"Beckett's high-pitched sobs were so painful for us, as his parents, to listen to," says Danny Kraus, of Menlo Park, California. "He seemed absolutely inconsolable. We didn't see it coming."
Kraus and his partner embarked on that time-honored, new-parent ritual: They worked their way through a checklist of possible discomforts (hungry, tired, wet, painedÉ) until they uncovered what their son needed. "The moment we started to bounce with him on an exercise ball, he was quiet," Kraus says. "It was magic!"
Elizabeth Lombardo, of Wexford, Pennsylvania, hardly had magic in mind when she first learned about The Witching Hour -- the daily period between 5 and 8 p.m. when her colicky infant cried uncontrollably. "No one warned me about this," she says. But perhaps, like many new moms, she just didn't want to believe her child had colic. "Baths, swaddling, rocking -- nothing worked." Then something did: the whir of the vacuum. "My husband and I turned it on just so we could have a conversation," she says. Who knew an appliance had such powers?