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Tips to shorten the witching hours...


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#1 Mose

Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:14 AM

Any tips on how to shorten the length of the evening wailing?

DD is 4 weeks. Last night wailed  8 - 1130, night before 7 - 1130.

I know we have to have the witching hour, I'd just like it to be a little shorter, and ideally finish immediately after her 1030 feed, not later!!

She is breastfed, with a formula top up (sometimes taken, sometimes rejected) after 1030 feed.  Offering additional breastfeeds doesn't seem to help - she sucks ineffectively and then gets upset again as soon as she pulls off.

DH is super stressed and wants to "fix it". I know it is normal and just something to live through, but it would be easier if it was shorter!!

DS due back from his grandmother's house tomorrow and is not going to be impressed by this development, and getting him to lie down and go to sleep while she is crying is tricky, as he wants to help (he is 6).

We typically rock her or walk her up and down for 10 minutes and pop her in bassinet. She starts to cry between 10 seconds and 20 minutes later. Rinse and repeat. All night. I was having a Nana nap before 1030 feed, which was really helping me, but I can't do that now as DH isn't managing, and I can't sleep through the wailing anyway.

Any suggestions?

#2 alfoil hat

Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:24 AM

To my inexperienced mind, that doesn't sound normal. It must be very stressful and you have my sympathy. Does she maybe have reflux?

#3 JustBeige

Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:27 AM

Sling?

Put her in a sling until she is fully settled or between the 7- 10:30 feed.

I just used to sit in the rocking chair watching telly, rocking and patting.   Sometimes it worked sometimes not.

Also. earplugs.  You can still hear them, it just muffles the screams so its not so much "nails on a chalkboard" feeling.  Maybe your DH will cope a bit better if he tries this.

#4 LuckyMummy ♥♥

Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:58 AM

Sounds like purple crying. See this website for tips
http://purplecrying.info

I found heading it off before it begins helps, so put baby in a sling or baby carrier at 6, or after the last nap and feed, or even do the last nap with baby in a sling.  Make sure lots of day sleeps are happening and are somewhat scheduled.

It's physically exhausting and mentally but it does pass. Get your DH to read that website so he knows it's not forever.

Edited by MerryMummy ´¯`·.·★, 07 January 2017 - 10:00 AM.


#5 LuckyMummy ♥♥

Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:59 AM

 JustBeige, on 07 January 2017 - 09:27 AM, said:

Sling?

Put her in a sling until she is fully settled or between the 7- 10:30 feed.

I just used to sit in the rocking chair watching telly, rocking and patting.   Sometimes it worked sometimes not.

Also. earplugs.  You can still hear them, it just muffles the screams so its not so much "nails on a chalkboard" feeling.  Maybe your DH will cope a bit better if he tries this.

Definitely try earplugs to take the edge off!

And tag team with hubby, taking turns to go outside or drive around the block every half hour or so.

#6 walkingFish

Posted 07 January 2017 - 01:04 PM

Ear plugs.
Rocker in front of tv (or just in the dark) - just let her sleep on your lap.
Walk outside in the evening.
Chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Oh how I hated those long nights.

#7 FretfulMum

Posted 07 January 2017 - 02:44 PM

Oh god I remember this. A good set up in the lounge room- pillows, water (for you, not the baby), bassinet nearby (in case there was the miricale of putting them down there), dim lights & some mindless rubbish on telly. Also, pre-made dinner (either something cooked earlier in the day or reheated from frozen). I wish I had used my baby carrier during these days which I think might have helped.

It lasted from 6-10wks for DS1. I have DS2 due in April and am dreading going through it again. I'll probs be the one asking for tips come April!!!

#8 AsperHacker

Posted 07 January 2017 - 02:53 PM

At this age I fed between about 7 and 11.30. It was ineffective sucking but it stopped them crying! They'd fall completely asleep every half hour so and I'd put them in the rocker, go to the toilet, eat something, take 5 minutes break, then feed again when they woke 15 minutes later.

I knew it would only be for a few weeks which helped. I was told by MCHNS that I needed to stop them using me as a dummy but considering they didn't have dummies letting them suck as they would on a dummy worked for us.

Good luck and hope whatever you do gets you some peace!

#9 cordyline

Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:06 PM

Oh I remember this stage. Our problem was reflux which was improved with medication.

However we used a mechanical swing seat. A lot. She would on-and-off nap in there between 7-11pm. With some rocking and patting/feeding in between. But it just helped to give our back/shoulders/arms a break. It also helped as it was an inclined position (reflux).

We then managed to transfer her to the bassinet around the midnight feed.

#10 Velvetta

Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:18 PM

Co-sleep? breastfeed till both of you fall asleep together.
I did it with all 4 children, it was the only way I got any sleep.

#11 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:18 PM

Remember this stage well, also remember my poor DH thinking this was going to be ongoing for ever. He used to get home just as DD and DS were ramping up to full blown crying. I would have his dinner ready (pre-prepared or something ready for him to bung on the BBQ - added advantage he would be outside and away from ground zero for a while). Mine were summer babies so too hot for a sling but I would mostly put them in the bouncer and rock with my foot or in the bassinet, and take turns jiggling it with our feet while we ate. It doesn't last long, but it seems like it does at the time.

#12 mandala

Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:56 PM

Ugh, how I hated that stage!

The things that fix it are time, eliminating pain and reducing overtiredness.

For us, that meant trying to get day sleeps under control, which was a huge challenge, but DS1 was just so overtired he would scream for 5-6 hours every evening, as DH stood and jiggled him. Eventually I realised he could handle only about 45 mins awake, and even if he only slept for 20 minutes, still needed to go back to bed pretty much as soon as he'd finished a feed.

Based on descriptions of DS1's behaviour, I've often wondered if he did have reflux. In the end, no health provider recommended treating it, and figuring out how overtired he was at about 12 weeks made a big difference in how miserable he was. Regardless, a baby in pain isn't going to be happy, and it's worth eliminating that as a cause if you can.

The other thing is to treat it as an emergency. You can't fix it, you can't make them stop, so what you can do is whatever you need to to get through. Sometimes I listened to fun music via headphones, loud enough to drown out the screaming as I cuddled DS1, sometimes it was ear plugs, sometimes it was just making sure I'd had a cup of tea and a biscuit at 4:30 before the worst of it started. But everything else was a lower priority than just getting through those awful hours of crying. Looking after yourself and your ability to cope is probably just as important as making it stop. DH's favourite method was to play a game on his phone, I also would use noise cancelling headphones and watch TV.

#13 Mmmcheese

Posted 07 January 2017 - 04:25 PM

I also clusterfed. I learnt how to feed lying down and I was a human dummy for a few week. I also kept repeating to myself... this too shall pass. Sometimes a warm shower in the dark for both of helped to reset her sleep abit. Good luck, it's a tough time.

#14 Furfeathersfleece

Posted 07 January 2017 - 04:38 PM

I just let mine suck continuously all evening (6-11 or thereabouts, can't remember exactly). Comfort sucking was the only thing that stopped the crying.  Mine were reflux babies though.

#15 Mumtotwo13

Posted 07 January 2017 - 04:49 PM

DS was a cluster feeder. Once I figured out he wanted to feed constantly from about 5-7pm it improved, he would sleep earlier.

#16 c.sanders

Posted 07 January 2017 - 10:41 PM

These are just some of the obvious stuff.
With ds1 it turned out he was overtired hence the nonstop crying. As another poster said, trying to start even before baby gets upset really helped. DH old just blame me and no way could he breastfeed in that condition. At 4 weeks baby would still spend a good 20 to 22 hours asleep. So if your baby is awake that log possibly overtired or over stimulated.

my friend just had a baby and she was telling me that her situation really changed once she started burping baby more effectively. I sent her this link to show her how to burp baby on your lap. I find this much more effective at the early stages than on the shoulder.
https://youtu.be/wbwXByk1WEs

But every baby is different. I really hope it gets easier for you soon.

#17 Safety Queen

Posted 07 January 2017 - 11:15 PM

 c.sanders, on 07 January 2017 - 10:41 PM, said:

These are just some of the obvious stuff.
With ds1 it turned out he was overtired hence the nonstop crying. As another poster said, trying to start even before baby gets upset really helped. DH old just blame me and no way could he breastfeed in that condition. At 4 weeks baby would still spend a good 20 to 22 hours asleep. So if your baby is awake that log possibly overtired or over stimulated.

my friend just had a baby and she was telling me that her situation really changed once she started burping baby more effectively. I sent her this link to show her how to burp baby on your lap. I find this much more effective at the early stages than on the shoulder.
https://youtu.be/wbwXByk1WEs

But every baby is different. I really hope it gets easier for you soon.


thank you for the link I have a gassy 3 week old and I was trying to figure out how to get the extra gas out  



#18 AlmondButter

Posted 08 January 2017 - 02:39 AM

You poor thing :( The inconsolable crying stage is so hard.

My tips would be visit to the GP with DH, if possible. Just to rule anything out - it could be reflux or cows milk protein intolerance, for example. It could be good to have DH there to hear the dr say it's normal, otherwise, and to feel like you are trying everything. I find that helps with my DH :)

Apart from that be really invested in avoiding overtiredness from earlier in the day. Look up average wakeful periods for different ages online if fired signs are ambiguous.
Would also recommend an ergo baby or baby bjorn, etc. as per PP and just feed as much as they want! In some ways I think this period is nature's way of building milk supply.

ETA - I found overstimulation seemed to be a factor with our babies. So a dark, quiet room was better too.

All the best. It's not forever but totally sucks in the now.

Edited by AlmondButter, 08 January 2017 - 02:42 AM.


#19 Coeur de Lion

Posted 08 January 2017 - 05:12 AM

 pink cat, on 07 January 2017 - 09:24 AM, said:

To my inexperienced mind, that doesn't sound normal. It must be very stressful and you have my sympathy. Does she maybe have reflux?

Unhelpful. Completely normal.

I took the approach that baby was going to cry whatever I did - walking, jiggling etc were more for my benefit than theirs. So, I sat on the couch cuddling and doing the bottom tap either wearing earplugs or headphones and watching TV. Did not shorten or lengthen the crying one iota, but it was infinitely less stressful when I stopped trying to fix it.

It passes! One baby book I have says enjoy this time because in a few weeks they'll be tucked up in bed in the evenings and you won't be cuddling them anymore. And 12 week old DD2 is a testament to that!

#20 dearydo

Posted 08 January 2017 - 05:14 AM

Had 3 reflux bubs, 2 which screamed for hours. As others have suggested, clusterfeed in a comfortable spot and, as tempting aa it is, don't actually put her down, the constant waking after a little time just meant it got worse and worse. And while they appear asleep they are often just dosing.

I had to do dinner, bath, bed with the older ones and baby from the start so it was baby in arms or wrap while cooking and dishing up dinner, feed or walk/bounce while dinner, same while supervise in bathroom, feed while read book or if not feeding walk around bedroom reading while patting baby. Mine still needed me till asleep so was lots of singing and walking while screaming. Definitely wasn't often smooth sailing for any one but amazing what the older ones dealt with and slept thru when had no choice.

It sucks but eventually passes.

#21 Lunafreya

Posted 08 January 2017 - 05:55 AM

Babies seem to feed off your stress. One thing DH used to do then was just hold DS and watch tv. Just bounce DS on his knee. DS loved it and would want more bounces when DH stopped.

#22 lucky 2

Posted 08 January 2017 - 09:12 AM

I'm wondering if your, dh's high stress levels are increasing yours.
Does he needs extra support, does he suffer from a mood disorder?
I ask as from personal experience, this time with a newborn is extra challenging when one or both parents have a mood disorder, it brings it to the fore.
I suppose you've talked to your chn about the stresses both of you are experiencing.
There might be some support groups local to you, councils often run them.

#23 Mose

Posted 08 January 2017 - 11:09 AM

 lucky 2, on 08 January 2017 - 09:12 AM, said:

I'm wondering if your, dh's high stress levels are increasing yours.
Does he needs extra support, does he suffer from a mood disorder?
I ask as from personal experience, this time with a newborn is extra challenging when one or both parents have a mood disorder, it brings it to the fore.
I suppose you've talked to your chn about the stresses both of you are experiencing.
There might be some support groups local to you, councils often run them.

I am not aware of DH having a mood disorder. He just likes things to be good, and to be able to fix them if they are not.

Having had 3 nights of it, he is now down with the fact that it's just how it is, nothing is "wrong" and we just have to agree on coping strategies.  Not saying we both aren't still finding it a little stressful, and we certainly wish it would stop, but we are ok.

#24 Mose

Posted 08 January 2017 - 11:12 AM

On the topic of overtired ness, there is definitely an element of this. Does anyone have good tips for getting a newborn off to sleep in the day?

After night feeds I just walk up and down with her for 10 minutes and job done. Daytime she is trickier. Not too keen on any intensive "must settle in bassinet" programs as yet, as she is so tiny. But she keeps waking up 10-20 minutes after settling...Except for when she doesn't and easily sleeps for hours...

#25 Coeur de Lion

Posted 08 January 2017 - 11:14 AM

 Mose, on 08 January 2017 - 11:09 AM, said:



I am not aware of DH having a mood disorder. He just likes things to be good, and to be able to fix them if they are not.

Having had 3 nights of it, he is now down with the fact that it's just how it is, nothing is "wrong" and we just have to agree on coping strategies.  Not saying we both aren't still finding it a little stressful, and we certainly wish it would stop, but we are ok.

Would taking it in turns help? My DH used to do some witching hours (and hours) which meant I could go and nap. Then when I was doing he'd go and do his thing.

Second the PP that said low light - even the light from the TV can be a bit overstimulating. I just read on my Kindle some nights.

The other thing we figured out - it was always a much worse few hours if baby had a bath. Baths just seemed to bring on the screaming (not at the time but afterwards).




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