MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A crying baby can test the best of nerves. Unfortunately, a baby’s cry is one of the most common triggers for abuse.
But a simple technique might help out any parent calm down a fussy infant.
You don’t need to go out and buy anything. All you need is loving arms.
Six-week-old baby Farrah’s trip to the doctor’s office made her fussy recently. Her mother said she’s a good baby and usually only cries when she’s hungry, but all the dressing and undressing at the pediatrician’s office upsets her — Not to mention the blood the nurse draws from the heel of her foot.
But watch in this video how quickly Dr. Bianca Sweeten calms her down using a special holding technique.
The baby stops crying in seconds. It works time and time again.
"The way that the technique goes is you bring the right arm across the chest, left arm on the top and you're holding the baby underneath the buttocks. And that will normally stop the baby from crying," she said.
The hold, made popular by Santa Monica doctor Robert Hamilton, gained popularity through the Internet. The word spread fast that somehow maybe, magically, there's a faster soothing way to stop babies from crying.
"This works to calm the baby down because there's actually a science behind it," Sweeten said.
She said the folded arms mimics the baby's experience in the womb. The rocking motion gives babies the sensation of floating like they did inside the amniotic sac.
"The theory is that when the babies are in the uterus, then their arms are normally up against their chest. So it's a natural position for them. So it's kind of like swaddling without swaddling. So you just bring the arms across and they break puts the baby back into their normal calm environment."
Dr. Sweeten says this is something any parent can try at home.
"The thing is, I've only really done it for like, two weeks, maybe three weeks, and it actually does work. Now obviously, the baby has to be the appropriate size so the parent can support the child. But for the smaller children it really does help."
Little Farrah's mother joked about trying this on her 3-year-old. It likely won't have the same effect — he's been out of the womb a little too long.
Dr. Sweeten says about 4 months is about as long as this will work on most babies.