Why is My Baby So Fussy All the Time?
Something I hear from postpartum families frequently is, “Why is my baby so fussy all of a sudden? She was doing so great for a while and now these past couple days she has been a totally different baby! I can’t figure it out!”
If only there were a simple answer! I usually ask other questions regarding feeding and sleeping, if any changes have taken place in the environment recently, if they have been to the doctor recently to get shots, if there are any teething symptoms depending on age. These usually yield possibilities as to the source of the changed behavior, and if nothing else useful information for coping techniques and comfort in knowing that it will pass. See, we all know something babies do is cry- and sometimes for reasons we can’t decipher. But it can really wreck a new parent’s nerves, and at worse make them feel like they are failing at parenting.
Before I go on, I want to preface that sometimes babies are indeed in pain or experiencing something out of the range of normal. When in doubt, I always will encourage you to seek medical opinion from your trusted care provider. But if we are not dealing with a medical situation, my goals are to help you find appropriate plans of action, provide you resources and referrals to other professionals who may be able to help you when needed, be your extra set of hands, and affirm all the ways you are rocking this parenting gig.
Your plan is going to depend on your unique circumstances. It may be that your baby could actually use more sleep, as often good sleep during the day begets better sleep at night (and a more cheerful disposition). It could be an issue with feeding, which can be assessed by one of our Certified Lactation Counselors and your pediatrician. It could be a simple case of overstimulation at a certain point in the day and a need for a tweak in routine around that time. It also could be that your baby has reached or is moving toward the peak of the crying curve.
Most babies will gradually cry more and reach a crescendo of fussiness between five to seven weeks of age. Often after seven weeks, this trying phase begins to fade and make way for another. But before it does, this can be one of your biggest challenges in early parenthood, and even in your relationship with your partner. Anyone who has ever experienced daily periods of crying and resistance to soothing from their baby knows just how frazzling this is, and how it can affect just about every other aspect of life for a while.
It’s important to know as a parent that sometimes and especially during this phase, crying is normal and is not an indicator of your performance as a mom or dad. Your postpartum doula and the helpers in your circle of friends and family are very important during this time. We’re here to keep you nourished, rested, and encouraged. Hold tight, because it’s about to get better. This is a time that your self care is of utmost importance. We’re here to help make that happen. Schedule some relief today.
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