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10 Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby

Baby Judy Dutton Aug 14, 2014

Babies cry for all kinds of reasons, from hunger pangs to soggy diapers. But sometimes babies just cry and you can't figure out why, or how to make them stop, and you're so tired and frustrated you want to rip the hair out of your head. While crying can of course be a sign of a real problem that needs to be addressed, sometimes babies just cry because they're cranky and need something to snap them out of their foul mood. So we asked moms what helped them soothe a crying baby and got some really surprising solutions, from vacuum cleaners to plastic bags (?!). Don't knock them until you try them! You may be surprised what works on your own infant.

Tricks to soothe a crying baby

More from CafeMom: 6 Ways 'Crying It Out' Is Dangerous for Babies

How do you get your baby to stop crying?

Images © Jan Tepass/imagebroker/Corbis; © iStock.com/ArtisticCaptures    

Image © Granger Wootz/Blend Images/Corbis

1Turn on a Faucet

"One ace I have up my sleeve for slightly older infants, 3 months plus, is to take them to the sink and run the water. They are fascinated! It calms down babies and toddlers of all ages."

Image © JLP/Jose L. Pelaez/Corbis

2Put Her on the Washing Machine

"When our daughter had colic, we waited until night to wash clothes. We placed our daughter's infant carrier on top of the washing machine while it ran. The sound of running water, gentle motion, and heat put her right to sleep. Warning: Be sure and remove the baby from on top of the machine BEFORE the spin cycle. Once my wife and I dozed off. The machine made a loud click that woke up our daughter. She started screaming. After that she screamed every time we put her on the machine."

Credit © Steve Hix/Somos Images/Corbis


3Stand in Front of a Bookshelf

"My baby would always stop crying when I stood in front of our bookcases. She would just stop crying and gaze at all the books. I have no idea why that worked, but it did. If I turned away from the bookshelves, she'd start fussing again. So every time she cried, I'd head for the bookcase. She loves books to this day -- she taught herself to read at 3, and at 6, reading is still her 'favorite thing to do in the whole world.'"

Image © Eyeconic Images/Aurora Open/Corbis

4Turn Baby Upside Down

"I turn my baby upside down for a moment. Works like a charm!"

Image © Klaus Rein/imagebroker/Corbis

5Sing 'Send in the Clowns'

"Singing 'Send in the Clowns' to my daughter worked when she was a baby. Go figure. It calmed me down too!"

Image © Radius Images/Corbis

6Break Out the Vacuum

"When my children were younger, I was told to turn on the vacuum cleaner by my grandmother. I would turn it on when everything else failed. I would turn on the vacuum cleaner and start to clean the room. They would immediately stop. I would run the vacuum cleaner over the floors until the room was all neat and tidy. Each of my kids would just stare at me while I kept my eye on them with a smile."

Image © Silke Woweries/Corbis

7Blow Bubbles

"A tried-and-true method of soothing a fussy baby is to blow bubbles to attract her attention. A small bottle of bubble-stuff in a plastic bag, with its own wand, fits easily into a purse or diaper bag and can be retrieved while waiting in the doctor's office, taking a long car ride, waiting for a meal to be delivered, etc. Inexpensive and effective."

Image © I Love Images/Corbis

8Rub Plastic Bags Together

"Rubbing two plastic grocery bags together as a type of white noise soothes our baby no matter what!"

Image © Roy McMahon/Corbis

9Turn On the Blow-Dryer

"Turning a hair dryer on them works great, as long as they're young enough not to be scared and you're not blowing it right on them!"

colic & crying

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