It’s crazy late, been a long day, you are exhausted, and the baby starts to cry. Sound familiar? The new born stage is both a magical time, and a steep learning curve. This may be an internet search out of desperation and, Im sorry… I’ve been there and know it’s hard. Here are some reasons why your baby might be fussy, and how to soothe a baby at night.
Why Is My Baby Fussy At Night?
There are plenty of reasons why babies could be fussier at night. If your baby seems especially fussy during the evening hours, here are a few reasons they could be uncomfortable.
1. Growth spurt hunger
As your baby goes through phases of intense growth (commonly referred to as “growth spurts”), they may be competitive about eating and want to cluster feed. They may just be hungry.
Over-tiredness can come into affect if your baby didn’t get great naps or is going to bed late. Please don’t think that if you exhaust your baby during the day, they will sleep better at night. These little people need lots of sleep. The more they sleep the more they sleep. Seems crazy but it’s true.
3. Change in milk volume
During the day, you produce more milk, but overnight, your body lets down the amount of milk you’ve produced. This change in milk volume makes for a cranky babe.
4. Gas or burps
If your baby is feeling gassiness, and they can’t seem to pass it, they may feel very uncomfortable! Give their belly a rub to see if you can help pass anything or pat them on the back to see if an air bubble is in there.
5. Temperature may be an issue
If your baby is to hot or too cold, that is what could be making them uncomfortable.
7 Ways To Soothe A Baby At Night
Here are a few suggestions that you can take from in order to signal your baby to fall asleep for the night.
1. Setting expectations
New borns are nocturnal creatures (you might have noticed more movements in your belly at night) now that they are out of the womb, they don’t know the difference between night and day. Give them some time, and realize that their stomachs are small and will need to wake for night feedings for proper growth.
2. Routines are great!
From 3-4 months of age, babies will start to have longer sleep. This is a great opportunity to start some good routines and emphasize the difference between night and day. Things like, dimming the lights, using a sound machine, soothing, feeding and having some sort of bedtime ritual will help their body recognize the long sleep ahead of them.
3. Imitate the womb!
Think about how a baby felt in the womb. Dark, tight, and constant noises from movement, voices, and heartbeats. This went on for 9 months! A good swaddle, sound machine, and dark room will help these little ones feel relaxed.
This is the sound machine we use and it’s great!
4. Drowsy but awake
A study published in the journal Developmental Psychology found that babies who are put down to sleep while still slightly awake tend to fall asleep faster and spend longer sleeping soundly. The researchers believe that this helps babies develop a stronger association between falling asleep and being in bed.
How would you feel if you feel asleep in one place and woke up in another? Yikes!
5. Dress them properly
Babies are like little furnaces. Their bodies produce some major heat and like to be a little cool during sleep. This means the thermostat should be between 68-72 degrees, and they should be dressed about the same as you would. Meaning, in the summertime, a basic swaddle and onesie work great, and in the winter, make sure they have one more layer on that you do while sleeping. In the end, they will let you know if they are uncomfortable.
6. On their backs, empty crib, safety first
As much as we love the idea of cute baby blankets and stuffed animals for our little one to cuddle with, it isn’t the safest idea for the first year. To reduce the risk of SUDIs, have your baby sleep on their back in an empty crib. Other suggestions for safety are to have an overhead fan on, use a pacifier, and have the baby sleep in your room next to your bed for at least the first 6 months of life.
7. Just wait
Did you know there is something called active sleeping? This is where a baby may cry and even open up their eyes but still be asleep. Give them sometime to either calm themselves down or really wake up. Some parents rush into the room at the smallest peep only to wake up a sleeping baby.
Keeping It In Perspective
Sleep is so precious for new parents. Did you know the average American parent spends about $7,500 per child on sleep training products and advice? This is how desperate it can feel when you are sleep deprived. Please take a breath and know it gets better. There is a learning curve with every child and eventually you hit your rhythm. We are here to remind you that yes, this is hard and yes, you can do this. The amount and quality of sleep your baby gets doesn’t indicate what kind of parent you are. You know your child better than anyone in the world. You are also the #1 best resource to help them.
You Got This!
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