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Best Products for Fussy Babies: 2020 Edition

Tired of wasting money on products that don’t work for your fussy, colicky or high need baby or toddler?

Already have a mountain of useless toys and soothing products gathering dust in the corner?

Of course, the things that tend to work the best with fussy babies are those that aren’t actually toys: for instance: cell phones, TV remotes, plastic bowls, and of course, boobs.

But the thing is, you never know when something is actually going to help your baby sleep or keep him occupied for more than 5 minutes.

And that’s why I surveyed members of our private Facebook groups to find out just which products ACTUALLY work for fussy and spirited babies and kids!

Following are the results of the 238 responses we received. For each section, I have included an overall winner, a category winner, and at least one runner-up (when the numbers were pretty close).

A few words of clarification:

  • Many of the product links below are affiliate links. This means if you click on them and then make a purchase, I will earn a small commission.
  • For each product, I’ve stated the percentage of respondents who rated the item as “very effective” or “extremely effective”. This percentage is based on how many people responded in the overall category; not out of all survey respondents.
  • In some sections, I’ve included an Editor’s Choice award. This is based on a number of factors including my personal experience with the product, as well as what I’ve heard anecdotally from parents.

Best Infant Gas Drops, Gripe Water & Probiotics

Overall Winner: Infants’ Mylicon Gas Relief

37.4% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up in Gas Drops Category: Little Remedies Gas Relief Drops

23% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner in Gripe Water Category: Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water

29.3% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up in Gripe Water Category: Little Remedies Gripe Water

12.6% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner in Infant Probiotic Category: Gerber Soothe Probiotic Drops

20.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up in Probiotics Category: BioGaia Infant Probiotic Drops

13.8% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

Ovol drops, Infacol colic drops, Colief infant drops, Hyland’s Baby Colic Tablets, Hyland’s Baby Calming Tablets, Colic Calm gripe water, Wellements organic gripe water, Colic Ease gripe water, Mommy’s Bliss probiotic drops, Mylicon Infant probiotic drops

Best Swaddles and Sleep Sacks

Overall Winner: The Halo Sleep Sack

31.8% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up in Sleep Sack Category: Zipadee-Zip

17.9% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner in Swaddle Category: SwaddleMe Swaddle

27.4% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up in Swaddle Category: Love to Dream Swaddle

23.5% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner in Swaddling Blankets: Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets

15.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Editor’s Choice in Sleep Sack Category: Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Sack

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

The Woombie, The Swaddle Strap, The Miracle Blanket, The Zen Swaddle, The Zen sleep sack, Ergobaby swaddler, Happiest Baby 5-Second Swaddle, SwaddleMe Pod

Best Baby Swings, Bouncers and Seats

Overall winner: Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat

21% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner in Rocker Category: The Mamaroo

17.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

(Editor’s note: I was surprised by this one as it has not ranked well in previous years’ surveys, nor did I find it to be fast enough when I tested it. I would recommend the Fisher Price Cradle ‘n Swing (below) as a better option).

Runner up in Rocker Category: Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker

10.5% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner (Tie) in Bouncer Category: Exercise or yoga ball (any brand)

18.2% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner (Tie) in Bouncer category: Fisher Price Bouncer

18.2% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner in Swing Category: Fisher Price Cradle ‘n Swing (any model). Also Editor’s Choice.

13.3% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up in Swing Category: Graco Duet Soothe

9.4% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Editor’s Choice: The Snoo

Please note: The Snoo is now available for rental, which is what I recommend for most parents. Buying it is very pricey!!

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

Ingenuity bouncer, Baby Bjorn bouncer, Bright Starts rocker, Graco Simple Sway baby swing, Graco cradle swing, Graco DreamGlider, The Babocush, Fisher Price 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soother, Fisher Price Takealong swing, Ingenuity Swing ‘n Go

Best White Noise Machines and Products

Overall winner: Hatch Rest Sound Machine. Also Editor’s Choice.

38.5% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up: Marpac Dohm Sound Machine

10.9% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: LectroFan Classic White Noise Machine

7.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Winner in Portable White Noise Device Category: The Baby Shusher

9% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up in Portable White Noise Device Category: Baby Sleep Soother Sound Machine

7.7% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

Yogasleep portable white noise machine, DreamEgg white noise machine, Baby Got Colic on YouTube, Cloud B Sleep Sheep, Marpac Hushh portable white noise machine, My Baby Sound Spa On-the-go portable white noise machine

Best Fussy Baby Books

Overall Winner: The Wonder Weeks

53.7% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up: Happiest Baby on the Block. Also Editor’s Choice.

24.3% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: What to Expect the First Year

19.9% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: The Fussy Baby Book

13.2% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, The Baby Book, The Contented Little Baby Book, Solve your Child’s Sleep Problems, The Attachment Parenting Book, The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight, The SleepEasy Solution, The Happy Sleeper, The Fussy Baby Survival Guide, Sleep Training and High Need Babies, Everything You Need to Know About Colic, Precious Little Sleep, It’s Never Too Late to Sleep Train, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The Gentle Sleep Book, Safe Infant Sleep

Best Sleep Training Programs

Overall winner: Taking Cara Babies

50.8% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up: Sleep Sense Program

6.3% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

The Baby Sleep Site Express Sleep Plan, The Happy Sleepers program, The Sleep Lady Video e-Course

Best Co-sleepers and Bassinets

Overall winner: Dockatot

27.6% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner Up: Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper

22.9% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner up: Arms Reach Cosleeper

18.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper, Mika Micky Bedside Sleeper, Snuggle Me co-sleeper, Lulybook bassinet, Baby Bjorn cradle

Best Slings, Wraps and Baby Carriers

Overall Winner: Ergo Baby Carrier

26% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner-Up: Lillebaby Carrier

21.4% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: Moby Wrap

19.7% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: Tula Carrier

15.6% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

Baby K’Tan, Baby Bjorn, Sling (any brand), Mei-Tai, Solly Baby wrap, Boba wrap, Acrabros wrap

Best Toys and Activity Centers

Overall Winner: Fisher Price Jumperoo

48.6% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner Up: Water Table (any brand)

43.5% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: Fisher Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym

33.9% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: Sand Table (any brand)

20.3% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: Jolly Jumper

15.8% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: Skip Hop Baby Activity Center.

14.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Editor’s Choice: Baby Einstein Takealong Radio

Editor’s Choice: Spark Kitchen Sink

Editor’s Choice: Foam Playset (Nugget, ECR4Kids, Softscape, etc.)

Best Subscriptions

Overall Winner: Huckleberry Sleep App

58% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner Up: Lovevery Subscription Box

50% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Other items in this category that were included in the survey:

Kiwi Co., Bitsy Box, Huckleberry app

Best Miscellaneous Fussy Baby Products

Overall Winner: Blackout Blinds (any brand)

67.3% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Runner Up: Exercise/Yoga Ball (any brand)

31.6% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: The Windi Gas and Colic Reliever

25.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Honorable Mention: Amber Necklace for Teething (any brand)

21.1% of respondents rated this as “very effective” or “extremely effective”.

Need more ideas?

Check out last year’s Christmas gift guide: 50 Best Toys and Products for Spirited Kids 0-5.