How To Deal With Your Fussy Baby At Night
A lot of moms are complaining about getting too exhausted at night because this is the time their babies go nuts! How do you deal with your fussy baby at night?
Have you ever heard about the “Witching Hour”? It usually happens between 6 P.M. up to 10 in the evening.
Some kids who are calm all day long turn cranky and want to nurse nonstop. But the worst part? Witching hour usually happens when you and your partner want to just sit down, watch the tv, or have your dinner.
During the witching hour, infants do not seem to calm down. Feedings become useless; pacifiers turn worthless, and lullabies are hopeless. You will hear your baby’s loud cry, and it does not end until you figure out what has gone wrong.
Reasons Behind Fussy Babies At Night
When their babies become fussy, many parents put their blame on colic. But, what is colic? It is usually defined by any lengthened, extreme crying that seems to have no reasonable cause at all.
These periods of colic most often start during late in the afternoon or even late in the evening.
In fact, it has been approximated that about 20 percent of infants experience colic. However, unfortunately, there has been no known cause of these episodes.
Some parents point out the theory that colic links to intestinal problems like indigestion and excessive gas. It says that excessive build up of gas and indigestion lead to abdominal pain. It is the main reason why babies cry miserably.
2. Other causes
What if colic is not the cause of your infant's fussiness? There are some few other possible reasons why your baby is overly cranky. Here are some:
In some cases, moms claim that overstimulation happens during daytime than nighttime. Why? It is because there’s extreme noise, lighting, and tons of other activities.
Although your baby may not participate in all of your activities, he or she still notices them. All of the things that overstimulate them can cause fussiness.
# Extreme tiredness
When your baby experiences disturbed sleeping patterns, extreme tiredness may occur. Overtiredness may cause his or her nighttime crankiness.
When your child misses his or her nap times or sleeping routines, he or she grows more tired. He or she will come to a point which is so exhausted that he or she just fuss all night long.
# Tummy discomfort
When too much gas accumulates inside your baby’s tummy, it may cause discomfort. Eventually, this pain may cause wailing. The food that moms eat also contributes to your child’s stomach problems, especially when you are nursing your infant.
# More milk
A lot of experts suggest that children seem to cluster feed at night time.
What does this mean?
Babies tend to feed frequently in the evening that they feed all throughout the day.
In fact, they may feed once each hour, or even more. It’s a nightmare for mothers to feed their babies regularly. However, this is normal since kids need more feeding for them to sleep longer. So, evening crankiness may indicate that your child needs to cluster feed.
# Inadequate attention
Do you have some other activities late in the afternoon or early in the evening? Do your other kids arrive from school? Does your partner go home during these hours? Are you busy making your children and husband’s dinner?
Many of us don’t seem to realize that we are busier late in the afternoon or early in the evening. We are so busy that we lose track of noticing that our baby needs attention too.
So many parents even complain that it seems that their infants wait to weep until they are making dinner. This is no accident. It is because you are too busy chopping some onions and cutting the meat.
All of these factors may lead to your baby’s fussiness. He or she may just need some attention. Kids feel alone too.
# Normal fussiness
During the first few months of your baby, whether you breastfed or formula fed her or him, a lot of babies have their period of crankiness. Some infants become cranky regularly that parents already predict their witching hour.
Usually, infant fussiness begins at around 2 to 3 weeks. It peaks at six weeks, and it is expected to disappear within 3 to 4 months. The witching hour usually lasts up to 2 to 4 hours each day.
The Difference Between The Typical And Problematic Fussiness
To distinguish a healthy and a questionable fussiness, parents may say that it is normal when it occurs almost the same time each day. It also happens with the similar intensity. Also, your infant responds to the same things every time, including holding, feeding, etc.
Your child’s usual fussiness occur when he or she usually stays awake. The most common time of the day is in the evening before the baby takes his or her longest time of sleep.
Take note that other than the mentioned factors of normal fussiness indicates a problem.
If you feel that your infant’s crankiness is not usual, it is never a wrong idea to visit your baby’s Pediatrician. That way, your Pedia may rule out any problems like some of the colic-like symptoms, including vigorous let-down and foremilk-hindmilk discrepancy. Some other causes may also include food sensitivity, diaper rash, decreased milk supply, and more.
Methods To Calm Down Your Fussy Baby
Here are some of the simple ways that may help in alleviating your infant’s fussiness:
1. Focusing on your infant's sleep
If you are aware that your child is not getting enough sleep, try to work on helping him or her recover and rest. You may provide comfort and relaxation for him or her to get enough sleep. Bear in mind to create a good foundation now for him or her to be able to sleep well at night. Considering co-sleeping with your baby.
2. Holding your baby whilst dancing or swaying
For some babies, fussiness stops when their mothers hold them close enough. Parents should also start slow dancing or swaying to calm them down.
3. Wearing your infant
When you wear the baby on a baby carrying bag, you may provide him comfort while leaving your hands free. By doing so, you can still do other things than just taking care of the baby.
4. Shifting of the pace
You may also allow your child’s daddy to have some baby-father time. Not only that you will have more time to get some rest or take a shower, but you can also divide the tasks of taking care of your baby.
5. Heading out of the house
Have your child relax in your arms while you are walking outside or just sitting down. You may try this strategy before your child gets cranky.
6. Letting your infant burp
If you suspect the build up of excess gas in his or her tummy, be more diligent about his or her burping time. Burping your baby should be done every after his or her feeding.
7. Changing mom's diet
If you are nursing your child, think of what to eat and what not to eat. Your meals may be promoting your baby’s tummy problem. Your meals that contain some spice, caffeine and more may be the culprits of your infant’s fussiness.
8. Appeasing with soothing sounds
Moms may start singing, murmuring “shhh,” humming, listening to music, and so on. You may also try to produce different sounds, different music styles, and singers with soothing voices.
9. Soothing with rhythmic motions
Just like the earlier idea, you can start walking, bouncing, swinging, and even riding the car with your husband.
10. Calming down with touch
You may also incorporate your gentle touch through gentle bathing or even massaging your baby.
11. Lessening stimulation
You may reduce the stimulation of your baby through dimming the lighting of your child’s room, decreasing the noise, and diminishing additional activities at home.
12. Changing of nursing position
For moms, you may try placing lying on your side or lying on your back to nurse your baby. These methods may promote closeness and bonding of babies and mommies too. Read this article about co-sleeping position if you are co-sleeping with your baby
The Bottom Line
Infants fuss most of the time because of so many different reasons. It may be because of overstimulation, overtiredness, discomfort, loneliness, and more.
Unfortunately, parents need to take note that there is no simple fix for your baby’s fussiness at night. The witching hour is standard for every infant, but it gets better in time. In fact, your child’s fussiness may go away after 3 to 4 months.
At times, you need to realize that getting your baby to calm down is not a natural process. With that, parents need to explore out some possible ways to calm and soothe your babies.
While no strategy works for all infants, you will soon create a range of methods that is ideal for your child.
If you need more help getting your baby to sleep and calm down, you may head to our site and raise your questions and concerns. We are more than willing enough to hear them out and answer them all!
Read my article about Baby Sleeping 101. I'm sure you would love it.