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5 Ways to Make a Cranky Baby Smile

cranky baby crying not smiling

You tend to think that all babies are happy. They smile from sun up to sundown. When you look at them, they laugh for no reason at all. Sadly, this is not the case for all mothers. There are some mothers out there who have somber babies. Some mothers have downright cranky little ones. Your baby may act this way. There could be a reason for it, or maybe your baby just has a disposition that is not as pleasant as some others. No matter the reason, there are some ways to help cope with this. Keep reading to find five tricks to help make your baby smile.

1. Exaggerate Movements

Since the beginning of entertainment, when silent movies were all the rage, exaggerated movements were what made them interesting. These gestures will grab your child’s attention. If you can grab their attention, you will be able to make them laugh. You can use big movements to emphasize all types of funny gestures. Children just like to be amazed. You don’t have to do anything spectacular. Besides, they are children, so everything is new to them. You can show them very simple things like the sun in the sky or the curtains on the wall, and as long as you open your mouth wide and look surprised, they will be too. It is all in your delivery. Give it a try and see if your cranky baby will let a smile slip out.

2. Make Funny Faces

Funny faces come with the territory of having a baby, and most likely, you have already tried this one. I am positive that maybe you are just not doing them big enough. Try doing them again, but using some of the exaggeration tips while you make the faces and see if that helps. Bug your eyes out big. Cover your face and then uncover it in a quick game of “Peek-A-Boo.” Stick out your tongue often because even though babies stick out their tongues often, they are amazed at how your tongue comes out and then disappears.

3. Use Music/Dance Party

Babies come out of the womb dancing. If you play a song, their little bodies begin to dance. They have a tune playing in their heads at all times. They learn to music and retain most of what they learn over the years of their lives to music. How did they learn the alphabet? To the music, of course. Since music is a part of them, you should try making your cranky baby smile by engaging them with music. A dance party would be even better.

Try getting down on the clean floor with your baby and turning on whatever music you think is appropriate and having a great time. Music should be age-appropriate. You can use “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” or you can use a song that you like that is currently popular on the radio. The key is to find something that makes your child move. When you find what makes them move, you have something that makes them happy, and with that, they are in a good space. Take advantage of that and get in some little tickles and dances and make sure that you are talking and laughing. Excite your child up and tell them how great they are doing. You are guaranteed to get a smile this way, even from the crankiest of babies.

4. Have A Puppet Show

Puppet shows require a certain amount of energy, but they do not necessarily have to be so formal. If you like to do that type of thing, then that is fine too, but you literally can draw some eyes on a sock with a sharpie and call it a day. You will find that your baby will not judge you.

Get your puppets together. Get your props together and a basic storyline, and then go for it. Make sure that your story has a little humor and involves something simple enough that your baby can follow. If you are not good at making up a story, you can use something that has already been written; your child won’t penalize you for plagiarism. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that your child does not see that you are controlling the puppets, it makes the puppets more real, and they often will give up more laughs to characters than people.

5. Use Tickles

This tip is as old as “time” itself! If you are still having a difficult time getting smiles out of your baby, just stop right now and use the plain old “tickle monster.” Yes, tickle that cute little cranky baby. In recent years, some studies said do not tickle your baby because it caused stuttering. There have been countless amounts of studies that show that the act of tickling your baby does no such thing. There are reasons for stuttering, but tickling is just not one of them. Tickling is usually a solution to making your cranky baby smile that he or she can not resist. Although they may try, they usually give in. In seconds flat because it is a natural response.


To recap, we have discussed:

  • Exaggerate Movements
  • Make Funny Faces
  • Use Music/Dance Party
  • Have A Puppet Show
  • Use Tickles

Naturally, cranky babies may appear to be a nightmare at first, but all babies are a blessing, and as parents, you just have to figure out how to break through whatever issues your child has. There are usually solutions out there that you can find that will help solve or at least alleviate what they have going on. Trust me; if your biggest issue is that your little one is not smiling, you’re going to be okay. Check out this article and find some more tips and tricks on how to help your cranky little one smile more every day.

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