Is your baby quiet one moment and then suddenly super cranky and fussy the next? You don’t know what’s changed. The moment between complete peace and utter chaos is so sudden, you think someone must have flipped a switch with your baby.
Why is my baby so fussy all of a sudden? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And today I’m going to tell you the difference between a ‘normal’ (yes, there’s such thing) and alarming fussiness.
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Within the first few months, your baby is bound to get a regular sort of fussiness. So much so that you can even set a schedule around the said fussy period. This is called the ‘witching hour’.
This usually happens in the late afternoon or evening, just before your baby’s longest period of sleep in a day. This starts when your baby is about 2 to 3 weeks, and peaks (yes, peaks) at 6 weeks. Don’t worry though, it’s usually gone by the 3rd or 4th month.
Don’t freak out, but this sort of fussiness can last for around 2 to 4 hours per day. However, this can vary from baby to baby, so keep your fingers crossed that yours will be significantly lower.
Also Read: Why is my baby arching his back?
So there you have it. The normal type of fussiness: predictable in nature, duration, and even frequency. Typically, you can alleviate this fussiness the same way most of the time.
If your baby’s fussiness is out of this norm, and is not caused by any of the typical reasons of fussiness (to be discussed in the next section), then you have the right to be worried.
Normal Causes for Fussiness
Colic or gastrointestinal discomfort
This can be usually resolved by anti-gas drops, gripe water, or burping and farting exercises.
This usually occurs at the end of a long period of being awake. Your baby will really get cranky when he or she is overtired. This sort of fussiness can usually be resolved by calming your baby down enough to get him or her to sleep.
Over or under stimulation
This can be resolved by getting to know your baby’s quirks better and figuring out what type of baby they are. Babies who cry when overstimulated may need to be calmed down and brought to a quiet place to get as little stimulation for them to feel better.
On the other hand, there are babies who thrive in overstimulating environments and feel better when right in the middle of the action.
Babies love cuddling. Some fussiness may be brought about by the need to feel their parents’ love. If this is the case for your little one then you can alleviate the fussiness by cuddling them and soothing them with physical comfort.
This is by far one of the most common reasons for fussiness. Maybe baby just needs to have his or her diaper changed. After a quick nappy change, all will be well.
Other not so visible sources of discomfort
Hair tourniquets or sensitivity to scratchy clothing can be the reason why your baby is cranky and fussy. Check for these sorts of possible sources of discomfort when your baby is not calmed down even when you’ve tried relieving all the possible causes.
Sudden Onset Fussiness
If you’ve tried everything and your baby’s fussiness does not seem to meet any of the aforementioned criteria, then it may be time for a visit to the doctor.
If it’s way beyond the norm and your baby’s inconsolable, then it may be caused by an infection or an intra-abdominal disease. If your baby has a fever, or difficulty breathing, or the presence of blood in his or her stool or spit up to boot, then it’s really time to get the doctor involved.