Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Shhhhhh. Believe me, at some point that will be the sweetest sound in the world.
I was going to wait a week to write this, but I can't hold off. The BabyShusher is a game changer and if you're a parent of a new baby you need to know about it NOW.The Happiest Baby On The Block" (video based on the book by the same name) at the advice of my friend Geoffrey. In it, Dr. Harvey Karp explains the five S's of baby-calming: Swaddling, Side/Stomach Positions, Swinging, Sucking and Shushing. You can read about these methods in more detail here.
While the methods are most effective when used in tandem, my favorite by a mile is using white noise (AKA "shushing"). This method is completely free. You repeatedly say "Shhhhhhh," loudly in your baby's ear until he shuts up or you pass out, either of which solves your problem. Other effective noises are the hairdryer, vacuum cleaner and radio static (great for carseat meltdowns). We used all of these with great success to get our baby to stop crying, but they have to be LOUD to work and are pretty annoying until you can tune them out.
On the other end of the financial spectrum are high end white noise machines that have a variety of sounds more pleasing to adults. One example is the Brookstone White Noise Machine ($129). I have one and really enjoy it. In the hospital, crashing ocean waves and rainstorms helped us all sleep through the night. Acouple of the noises are creepy or downright nightmare-inducing (Celestial, Meditate) but overall there are nice background noise options. It's unlikely to stop hysteria but might help your baby fall or stay asleep.
But ignore everything I wrote above because two days ago I stumbled across the most. amazing. baby. invention. ever. It's called the BabyShusher and I love love love it. Before you ask, I TRIED to marry it. It's so stupidly simple that I've face-palmed myself for not inventing it. All it does is shush. That's it. Shhhhhhhhh. Shhhhhhhhh. Shhhhhhhhh. Its long, drawn-out soothing sound lulls both the baby and I into a stupor. User-friendly controls allow you to adjust the volume to overpower the freaking-out of your baby; and you can set the timer for 15 or 30 minutes. I start it loud and reduce the volume as he calms down.
I've used it for naps, bedtime and in the car. It put us both to sleep the first time I tried it. It's extremely portable so you can toss it in a diaper bag. Yesterday my tired baby started crying in the car and I whipped it out and turned it on loudly. Within 3 seconds he stopped fussing and just looked perplexed. Within 3 minutes he was asleep. It's very effective when he's due for sleep, but I haven't needed to try it yet outside that scenario.
The manufacturer claims it's most effective up to 4 months of age (mine is 5 months). However, I feel like it's already been worth the $35 price tag; it's tough to put a price on sanity!
If you want to be a new mommy's favorite person, get this as a shower gift. Or offer your babysitting services during meltdowns. Myself? I'm stocking up now.