Calming a Fussy Baby

calm a fussy babyEvery parent has experienced that moment when the baby cries and cries and cries, and there seems to be nothing you can do to stop the tears. You’ve tried feeding. You’ve changed the diaper. You’ve sung songs. It seems hopeless, but it’s not. Every baby has their own unique personality, so you’ll have to try different methods until you get one that works best. Here are seven methods you can try to sooth your fussy baby.

1. Recreate the womb experience

Babies are used to the security, warmth and comfort of mom’s womb so recreating this environment for baby can be incredibly soothing. Swaddling baby is encouraged because it does a great job of replicating the womb environment. There are many different swaddles on the market to choose from. However, once baby begins to roll, that means it’s time to stop swaddling for safety reasons, but transitioning baby from swaddling is not an easy feat. Use a transition swaddle that gives babies the warmth and security of a swaddle but leaves them some mobility.

2. Give baby a massage

Babies find it very relaxing for mom or dad to gently stroke their tummies and massage their arms and legs. You can warm up some lotion and gently spread it all over baby while kneading the skin without applying too much pressure. This can be a bonding experience for parent and baby and it can also help put your baby to sleep.

3. Use a white noise machine

Babies are also accustomed to the loud noises they heard in mom’s womb and white noise can help to reduce stress in babies, help them fall asleep more easily and reduce their crying. Have the white noise machine be louder than your baby’s crying for it to be effective.

4. Run a warm bath

For some babies there is nothing more soothing than a warm bath, especially before bed time. A lavender body wash relaxes baby and makes baby sleepy when it becomes a part of your regular nightly routine because she will associate the warm water with falling asleep.

5. Breastfeed your baby

Breastfeeding baby doesn’t just calm her hunger, it also serves to comfort your baby. It’s a very powerful way to soothe baby as she feels much closer to mom. Nursing baby for comfort also regulates baby’s breathing and heart rate.

6. Rock baby to sleep

Babies love rhythmic motions like rocking, swinging, dancing, and jiggling. Swaying while holding a fussy baby or putting baby in a swing or bouncer usually helps to keep her calm. Sitting down with baby in a rocking chair will also help as well as pushing baby in a stroller around the house or taking baby for a ride in the car.

7. Offer baby a pacifier or teething toy

A pacifier will soothe baby’s instinctive need to suck and allows baby to self soothe. Be careful not to let baby sleep with a teething toy as this could be a safety hazard. But for those times, where baby is fussing during the day or if you make sure to take the pacifier and teething toy from them after they fall asleep, this is a great way to calm a fussy baby. Most babies will wean themselves off the pacifier when it is no longer needed. If baby is fussy because she is teething, a teething toy will help soothe baby’s sore gums and ease her discomfort.

Important Note: Although all of these are great ways to help calm your fussy baby, make sure to not become too reliant on any of these so that your little one doesn’t learn how to self-soothe on their own. Anything that could potentially become a sleep aid, like rocking and nursing should be used sparingly so that your little one doesn’t become dependent on any one particular thing to fall asleep. If a baby becomes used to needing to nurse in order to fall asleep, for example, you can be creating a habit that is difficult to break. You don’t want a little one who needs to feed in order to sleep even if they may not be hungry. The Zipadee-Zip has been used by moms everywhere to help reduce the need for sleep aids and encourage self-soothing.

transition baby from swaddleGuest blog by Stephanie Parker from, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: “Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time,” and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family’s reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker’s daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte’s startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

3 Simple Recipes for Picky Eaters

Some kids are picky eaters. They refuse to try anything new and want to stick to their favorite dishes. This can be frustrating for a mom who wants to make sure her child gets healthy, nutritious food. Some times we have to trick our kids to get them to eat right and hope they like it. Fortunately, most picky eater grow out of it. In the mean time, here’s three great recipes that even picky eaters will love.

1. Healthy Baked Polenta Fries & Ketchup

This gluten-free polenta is tasty and made kid-friendly. It’s finger food your kids will enjoy because they look just like French fries. It’s healthy because their baked, not fried.

recipes for picky eaters

Photo credit: The Supper Club by Susie Cover, Weldon Owen, 2011

Ingredients for the fries:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 qt (2 l) water
  • 1 lb instant polenta
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Ketchup, homemade (below) or your favorite store-bought, for serving

Instructions for the fries:

  1. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and line the pan with parchment paper.
  2.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and slowly add the polenta while whisking constantly. Cook, continuing to whisk, until the polenta has thickened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat. Add the milk, Parmesan, butter, 1 tbsp salt, and 1?2 tsp pepper and stir with  a wooden spoon until thoroughly incorporated and the polenta is smooth.
  3. Pour the polenta into the center of the prepared baking sheet. Using a rubber spatula, spread it toward one end of the pan, pushing it into the corners and then to the edges, covering about two-thirds of the pan in an even layer. Spray a second piece of parchment with cooking spray and gently press the coated side onto the polenta to level and smooth the surface. Let cool at room temperature until set, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove the top sheet of parchment and cut the polenta into strips about 1?2 inch (12 mm) wide and 4 inches (10 cm) long. Using a spatula, transfer the strips to a clean rimmed baking sheet, spacing them about 1?2 inch (12 mm) apart. Spray the fries lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake until the fries have developed a crust and the edges are golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve with the ketchup.

Ingredients for the homemade ketchup:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz/875 g) plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juices
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup (7 oz/220 g) firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1?2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) cider vinegar
  • 1?2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions for the homemade ketchup:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about
  2. 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and crush with a fork to release the flavor. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and stir to mix well.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour. Stir more often at the end of cooking to prevent scorching.
  4. Let cool slightly, then transfer the ketchup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and the flavors have developed, about 2 hours, before using. The ketchup will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks.

2. Kid Friendly Crudite Platter

Turn your kid’s snacks into something special by building a little scene out of their food. They’ll love the animals you create and forget that they’re eating healthy food!

recipes for picky eaters

Photo credit:


  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Carrots for ears
  • Snap peas for nose
  • Cabbage for tail
  • Cheese for eyes


  1. Hardboil eggs and let cool.  Remove shells.
  2. If your bunnies will not be presented in an egg dish, then cut a very thin slice from the bottom of the egg (lengthwise) so egg will not roll around.
  3. Cut thin carrot slices and shape into rabbit ears with a knife, making sure one end is very pointy. Insert pointy ends into egg for ears.  Cut off tip of snap pea for nose.  Push the pointed end into the front end of the egg.  Make a small round tail from a white piece of cabbage, once again making a pointed end to push into the back of the egg.
  4. For eyes, cut two small little circles, using a small straw as a cutter, from your slice of cheese.  Make sure the egg is not wet when you set the cheese eyes in place or they may slide out of place.
  5. Other veggies may be substituted for the nose and tail.

3. Zucchini Muffins

Your kids won’t even notice the vegetables in these yummy muffins. Plus, they’re so easy to make you can teach your kids.

recipes for picky eaters

Photo credit:

Into a large bowl mix:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Stir in:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and grated

In another bowl, beat:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)

Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined. Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling to the top. (Note: If you are using muffin liners you may need to spray with cooking spray to prevent the muffins from sticking to the paper.) Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles  /

teething toysWritten by Lori Bredemeier, Founder of Little Toader.

Lori Bredemeier is the co-founder of Little Toader with her husband Michael. They are the inventors of AppeTEETHERS, safe and effective teething toys for babies that look like real foods!

What makes AppeTEETHERS safe:

1. AppeTEETHERS are solid silicone and extremely durable. There are no parts and there are no surface materials that could possibly come apart or detached.

2. Lori and Michael are germ-a-phobes! This is another reason they chose silicone. AppeTEETHERS are not porous so they do not absorb germs, dirt, or any other undesirable deposits. This makes them very easy to clean at home or on the go.

3. AppeTEETHERS do not have topical paint. All of our coloring is the actual color of the silicone. There is no risk of flaking or having the paint rub off into your baby’s mouth.

Consistently ranking in the top teething toys, AppeTEETHERS are a truly unique teething solution. Babies love them and parents get a kick out of watching their precious bundle of joy using them. All Little Toader products are tested and are Consumer Product Safety Commission compliant.


Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Making Your Own Baby Food – 3 Simple Recipes

make your own baby foodI know how messy it can get when you’re feeding a baby, or two, or even three! The type of food you put in your baby’s bowl can make it easier for them to learn how to feed themselves. Soft and creamy foods can be made at home and are best for easy feeding. You also save money by making them at home. This let’s you be absolutely sure your baby is eating healthy. Here are 3 recipes every parent should know.

1. Easy Applesauce

Applesauce is a great first food for little ones. Always choose organic applies that are firm without blemishes. Babies love the sweetness of Red Delicious apples. First, wash and peel the apples, then core and chop into little pieces. Boil for 10 minutes, drain, and rinse for 3 minutes. You can puree them in a food processor until creamy smooth.

2. Rice with Apple and Butternut Squash Puree

Slice apart your squash and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves face down in a pan and cover with an inch of water. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Once cooked, place it in a food processor with cooked rice and applesauce. Add water as necessary for consistency.

3. Traditional Oatmeal Cereal

Throw 1/2 cup old fashioned oats in a food processor until it’s as fine as you can grind it. Boil a 1/2 cup of water and sprinkle int 2 tablespoons of the oats and a bit of cinnamon for flavor. Whisk continuously for 30 seconds and then every so often to keep it nice and smooth for your little one.

Image courtesy of marin /

non slip baby bowlGuest blog by Barbara Schantz, Mom and Inventor of the Baby Dipper Bowl

The Baby Dipper bowl was invented by mom of two sets of twins, Barbara Schantz, a stay-at-home mom who faced the daunting task of feeding her twins at the same time. She became frustrated with the bowls she already had and searched everywhere for a better solution. She knew that she needed to find a bowl that would let her use just one hand to feed a baby. Disappointed with the baby bowls on the market, Schantz soon envisioned the Baby Dipper bowl and after much learning and hard work she was able to finally bring her vision to life. This innovative, mom-invented bowl is designed to stay put without the need to hold the bowl. It makes mealtime fun, easy and clean!

Interested in writing a guest blog for Little Toader? Send your topic idea to

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Little Toader makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.