Recreate the Womb
Why it works: For nine months, your baby lay snugly in your uterus, surrounded by comforting echoes of the beat of your pulse, the shushing of your breath, and the muted noises of the outside world.
Soothing strategies: Swaddling, side lying, and shushing recreate conditions in the womb and can help curtail crying, according to Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. Swaddling is wrapping your baby tightly in a blanket, which makes him feel as cozy as he was in your belly. "I'll swaddle my daughter snugly and hold her while swaying," says Susie Frades, of Arroyo Grande, California, mom to Emma, 3 months. "It works like a charm."
Laying baby on his side or stomach when he's awake, whether in your arms or on your lap, is similar to how he lounged in utero. "Shushing" loudly (don't be afraid to be noisy) mimics the whooshing of your blood that baby heard in the womb. It's also why many babies are quieted by the hum of a blow-dryer, vacuum, or white noise machines.