Magical tricks to make a fussy baby stop crying

At Thanksgiving, Wally’s Aunt Kim asked the $64,000 question, “So, is he a good baby?” Quickly, a little too quickly, I answered, “Nope.”

So sad, but so true. Don’t get me wrong, I love the little bugger. But he’s just a little lump of a thing, and I had always pictured holding the lump, watching him sleep, enjoying him being so darn cute 24/7. The occassional cute little cry to tell us he was wet or hungry. Wally and I were to have a good baby, an easy baby–I knew it. But man, this lump has amazing crying-baby pipes! A lot of the time! 70 percent of his waking moments, we have major fuss happening! They say colic is defined as inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy baby for 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks. I’d say if the teacher asked those kids who fit the bill to raise their hands, Wally Ben would be raising his cute little didgets with that description. He may even admit to making Santa’s naughty list.

But alas, he’s just a baby, and so he doesn’t know what “inconsolable” means. We have tried many tricks, and several seem to work quite well. I’m not saying colicky just yet.

A few of my favorite tricks include:

  • The Blowdryer. When we mentioned this trick to friends the other day, one was appalled. I can just imagine the image she had in her head: Wally Ben with his little cheeks flailing like a cartoon character in a turbo speed jet while mommy and daddy blast away from a plug-length distance. But no, it’s just the noise we’re after here. Loud white noise, that has come in handy many-a-time. I even found an iPhone app that plays white noise and we have a stereo sound machine just so we can save on the electric bill.
  • The Baby Bjorn. This is our front carrier. I was shocked the first time I wore it to bring the fusspot around the house with me while I did some chores, and I looked down minutes after walking around to see he was asleep, snuggled up against me. Now I’ve come to expect a good nap anytime I go to the store, as that seems to be the norm in the carrier in public. He has fellow shoppers convinced he must be an easy baby. Boy does he have them fooled.
  • Of course all the good old standbys do a decent job: stroller when it’s warm enough, a car ride, a position change, walking around, the bouncy chair, the swing. All of these in 5 minute segments can last you a good half hour or hour.
  • The vacuum/Bjorn combo. Wally tried this out when Wally Ben was especially fussy. Great double duty, as Wally Ben was happy to spend time with his old friend, white noise, while the floors were tidied up, and the house got cleaned. At least with these white noise tools we know my carpet will always be impeccable, and my hair will always be styled.
  • The exercise ball. I read about this, and by gosh, it actually works wonders. We sit on the ball with him in our arms or in the Bjorn and bounce. An instant later, and he’s happy just looking around, or he nods off. Weird. Too bad it’s so bulky to transport, or you’d see us at the doctor office, mall, church, movie theater–anywhere with the darned thing.
  • When all else fails, a feeding will do the trick. Like his mom, the boy is always up for some food. He now weighs 10 pounds, 7 oz, so he’s gained over 3 pounds his first month. A good little eater.

When the exercize ball came out of the closet the other day, I said to Wally, “for the next baby, we are armed with an arsenal of tricks.” So see, Wally Ben, it hasn’t been bad enough that we are thinking only child quite yet. (Plus, next time we’re hoping for a good baby!) And you aren’t inconsolable, because so many of these work a lot of the time. I’d say, “Go ahead, fuss away,” but you would like to make Santa’s nice list, right? That said, you are a cute little fussy ball of cuteness, and your dad and I will love you until the day we die. Just don’t stay fussy until your teen years, because I don’t think we can bounce you on the exercise ball at 16!