I see a lot of blog posts about things you need (or don't) when having a baby. Some of them are good and useful, but somewhat based on the assumption that your baby will be the eat, sleep, change, basically non-fussy type of child. If in fact you find yourself with one who is slightly more challenging to care for than that, then this post is for you! (by the way, I really don't like the phrase "is he/she a "good" baby?".....while some babies definitely require more care than others for various reasons that in no way makes them "bad". Just sayin'.) Ok, so moving on, here in no apparent order are some items or tricks that we've found extremely helpful when dealing with all 4 of our kiddos. Oh, and for the record, our first one cried way more than he slept. Literally. And our other 3 haven't been too far behind that so let's just say we have lots of experience with fussiness around here. ;-)
Skipping over the rather obvious necessities like diapers, wipes, and clothing.....this is some of our favorite go-to stuff when getting ready for another little one:
Exercise ball: nope, this isn't to get mom back in shape after the birth (although it kind of has that added benefit) but it IS perfect for bouncing a crying baby to sleep. Or just bouncing period if they need soothing like all of ours did. Trust me, you will quickly become a pro at it if the need arises! (as a side note, when our first was born we didn't know of this little trick and used a straight back wooden chair to bump back in forth in for soothing. Yes, you did read that right. Our carpet had permanent indentions afterwards. You do what you gotta do, you know?)
White noise: this can be water running from a faucet, the vacuum cleaner, a blow-dryer, a noise machine, OR best of all this great website/app that we found with child #3. I kid you not, y'all, this really works not only to help the babies calm down but also to drown out other noise as well so if they ever do eventually go to sleep then they won't get woke right back up. I've spent many days bouncing and listening to this as loud as it would go. Yes, it can get a little annoying after awhile but it is way better than a screaming baby. Trust me.
Probiotics: this is something we didn't know about with our first 2 but that has been great for the last ones. Our babies are born with huge stomach/digestion issues (which is probably where a lot of the crying comes from) so giving them these help to soothe that. Here's the brand we like best which has even been proven in a medical study to help with colic. You can find it online or at several pharmacies and health food stores as well.
Pacifier: I know there are different opinions on this and that's fine! Everybody has to do what works for them or decide what their own preference is. For us, we love pacis around here! Our babies with all their health issues/pain just need some extra soothing and pacis seem to help them so much. There are all different kinds and it may take a little while to figure out which one works best for each baby so don't give up if they don't seem to like a particular one at first!
Those are my top favs for things to do with fussy babies, but here's a few more things we also used with some or all of them that helped with reflux/stomach/allergy issues: colic calm gripe water, chiropractor adjustments, homeopathics, essential oils, propping a contour pillow sideways on a regular one....the baby lays in the contour and can't roll over and is at an angle to help them not choke as bad too! Genius, huh?
That's about all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure there are more things we tried but after a year or more you tend to forget stuff from lack of sleep. haha Hope this helps someone else who may find themselves at a loss for what to do with an overly fussy baby. The hardest thing can be feeling like no one really understands so let me just assure you that you are not alone! On top of all of this my babies also all eventually ended up on special formula, they all had tons of allergies and reflux, there was more than one day that I cried right along with them because I didn't know what else to do, and it just took time, patience, flexibility and lots of help to make it through it. So hang in there! You can do this.
If there's anything you would add that worked for you please feel free to do so in the comments! Or if you are going through the sick and crying baby phase at the moment and just need to vent then by all means do so. We will totally get it and not judge at all. I promise. :-)
(linked up over here at My Joy-Filled Life and here at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home)