Hula your way to calm

Pam Diamond has a way with babies – and that’s why she’s a doula. In this piece, she tells a story about a baby calming technique that sounds a little silly, but really works.

By Pamela Diamond



Are you ready for more baby calming techniques to add to your repertoire?

One of my favorite ways to calm a fussy baby is with the doula hula. Yes, you heard it here first – the doula hula! A former client coined the phrase after witnessing us in action settling his newborn twins. He also called us Ninja Doulas upon seeing us moving stealthily in their home at night while caring for the babies, but that’s a story for another time.

Simply put, the doula hula involves rhythmic swaying or gentle dance movements while holding your baby close to your body.

Keeping baby held close provides a feeling of security and will keep from stimulating the startle, or moro, reflex. An important step I take when doing the doula hula that makes it most effective for quick calming is to press one of baby’s ears against my chest while I cover baby’s outer ear firmly with my hand. This creates a droning white noise-type sound for baby that, in addition to the motion, provides maximum calming! A low hum in your throat can add another level of soothing if needed – more calming white noise sounds generated by you. A white noise playing on a sound machine while you’re doing the hula around a room can help, too, along with dimming lights and closing the shades.


The rhythmic movement can also be done while wearing your baby in a carrier such as a ring sling or wrap, or any number of other infant carriers. In fact, I recommend it.


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