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Our 1-month-old loves to be walked—what else might soothe him?
Q: Our son, who is 1-month-old, loves to be walked in a carrier. However, once we put him down, he begins to cry; and once we pick him up and begin walking, he stops. This does not leave much time for Mom or Dad to get things done since we feel bad when he cries. I have been looking for something that simulates the random motion of a person walking him. Any suggestions for two sleepless parents?
Andrew East Aurora
A: Your son was carried around in his mommy's womb until recently, so he is used to the bodily closeness and the movements of walking. He probably prefers the comfort and security of mommy or daddy carrying him around, and he's just letting you know that when you put him down. Many parents have found using a baby carrier is a comfortable and natural way to keep baby close-by and still get things done because their hands are free.

Your son will eventually outgrow this preference. In the meantime, check for any causes of discomfort when he cries after you put him down. If he's not hungry or wet, and not ready for a nap, you can engage his attention through playful interactions, such as shaking a rattle for him to watch, bat at, or grasp. There are many toys designed for babies his age that will interest him and stimulate his senses—toys for him to look at, listen to, and touch. There are also products designed specifically to soothe and entertain babies, such as bouncers and swings with rhythmic movements. Some rock back-and-forth or from side-to-side. Some even vibrate, and they often have toys attached to encourage play. The combination of movement and calming music helps comfort babies and stops them from crying. Nothing, however, mimics the random movements of walking…guess it's up to you to provide that!
Kathleen Alfano Ph.D. Director of Child Research at Fisher-Price®