How to Calm a Crying Baby

This post is part update, part solicitation for advice.  In all, Kohl is an extremely well-behaved little guy.  Like many infants, however, he sometimes slips into brief bouts of unexplained fussiness.  We have employed a number of techniques that work occasionally, some better than others.  Below is a list of the calming methods we have used:

  • THE FIVE S’s: This technique comes from a book called The Happiest Baby on the Block, a classic that is particularly popular with hippies and those that favor natural child birth and shopping at Whole Foods.  The premise of the book is that the first three months of a child’s life is akin to a “fourth trimester” and the best way to calm a crying baby is to recreate the “womb-like” atmosphere. (The book even uses creative chapter headings, such as “A Womb with a View”). The “Five S’s” –  swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking – help to create that atmosphere.   This is a good one, but sometimes ineffective.


  • Bob Marley: Kohl’s dad recently read Be Prepared: A Handbook for New Dads which also had some valuable information.  Of note was the fact that babies like to be rocked to a certain rhythm and that rhythm is approximately 60 “rocks” per minute.  This happens to dovetail perfectly with reggae music, and particularly Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier.”  This has only worked about 25% of the time, but it gives Kohl’s dad an excuse to play Bob Marley ad nauseam and sway in front of the main window in the hopes that all the neighbors will be able to see.  Dad’s desired outcome in employing this technique is two-fold: (1) get Kohl to sleep and (2) embarrass Mom
  • The Deep Knee Bend: This technique comes courtesy of our friend who has two twin girls of his own.  The technique is simply performing air squats while holding your child.  If you’re not in very good shape like our friend who suggested this technique, this can also double as a workout.  But when you’re in ridiculously good shape like Kohl’s dad, the workout value is minimal.  While this technique has about a 99.9% success rate, it also increases the chances of spit-up by 197%.
  • Modified Heisman pose: The Heisman pose is self explanatory (see  But in the modified Heisman, the McNugget goes on his stomach so that he rests on your forearm which supposedly settles it.  This technique has met with moderate success, but doing it is fun and allows dad to display his low maturity level and, once again, embarrass Mom.

Any other techniques?  Please feel free to comment to this post or send us an email –

The goal?  We’d like this fussy little fellow …


To sleep as soundly as this elderly fellow …


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