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The Art of Distracting Your Baby

What's the best way to divert a fussy baby's attention? Try these four tried-and-true mom-tested techniques.

It's never too early to break out one of the most important weapons in the Mom Arsenal: The art of distraction. If your baby is fussing (because she's tired, or hungry, or bored, or just because she's grumpy), sometimes a simple diversion can stave off a full-blown freak-out – or at least delay it for a while. These little tricks also come in handy when you're trying to stretch out the interval between feedings or naps (the better to regulate your baby's schedule); when you're waiting (and waiting) for your turn at the pediatrician's office; or just anytime you're trying to coax a (toothless) grin. You'll soon learn what your baby likes best, but here are some excellent starter moves:

Peekaboo:

Well, duh -- but this kiddie classic is popular
for a reason. Most babies can't get enough
of the big surprise – here's Mommy! Mix it up by hiding behind your hands, a blanket, even a book; for more excitement, pop up above, below, and to the side of your hiding place.

 

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Song and dance:
Pick one or do both, and rest assured that (tone deaf and/or klutzy) amateurs are most certainly welcome. Any old groove will do, as long as you engage your baby by picking her up and helping her join in the fun.

Silly sounds:

Who can resist that plump baby tummy or those pudgy toes -- and why should you even try? Plant a kiss on each adorable digit, or turn a kiss into a sensory sensation by making it a raspberry – a goofy noise, a puff of air, and a smooch from Mom, all rolled into one! (Um, does anyone really know why it's called a raspberry?)

Funny faces:

Stick out your tongue, fake an exaggerated sneeze, or give a big wink – any departure from the usual may just grab your baby's attention and even prompt a smile.

 

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