When Ruby was in the middle of a scream-fest, Jean Marie would pick her four-week-old up, sit on the bed with her feet on the ground, and bounce up and down in quick, jerky little motions like a child on a pogo stick.
Babies love to bounce. Why else do we call our infants bouncing baby girls and boys? Over the centuries, parents have perfected countless innovative ways to jiggle their unhappy tots into tranquillity. Here are the Top Ten:
1. Baby slings and carriers
2. Dancing (with quick little moves up and down)
3. Infant swings
4. Rhythmic pats on the back or bottom
6. Rocking in a rocking chair
7. Car rides
8. Vibrating bouncy seats
9. Bouncing on an exercise ball
10. Brisk walks
A Bonus Eleventh Technique—
The Milk Shake
This method may sound odd, but you’ll be amazed how well it works:
1. Sit your baby on your lap (facing to your left) and place your left hand under his chin like a chin strap. Lean him forward a little so his chin rests solidly in your hand.
2. Slip your right hand directly underneath his buttocks.
3. Lift him straight up into the air with your right hand; he’ll be leaning forward a tiny bit so his head will be cradled in your left hand a few inches in front of his body.
4. Now, with your right hand, bounce him with fast (two to three times a second) but tiny (one to two inches) up-and-down movements, like you’re making a milk shake.
The Milk Shake is also a great way to burp your baby—and build your biceps.