Why Is My Newborn More Fussy At Night

About Newborn Baby Behaviour

Why is my baby fussy at night?

Sleeping, feeding, crying. Thats what newborn behaviour is all about in the first few months.

Although your baby might give you some eye contact, crying is probably the main thing youll notice about your babys behaviour. For example, your baby will cry because they feel hungry, unsettled, wet or uncomfortable, or just because they need a cuddle. And sometimes your baby will cry for no obvious reason.

Babies are born with very different temperaments. Some are relaxed and easygoing, and others seem to be more intense. Some seem to move constantly, and others are quieter. Some are cheerful most of the time, and others are more serious.

Colic Vs Normal Crying

The rule of threes is a good way to determine whether your baby might be suffering from colic. Babies who cry more than three hours a day for more than three days a week over the course of three weeks may have colic, which affects one in five babies. Ask your child’s pediatrician if you’re unsure whether or not her crying is considered excessive.

Another sign of colic is crying thats more like screaming and that usually occurs in the later afternoon or evening for hours at a time.

Although there’s no hard-and-fast definition of normal crying, it tends to be the type of tears that you understand and can quickly quell. For example, a rhythmic, low-pitched cry along with sucking or lip-smacking sounds could indicate hunger, while a whiny, continuous cry that grows increasingly louder might mean that your infant is tired or uncomfortable.

Calming Down Your Fussy Baby

There are a variety of reasons you may have a fussy baby at night, but some soothing methods work regardless of the issue.

  • Burping. If your baby seems uncomfortable, your first try should be to burp him. You have hopefully made it a habit to burp your baby after each meal. If not, this is the time to do so. You may find once at the end of the meal is not enough, and you need to stop halfway through the meal, burp your baby, then let him continue to eat.
  • Skin to skin contact. Remove your babys clothing and place him against your bare skin. Holding him chest to chest this way is often all that is needed to calm down your fussy baby at night. It is a proven method of reducing stress and improving sleep in babies.
  • Add white noise and a dark room. Stimulating the womb experience as much as possible to help calm your baby. Swaddling your baby in a dark room, while white noise plays create the ideal calming environment.

Recommended Reading: How To Keep A Newborn Awake During The Day

What Is The Witching Hour

Once youve been there, youll understand. Most parents will nod in sympathy when you mention the witching hour. And thats because many of us have jiggled an otherwise calm baby through these hours. Yes, sorry to say, but thats actually hours not hour.

The witching hour seems to happen around the same time every day. Think late afternoon, evening, and into the early night hours: anywhere from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. The good news is that this challenging period eventually comes to an end.

Keep tabs on it and youll see that it often begins between weeks 2 or 3, peaks around week 6, and then comes to end around the 3-month mark.

Your Baby Is Uncomfortable

Fussy Baby At Night Newborn

When you are hot, you turn on the fan. When youre cold, you throw on a sweater. If you have an itch, you scratch it.

Your baby cant do any of those things and the only way that they can communicate to you that something is wrong is by fussing.

Check your babys chest. It should feel warm and dry, and while it is normal for hands and feet to be cooler than the trunk, they should not feel cold. Sometimes all it takes is to add or remove a layer of clothing, or turn on or off a fan to make your baby comfortable.

If your baby doesnt seem to be hot or cold, check for anything that could be causing discomfort.

It could be a scratchy clothing tag, a diaper that is wet, or a hair twisted around a finger or toe.

If you cant find anything, try taking all of his clothes off and give him a warm bath and some snuggles.

Read Also: How Many Ounces Of Milk Does A Newborn Drink

Give Yourself A Break

As hard as it is, sometimes you need to step away from your fussy baby. It is better to let him cry a few more minutes while you regain control and calm yourself than to continue trying to calm your baby while you are frustrated.

If you find yourself becoming irritable or overly stressed, just set your baby in a safe place, such as his crib, and walk away. Calmly count to ten, breathe in and out slowly as you do so, and relax. Take a few minutes to listen to some music, text or call a friend, or do a calming, meditative household chore, such as vacuuming.

Once you are feeling calmer, go back to check on your baby. He may have put himself to sleep, or he may be waiting for you. Either way, you are in a much better position to deal with him than when you are overly stressed and tense.

Myths About Causes Of Crying

  • Not Due to Gas. Gas passing through normal intestines does not cause pain or crying. All crying babies pass lots of gas. Their stomachs also make lots of gassy noises. The gas comes from swallowed air. The gas is normal. It does not become trapped nor cause any pains. That’s why burping a baby doesn’t help the crying. Blaming gas is a myth.
  • Not Due to Spitting Up. Spitting up occurs in half of babies and is normal. It does not cause crying or colic. Heartburn meds do not help crying babies. They also have side effects.

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Calming A Crying Baby: Why Babies Cry At Night

New parents often wish they had a magic baby cry decoderespecially to figure out why babies cry at night. Learn about the different causes of crying, and get tips on how to stop a crying baby today.

Newborns cry a lotbut they sleep even more. Most newborns sleep about eight to nine hours during the day and another eight hours at night, though not all at once. Your baby probably wont sleep through the night until shes at least three months old. Some babies dont sleep through the night until six months or older. So it stands to reason that lots of crying starts up when you thought she was sleeping peacefullyor when you’re trying to sleep.

Crying is your babys primary way of sending you a message. Babies cry at night to signal that they are in need of your help. Whats she trying to tell you when she wakes up wailing or cries in her sleep? Here are the main reasons why babies cry at night, and what to try when you’re wondering how to stop a crying baby.

More Tips For Calming Fussy Newborns That Wont Sleep At Night

Sleep tips for Clingy or Fussy babies

If vigorous rocking doesnt soothe your baby, you can try some of the below tips for calming fussy newborns and preventing nighttime fussing in the first place:

  • Swaddling. Swaddling helps recreate the snug surroundings of the womb. We recommend trying the swaddling method found in our article How to Swaddle a Baby.
  • Use white noise. While in the womb, your baby was constantly surrounded by noise and activity, so putting them down in a silent room feels really weird to them! Thats where white noise comes into play. Check out our list of the best white noise sounds for your baby.
  • Create a schedule during the day. This will help prevent your little one from getting overtired…and cranky.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment. Your baby may be hot or cold, or maybe theres too much light in the room. Be sure to limit light at night, and keep your baby at a comfortable temperature.
  • Encourage pooping. Some belly massage and knee-to-tummy exercises may help get things moving during the day so nighttime sleep isnt disturbed.

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What Does A Fussy Baby Mean

First, lets look at some important realities.

In most situations, a fussy baby means one thing: your baby is normal. Thats right.

Take a deep breath and make yourself some calming chamomile tea if youre reading this article then you probably need it. I know, Ive been there.

Its exhausting when your baby wont stop crying, youre so tired, and everything seems just so hard.

Babies fuss for a variety of reasons depending on their age and development and for the most part, this fussiness is perfectly normal.

Its all going to be okay.

But my friends baby didnt cry like this!

Each baby has their own unique personality.

Thats right, from day one each baby has its own unique personality, likes, dislikes, and peculiarities.

Some babies are easy going, and some need more of your attention.

You may be tempted to compare your child to your friends children, or even to your own previous child, but thats not fair to you or your baby and will only cause you more stress.

Comparison is the thief of joy, and when it comes to your baby, theres so much joy to be had!

So whatever ideas you have about how your baby should behave, throw them out the window.

This child in your arms is unlike any other, and thats a good thing. Enjoy him for who he is, without expectation.

With that said, there are some common patterns and reasons why your baby might be fussy and some simple solutions to help you both get through it.

Lets have a look at 10 common culprits.

Babies That Are Too Tired Can Have Trouble Sleeping

As an adult you have probably experienced times of lying in bed, exhausted, but unable to sleep. This is often tied to stress for adults, and babies can experience something similar. If your baby becomes overstimulated, you may find yourself with a very fussy baby at night.

Young babies lack the ability to self-soothe. When they receive too much stimulation, whether it is new sights, sounds or feelings, or just a schedule that doesnt allow enough downtime, they can quickly become overwhelmed. Logic may dictate that your baby would respond by happily falling asleep when put to bed, but the opposite often happens. General fussiness leads to a full-blown meltdown, and before you know it, your baby is wailing away, way past the time you felt he would be happily asleep.

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Tips On Surviving The Witching Hour

Now that we know what witching hour is, and some of the reasons it may be happening, lets take a look at my tips on how you can survive it all while keeping your sanity!

#1 Focus in on Your Current Nap Schedule: Nap schedules change frequently as your baby gets older, but if your newborn tends to scream for hours on end in the evening, it may have something to do with how long they nap. Its important to keep your baby well rested, as a well-rested baby sleeps better. If your baby missed a nap, and you have things that need to be done around the house, try baby wearing. Your little one can catch a quick nap while you carry on with your evening routine.

#2 Eliminate Background Noise: If your baby is overstimulated, reducing background noise may be just the trick to creating a calming environment to help relax your baby. Dim the lights, turn off the tv and go to a quiet room to feed. A calming environment and a full belly may be just what your baby needs during the witching hour.

#3 Go with the Flow: When it comes to having a newborn, letting go of certain expectations, and just going with the flow can help reduce some of the pressure new moms put on themselves. Accept that cluster feeding will happen and that its totally normal! Cluster feeding can help comfort your baby, and you may even get more sleep after your baby tanks up on milk for the evening.

Your Baby Doesnt Have An Everyday Routine

What I wish I

A regular, consistent routine can make parenting easier. This will help maintain a measure of control and reduce your stress. And many babies benefit from routines as well. But unfortunately, routines dont always work when caring for a high needs baby.

If your baby is unpredictable, getting them to stick with a routine is difficult, if not impossible. They might wake up, nap, and eat at a different time every single day.

Also Check: When Do You First Bathe A Newborn

Your Baby Never Seems Happy Or Satisfied

Bottom line: If you feel that youre falling short in the area of raising a happy baby , you most likely have what some would call a high needs baby.

You may feel overwhelmed, drained, frustrated, and guilty at times. Just know that your babys temperament isnt your fault, and rest assured that you and your little one are going to be OK.

Consider Your Own Stress Level

Ever noticed how a fussy baby can suddenly calm down when someone else holds them? Yup, babies can read the emotions of their caregivers. If youre frazzled, your baby will be fretful if youre calm, your baby will relax. Take some deep breaths. Meditate for a bit if you can.

Lesson 101 of witching hour is to remind yourself that you are the best parent for this baby and that you can do it.

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Why Are Babies Fussy At Night

  • They are overstimulatedSome babies just dont thrive in a busy environment filled with a lot of action, especially at night. They have already had a full day and are ready to wind down just as school lets out and work wraps up. Your spouse walks in the door from work and is excited to reconnect with your baby. On top of that, your other children are garnering for attention and youre starting to prep for dinner. This sort of love and attention, along with the banging of pots and pans, can actually be a little startling to a new baby who is craving a little peace and quiet.
  • They might be hungry The evening is a prime time for cluster feeding. They just cant get enough milk in their tummy. They might also be too tired to get a good latch and instead feed for few minutes then rest for a few minutes.
  • Why Do Sleep Regressions Occur

    Fussy Baby Network

    The topic of sleep regression in children often incites feelings of dread. However, regressions in rest are, overall, a positive occurrence. These seemingly backward movements in development are actually progressive. In fact, these events indicate your kiddo is progressing and growing at a healthy pace.

    While frustrating, they’re ultimately indicative of enormous developmental bursts. Since growing up so quickly takes a tremendous amount of energy, they can feel overly tired and cranky as a result.

    Have you ever been so tired you couldn’t sleep? It can be likened to that same phenomenon.

    Read Also: How Should You Lay A Newborn Baby Down To Sleep

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