A California pediatrician’s video on a simple technique for soothing a crying newborn almost instantly is slowly going viral.

Dr. Robert Hamilton shares his technique on calming down infants that visit his office at Pacific Ocean Pediatrics.

He’s accessibly named his technique ‘The Hold’, which he breaks down into four steps:

  • Fold and cross the baby’s arms across his or her chest and gently secure them with one of your hands.
  • Pull the baby’s bottom down with your dominant hand.
  • Gently hold the baby at a 45-degree angle to maintain control in case the baby rocks its head back.
  • Gently rock the baby up and down or stir clockwise or counterclockwise.

Remember this technique is geared towards newborns – babies over three months old may be too big to hold in this specific way.

Christine Chambers, a clinical psychologist and a professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, isn’t surprised the video is going viral. Who doesn’t want an effective answer to a screaming baby?

“The video shows a variant of a newborn care strategy called facilitated tucking,” Chambers, a mother of four, told CBC News.

“There is some evidence that facilitated tucking is effective to reduce pain and distress in babies undergoing painful procedures, but it is not as effective as breastfeeding, skin-to-skin, and sucrose, all of which are proven pain control strategies for babies.”

She was skeptical if this would be a long-term solution rather than a one-off thing; the babies in the video are reacting to the novelty of the positioning and experience, she hypothesized.

The only way to see if The Hold can be useful as a consistent answer to crying newborns is research, as there are currently no controlled research studies that evaluate The Hold.

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