Keep Baby Moving
Baby Carriers. Infants love motion and closeness to a warm body-something they enjoyed in the womb. Many studies confirm the benefits of close body contact: Researchers have found that babies carried in the arms, in front carriers, or in slings for at least three hours a day cried a lot less on average than those babies who were not carried at all.
Infant massage. Research has also shown the power of smooth, deliberate touch. In studies on premature infants, those who were massaged for 15 minutes three times as day for 10 days gained weight more quickly and were more active, alert, and responsive than those preemies who weren't massaged. Massage is also a helpful tool for promoting relaxation in full-term infants.
At first, don't massage your baby when he's crying-wait until you're both relaxed because you don't want him to associate the massage with bad feelings, like frustration or exhaustion. Then, gently rub his back, belly, arms, and legs with loving strokes. To perfect your technique, take a class or read one of the many books now available on the art of infant massage. After a week or two, when your baby has come to associate massage with relaxation, you can use massage to calm and soothe him when he cries.
Swings. If it seems that every evening, just when you're tying get supper on the table, the baby acts up, a mechanical swing may help. Most babies are magically soothed by these devices, which come in battery-powered or windup models. Battery-operated swings are more expensive but will run for a long time; the less costly (and sometimes noisy) crank models must be wound every 10 to 15 minutes. Some swings provide extra support for young infants' floppy heads; otherwise you can purchase a special insert to help keep your child's neck straight and his head upright. In either case, don't try a swing until your baby is 6 weeks old, when she can support the weight of her head a little bit.
Though there's nothing wrong with the occasional use of an infant swing, experts do caution against using one to calm every whimper. Before strapping you baby in, make sure she isn't hungry tired, or wet. Once you've tried meeting all of your baby's needs, putting her in a swing to get her over an inexplicable crying jag is perfectly acceptable.