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Home » Advice and Tips, Baby, Calming

Another (controversial?) way to calm a fussy or crying baby

Submitted by on Monday, 8 September 200816 Comments
Blow dryers...not just for moms anymore

Blow dryers...not just for moms anymore

I did a search on this topic before starting to write this, and found that people are not necessarily on the same page with this calming technique.  So I want to start this post by suggesting that before trying any of the calming techniques I suggest here, please make sure your baby has been fed and has a clean diaper first.  Many of these techniques will not work on a baby that is hungry or has a big poo in her diaper.

I know to many this may be common sense, and I don’t mean to treat you, my readers, like idiots, but based on what I have seen on various sites and comments, I need to explicitly state everything.  Otherwise some raging know-it-all (who is probably not even a parent) will come on here and post a comment like “well, this won’t work if the baby is hungry,” or “why don’t you get to the root of the problem rather than just turning on a mute button?” and so on and so on.

That is not to say you should not leave a comment if you disagree with me…I just want to be sure there are no misunderstandings with what I am writing.

So what is all this fuss about?  Well, a blow dryer.  Know also to some as, a hair dryer.  Known to Don King as, a wind tunnel (see here).

Let me explain.

After the birth or our first son, our midwife came over for a check-up.  We happened to have to change our boy’s diaper while she was there.  After we wiped and cleaned the his bum region, our midwife suggested we use a blow dryer to dry it up.  So we tried it out and were amazed at how relaxed and laid back we was while we had the blow dryer on and gently blew some air over him (do not attempt to use Don King’s blow dryer to do this).

I will pause here for some important points:

  • Do not use hot air (use a warm setting if you have one).
  • Hold the dryer at a distance from the baby so it only gets a gentle breeze.
  • Do not blow the air in your baby’s face.
  • If you are doing this while the baby is naked or sans diaper/pants, use your hand to create a barrier between the airflow and the baby’s privvies, as this is a sensitive area where a gust of air might be a bit shocking or unappreciated.

Please please please do not use hot air or put this too close to the baby. And please monitor the temperature of the baby to make sure you don’t burn it or overheat it.

I have seen some people writing that it is not the airflow that calms the baby but rather the white noise that the blow dryer creates when it is turned on.  So you can also try just having the blow dryer on without even pointing it at your baby.

With our daughter, we use this once in awhile, either when changing her diaper, or as a last resort when she is fussy.

When changing her diaper, we usually do it near the end of the diaper change, just before we put on the new diaper and sometimes also while we are putting the new diaper on.  We find she really enjoys it and this makes the whole diaper changing process run more smoothly for us all.

As a last resort, when she has been fed and we are sure she does not want to eat anymore, and we have changed her diaper, and we have tried other ways to calm her that haven’t worked, we lie her down on our bed and use the blow dryer.  This works, but we rarely need it with her.  With our son we needed it a lot more, because he had more difficulties with gas and colic than our daughter does.

So there you have it.  If you are looking for a last resort calming technique and nothing else is working, likely because your baby has an upset tummy or is just feeling fussy, give this a try.  If it works as well for you as it has for us, you will be glad you did.  Just be sure to follow all precautions I have given here and use good judgment.  A blow dryer is not a toy.  Do not let your baby stick the blow dryer in its mouth.  And by all means, do not let your baby plug it in or unplug it.  And keep the cord away from the baby too.

Please join the jam and share your comments on this wonderful, controversial, baby calming method.

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