Saturday, December 16, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

The Hold: Pediatrician reveals his highly effective technique for calming crying babies (w/video)

Maybe what pediatrician Robert Hamilton learned in recent days is that soothing a baby is on most parents' minds. Like more than 14 million.

Of course, he probably knew that already, or his technique for soothing newborns making waves on YouTube wouldn't exist.

Hamilton, who has been in practice for 31 years and runs Pacific Ocean Pediatrics in Santa Monica, Calif., always had a way with babies. "Typically, when you examine children, they cry. That's what we expect as pediatricians," he says in an interview.

But when the exam was over, he still needed to finish the appointment by talking to the parents. "I felt like I broke it and I needed to fix it." So as he spoke to the parents, he had a little method that evolved over the years. He would gently lift the baby up and down, and wrap their arms across their little chests. "That was the element that comforted them more than anything," he says. "What I was doing was swaddling them." The babies would calm down, the parents would oooh and ahhh and ask how to do it themselves.

"I always say remember where they came from: the womb, which is tight quarters," says Hamilton, 62. His method tries to recreate the womb for those babies who cry at his first touch.

Hamilton says he's been doing this for about 20 years. His technique is different from most because he holds the baby out and lifts their little bodies up and down, gently bouncing them while wrapping their arms tightly around their body. "All of this is very gentle," he says. He sometimes refers to it as shaking their booty.

As he did this over the years, people suggested he make a video so they could watch or share with friends. He finally did and hoped for about 10,000 hits. He's at more than 14 million now in just a few short days.

With six of his own children, and six grandchildren, he's had a bit of experience beyond the office, too.

It's not a surprise that his mentor and friend is Harvey Karp, the pediatrician who made the "shhhh" method famous with his "The Happiest Baby on the Block." In fact, I still can feel myself doing that in those early, bleary days, eight years later.

The gentle lifting and booty shaking Hamilton demonstrates may be the new technique of this generation of teeny ones.

"If I can pass on this idea, I will be a happy man," Hamilton says.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Thrown off by sudden, no-gift Christmas

Thrown off by sudden, no-gift ChristmasI am meeting part of my family for an early Christmas celebration. Five days out, my cousin e-mails everyone to say she will only be giving a present to her mom and our grandparents. She is skipping our aunt, my...
Published: 12/14/17
Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Superstar Katy Perry: In the ever-escalating arms race to be the most eye-popping pop star on the planet, sometimes you have to call in for backup. Even if you’re Katy Perry. When plotting her lavishly spectacular Witness Tour, which arrives i...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

NEW HOPE: Star Wars partiesWith the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the force of fan excitement is strong, so of course there are Star Wars parties this weekend. The giant movie complex Riverview 14 GDX is having celebration with characters from...
Published: 12/13/17
5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

1 Battle at the Beach: The Gasparilla Bowl is coming to Tropicana Field on Dec. 21, but before that the bands, cheerleaders and dance teams from Florida International University and Temple University will have a day of beach-related games and competi...
Published: 12/13/17
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Leave gender out of division of housework

Leave gender out of division of houseworkWhy is it that when a woman cares about the division of labor at home — like her home being a decent level of clean — she is considered to be overreacting?OK, I’ll get down from my soap box now. (I’ll also bre...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Overwhelmed parent weighs out options

Overwhelmed parent weighs out optionsQ: Since my kids were born, my job basically covered the cost of day care. The kids came home overtired and overstimulated.As they became preschool age, I restructured my work to freelance so I could drop off and ...
Published: 12/12/17

Tell Me About It: Identity of biological father is revealed

Identity of biological father is revealedQ: When I was 18, my mother revealed that the father I grew up with was not my biological father. She claimed she didn’t even know my bio father, and never contacted him again after their brief weekend fling a...
Published: 12/11/17

Tell Me About It: Parents’ extreme sheltering feels creepy

Parents’ extreme sheltering feels creepyQ: My daughter, 11, has three friends from school. One girl’s parents are generous hosts. "Emma" is an only child and has a pool, fun toys, great snacks.The problem is that Emma’s parents don’t let Emma be a gu...
Published: 12/10/17
Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress roars into Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Friday ($45.75-$195.75). amaliearena.com. Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins Tuesday, bringing fun celebrations including Hanukkah in the City at the Sundial St. ...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17