamilton recommends it for babies younger than 2 to 3-months-old.
What happens if you have one of those rare babies who doesn’t respond to this method? Yes, the good doctor claims it’s a fairly solid technique that should work for most newborns. But, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone all of the time. In the slim case that your little one doesn’t respond to the bottom hold and rock, other time-tested methods include a good old fashioned swaddling, a warm bath, a ride in the car or the white noise lull of a washing machine.
Whether “The Hold” does the trick or doesn’t, every new mum and baby pair have a learning curve. Experiment with what works best for your baby. Try methods that other mum friends say work wonders, but take them for what they are – someone else’s method. Your baby isn’t the same as your BFF’s. When one technique doesn’t happen for you (and at some point something won’t work out), keep going and try something else. There’s always another expert with another YouTube video (or another blog article, post, Facebook pic) that offers even more alternative.