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A Magic Hold Mothers' Stories
Nicola and Andy Wardle, Stockport, UK
Photo: Andy & Grace Wardle 

A magic hold

From birth Grace has been exclusively breastfed but we found that after a feed and a usual winding over our shoulder, she would only settle for a short while and then wake crying, with knees bent in pain from trapped gas. We have yet to discover what could cause this excess of wind.

A magic hold

I sought advice at the breastfeeding drop-in, where Melanie Gilbert told me she had read in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding from La Leche League International about a ‘magic hold,’ so we looked it up and she demonstrated it on a doll getting me to copy her with Grace. (See page 118 of the eighth edition.)

The hold is best done while standing (as pictured) and is coupled with the usual sway and slight bobbing motion, with light patting or soothing of the baby’s back.

We have found less burping but quicker relief and if your baby is in a lot of pain, relief can be seen as her arms and legs go limp when they relax.

Andy and I thought it only fair to share this gem, as it’s helped the three of us a great deal!


  1. The ‘tiger in the tree’ hold has saved me on a number of occasions when my little boy has had wind or been unsettled- it’s very calming.

  2. […] he will at least know that someone cares enough to be with him while he’s unhappy. Sometimes the colic hold can relieve abdominal discomfort. Mothering an unhappy baby is not easy. Try to minimize outside […]

  3. […] English […]

  4. […] Sometimes, babies just want their mamas. And they will cry and cry and cry until they get her. My baby is currently all-about-her-mama, and I love this—most of the time:) but sometimes I need to get a few things done and I need her to be content with daddy! One day he tried the “magic baby hold” with her and we were amazed! Sometimes it’s the only thing that will calm her down when I’m not around. Find out how to do it here! […]

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