He calls it "The Hold." And Dr. Robert Hamilton, a pediatrician and father of six from Santa Monica, California, says it's the secret to quieting a crying baby.
Hamilton's demonstration of the technique in a video posted on YouTube has quickly gone viral, with more than 1.6 million views in its first three days.
In the video, the doctor shows how he folds a baby's arms across its chest, then holds the child with one hand around its chest and one hand under its bottom, gently rocking back and forth. It takes just moments for baby Ashton, who'd just gotten a shot, to stop crying.
It works like a charm on the next baby, too. "You can see that he comforts pretty quickly," Hamilton says. He holds the infant at a 45-degree angle and explains, "I shake his little booty like that, I gently rock him -- everything you do is very gentle, you don't want to do jerky motions ever. You hold the child with the fleshy part of your hand, not your fingertips. And I am supporting his chin."
He sums up the advice in 4 steps:
1. Fold the baby's arms across the chest
2. Secure arms gently
3. Grasp diaper area
4. Rock at 45-degree angle
Hamilton says it's important to hold the child at an angle, not straight up and down, to maintain control.
If the baby keeps crying, Hamilton advises parents to consider whether the child is not feeling well or may be hungry. But usually, he says, this simple technique will do the trick -- to the great relief of many exasperated moms and dads.