Fussy Baby Books, Products & Websites
I thought it would be helpful to provide a list of websites, products and services that my readers would be interested in. I’m always being asked for recommendations, so this is a page I can reference instead of listing them over and over again via email or Facebook!
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Recommended Books on Fussy or High Need Babies & Toddlers
Your Fussy Baby, Marc Weissbluth. This was one of the first books I read after having my first child. It’s chocked full of helpful info about colic and high need babies, and offers practical advice for getting your fussy baby to sleep.
The Fussy Baby: How to Bring Out the Best in Your High-Need Child, William and Martha Sears. As the one who coined the term “high need baby”, Dr. Sears’ book has to be mentioned here! He approaches the topic of high need parenting from a decidedly attachment parenting perspective, but this is a useful and reassuring book regardless of your parenting style.
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. While this book is ideal for parents of toddlers and older kids, parents of high need babies can benefit from it as well.
Living with the Active Alert Child: Groundbreaking Strategies for Parents, Linda Budd. Many parents describe their high need baby as always being “on”, and of being very aware of what’s going on around them. This practical guide will help you understand your child’s behaviour, and give you strategies for helping your active alert child cope with day-to-day life.
Recommended Books on Spirited or “Difficult” Older Children
The Fussy Baby Survival Guide, Holly Klaassen. A parents’ guide to surviving and thriving with a fussy, colicky or high need child, 0-5 years old. Explains why some kids are fussier, how to know if it’s “high need” or something else, proven soothing strategies for crying and tantrums, and much more.
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. Excellent book detailing how to live with a spirited child.
The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them, Elaine Aron. Many high need and spirited kids rate high on the ‘sensitivity scale’. This book will help you better understand your sensitive child, and give you strategies for coping with a child who feels things more intensely than most.
The Out-of-Sync Child, Carol Kranowitz. If you suspect sensory processing disorder (most high need babies will not end up having SPD), this book is a great tool for learning about the common signs and symptoms.
NEW! The Difficult Child: Expanded and Revised Edition, Stanley Tureki & Leslie Tonner. If your spirited child is exhibiting behavioural problems (not all spirited or high need kids do!), this is a book that can help you better understand what’s going on. Whether your child has ADHD or simply a ‘difficult’ temperament, this book can help.
NEW! The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children, Ross W. Greene. If your spirited child has difficulty managing his or her intense emotions, this book offers a step-by-step strategy for avoiding emotional ‘explosions’. A must read for older spirited kids!
Recommended Books on Sleep and Fussy Babies
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, Marc Weissbluth. In my opinion, this is the one must-have sleep book for all parents. I have often referred to it as my “sleep bible”.
The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer, Harvey Karp. Explains why some newborns are fussier than others, and how you can calm and soothe even the fussiest baby. This was a lifesaver when my high need son was a newborn!
The Wonder Weeks, Hetty van de Rijt & Frans Plooij. There is also a Wonder Weeks app which many of our parents love. Great for understanding how your baby’s sleep is being impacted by developmental leaps.
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, Richard Ferber. I highly recommend this book regardless of your stance on sleep training. It provides a wealth of information on the science behind infant sleep.
Secrets of The Baby Whisperer – Contains some useful information on infant temperament and sleep.
Sleep Training and High Need Babies – Written by ME! 😉
Ask Dr Sears: The High Need Baby – He literally wrote the book on high need babies! His website also offers a bunch of info on coping with a high need baby.
The Period of Purple Crying – The most up-to-date research on colic and newborn crying.
The Fussy Baby Network – Erikson Institute – Offers a helpful phone hotline for parents struggling with a fussy baby.
Janet Lansbury: Elevating Child Care – Excellent, guilt-free information on all aspects of parenting. I have found many of these strategies work very well for spirited kids.
Aha Parenting – Primarily attachment parenting-based advice, but some great info regardless of parenting philosophy.
Recommended Facebook Groups & Pages
The Fussy Baby Site Private Support Group – For parents of high need babies 0-12 months
The Fussy Baby Site Private Toddler/Preschooler Support Group – For parents of 1-5 year olds
The Fussy Baby Site Facebook Page – Information and support for parents
Precious Little Sleep – Private Facebook group for sleep training advice and support
Sleep Littles – Private Facebook group for sleep advice and support (no sleep training)
Raising Your Spirited Child Facebook Group – Great private group started by none other than Mary Sheedy Kurcinka herself.
Big Sky Lullaby Sleep Consulting: I have worked with Diana Julian for a number of years, and highly recommend her to parents of fussy and high need babies and toddlers.
Confident Parenting Sleep Consulting: I have recommended Erica to our high need parents for years. Like Diana, she also had a high need baby, so definitely knows what she’s talking about!
The Michi Sleep Academy: A DIY sleep training program for parents of kids 6-18 months. Rebecca Michi has extensive experience with high need babies, and this is a great way to take advantage of her expertise without buying a complete sleep training consult.
Swaddling Blankets For Fussy Babies
The Swaddle Buddy Suit – I’ve been recommending this swaddle for many years now. I have personally tested it, and love that it’s legless; meaning you can safely use it with the swing or bouncy seat.
The Miracle Blanket – A virtually escape-proof swaddle for little houdinis! We used this with our high need son and loved it.
The Swaddle Strap – Another legless swaddle…great as a standalone product or as a transitional swaddle (when weaning off the swaddle).
The Woombie – Love the Woombie! If I was going to invest in only one swaddle, it would be the Woombie. It is pretty much escape-proof, and comes in tons of cute patterns and colors.
Sleep Products Ideal For Colicky and High Need Babies
I am always on the lookout for sleep aids that actually work for our extra-sensitive, extra-persistant babies!
**Duo Diary Duo Diary is a health and wellness journal for new moms and babies. What makes a Duo Diary different from other ‘baby logs’? A Duo Diary allows you to track your baby’s health in a much more detailed way, AND allows space for you to keep tabs on your own health! On one side, monitor all types of baby’s feedings (breast, bottle, formula, pumping), diapers, sleep, behaviors, and more. On the opposite page is a space for mom to monitor her own health by tracking food & water intake, sleep, exercise, plus space for notes about how she’s and more journaling. Duo Diary is the only log that helps you care for yourself while you care for your baby!
The Fisher Price Cradle ‘n Swing – I have tried out a number of baby swings, and am always on the hunt for one that’s fast enough for colicky babies. This is the fastest one I’ve found, and the one I personally used and LOVED. The best model, in my opinion, is one they no longer make. If you can find a good second hand one on Craigslist or Kijiji, I recommend the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium swing.
Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper – A must have for fussy newborns! While I haven’t personally tested this one, it’s a product many of our parents have told me was a lifesaver in the early months.
The Baby Shusher – If Harvey Karps 5 S’s work well for you, this may be the perfect companion product.
NEW! Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat with Tray – While not actually a sleep aid, I have been hearing great things about this product from our parents. High need babies are notorious for being discontent unless being held. Our parents have said the Sit-Me-Up gives them some ‘hands free’ time while their little one sits and watches! Perfect for the baby who doesn’t like the Bumbo.
Read more about weighted blankets and their use with high-energy or sensory-seeking kids here. Please do your research before using them as they have been to some serious safety concerns.
Sleep sacks can be very useful in the transition from swaddler to regular blanket. Many of our parents have had good success with the following 2 sleep sacks/sleep suits.
Essential Oil Providers
Essential oils can be a great companion product to calm and relax your fussy baby. Following are essential oil educators and/or providers who can direct you to the most effective EO’s for fussy babies.