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Thread: Night time fussies (please help)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Night time fussies (please help)

    My son is 7 weeks and every night we try to put him to bed by at least 9PM. The routine goes like this: Nursing (usually until he falls off the breast himself-about 30-40 minutes), bath (along with change of clothes/diaper), slight interaction to calm things down, and nurse again hopefully until he falls asleep once more.

    So here's my problem...
    He's been very gassy the past week trying to get the few ounces of formula I give him whenever I can't take it anymore and need to get away. Every single night for the last month has been a fight to get him to calm down long enough to go to sleep. He will fight it for usually four hours before he finally falls asleep. All he wants to do is nurse though, and this wouldn't be an issue if he didn't throw himself off the breast with every other swallow.

    He'll suck, swallow, suck some more, then freak out and arch his back and realize that there isn't a nipple in his mouth anymore and begin to start crying. This usually goes on for about two to three hours before I can't take it anymore. Of course I love him dearly and want to be able to feed him myself without having to resort to a bottle of formula, but I can't take this emotional strain every single night.

    Is there any other mother out there who's had this same issue or has heard of it and could give a few pointers? I want breastfeeding to be something I enjoy, not dread every night.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    NYC
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    Default Re: Night time fussies (please help)

    Do you think he might have reflux? The arching is a symptom (trying to lengthen esophagus when acid comes up). I noticed this with my son around 5 weeks. He would eat and them start screaming and arching his back.

    Do you notice whether he sounds hoarse or congested when put in his back?

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Night time fussies (please help)

    Night time fussiness is textbook normal for newborns, and it can occur no matter how you feed them. My friend's formula fed daughter screamed every night her whole first year. My formula fed nephew fussed at night most of his first year too.

    My son screamed from midnight to 4 a.m. for two weeks when he was a similar age. All I could do was rock and nurse him, tuck him in a sling and walk circles around the house and nurse him, or stand at the window and bounce and nurse him. Suddenly after about two weeks, he just stopped and started fussing earlier in the evenings, and a warm bath was the only thing that would calm him down. It does get easier, but time is really the only cure for evening fussiness.

    My baby was pretty happy during his 3rd month then from 5 months on. It was maddening at times, but at least it resolved itself quicker than his two formula fed counterparts. Plus comfort nursing is an extra soothing tool that you don't have if you formula feed.

    ETA: Reflux, as PP mentioned, is certainly something to consider and is treatable as well.

    ETA #2: Mine also had terrible gas that bothered him at night and bicycling legs and tummy massage throughout the day helped some. I also had OALD contributing to the gas, and nursing while reclined helped with that too.
    Last edited by @llli*phi; May 28th, 2012 at 10:21 PM.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,119

    Default Re: Night time fussies (please help)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*phi View Post
    Night time fussiness is textbook normal for newborns, and it can occur no matter how you feed them.


    Some things that can help:
    - warm bath
    - white noise (even static between channels on the radio)
    - calm house (turn lights, tv, stereo down or off)
    - motion (swing, sling, stroller ride, rocker, etc.)
    - fresh air
    - nurse (nurse, nurse, nurse, and nurse some more)

    With evening fussies, I am convinced that it's not so much a matter of what baby is eating or how much baby is eating, but rather a developmental stage where the baby's brain is overwhelmed by overstimulation, conflicting needs and desires, tiredness, etc. I think the key to coping is to change the incoming stimuli, and derail the fussy train by giving baby some new sensory input to focus on. Both my daughters were severe evening fussers. They'd start screaming at around 7 pm and go to 9-10 at night. It was a very trying stage but it was also just a stage! It started at around 3-4 weeks, peaked at around 6-9 weeks, and by 3 months they both grew out of it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: Night time fussies (please help)

    Babies are fussy like that, in general. We called it the "evening screamies" with Beatrix. It's been so long now, that I can't remember it with Lilah. If you suspect that it's the formula contributing to it though, why don't you stop doing that? You could pump to get a break and then you would know whether or not that was a concern.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Night time fussies (please help)

    My daughter started that around 4 wks. I thought it was reflux at first. Ped agreed and gave me a script for Zantac, and her reflux symptoms (arching back after feeding, lots of spit up, gassiness, hoarse or congestion sounding infant, etc could be possible symptoms) ceased. But every night at about the same time she would start this behavior, some weeks every night, and others 4-5 nights out of the week. She would act like she would want to nurse, then pull off when the milk let down, and that would make her madder. It was colic ( arching back also a symptom of colic, flailing arms, crying for extended hours) Find what fits your baby. Doc told me to get a pacifier she would accept, cause some are just picky.... It took me buying every type of pacifier in the store, but she actually likes to accept the NUK kind now when she gets like that. She loved the sound of the vacuum and dryer. For most nights what worked for her was swaddling her tight (even though she fights it at first), bouncing on my exercise ball, and pacifier. It was work, and she wouldn't always stay asleep after I put her down, but repeat the process, but she would and then sleep. Colic is so hard, but if this is it, its nothing you are doing wrong. I had to deal with it by myself and my older 2 sons most nights, cause of daddy's work schedule, but if daddy is around he was so much relief to just take the screaming baby off my hands for a while. He did lots of rocking, and she likes his deep voice, so at least one night I would get a break. Find what works. Bouncing, rocking, swings, pacifiers, swaddling, no swaddling, white noise, etc etc. So first maybe talk to your ped and re flux medicine, and colic. I am so grateful her colic only lasted for a month and half, but there were nights before I found the pacifier and the bounce she liked, that all I could do was hold her and sob, because it was so heartbreaking to think I was doing something wrong. He is just a baby thrust into this big loud bright overwhelming world, its nothing you are doing or aren't, but it will come to an end either way! You can also try gripe water for colic.... my daughter didn't seem to benefit that much, but from what I read its about a 50/50 chance that it may. It can found in the baby section in almost in large retailer.

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