Distractions help all of us forget our worries, and they can do the same for your little one. Anything from funny faces to a change of environment can take her focus off what's bothering her. "Also, sometimes babies will cry because they're bored and need stimulation, like something new to look at," says Jean Kunhardt, codirector of Soho Parenting in New York City, where she counsels moms and dads.
Try this: Don't worry, your child doesn't need toys loaded with bells and whistles or to go on a special outing. Some experts suggest simply holding your baby up to your shoulder so she can look around from a fresh perspective. Or let her watch an overhead fan or mobile, or take her out for a stroll.
On the other side of the coin, too much to look at may be your problem. "If you've tried everything and your baby is still miserable, she may actually be overstimulated," Kunhardt explains. In this case, put her in her crib, dim the lights, and let her cry a bit. Stay nearby, but wait about ten minutes. You may be pleasantly surprised when she settles down and drifts off to sleep. (Overstimulation and becoming overtired often go hand in hand.)