It is with great pleasure that we introduce Muffin Pig Valency! He was born on September 23, 2013 at 3:14 AM. He weighed in at 6 lb. 3 oz. and was 20.5 in. long. He is our pride and joy.
When Muffin Pig turned three weeks old, he started
crying screaming uncontrollably for hours. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about colic and fussy babies (and no, it’s not all about tummy troubles!).
I guess I’d cry too if I had to wear that. Anyway.
There are a few products that have made my life easier in the past two months. These are my top 5 favorite products for fussy newborns.
1. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD
When MP was about 3 weeks old, he started screaming for hours on end. Endless hours of bouncing, singing, walking, and driving could not calm him. A few people recommended The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Dr. Harvey Karp. I initially thought it would just be another gimmick, but it’s actually pretty amazing. If you use his techniques correctly, the baby mellows into a sort of marshmallow trance. I think this should be given to every parent at the hospital. While the book is helpful, the DVD is clearer. Most of my other favorite products help me master this Happiest Baby technique. Check it out:
2. Swaddle Strap
The first step to calming a fussy baby is to swaddle him. A blanket works for a while, but after a few weeks, babies learn how to bust out of pretty much any blanket swaddle.
There are several swaddle sacks on the market, and I’ve tried a couple of them. First I tried the Halo Sleep Sack.
It is difficult to put on in the middle of the night. The velcro straps are gigantic and loud. It rides up and starts to cover the baby’s mouth while he’s sleeping. I’m not a fan.
Then I used the SwaddleMe.
And it’s decent enough.
But, like the Halo Sleep Sack, the SwaddleMe still tends to scoot up and cover the baby’s mouth. It’s also a little too short for our string bean baby.
The biggest problem with most swaddling products is that you can’t buckle the baby into a swing while he is wearing one. My fussy baby sometimes needs to be swaddled and swung at the same time, so I started folding a blanket in half and leaving his legs free.
…which is all fine and great, but it’s way too easy for Houdini to escape.
Enter the Swaddle Strap by Anna & Eve. We call it the straight jacket. It’s quicker to use than any other swaddle sack I’ve seen, and it’s totally swing compatible. The straight jacket makes midnight diaper changes easy. Even the most talented escape artist can’t bust outta this, because it has an inside strap that goes under the baby’s arms and an outside strap to hold it all in.
3. Fisher Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle ‘n Swing
I originally got the Graco Glider Elite Swing because it looked compact and, well, fancy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t swingy enough for our
colicky high needs baby. The seat was also too upright for my liking, which puts undue stress on the baby’s body. Babies ‘R Us was nice enough to exchange it. The Fisher Price Snugabunny Cradle ‘n Swing is the only swing I’ve found that is fully reclined. It’s also nice and fast, so it’s perfect for fussy newborns.
4. The Happiest Baby on the Block: Soothing White Noise Sleep Sounds
Fussy babies like loud white noise (vacuums, garbage disposals, lawn mowers…). While an old fashioned “Sshhhhhh” can work, it gets exhausting after a while, and it isn’t always effective if the baby is screaming at the top of his lungs. I bought The Happiest Baby on the Block: Soothing White Noise Sleep Sounds on iTunes. This album has an array of smash hits, including “Womb Sounds For a Full Night’s Sleep,” “Rain: Peaceful and Soothing,” and my personal fave, “Strong Hair Dryer: Calms Fussy Babies.” When Muffin Pig gets going, I turn on the hair dryer track on my iPhone. He loves it. I also keep an mp3 player near his bassinet. We listen to the “Rain” track all night long. I’ve gotten used to it, and it keeps him asleep for longer.
5. Sleep Sheep On the Go
Sometimes it’s inappropriate to play a hair dryer track on my iPhone. I’ve tried it a few times in public, and people look at me like I’m absolutely out of my mind. (The loud white noise thing hasn’t caught on yet, apparently.) There’s something about a soft white noise machine disguised as a lamb that is just more socially acceptable. The Sleep Sheep On the Go plays four different white noise sounds. While they aren’t strong enough to calm down a screaming baby, they do a great job of keeping him calm and asleep. It also has a velcro strap, so it attaches easily to a carseat, swing, or the side of a crib. The only downside is that it only plays for 45 minutes, so I have to remember to turn it on again before it suddenly stops.