I was trapped in a new parent's nightmare. Isla, my week-old baby girl, was crying inconsolably, and absolutely nothing I did could get her to stop. With each squall, my panic grew in the way only a sleep-deprived, hormonal postpartum mom's can. I was convinced that something was terribly wrong with my baby, and I felt like a failure for being unable to fix it.
I vaguely remembered a friend telling me that when her baby was particularly fussy, she turned on the faucet; her daughter loved the sound of running water. In fact, a book I read while I was pregnant had mentioned that the white noise of a household appliance often quiets babies because it mimics the ambient sound of the womb. I was about to pull my hair out, but instead, I pulled out my hair dryer. I plugged it in and flipped the switch.