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how to make a cranky baby smile

Bliss on the brain
Don’t bother trying to keep things new and exciting—nothing pleases your baby more than knowing what’s going to happen next, says Jill Stamm, Ph.D., author of Bright From the Start. A regular nap schedule, a nightly cuddle and your singing “You Are My Sunshine” for the hundredth time will keep him content. Happiness is that simple when you’re tiny. (Hey, he hasn’t even heard of the economy yet.)

Sucking is your baby’s most instinctive survival reflex, designed to get him nutrition. But even after his tummy’s satisfied, his urge to suck may not be. That can make him cranky—unless you let him go to town on a paci or his fingers (both are perfectly okay). His sense of calm will be restored.

Your baby loves looking at you. Loves it. Loves it like you love looking at her (or Hugh Jackman, whatever). So flash her a goofy grin and open your eyes wide so she knows exactly what happy looks like. Play peekaboo. Lean in close and kiss her nose. Whatever gets your smiling face in her field of vision will be a thrill