Baby books make it sound so easy to calm a fussy baby: Offer a bottle or the boob, put on a clean diaper, add (or remove) a layer of clothing — or just snuggle your little one because Mommy snuggles fix everything. Except for when they don't, and nothing else you try seems to work, either. Until you've lived it, it can be hard to understand how bottomless the frustration and desperation is when you can't figure out how to make a baby stop crying.
When the obvious solutions above don't work, even the most patient of moms can start to feel like they're doing something wrong when their baby just continues to cry and cry (and cry and cry...). I know: I've been there.
The good news — other than that the crying, colicky stage won't last forever — is there are products to soothe a fussy baby that can help a desperate mama out. This list features items that offer tried-and-true techniques like shushing, rocking, and swaddling to help calm a baby down, but with genius twists like automation and innovation that make Mom's job easier.
Crying isn't fun for anyone — not the poor babies or their poor moms — but with the right combination of products, time, and yes, Mommy snuggles, your little one will be giving you those big, gummy, drooly smiles again in no time.
1. A Portable Shusher
Sure, you can shush your fussy baby on your own, but unless you've got lungs to rival Michael Phelps, you're going to tire yourself out pretty quickly. The automatic Baby Shusher repeats rhythmic shushing sounds to help soothe your sad little bubs, and with a built-in volume control, you can always be sure the shushing is louder than your baby's cries. Louder, in this case, is better: Turns out your uterus was a pretty loud place — comparable to a loud vacuum cleaner — so this portable little device will make your baby feel right at home.
2. A High-Tech Baby Swing
When you try to soothe your fussing baby, you don't move in just one direction, so why should your baby swing? The innovative mamaRoo offers five different motions — like car ride, tree swing, and wave — to mimic mom's movement, and a mobile and built-in music round out the soothing experience. Once your baby is smiling again, the mamaRoo is a perfect play zone, to boot. PSA: If your baby is still in the tiny newborn stage, don't forget the plush newborn insert (sold separately).
3. A Snuggly Swaddle
People have been swaddling babies since, well, the invention of babies. The Halo SleepSack Swaddle swaps unwieldy (and potentially dangerous) fabric for a wearable blanket with easy-to-use Velcro wraps. Swaddle with arms down to control the startle reflex, arms near the face to facilitate self-soothing, or one or two arms out to transition out of the swaddle – all will help keep your baby feeling safe, snug, and soothed. For cooler weather, check out the cozy microfleece version.
4. Calming Bath Products
Prior to birth, babies essentially take a nine-month bath in amniotic fluid, so it's no surprise that many little ones find a gentle bath soothing when they're upset. This lavender- and vanilla-scented bath set helps babies calm down, whether it's bedtime or just a particularly fussy witching hour. Use the included lotion to give your baby a gentle massage to help bring additional zen into your baby's life.
5. A Soothing Pacifier
Pacifiers aren't for every baby, but if you have a little sucker (literally), you'll be buying binkies by the dozen. Made of a single piece of hospital-grade silicone, the orthodontic Soothie pacifier is perfectly shaped for a baby-sized mouth to go to town on it. Some breastfeeding moms prefer to wait until nursing is established before introducing the binky, but others (oh heyyy!) pop that thing in at the first sign of fussiness.
6. A Car Seat Rocker
The genius behind this product is two-fold: First, this portable car seat rocker allows babies who are soothed by the car to actually stay in their car seat — and keep a sense of motion going — after coming inside. Second, its small size means you can take it with you virtually anywhere you go, so whether you're at Grandma's, on vacation, or just in your tiny apartment (hey, city friends!), your little one will never be far from a soothing swing. The rocker uses batteries, but an AC adapter may be purchased separately.
7. A Combination Projector and Sound Machine
Babies experience new sights, sounds and sensations pretty much 24/7, and while that's how they learn, it can also be wildly overstimulating for them. Remove a fussy, overstimulated baby from an active environment, and turn on a combination lullaby sound machine and projector to help your little one calm down. Soothing sounds, including heartbeat, ocean, and classic lullabies, pair with rotating pictures to bring an end to those sad baby tears.
8. A Carrier To Keep Your Baby Close
Babies are used to being close to their mamas...like, really close. After they're born, it makes sense that they'd want to maintain that closeness, but as lovely as all-day snuggles sound, a mom does, in fact, need her hands. A snug, breathable baby carrier lets your baby cozy up to you — your smell, your sounds, your heartbeat — for ultimate calming time. The K'tan allows for multiple carrying positions, and its double-loop design makes it easy to use.
9. A Solution For Gassy Tummies
Yes, this product really is called The Windi (subtitle: The Gaspasser), and yes, you really do stick it up your baby's tiny little bum to relieve gas and/or constipation, and most important, yes, it really does work. (What else would you expect from the company that brought you The Snotsucker?) It may seem a bit odd, but each single-use catheter works to instantly relieve uncomfortable pressure in your baby's tummy — the kind that can lead to big, sad, inconsolable tears. Note that you do not want to stand directly in the trajectory of the Windi when using it to avoid any poop mishaps; it's that effective.
10. An Inclined Rocker
Topping the list of baby must-haves for new moms everywhere, the Rock 'n Play Sleeper is all but a requirement for fussy babies. The inclined, cozy seat and the two-speed rocking tend to have a serious calming effect on even the fussiest of little ones, and this automated version features an AC plug to keep that comfort going — hands-free! — all night (or nap) long. For added soothing powers, dress your baby in a legs-out swaddle blanket to prevent the startle reflex from interfering with all that relaxation.
11. A Chewable Necklace For Tender Gums
Baby-safe, chewable necklaces for Mom to wear are everywhere these days
, but Marotaro upped the cool quotient with their chic, stylish teething necklaces. It will still get the job done for a fussy, teething baby with sore gums, and you'll continue to wear it even after your baby has a full set of chompers. Win-win!
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