Top Colic Products
Anyone who has a fussy, colicky or high need baby knows that most of the baby products on the market are designed for so-called ‘easy’ babies. In desperation, many parents will buy any and every product that claims to calm, soothe or cure their baby’s fussiness.
My goal with the Top Colic Products list is to provide parents with a comprehensive overview of the best product categories and the best brands within each category. I have personally tested every product listed below, and have only included ones I find have features that specifically meet the needs of fussy or colicky babies.
If you have created or know of a product you think should be included in this list, please send me an email and tell me about it.
The Swaddle Strap is one of those products I wish I had thought of first. They are escape-proof, and the arms-only swaddle means it is perfect for use in the swing or bouncy seat. It’s simple design allows for quick and easy swaddling, and since only the arms are covered, this is the ideal solution for warm weather swaddling.
Another Houdini-proof swaddler, the Swaddle Suit is another fantastic option for squirmy, active babies. The hook and loop opening means quick nighttime diaper changes, and the arms-only swaddle means your little one can swing while swaddled. Also available in a full coverage design.
For babies who prefer to be fully swaddled, the miracle blanket provides a snug, secure swaddle without using velcro, hooks, or fasteners of any type. The snugness of the swaddle can be adjusted by simply tightening or loosening the wrap, a useful trait as your baby grows.
The Woombie replicates the experience of the womb more fully than any swaddler I’ve tested. The soft, stretchy fabric allows some movement, while still providing a feeling of snugness and security. Comes in a variety of thicknesses and various levels of stretchiness, depending on how snug your baby likes to be swaddled.
Allowing your baby to bathe in the fetal position, the Spa Baby Tubsoothes and relaxes fussy babies, without requiring them to lay flat on their back like traditional tubs. Comes with a slip-proof mat, meaning no accidental tipping or skidding. Because less surface area is exposed, water will stay warm longer than in a traditional tub.
The Tummy Tub allows your baby to bathe in the upright position, which is not only calming and familiar to newborns, but ensures they are always covered in warm water. The tub replicates the experience of the womb, meaning temporary soothing for even the fussiest of babies.
Baby Carriers & Slings
Wearing your baby helps him or her to feel safe and secure, while allowing you to go about your daily activities. Colicky or high need babies love variety, and the Ergo offers this and much more. Allowing you to wear your baby on your back, front, or hip means even the pickiest baby will find a position he or she likes. And, the smart design means less stress on your back, and a much higher weight limit than many other carriers. *Must use an infant insert for newborns.
Snuggled up in a slightly-stretchy pouch sling, don’t be surprised if your baby goes from fussy to sleeping in minutes (just don’t stop moving!). The pouch sling affords your baby the feeling of being swaddled, while still being close to you. And as he gets older, he can peruse his environment from the security of your arms.
Baby Swings & Bouncers
Don’t be surprised if your fussy or colicky baby doesn’t appear to appreciate the swing at first. But when they are calm and swaddled (and preferably asleep), a swing can be the perfect tool to extend the length of their nap or nighttime sleep. A common issue I’ve seen with swings and bouncers is that they don’t swing fast or bounce enough for fussy babies. The Fisher Price line of cradle swings allows your baby to swing from front-to-back or side-to-side, and the highest speed settings seem to be fast enough, even for colicky babies. The white noise feature is a nice bonus, although you may find it’s not quite loud enough for your fussy baby. Several of our parents have specifically mentioned the Little Lamb version of this swing.
In a survey I conducted of 100+ parents of fussy and colicky babies, the exercise ball was one of the highest ranking soothing products. Sitting with your baby on the ball while bouncing gently, seems to soothe and calm even the most colicky baby. While I haven’t tried this particular ball, I love the fact that it has a backrest, as a sore back is a common complaint with regular exercise balls.
Mimicking the contours of a carseat, The Nap Nanny cradles your baby at a slight incline. For babies who may be suffering from reflux or GERD, it appears this device may help extend naps and allow them to fall asleep easier. *You should never leave your baby unattended in the Nap Nanny, or use it in the crib.
Fussy Baby Books
Working on the theory that newborns are in the ’4th trimester’, Harvey Karp’s book outlines 5 soothing techniques parents can use to replicate the experience of being in the womb. I used these techniques with great success with my own colicky baby, and I have heard similar stories from many other parents. This is a must-read for parents of fussy newborns. I also highly recommend the white noise CD and the corresponding DVD.
This book delves into the why’s and how’s of parenting a colicky newborn, and discusses how sleep problems can cause or contribute to a baby’s fussiness. Outlines research on colic, soothing techniques, and does a good job of separating colic facts from fiction.
If you have a baby or toddler who is more persistent, more emotional, more sensitive and more intense than other kids, you may have a spirited child.
Referred to by many as their ‘sleep bible’, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is a must-read for any new parent. You will learn how daytime sleep differs from nighttime sleep, how to take advantage of your baby’s natural sleep windows and internal clock, and how much sleep kids actually need at each age.
If your baby has difficulty self-soothing, cries frequently, is unpredictable, and demands your constant attention, according to Dr. Sears, you have a ‘high need baby’. This book will walk you through how to cope with your child from birth through age 5 using attachment parenting. Even if you’re not an ‘AP parent’, you will appreciate the information and tips in this book.
I so wanted this product to be on our top colic products list! However after testing it, I found the motion simply wasn’t fast enough for fussy or colicky babies. I do love the white noise feature and the ability to plug in your own iPod or MP3 player, so as an activity center, I’d recommend the Mamaroo. Don’t, however, expect it to be the miracle cure for your baby’s crying. I can imagine once your baby is asleep, using the Mamaroo may extend the length of a nap, however not to the same extent as a good, fast swing.
We used the Baby Bjorn with some success, and it came in surprisingly high in our survey of parents. While I found the Ergo more effective, the Baby Bjorn allows your baby to face outward. I wouldn’t recommend using for long periods of time as it can be hard on your , especially as your baby gets bigger.
The Happi Tummiis a warm herbal pouch that fits snugly around your baby’s tummy. If you suspect your baby’s fussiness or crying is due to gas or tummy troubles, this is a good product to try. For fussiness due to other causes (reflux, colic, food intolerance), you probably won’t find it makes much of a difference.
I have heard about a number of products that look intriguing, however I’m not comfortable including them on our top colic products list without testing them. The following products appear to have features that set them apart from the competition in terms of their ability to soothe fussy or colicky babies.
Please try these at your own risk! In future, hopefully I will have tested them and either taken them off this page or included them in the top colic products above.
The Slumber Bear is a soft, cuddly toy containing actual recorded intrauterine sounds. Because it’s motion and sound-activated, you can rest easy knowing your baby will be soothed back to sleep throughout the night.
Using actual intrauterine sounds, the Miracle Baby Sleep System soothes and calms your baby, replicating the experience of being in the womb. This is more than just ‘white noise’ – this is the exact sound your baby has been accustomed to for the past 9 months. With up to 7 hours of continuous playtime, you could find your baby sleeping through the night sooner than you expected.
I have never tried the Moby Wrap, however I have always loved the idea behind it. It appears to have the perfect amount of stretch, and positions your baby as he or she was in the womb. Several of our parents have mentioned they loved the Moby, and it ranks well on The Baby Wearer website.