Updated October 2018
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Your S/O comes home from work early to spend time with their little angel-muffin. No sooner do they cradle the baby in their arms when… waaaaaaah! Followed by: beh-heh, beh-heh, waaaaaah, WAAAAAAAH. They hand the fussy baby back over to you (perhaps over dramatically wiping their hands) and wonder what they did “wrong.”
It’s in their head: I come home from work = baby crying.
Does the baby hate them? Does the baby hate YOU? What exactly is causing Madame Fussypants to have a shit-fit every evening?
You may have noticed that it’s been getting worse lately, usually three-four hours before “bedtime” (a term I use loosely). What’s really going on is that your baby’s immature nervous system is becoming so overstimulated during a day full of sensory input: her circuits are overloaded! The result is a nightly freak-out session that will make you wonder how to get the baby back inside of you.
ALSO, your baby is going through one of the more significant growth spurts right now, so you will need to increase the frequency of nursing/feeding sessions (what? Is she crazy?). Don’t worry, it’s temporary. He’ll be back on a “normal” feeding schedule in a couple of weeks.
In addition to upping the frequency of feedings, cut back on the amount of stimulation you are providing during the day. Hold off on the colorful toys, mobiles, music, bouncing, etc. until this phase passes.
You’d be surprised at how soothing it is for them to ride around in a baby carrier. At this age, the Moby and K’tan are perfect. You don’t have to do anything special; just go about your day. It really works!
The End is in Sight!
I have great news; it’s almost over! This fussy baby phenomenon seems to peak around six weeks, then gets progressively better every day, ending around two months or so. So don’t worry, you’re not doing anything wrong: he’s not teething yet, your milk isn’t “bad”… it’s just one of those sucky phases that you have to plow through.
After you get over this hump? THIS, my friends, signals the end of newborn-hood and the beginning of, well, non-newborn infancy. A REALLY FUN PERIOD that consists of more joy, more sleep, and less agony.