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Sleeping like a…

Watch this pediatrician’s magic method to soothe a crying baby

By Corinne Purtill

Take heed, desperate parents: the internet has found a new way to soothe a crying baby.

A YouTube video posted on Nov. 29 captures pediatrician Robert C. Hamilton demonstrating his technique in his practice in Santa Monica, California. At the time this was written, the video it had more than 2.7 million views.

He tucks the baby’s right arm and then its left across its body and secures them against the baby’s chest with one hand. (Think of the supporting hand here as a tiny little straitjacket.)

In his other hand, he gently grips the diaper-clad bum.

Then he holds the baby at a 45-degree angle (head up, obviously) and jiggles, rocks, and sways until the child calms down.

“I shake his little booty, like that,” Hamilton says, in a voice reminiscent of Mr. Rogers. “I gently rock him. Everything you do is very gentle. You don’t want to do jerking motions, ever.”

In the video, baby after baby goes from screaming to calm within seconds under Hamilton’s gentle ministrations.

There are a couple of important things to remember here: Babies cry for different reasons. As Hamilton points out, the Hold probably isn’t going to work on a baby who is hungry, sick, or has another physical issue that needs attending to.

Hamilton is incredibly calm and confident, not traits typically ascribed to sleep-deprived parents of a wailing newborn. No offense to the good doctor, but it’s a lot harder to get into the soothing mood at 3:30 am.

For desperate new parents, it’s important to remember that all of these are just suggestions. Try what makes sense to you, and don’t blame yourself if the kid’s just not having it.

Remember: there is no single cure-all that soothes any baby in any situation.