When the baby is having a wobbly (tantrum) for no serious reason, it's good to have some “attention grabbers” or “distractors”. I say good, but in fact, it's absolutely necessary, to stop your better half from telling you off.
(Not to mention stopping the crying).
Changing/Dressing The Baby
My 9mo loses his mind every time I dress him after his bath. I wish I could explain to him that his own suffering would end much faster if he just stood still, but he just doesn't listen. The missus says the inferences to mathematical logic, deduction and induction might be the problem. I think he just likes to be difficult...
The Attention Grabbers
Now, there are the obvious distraction techniques, such as singing, clapping and clicking your fingers. However, if those have stopped working for you, you can try my 4 tricks:
1. Blow on his chest, or hair, or hands. Blowing in gusts works best.
2. Making any noise that he hasn't heard before (e.g. motorcycle sounds or raspberries with your mouth/lips).
3. If he is shouting, you can tap his open mouth with your hand, so that he starts making an “Indian battle call”.
4. Tapping his thigh with your bare hand. Doing this repeatedly will distract him. You can also “play the piano” on anything hollow which will make some noise (e.g. an empty box).
But as I'm not the only parent out there, I asked a bunch of twitter friends for their comments. And I got some golden ones!
Here they are in the order in which I was told them.
@AbsentAznMom was the first to reply. She says she plays peek-a-boo. My missus does that one, but I normally need at least one hand free, so it doesn't quite work for me. Still, if you're not changing the baby, it works a treat!
@MomMask says give them the car keys. That works. You might lose your keys, but that works. So if you have some keys, especially if you've forgotten what they're for, you can definitely give those. Note though, that they'll probably get licked!
@DiaryOfTheDad says his little one was transfixed by the sound of his electric toothbrush. I confess I don't have one, but if I did, I'd definitely give it a try!
@TOAFTD says put youtube on. In particular, “Lava” (https://youtu.be/uh4dTLJ9q9o). Youtube does work for me too. Not those so-called baby distraction videos which are rubbish. My 9mo likes Love Yourself by JB. Don't ask why that was ever put on...
@bringinghome likes to sing Cry Me A River, by Michael Bublé. I sing to my little ones too, even Michael Bublé songs, but only if I want to get them to sway... ;-)
@FamilyTeamCoach has a unusual technique for when you're changing nappies/diapers. You show the baby the dirty wet wipe, and it shocks the baby! Definitely worth a try!
And last but not least, @DaddyPoppinsBlg has his own special routine, which includes smelling the baby's feet, pretending to faint, and giving the baby a belly raspberry (i.e. blowing in her belly to make a funny sound). This might well be my favourite one, because I love the way babies smell (even their feet!) and I love giving them the belly raspberry too.
And that's it! All our twitter wisdom regarding baby distraction techniques here. I hope it was useful to you! Have I missed any? Let me know!