Maria Sykes
Maria Sykes
May 13, 2024 ·  3 min read

WATCH: Viral Pediatrician Shows You How to Hold and Calm a Crying Baby

Finally, your eyes start to shut and your mind begins drifting into a care-free world of no responsibilities. For the first time in weeks, your spouse isn’t even snoring. But, within what feels like five minutes, something pulls you from your slumber. You squint turning on your lamp and look at your clock – three o’clock in the morning. And then you hear it again… that faint, tiny cry…

Every parent has been there, especially mothers. That sound is your baby crying. The same baby you’re still learning about every single day. The baby who can’t speak your language yet. The baby you have no clue how to soothe. Still, you do all you can to relieve your baby’s discomfort.

For obvious reasons, babies can’t say I’m hungry, I need to go to the bathroom, This car seat is uncomfortable, My gums hurt, I just want a hug… For the first few months with your new babe, it can seem like quite the guessing game. Parents learn pretty quick, though!

Why Do Babies Cry?

When English or your native tongue is out of the question, babies do the only thing they know how… and that is to CRY. However, there will be times when even if you’ve done everything right, your baby will still cry because it’s part of their developmental process.

On average, newborns go through a fussy period that usually leads to a combination of wailing and tears for about three hours a day. Thankfully, by three months, the amount of crying lessens to an hour a day.[1] We know… timelines do not matter when you’re the one who needs to soothe the crying baby.

So, during those times when it seems like the crying will never ever stop, we want to let you in on what many people believe is a fool-proof technique for the shrieking, teary-eyed cutie in your life.

The Magic Touch: How to Calm a Crying Baby

Dr. Robert Hamilton, a pediatrician from Santa Monica, California went viral after posting a YouTube video that showed him expertly holding and calming a crying baby. Since that date, his video has racked up more than 27,835,500 views!

Hamilton has used this simple technique – one that he coined “The Hold” – for years to quiet babies during doctor office visits. Tons of parents have now learned it themselves and taught it to their friends and family, and it has been life-changing! Now you can learn it, too… (We’ll do our best to explain “The Hold,” but it’s best to watch Dr. Hamilton’s video below!)

How to Successfully Perform “The Hold”

  1. Fold the arms across the chest
  2. Secure the arms gently after they’re folded
  3. Gently grasp the diaper area with your dominant hand
  4. At a 45-degree angle, gently rock the baby up and down

It literally is that simple… Obviously, every baby is different and may not react the same way or as quickly. But keep working at it and trying different things while doing “The Hold.” Although Dr. Hamilton suggests rocking the baby up and down, you can also “stir” the baby in horizontal circles or gently twist their bum (as seen in the video).

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

First and foremost, here is a reminder you need to hear: you are not a bad parent. A fussy baby is not reflective of your parenting skills. Crying is just part – sometimes a big part – of growing up. However, if you’re ever in doubt and simply want to be sure, don’t ever hesitate to call your family pediatrician to make sure nothing is wrong.


  1. [1] Soothing a Crying Baby. (2014, July 11). Retrieved from
  2. Image Source: