7 silly ways to calm a crying baby

"He won't stop crying!" My kids were ready to start crying themselves last week when a friend's baby came over for the day. The morning went well and I thought we were going to get off easy. My kids took turns holding the baby while he smiled and cooed. After a brief nap though, there was no soothing the little guy. I changed his diaper, tried to feed him, walked him back and forth, nothing worked. It was time pull out the silly.

When you are in the midst of a crying jag, whether it hits in the mid-afternoon, or at midnight, all you want to do is soothe your sad little baby. No remedy works every time. After hearing about swaddling, I tried it and surprisingly it worked wonders for my daughter, the first time. She tricked me into thinking I found the answer, but the truth is the questions change. You may be "at the ready" to help your infant, but unfortunately they cannot tell you what is wrong. Stay calm, and give the following off-beat ways a try.

7 Silly ways to calm a crying baby

Run the shower. If a shower is not available, turn on the faucet. Running water can attract a baby's attention and possibly even stop the tears. Once they are intrigued, let the water gently hit their hand or foot. Be sure you are calm and in control when trying this though, there is the possibility you could scare your child if you move too fast, or out of frustration.

Run the vacuum. Of all the times to think about cleaning. No, I am not telling you to ignore the baby and go vacuum, but the hum of a vacuum or hair dryer could calm a baby down. Use this one with caution. If you have a skittish child who cries at loud noises, like my youngest, this will not work.

Change location. If you are inside, go out. If you are outside, go in. If this is not a possibility, for example it is negative 5 degrees out, take the baby into a different room. A change in scenery could do a baby good.

Make a noise. Sneeze dramatically, bark like a dog, channel your inner Batman and exclaim "Shazam!" If you feel silly, good. That probably means you will smile and maybe even laugh, which could help turn your baby's sour mood around.

Brush their hair.

My kids did not have any hair when they were young, but still enjoyed having a soft baby hair brush on their bald heads. One of my foster daughters would calm down when you ran a hairbrush on her arm. Never underestimate the power of touch.

Watch an animal.

Follow the cat around pointing out her actions to your baby along the way, or pet a dog. The baby we were watching was actually soothed by watching the fish and then the cat came over to join in the fun and completely turned his mood around. If you do not have any resident animals, pop in an animal video for head over to the computer to watch YouTube videos of animals, or laughing babies.

Sing a song. This is a common soothing trick, but remember you do not have to sing a lullaby to make this work. Sing whatever song lyrics you can remember, or make them up as you go along. If the only song lyrics that pop into your head are from Meatball, Madonna or the Red Hot Chili Peppers, that's okay, just sing! "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" does the trick as well as Mother Goose.

More by Sylvie Branch:

Corral the Curious: Setting Boundaries for Tiny Explorers

Tips for Determining Your Preemies Adjusted Age

Ten Things You Need Before Bringing a Baby Home