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The Hold: the easiest way to soothe a crying infant

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The Hold: the easiest way to soothe a crying infant

Sometimes, babies cry for no reason. One way to quickly calm a crying baby is a technique also called the Hold.

What is it?
The Hold is a technique for soothing an infant and involves folding the baby’s arms against the chest and propping up their chin while holding them upright. With one hand on the baby’s bottom, the caregiver gently wiggles the little one. This makes the newborn chill-out often immediately. 

Note that the technique does not work in every situation. Many times babies cry for a reason: hunger, ill health, or the need to have their diaper changed. 

What does it do?
The Hold can help to calm Your Child by putting them in a comforting womb-like position. The gentle wiggling movement gives them a womb-like feeling, makes the baby stop crying, and keeps them calm for a few minutes.

Does it work for all ages?
The soothing technique only works in infants up to two or three months old. It usually doesn’t work for older babies.

How to do it


Step 1: Carry Your Child and fold the little one’s arms across their chest.


Step 2: Secure Your Child’s arms with your hand after they’re folded and also use that hand to support the little one’s chin.


Step 3: Firmly but gently hold the baby’s bottom with your dominant hand — to ensure a secure hold, use your palm and fingers, not just your fingers.


Step 4: Gently rock Your Child up and down and sideways at a 45-degree angle — the angle is important as it helps you keep control of the little one. Please you should never shake the baby.

The science behind the technique
Folding the arms gives a baby a feeling of swaddling and is known to reduce fussiness. Holding the little one at an upright angle can ease acid reflux. The gentle wiggling motion gives a womb-like feeling, which is typically calming to very young infants. Combine the three and you recreate a feeling that the baby might know from the womb. And since the little one knows nothing better than what it felt like inside her mother, infants often find great comfort in that.

Note that the Hold allegedly was ‘invented’ by a U.S. pediatrician, Dr. Robert Hamilton.

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