34 answers

Fussy Baby at Night

My 6 week old daughter becomes fussy at night time between 8 and 10 pm. Nothing can calm her down not even holding. She cries so much that she vomits her feeding and then falls asleep when she gets too tired. I'm thinking colic but it's weird that it's only at night, she is breastfed. I don't know what to do or how to help her, it's frustrating. I read about GRIPE WATER and am wondering if anybody used it with their fussy babies or is there something better?
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Buy, Read, and Try the Method in Happiest Baby on the Block!!! I swear by it and so do all of my friends with babies. It can take about a week of vigilance, but works wonders. Some babies it will only take a few nights. This may be what is called "colic" and can be remedied through understanding why it happens. Colic usually happens only at night and breast milk or formula feedings don't make a difference.

1 mom found this helpful

I know what you are going through and I sympathize with you. My daughter would scream at bedtime as well and nothing worked. We did not try gripe water (I didn't know about it at the time or I would have) but we did try gas drops. Sometimes it would help. Maybe she has gas, try Mylicon gas drops. Many times we would give them to her, she would let out her gas and then finally calm down, it is worth a shot! Good luck!

Hi! Alexandra
my name is lili, i have a 28 month son and he is very fussy.
Maybe you can try to make a rutine with her.
Like take a bath before to go to bed a masage when you are dress her and then talk to her and then feeding and a rocking chair to she falls sleep this i did with mi baby and still doing with him,i understad you it's very frustanting.
I hope you my advices help see you.

More Answers

Buy, Read, and Try the Method in Happiest Baby on the Block!!! I swear by it and so do all of my friends with babies. It can take about a week of vigilance, but works wonders. Some babies it will only take a few nights. This may be what is called "colic" and can be remedied through understanding why it happens. Colic usually happens only at night and breast milk or formula feedings don't make a difference.

1 mom found this helpful

At this age, babies are starting to develop neurological and in short becomes much more aware of the world surrounding them. What also happens is they go from sleepy baby to more alert active baby. Since they are more alert and awake, they are not getting as much sleep as they used to as they would rather see this great big world around them. It very well might be that she is not sleeping enough during the day and thus by the evening hours is Overtired. It is true what other posters have suggested that this does peak at 8 weeks. (and that is 8 weeks adjusted as of your due date, so if she was born early, this may be later. This would be a great time to start reading books on routine and sleep times for little ones. Babies this age should still be sleeping between 15 - 18 hrs a day, but are likely not because of the aforementioned neurological processing awakening in your wee one. Even with sleep routines etc, it is difficult to get a child off to get the proper amounts of sleep this age. However, proper sleep routines are the foundation for this. There are many on the market, some of my favorites are Baby Whisperer, and Sleep Lady's guide.

The goood news is, it does REALLY get better! As previous posters have suggested, if you do nothing, it will get better by 12 weeks or so. But if you help them learn how to sleep (and at this age, yes, you have to teach them how to sleep) this may subside faster.

Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Check out Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. I used his concepts and it worked wonders for fussy babies. I also ended up putting my daughter down for bed earlier (like 6pm) when she was 6 weeks old and she started sleeping through the night immediately. It turned out that she was just ready for bed and overtired by the time I was putting her down.

1 mom found this helpful

A.,
I breastfed both of my boys(now 5 and2) for 14 months each. Even breastfed babies can have colic. Basically, to me it just means they have gas. Their digestive system is just learning how to process everything, and babies tend to swallow alot of air when they are learning to breastfeed. It can happen anytime of day. For me it was in the evening too. Some things that worked for me...burping until you get a burp. Try all different positions to get the burp out. Burp after 5-10 minutes on the breast. Once you get a burp, you can put them her back on the breast. Try some leg exercises to move the gas. I just would lay his back on my belly when I was sitting and peddle his legs like he was riding a bike. If all else falls try the colic hold which is hard to describe but basically you stand up and hold them horizontally with their belly facing the floor. use one hand between their legs and one hand across their shoulder and head making sure one hand is supporting their belly. They may have a better description or picture of this on the internet somewhere. The best thing I found to quiet both of my boys when nothing else worked and they would not stop crying...I would turn on the vaccum. Instantly they would stop crying. I did alot of vaccuming those first few months with him in the babybjorn. Sometimes I would just turn it on and leave it so I could cook dinner. I have never tried the Gripe water but I did use the mylicon infant gas drops. I hope this helps you. Breastfeeding is great once you get through the first 3 months. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

This just be her time to vent:) Especially, when they are this little and do not know how to self-sooth. If she is well fed then she is just a baby that has a habbit as it is. Have you tried calm music yet(quiet-really low...hardly audible. I would also try laying her on a boppy tummy side down and while she is going through this venting period rubbing her back. Once she learns how to self-sooth(about three months) she will get bettter. You can put the boppy on your lap(then you are close and your body is not falling asleep). Then hubby can help too:) Just keep the same routine every night with a soothing activity. Be patient because it may take awhile...

it could very well be colic. When you take her out make sure she has something on her head and also socks on her feet. I had three girls and finally learned what I thought was an old wives tale was true. I finally got relief because she was no longer cranky, especially at night.

Breastfed babies can have colic. Typical colic happens in the evenings like you describe. There are many schools of thought as to why a baby is colicky and because I had a colicky baby who screamed all day long, I know you don't need a lecture about what causes it :) I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug and tell you it will be okay - because it will.

A couple things you can try - modifying your diet, as there might be something you are passing through the breastmilk that is upsetting her. You can try to eliminate dairy, whey, cruciferous, etc.

When she gets fussy you can try to put her in a swing, swaddle her, tell her 'shhhhhhhh' really loudly (not because you're being mean, but because it imitates a sound heard in the womb which is a comfort zone for her).

We tried everything imaginable and gave all the tricks a fair shot (as in, we didn't just do it one night...we did things several times or eliminated foods for weeks), and it did NOTHING to stop our baby's incessant screaming. Then, just like everyone said, the crying just stopped like flicking off a light switch, at 14 weeks. I logged everything - how much sleep he got, what time he ate, how much he ate, wet/dirty diapers, and used a smile/frown face to track moods each hour. We found no pattern. At that point I just started counting down to the 12-14 weeks and prayed my baby would stop screaming. He did. He's now 16 months old and a joy. Back then I thought I was going to have a miserable child for the rest of my life and he is just an absolute angel now.

I know what you are going through is rough. Reach out to family, friends, neighbors to give yourself a break if need be. Best wishes to you and hang in there!

My sisters friends baby is the same way. they did all kinds of medications, none worked. Then she went to the ciropractor and the baby is a new baby. Not sure why-

I have an 8 week old baby girl who went through something very similar. It sounds like it is colic. We used gripe water and mylicon drops. It saved my life. She's our first baby and I thought I was going to lose my mind. It doesn't work every time, but when it does it is one heck of a relief. We also talked to our doctor about a formula switch. We went on Nutramigen by Enfamil. It's designed to help with colic. It didn't work that great for us and it's very expensive, so we stopped using it. Good luck and be sure to talk with your doctor at your next visit.

My son did the same thing from 7-9. It probably is colic and I would talk to your pediatrician. My friend had the same experience and the dr. prescribed something and then she was fine. I wish I had known about it. It would have saved me months of frustration.

our little girl is 8 weeks, same issue. she was over tired. same thing happened w/my son. we started to put her down around 7. my son we actually had to go at 6. we can avoid most the blood curdeling screaming if we get her to bed before then. develope a routine (we play same music, give baby massage, diaper change and nurse)... good luck. seems to be working for us so far (about a week and 1/2)

My daughter did the same thing up until she was about 3 months old. We simply called it "the witching hour", but it lasted about 2 hours. You just have to find what works. We finally found that, if we played music, it helped. BTW, it wasn't gas, it was just her way of winding down after a stimulating day and getting it all out. Just try to limit stimulation and help her wind down from the day.

My first daughter did the same thing but her time was from 6p to 8p. Most said it was the release after the day stimulus. I always thought it was colic too but definitions vary because it would be for a set time where some say colics always cry. We tried the "white noise" (water running, clothes dryer) nothing really worked for my daughter. I would just hold her and listen to music and walk her until exhaustion set in for both of us. Hang in there...this is normal for some infants. My daughter also did the vomit thing, don't be surprised if it continues as she gets older when she doesn't get her way. Good luck and hang in there.

I tried the gripe water with my daughter at about 6 weeks old. For her, it made a difference-or at least I thought so at the time. I used Colic Calm-you can find it on the internet. Watch out though-it's messy and stains!
One thing I figured out a little later than I would have liked to is that she was tired and just needed to go to sleep. That is when we started an additional nap of about an hour right around dinner-she still went to bed at 9 and slept til 4am. As a matter of fact, slept BETTER than usual with the extra nap.
Good luck!

it could be "colic" - that broad and far-reaching term of generalization! that it is only at night would actually be a sign of colic, as colic happens regularly like that.
what are the other symptoms when she cries? does she contract her legs up to her belly like she is in pain, or writh and squirm like she is trying to escape pain? those signs would point to an allergy of some kind, as gassiness is NOT part of a healthy diet - possibly to something that you eat all the time that accumulates (so to speak) in the evening, or possibly to something that you eat every evening. if it is just crying, she doesn't show signs of any other distress, it could be that she is overwhelmed by the day or over-tired, and the only way she knows how to decompress is to cry. in that instance, the best thing you can do is to hold her while she cries, rock her, walk with her, etc (you and dad both).
if it is an allergy, the most common allergies in breastfed babies are dairy (casein protein NOT lactose intolerance), wheat and soy, followed by the cabbage and garlic families, shell fish, chocolate and citrus. wheat and soy would clear out of your system fairly quickly if you did an elimination diet, but dairy can take up to 6 weeks to clear out of your body and another 4-6 to totally clear out of baby's, although some improvement would be seen within a week or two. all of these allergies have the possibility of being outgrown by 1-3 years, so just because she is reacting now does not mean she will always react. is there anything that you craved during pregnancy and ate lots and lots of? that might be the first thing to eliminate to check for allergic reaction.

best of luck with this! it is SO heart-wrenching to hear your baby cry endlessly, and to feel there is nothing you can do. the good news is that if it is just "colic", she will outgrow it around 3-6 months most likely (which means you're half-way there!!).

We had this with my first. She was a slow nurser and if I nursed for 10 min one side and then switch she was only getting the fore milke and not the hind milk. This would make her uncomfortable. It happened at night from day nursing. Overnight, I didn't have this problem because she would only nurse on oneside.

Once we switched on only nursed on one side for each 2 hour interval it went away immediately.

thanks to another momma who suggested this new routine to me. :)

My son had this too...it started at 6 weeks and ended around 12 weeks. I wouldn't call his full blown colic but definitely colicky. I did not attribute his to anything because it was at the same time every day, so how could it be the so called gas colic? Like the gas only bothered him at night ;) So I just dealt with it as hard as it was. Some suggestions would be to make sure you have some support during those times, I had to make my hubby start coming home earlier from work to help (my son's started at around 4 and lasted till 8), try to use the car and stroller when you can, purchase a sling and carry your baby during the fussy times. The combination of the carrying and the tightness of the sling may help. You could also try running water, the dryer, the vacuum, getting a white noise machine, or any other sound to see what works. But lastly know that it DOES end and many moms can related to this. I wish you so much luck and quiet nights!!!

My daughter did the same thing from 8pm-1am EVERY night. She was the happiest baby during the day and at 8pm she turned. She had to be bounced while walking and even that wouldn't totally calm her down. I tired gas drops thinking that would maybe help. Turned out by the time she was 12 weeks old, she stopped that behavior just on her own and now she is the best sleeper ever and she is 8 months old. It will end. I am convinced maybe colic but just hang in there, there's not much to do about it besides deal with it until she decides to stop it. That's what i noticed anyway.

Hi, yes gripe water helps a little. Warm compresses on the belly for about ten minutes helps too. Another very natural method is chiropratic adjustments which at that age are very light and easy. Restrictions in the mid to low back usually cause the colic discomfort. The treatment takes less than 5 minutes. They usually cry for a minute or two after the treatment and that is mainly cause it startles them from being unfamiliar. After that they often go right to sleep for a nap and become much happier. I am a chiropractor that specializes in children and I have treated many other babies this young and even younger. I currently see an 8 week old with the same night time crying and lack of sleep. I only seen her twice so far and her mom can already see a difference. If you want more info just let me know.
Susie

I know what you are going through and I sympathize with you. My daughter would scream at bedtime as well and nothing worked. We did not try gripe water (I didn't know about it at the time or I would have) but we did try gas drops. Sometimes it would help. Maybe she has gas, try Mylicon gas drops. Many times we would give them to her, she would let out her gas and then finally calm down, it is worth a shot! Good luck!

There is some good research that acidophilus is very effective in helping with colic. Ask your Ped's about dosing, and if they are not familar with the research email me and I will send you what I have

A.

Hi! Alexandra
my name is lili, i have a 28 month son and he is very fussy.
Maybe you can try to make a rutine with her.
Like take a bath before to go to bed a masage when you are dress her and then talk to her and then feeding and a rocking chair to she falls sleep this i did with mi baby and still doing with him,i understad you it's very frustanting.
I hope you my advices help see you.

I tried gripe water and it's worth a try although I didn't notice a huge improvement. Have you talked to your pediatrician about this? If not, I would. Something could be upsetting her stomach or as in the case of my daughter something minor that would cause her to not feel well and vomit sometimes.

The same thing happened with my son. My husband really thought for over a month that our son hated him because he would start after 7:30 at night (right about the time my husband got home from school) until he fell asleep. I did some research and the thing that made the most sense since it was only at night was that some babies need to burn off extra energy before they can sleep and they do so by crying. Don't worry, it does stop. There is nothing, at least, that we found we could do....he just needed to burn off the energy and because of how young they are this is all they got. Hug, cuddle and coo but don't beat yourself up. There's nothing you can do. I wish I had known this earlier....would have made it easier just to ride it out.

DEB

I agree w. the mom that said it could be too much foremilk & not enough hindmilk. This happened w. both my 3.5 yr. old & my 3 m. old. I got on the La Leche website & figured it out. I recommend that website. You might just need to nurse on the same side for each feeding. (20+ min. one feeding on left; the next feeding nurse off the right side, for example.) Also, I use Hyland's colic tablets (homeopathic) instead of regular gas meds. I think it works better. And lastly, other moms are right...it could be "colic"...which my 3 yr. old did have for a while (I still think most of it was my producing too much much). It will pass! Good luck!

During those early weeks it is quite common for babies to be fussy at night like you describe. My first son was colicky like that too. Gripe water can help a little, but I found with my second that it usually only helped with hiccups. If you notice gas in the tummy, mylicon can help too. The most helpful thing I found for those times when they are just inconsolable is white noise. I walk in the kitchen next to the vent fan over the stove and it instantly shuts him down. We also run a white noise machine quite loudly in the bedroom at night and swaddle him up to sleep.

Good luck! Keep up hope...they do outgrow it eventually!

My daughter did the EXACT same thing! Even during the same time. We used Little Tummies gas drops and they seemed to help her a little. Other times, though, she would still throw up and just be beside herself. For our little girl, she just had to outgrow this. Her pediatrician said that some babies just need to 'grow into' their tummies, which she did. She is now almost 9 months old and doing great. Hang in there, I remember that was hard time. It will get better!

It is probably not colic. It sounds like what my pediatrician called the 'bewitching hours'! My son's bewitching time was from 6-8 and he too, would cry so hard, he spit up what looked to be his whole bottle!
There really is not much you can do, but it can't hurt to try the soothing techniques discussed in many previous emails. They all will probably work from time to time and then not work from time to time. My son loved to be outside. Just stepping outside would calm him down. I would put him in the stoller and just sit outside or walk for that length of time, if possible.
Just remember, it won't last forever, typically until no more than 3 months of age. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

It will pass!! The 6-8 week period = fussy babies for a lot of babies. Make sure she is getting plenty of sleep. Put her down every 1-2 hours for sleep.....I promise it makes a huge difference. A lot of word but little ones need that much sleep. Yes, gripe water cant hurt and we used it on our daughter who suffered from colic for 5 months. My hope for you is that it is not colic and it will pass in a few weeks. Our pediatrician used to call that 10PM hour the "vampine hours" for babies that age.....it is VERY common. Just do anything to get her to sleep.....swing, car seat, etc. She wont go to college sleeping in her car seat or swing, so just do whatever you have to do right now to help the situation. Definitely try the gripe water.....it does not do any harm.....it could only help.
Good Luck and hang in there- it will get better!
J.

Around 6 weeks was a very crazy time for my baby too. Our Dr. said that newborns usually have a time in the day when they are most fussy. Our baby had her fussy time in the evening too. He told us it was colic due to gas. But, to me my child will be fussy if she has gas anyways. So we would do whatever we could, sometimes she would just fall asleep too from crying. But we would swaddle her, give her a bath right around the time she got really fussy, swaddle her and lay her on a pillow putting her on her side, played music. These are just some of the things we tried. Good Luck!!

it looks like you've received a lot of responses.. my 1st daughter was exactly like yours & gas drops did the trick! good luck!

my son does the same thing at 4pm everyday until I started giving him gas relief drops (Simethicone) Now about 3:30 everyday I give him some gas drops and he lets a lot of gas and is relieved. There is a big section on colic in the book 'What to expect the first year' by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway, B.S.N. It has been a huge help to me. Good luck

Oooh, having a screaming, vomiting baby that can't be comforted is really rough. Like a lot of the moms who responded, I ran wtaer, turned on the vaccuum, shussed very loudly (they have to hear it over their screaming)...I also found doing deep knee bends while holding baby to be effective. My daughter responded to music being played really loud (she loved Lynard skynard, lol). Mylicon gas drops are something to try, maybe with the last feeding before her colicky time. Remember that lots of new moms and babies go through this difficult phase and it will pass in time. Just keep breathing and don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help. This has nothing to do with your mothering skills, it's a digestive thing that you just have to get through.

I don't know about GRIPE WATER, but at this age it is suspected that babies loose a hormone that helps filter stimulation from their environment prior to this time. Then at 6 to 8 weeks this goes away and what we see as colic or fussiness is due to the intense stuff they see around them. By evening they are over-stimulated, very cranky, and this then gets compounded because their tummies do get upset because of their emotional state. I would try to get her in a quiet room. I would go into the nursery with the baby, turn down the lights make sure no t.v. is on or anything else and we would sit and I would read and just hold her and have her focus on me. They would calm down and be able to eat. Also a bath helped a lot. Make sure the bathroom is warm because that is why babies don't like baths because they get very cold. This fussy time will pass at around 12 weeks.

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