Attachment Parenting

What do you do during fussy times?

FTM here wondering what you do when baby is inconsolable during an evening fussy time? LO is almost 3 weeks and last night she was up screaming for 3 hours straight. Normally I can nurse her to sleep but she was too upset to nurse. DH and I had to keep trading her back and forth to keep our sanity. Should we keep holding/rocking/soothing for hours on end, or put her down for a while alone?!?

I'm also wondering if she doesn't have a bit of acid reflux as she's been spitting up and arching her back during feelings. 

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Re: What do you do during fussy times?

  • Thats when babywearing was a godsend for us.  we'd wrap them up close then go on about our chores/evening as needed.

    But i would definitely get the possible acid reflux checked out - those sound like the classic signs.

  • When LO was that age, he would have episodes like this about once a week. Nothing I did could calm him. I think sometimes they get so upset that they dont even know why they are upset, and so they are impossible to soothe. The thing that usually worked for me was to go into our dark bedroom, turn on some white noise, or shush. and lay down with him and hug him. Sometimes I would sing or hum, and usually in a few minutes his crying would diminish. Hope that helps!
  • Babywearing with gentle bouncing on an exercise ball. Does the trick for us every time!
  • Definitely go to the doctor and find out if the reflux is what is causing the screaming. It certainly sounds like it.
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  • My son had colic. We'd rock for a while, offer formula, walk etc. If nothing was helping we put him in a dark room alone in a swing for a small break. Sometimes doing nothing is your best option.

    You can certainly get her checked out for issues the mimic colic (acid reflux is one of them) but it just be colic and the only cure is time. By 12 weeks most babies are much better. My son slowly moved from colic to generally fussy and now he's pretty normal. He cries when he's hungry or tired but he doesn't have hour long crying spells.

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  • Babywearing and swaddling helped a lot. I remember one night when she was 6 weeks old--I had to go to a work event and my husband and his parents were alone with her for the first time. She screamed for hours, apparently :( By the time my husband got in touch with me, she was an absolute mess. I told him to put her in the Mei Tai and walk/bounce because she wouldn't be able to flail and that would generally help. He ended up swaddling her and she fell asleep, but I think it would have worked if he put her in the MT too.

    We also spent a lot of time in the guest bath with the fan on...it's pretty loud and dark, and we would go in there and bounce to calm her down. It usually helped.

    Sometimes though, we just had to ride it out and know that it wasn't going to last forever. Those were really hard times. If you know LO is fed, clean, dry, warm enough (but not too warm), and healthy (ie, no reflux or other medical reason) sometimes you can't do anything else.  

    Good luck! It does get better. 

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  • Thanks all for the feedback! I guess our sleep-deprived minds blanked on baby wearing to calm her down. I hope I'm paranoid about the acid reflux but I'll keep an eye on it. I'm trying shorter, more frequent feedings today, but if that doesn't help then it's off to the pedi. I just hate the idea of medication in such a little person! 

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  • When K was little, she would scream for an hour every night at 8pm.  She was otherwise happy.  We swaddled her and traded off walking/bouncing her in our dark living room every 15 minutes.  It gets better.  I agree with PP about babywearing.  Good luck!
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  • My DD had a few nights like this, and she doesn't have colic or reflux, she just was fussy.  And her fussiness made her mad and in turn made her even fussier.  When she got this way, we swaddled, bounced, sssh-ed, and turned up her noise machine.  DH also laid with her in our massage chair, and I think she liked the vibrations. 

    The other thing to remember.... and I know it's really hard to.... but your LO will pick up on your frustration.  If you and your DH can tag team and give each other a break, it will help.  Looking back, I realize that the nights when DD was the absolute worst, inconsolable, was when DH and I argued or were stressed out with each other.  Good luck!  This too shall pass.

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  • It sounds like it could be the witching hour (hours). DS did this same thing--no reflux, no colic. Ultimatley, I decided to nurse him pretty much non-stop starting at 6 or 7 PM. I watched the clock to see when it was starting and then once we determined a pattern in the time, we set up "camp" for me on the couch with a book, snack, water, and anything I needed for nursing.  This was helpful to me...http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html

     

  • image pixieprincss:

    It sounds like it could be the witching hour (hours). DS did this same thing--no reflux, no colic. Ultimatley, I decided to nurse him pretty much non-stop starting at 6 or 7 PM. I watched the clock to see when it was starting and then once we determined a pattern in the time, we set up "camp" for me on the couch with a book, snack, water, and anything I needed for nursing.  This was helpful to me...http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html

     

     

    Same. Another thing my DD liked was reggae and swaying to the music. But sometimes there's just crying nonstop and nothing helps.  

  • Another thing to consider is cutting dairy out of your diet to see if it helps with fussing/crying. 
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  • DD went through a very fussy period starting around 3 weeks that sounds similar. I had oversupply, which causes colic-like symptoms (which I also had with DS, but somehow I had forgotten that). Feeding on just one side and really making sure that breast was empty helped, but it did take a little while for my supply to balance out.

    I wish I had some helpful suggestions on how to handle those times, but I don't :( Except for maybe Happiest Baby on the Block-the sounds included on the CD would knock DD out cold (sometimes). DD once cried from 7pm-12am, and DH and I just took turns trying to comfort her, but nothing worked. I get tense just thinking about it. 

    It does get better though, so even though I know it's hard, remind yourself that time passes, they get older and don't cry nearly as much. And don't beat yourself up if you get frustrated, upset, etc. I think listening to a baby cry for hours while you're sleep deprived would be an extremely effective torture technique...

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  • At that age, I wouldn't leave DC alone, but just do your best to stay calm and comfort them through it. Sometimes a shower worked with DS- the skin to skin contact, the warmth and white noise of the water seemed to calm him. Good luck!
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