Help with Evening Fussiness

Updated on June 13, 2008
K.N. asks from Lombard, IL
4 answers

I have a 6 week old who has been extremely fussy from about 6pm-10pm.
I've read that this fussy period is "normal" but I would like to help my daughter if possible.

Here is the background and some theories.
Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated :)

Sometimes it seems like she may be overtired, but won't go to sleep. We've done everything, and I mean everything to try to get her to sleep at these times.

Sometimes we think maybe it is gas (we are using Dr. Brown's bottles and Enfamil Gentlease- for fussiness & gas).

Sometimes we think could it be acid reflux?
While eating her evening bottle she squirms alot and screams.
We have been burping her halfway through and at the end of each bottle. And keep her upright.

After her 1-4 hours of fussiness she is sleeping for at least two- 3 hour stretches.

Any thoughts for how to help get over this fussiness?

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answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,

Boy, do I remember those days!!!! My now 16 year old son used to be "colliky" and would do nothing but scream for hours every night. Nothing we seemed to do would help until we started bouncing him in a bouncy seat or in our arms, holding him close to us. I mean not the light touch bounce but the full up and down using your knees bounce. After a while he would settle down, but when he screamed, it was misery. We also used an all natural "collik" medicine that you can buy over the counter for babies. I think Walmart and Walgreens still sell it.

Hang in there....they do grow up too fast and now we laugh about it. It actually came to a point that I put him on the floor on a blanket surrounded by pillows (before the crawling days) and went and sat on the bottom step of my basement because I was so tired and crying and was making it worse for the poor kid. It was only for about 2 minutes, but felt like hours. I went back to him refreshed and better for it.

Good luck and I hope I helped.



answers from Chicago on

I have the exact same thing right now with my six week old girl, she's fussy anywhere between 5 and 9 pm, some nights worse than others. In Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child (by Dr Weissbluth) he talks about this, it's not necessarily colic, some babies just have some fussiness and early evening is usually the worst time. It "should" go away after a few weeks as their digestive systems mature. I have mine on Enfamil Lipil, not Gentlease (my ped did not want me to switch her) and I use Born Free bottles. I do use Mylicon drops, I try to give them about 10 minutes before I feed her. If she is squirmy while I'm feeding I take her to a nice quiet dark place (i.e. her nursery) and talk to her softly, rocking her while I feed her, I get away from the TV and the lights in our family room and try to get her quieted down. I have found if I try to feed her while she is squirming, etc., it just makes her more gassy. If she does seems gassy I'll lay her down and move her legs like in "bicycle" motions to help ease it. I definitely have to do the rocking/walking/bouncing routine on most evenings.

The last three nights I was rewarded with 4 hour sleep periods after the fussiness, and I was so happy she slept for 4 hours I didn't care!

These are ideas that work on occasion, mostly it's trial and error - - - other than that I think we have to grin and bear it until they grow out of it. Hang in there! Also a glass of red wine for mommy during this time has been helpful :)


answers from Chicago on

Sorry to hear you are dealing with the "witching hours" - I was in your boat a little over a year ago with our son. The only thing that would calm his evening fussiness was to swaddle him as tightly as possible, then place him in a bouncy seat. We'd bounce him like crazy - seriously, visitors would laugh at us because we'd have him bouncing so fast, but it worked every time! We'd keep up the steady-paced bouncing for a good 30 minutes or so, then would do a transfer to the crib. A few times I also tried Gripe Water, which I purchased at the Vitamin Shoppe (but I've seen elsewhere). I'm not sure how effective it was, but it would usually be enough of a distraction for him to calm down for a little while. We also used the Mylicon gas drops when we suspected that was the problem. I know how tough this can be. Our first baby spoiled us by being so easy & good, but boy were we paid back with our son! Just remember this is temporary & it will get better soon. If the problem persists though, you might want to talk to her ped and investigate the possibility of reflux. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I went through this for a few weeks with my now-19month-old son. Unfortunately, I think, the only way over it is THROUGH it. I walked the length of my house for 4 hours straight, holding my son to one shoulder and giving him firm pats to the back. He liked to be upright... Just do whatever you can to soothe her and try not to internalize it too much. My pediatrician said the fussy period usually ends with the emergence of the first "social smile." So keep your chin up and keep looking for that smile! Best of luck.

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