Men love the intoxicating scent of a woman. Babies love the intoxicating scent of their mom. "Babies can recognize the smell of their mother, especially the smell of her breast or breast milk," Dr. Tolcher says. Your scent, combined with your familiar voice and contact with your body, can be all he needs to calm down. "Also, some babies need more body-to-body contact than others do," Kunhardt says. "If your baby is like this, by all means hold him as much as you want or can."
Try this: The how-to for this strategy is pretty simple. Cuddle your baby close to your skin, let him breathe in your mommy scent, and enjoy his sweet baby smell too. Rest your baby snugly against your shoulder, or try the football hold (place his stomach on your arm while you support his neck and chin with the palm of your hand). You may also find it helpful to expose your child to calming scents such as lavender and vanilla. In fact, some baby brands offer washes and lotions in these fragrances for this reason. (But steer clear of too-strong perfumes or scents, which can be irritating.) When my son Jonathan was born, the washing machine trick that worked like a charm with my daughter Lily didn't do a thing to halt his tears. I experimented with other tactics and finally found that a rubdown with a lavender-scented lotion mellowed him out. Now, even four years later, it still does the trick on a night when he just can't settle down.