5 week old screams 2 hours at bedtime....help please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-26-2011, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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My 5 week old has been consistently having trouble getting to sleep at night. Our routine is to change her diaper, then clothes, sometimes wrap her up depending on her mood, and we co-sleep (bedshare with side-carred crib) and we lay down and I feed her. But lately she has been very hard to settle. She cries for up to 2 hours sometimes. She will pause every now and then for a minute or so and then start right back up. I finally gave in and we tried Gripe Water b/c I knew that gas was a problem I guess...maybe it helped. Seems she doesn't cry for as long once we give it to her, but I guess she may have stopped at the same time reguardless. During this crying time DH and I take turns, swaddle-unswaddle, pacifier-none, at the breast-not, holding her up, down, on her side, on her belly, patting her rubbing her, bicicling her legs trying to help gas. Nothing work. Then finally its like she just decides to go to sleep. Tonight at 7:10 I realized she had been a little extra fussy for a little bit and decided to try to get her to sleep. (we had a theory that she was getting overtired) Well, I got her ready and she fell asleep easy...for 2 minutes. She was right back up. Less fussy that other days but still took until almost 9 to get her alseep. Oh and she sleeps fine during the day, and through the night she wake to eat and we go back to sleep. i do hear her all nigh waking for a few moments and fidgiting and going back to sleep, sometimes passing gas.

So what can I do? What could be the problem?


Oh Bonus question:  I am concerned with some of her crying and other habits surrounding eating that she may have reflux can you tell me what some of the signs of that are or any way to know if that is for sure am issue?

Thanks so much!

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#2 of 8 Old 08-26-2011, 08:31 PM
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Could be reflux but could also be food sensitivities (that's what it was for my kids).  I'd start cutting out the big ones from your diet (assuming she's EBF): Dairy, Gluten and Soy.  For what it's worth, dairy, gluten, soy and sugar (in all forms) are critical to cut if it's reflux too.  I know it's hard but it's worth it.  Also stay away from the more gas-causing veggies like broccoli.  If you can get to a point where she's better (it could take a few weeks), then you can slowly add things back in and see what specifically bothers her.

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#3 of 8 Old 08-26-2011, 10:20 PM
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Oh, she's five weeks old? I would say that she's just fussy--many 5-6-7 week-olds have a couple of hours of fussiness at the end of the day. It's just their little nervous systems boiling over with all the stimulation that they can't tamp down yet. And when babies really cry at the end of the day, they swallow a lot of air, so they get gassy, but it's the crying causing the gas, not the gas causing the crying. If she were really collicky, she would cry for more like three hours, but many babies who aren't "collicky" still cry pretty hard at the "witching time" of day.


There are three things you can try to help sooth the fussies--

1. Swaddling

2. Sucking (cluster feed or offer a pacifier.)

3. Rhythmic swaying--put her in the sling or carrier and take a brisk walk, try a bouncy chair or especially a swing, sit on a yoga ball/birth ball and bounce with her.


Some people like to add:

4 Patting, like patting on the back or the bum

5 Shushing in her ear, which recreates the sound of your blood flow in the womb.

For my babies, riding in the swing was more soothing then my shushing them or patting them. I always used the fastest setting on the swing, which was the only one that soothed them.


It's true that your DD is tired and can't really sleep and that's why she cried, but she's not good enough at napping yet to cure overtiredness by napping. So try the swaddle/sucking/swaying combination and see if that helps her calm down. All three of my babies spent every evening in the swing until they were much closer to 12-16 weeks. I would give them a night-time routine, bath, nursing and sleeper, but then I popped them into the swing, stopping only to nurse whenever they needed it. I also used a pacifier during these fussy hours, because after an hour of nursing, they were full to the brim, but they still wanted to suck.

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#4 of 8 Old 08-26-2011, 10:44 PM
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Definitely could be reflux.  DD2 had silent reflux -- no visible spitting up, but I could see her swallowing (as though something came up and she swallowed it back down).  She screamed for hours, especially in the evening, and the worst of it was at five to six weeks.  Her cries were definitely those of pain when she was swallowing, and she'd often burst into screaming tears all of a sudden.  She improved dramatically after starting Zantac while I cleaned up my diet, eliminating dairy/nuts/eggs/citrus.  She turned out to be sensitive to dairy and grew out of it by seven months.  She only needed the reflux medication for about two months or so before showing real improvement.  Hopefully you find an answer soon!

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#5 of 8 Old 08-28-2011, 06:17 PM
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At about that age, LO did the same thing. For him, it was a growth spurt and he desperately wanted to cluster feed and I had no idea that he could possibly want to eat that much. Nothing indicated it was hunger until I would just sit down with food, a book, and camp out with him on and off the boob for 2 hours straight. Kellymom has a great article that helped me: http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html.


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#6 of 8 Old 09-01-2011, 04:57 PM
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My son did the same thing.  From about 3 weeks until 2 months, just CRYING for hours every night, 7 PM to 11 PM.  He wasn't overtired because he'd wake up and start crying!  Nothing made it not happen but we had to hold him and dance around until he finally went to sleep at night.  When he turned 2 months old, it suddenly disappeared and he started falling asleep easily.

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#7 of 8 Old 09-01-2011, 06:24 PM
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Man, that is exactly like my little guy was with his reflux.  Doc put him on ranitidine and it didn't work...tried prevacid...and in 3 days he was a BRAND new baby!  Happy and cooing!  He's 11 months old now and still needs it. We tried taking him off it and same thing...crying at dinnertime.  Good luck!

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#8 of 8 Old 09-02-2011, 12:25 PM
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One thing that might help you is letting go of the expectation that she will sleep at that time. It may not help with her fussiness but it may help you deal with it better. and if she's in any way reacting to your expectations, it may help her, too.
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