I can hear sleep consultants all over the world gasping and saying, “Don’t recommend PRODUCTS for helping babies sleep…those are SLEEP PROPS!!!”. Well, I guess the 2 products I’m about to recommend are sleep props…but I’m of the strong opinion that if you have something that works with a non-sleeping baby, do it!
And I know many sleep experts would also say during the newborn stage – the first 3 months – you should do what works. Their little brains are too fresh and new to understand self-soothing, and it’s our job to make sure they get the sleep they so desperately need!
In light of this, there are two products that parents tell me, again and again, were the BEST investments they made for their colicky, fussy or high need baby. They aren’t the fanciest, prettiest or most feature-laden products, and they certainly aren’t the most expensive.
But they are the products that, perhaps even unintentionally, seem to work the best for our fussy babies. And coincidentally, they are both made by the same company. So without further ado, here are the two products you must have to help your fussy baby sleep!
Forget vibrating bouncy seats, moses baskets or cribs and buy this instead. While I never used this with my babies, I have heard from many, many parents of fussy and colicky babies that it has been a godsend. Fussy babies love the feeling of being confined and cozy, and often resist being placed flat on their back (they may feel as if they’re falling).
The Rock ‘n Play sleeper’s deep, inclined seat eases the transition from mom (or dad’s) arms, and makes this an ideal choice for babies with reflux or other digestive issues. The rocking feature also gives you the ability to rock your little one to sleep, or ease them back to sleep if they wake up suddenly.
Amazon Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
Maximum weight: 25 pounds
Price: Around $60 US
This is the swing we used to help our colicky, high need son sleep 12 hours in a row. Prior to using this swing, he slept in 45 minute increments all night long. After using the techniques in the Happiest Baby on the Block and then placing him in this swing, we experienced a major improvement in both his nighttime sleep and naps.
I’m sad to say it appears that Fisher Price is no longer making the exact model we used: the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Cradle swing. It looked like this:
If you’re able to find this model second-hand, I’d highly encourage you to snatch it up! I’ve seen them on Craigslist for as little as $40. Yes, you’ll need to change the batteries about once a week, but I think you’ll agree it’s worth it if it works!
If you can’t find one used, Fisher Price offers a newer, plug-in series of similar cradle swings in various colours and themes. I do find that the newer models are slightly slower, and the seats are slightly less inclined. Even these newer models are light years ahead of other swings though, in my opinion!
Keep in mind you MUST soothe your newborn to sleep BEFORE placing him or her in the swing! Otherwise you’ll have, as Dr. Karp says, a ‘swinging, screaming baby’! Also be sure to use the fastest setting for best results.
Amazon Rating: 4.3 starts out of 5
Maximum Weight: 25 pounds
Price: $140-$190 US
Please note: The links above are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link above and make a purchase, I receive a commission. Please know that I only recommend products I truly believe in, as the reputation of this site depends on it. If you prefer to click on non-affiliate links, you can access Amazon for each product here: Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and Fisher Price Cradle ‘N Swing.
Have you used either of these two products? What other products would you recommend for fussy or colicky newborns? Share in the comments below!
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