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Sanity Saving Baby Soothers

An ice-cream sundae may ease our stress, but it won't stave off your little sweetie's anxiety attack. When a diaper change just doesn't cut it, what to do? Here, Babytalk readers share tricks that trigger the calming reflex in their tiny terrors:

Music therapy

"When my son was upset, I put on 'Angel' by Lionel Ritchie and danced while holding him in my arms. He loved to be twirled around and laughed when I would dip him."
Lisa Reitz, Merrick, NY

"With our daughter, it was rounds and rounds of 'You Are My Sunshine.' For our three-month-old twin boys, it's the seventies rock band Journey. One day while they were screaming in the car, my husband put in the Journey CD. Within seconds, they'd both stopped crying."
Melissa Palestro, Poughkeepsie, NY

"The Wiggles!"
Nancy Cohan, Fort Edward, NY

Singing the praises of lullabies

"When my son is gassy, I lay him on my lap and sing 'The Wheels on the Bus' while I pump his legs to relieve the gas."
Ginny Gallo-Dowdakin, Sleepy Hollow, IL

"If I can't calm my daughter down, I whisper in her ear a song I've made up. She has to stop screaming in order to hear me. I think all babies are soothed by their mother's voice, and she calms down and listens to my little song."
Kerrie Cantwell, Albuquerque, NM

The nipple effect

"My youngest daughter was a comfort nurser and wanted to breastfeed whenever she was upset. It worked, but it was a pain trying to wean her!"
Angela Ferguson, Fairdale, KY

"My son likes to have me all to himself, but the biggest soother is breastfeeding."
Natasha Daley, Pearl City, HI

"Nursing. Nothing else does the trick."
Melissa Iacoli, Mooresville, IN

Baby swingers

"My one-month-old son loves to be held facing my chest in a sling. I can sway, walk around, or attend to his two-year-old sister, and he's fast asleep in no time. Then I easily slip off the sling and lay him down in his bassinet. He doesn't even realize I've put him down."
Bemina Rohde, Cheektowaga, NY

"We heard about the five S's (swaddling, holding a baby on his side or stomach, shushing sounds, swinging, and sucking) and immediately purchased "The Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD, by Harvey Karp, M.D. It really works! Our son responded best to shushing and swinging. We recommend it to every expecting couple that we know."
Nicole Elbertson, Harrisburg, PA

"For our anniversary the summer after our daughter was born, my husband bought me a porch swing. We put it on the deck off our kitchen. After a few minutes of sitting on my lap on the swing, my fussy daughter would calm right down."
Denise Koster, Hugo, CO

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