Having a fussy baby can be very frustrating when you are tired from lack of sleep, and exhausted from just giving birth. Taking a few simple steps can really help your baby and help you keep your sanity.
Using the right blanket can really make a difference in your swaddle. Using a blanket that's too soft won't grip to itself to help it stay wrapped around your baby. Using a blanket that's too thick can make your baby over heat. I have found that these muslin blankets are perfect.
I use a different swaddling method than what is on the packaging. I fold down one corner about 8 inches. I then pull the left side over the baby, while holding their arm down. I tuck that piece under her back. I do the same with the right side. I make sure that its pretty snug. I then take the bottom, open it up so that its one layer, fold up the corner, and pull that directly up so that its over her chest. I then wrap the ends under her sides. There should be little 'wings' on each side. They should wrap around just enough to be on her back so that if you lay her down, she is laying on them, and securing the swaddle with her weight.
There are many different ways of swaddling. This is the method that has worked best for me. It was a blend of the 'Happiest Baby on the Block' method and the method that my pediatrician uses. Experiment with different ways that you have heard about and I'm sure you will find one that works best for you and your baby.
This book (and dvd) saved us when our baby girl was in her first couple of weeks after being born. We don't need to use all of the steps that he outlines but we do use about 3 of them. Every baby is different, and will need a different combination of things to help calm them down. Its a learning process. If you can just be patient, and hang in there, it gets better. And the good thing is that colicky or fussy babies are only like that usually for the first 3 months (and most of the time less).
A little noise is actually a good thing when trying to calm a fussy baby. Remember that there was a lot of noise when they were in your womb. So a white noise machine is actually one thing that I highly recommend getting before your baby is born.
We really like this white noise machine for a few reasons. The volume is perfect for us, and for the baby. We also really take advantage of the night light. When I do nightly feedings, we keep it really dark, but I still need to see - if I need to change a diaper, or change positions, etc, there is just enough light so that I can see whats going on, without disturbing my husband or the baby. This white noise machine also can hook up to your iPod!
I also use it when she naps. It helps drown out all of the noise going on in the house - from the washer and dryer to me doing dishes. I keep it on a lower setting for her naps, because I want her to get used to sounds while sleeping, but just enough so that she can fall asleep on her own.