You mothers have been on my heart lately, and I just need to write down my thoughts.

You know who you are. I’m not writing to every mother here. Just the ones with the extra fussy babies. The ones that screamed their first of year life for no reason. The ones who really might not be allergic or have a medical problem.

They’re just fussy.

6 Tips for Surviving the Fussy Baby Stage

You get tired of hearing advice, and you get tired of hearing that it’s going to get better. Because in the moment, you don’t want to think about enduring another minute of screaming, let alone another month or two.

I’m here to tell you…there is hope.

I’m finally feeling like I’m reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. Sophia is 20 months old now, and while she still is a super energetic toddler with a scream that can shatter glassย it’s gotten better. We finally feel like we have some answers.

Sophia is the most talkative out of all of our children at this age. She also seems to be the smartest. Not that our other children were not smart, but Sophia just is extremely alert and aware of everything going on around her. A few people told us that once she would be able to talk, things would get better.

I didn’t believe them (I had gotten to the point of losing hope of the screaming ever stopping!), but it’s really true. Now that she has been able to communicate with us, life has gotten easier.

She sleeps all night long. She takes a nap every day, she plays with her little people toys and wooden blocks. She loves to get into absolutely everything, and climbs on whatever she possibly can.

My fussy baby that turned happy!

While she still prefers me over everyone, she will happily go to Sean most of the times, and sometimes lets her brothers and sisters hold her.

While this sounds horrible to say, we actually enjoy her now.

Don’t get me wrong, we always loved her. We held her constantly, kissed on her like crazy, and prayed for her. But it’s really hard to enjoy having a screaming baby in the house. Now we all laugh at her adorable toddler ways, and find so much pleasure in watching her blossom into a little girl.

Tips for Surviving

Take Time For Yourself

When you have a baby that screams all the time, you must take some time to be by yourself. Run to the library to pick up your books on hold, go to the grocery story, take a bath, or go for a walk while your husband watches the baby. I know it’s hard to get away if you are breastfeeding, but try to go right after a feeding. There have been many times that my husband has stayed in the van while I’ve run in the store, just for 15 minutes to feel like an adult.

It’s All About The Baby

When you have a fussy baby, it really is all about the baby. You can’t ignore the screaming, or zone it out. There are times to just lay the baby down when you can’t handle it one more second, but it takes many hours of rocking the baby, walking and bouncing, singing, and feeding the baby. When you have other children, it’s important that they have one parent still there, doing family devotions and spending time with them. Our five older children survived this time, and have even said they want another sibling someday, but honestly nobody is ready for that still. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fill Up Your Own Cup – Receive Encouragement from Others

It’s so important to receive encouragement during this time. You can’t keep giving to your fussy baby and your family without receiving something yourself. There were (and honestly still are) many Sundays where I felt like I received very little out of the sermons, because of tending to Sophia. Several times she was screaming so much, I asked my sister to take me home during the service. We live really close to church, so that is an easy option for me. However, my husband is currently the pastor of our church! I’ve felt very disconnected at times, but I constantly remind myself it’s an extended season, not forever.

The times I’ve had to come home from church, I lay Sophia down to sleep and turn on a sermon or a podcast for moms. By the time my family comes home I’m uplifted and ready to face the rest of the day! Read any book by Sally Clarkson if you need a boost of mothering encouragement.

Use Paper Plates!

This isn’t the time to be supermom. Think of this time as an extended 4th trimester. You need to still take it easy, grab a nap, and use those paper plates! I’ve just started weaning myself off of paper plates, but still keep them on hand for those crazy times.

Be Prepared for Skeptics

Sophia seems to always be better out in public. There have been times I’ve even doubted myself, and wondered if it’s really as bad as I think it is because others just don’t see it. My husband is quick to tell me it *is* bad, and that our other babies never did cry like this. Just be prepared that others might not understand, because they just won’t see it.

Don’t Forget About Your Marriage

You are still a wife. Having a fussy baby is incredibly hard on a marriage. Sophia had to sleep right next to me for months, snuggled up where she could touch me. If Sean rolled over in bed it would wake her up, so he ended up sleeping on the couch for months. That sounds fun, right? It was so hard, but we did survive! Try to grab any peaceful moment in the evening to snuggle with your husband, even do it during family time in the evening with the children! I found if I could even just get some snuggle time in, it helped me feel more like a wife and I could keep going.

The days are so hard. The months can roll into a year, and before you know it, your baby is becoming a toddler. I hope that your days do get easier. I don’t think they become more peaceful, because that baby turns into a very busy toddler! But the day you finally wake up and realize your baby isn’t screaming as much is a blessed day. You stop and take a deep breath and realize you are going to make it. Life will never return to what it was before the baby, but you are going to find a new normal!

***Don’t miss out on a new special that just started at Deborah & Co. I did almost all of my Christmas shopping online this year, because it’s just so much work going out shopping with six children! We have a fun sale going on, shop now and receive a gift certificate for later! We are still shipping out for Christmas Delivery!**

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13 Comments on 6 Tips For Surviving the Fussy Baby Stage

  1. Thank you so much for this honest post! My 2nd baby screamed her first 4 months and it was definitely hard as a mother. I felt so bad for my marriage, my oldest child (3yrs old at the time), and my baby – there wasn’t much we could do except wait and try to soothe her as best as we could. Very few things kept her from screaming. Swaddling her and holding her while I sat and bounced her on my exercise ball was the main thing so I spent countless hours on that ball with her that extra long winter. I can SO relate to “we actually now enjoy her”…I felt so guilty for not enjoying her, especially when others would ask me about her or say what a good baby she was (she too did a little better out in public).
    She’s now almost 14 months old, and while she’s definitely still more intense that my first baby and is a joy to us.
    But the start with her stretched me as a mother, wife and person for sure. Hugs to you and you’re doing amazing!

    • Enjoying your baby is so important.
      I was told by my Grandma that if I was not enjoying my baby I was not trying enough. Even a fussy baby is lovable.
      Her harsh words showed me how much I let my Marriage come in the way of looking at my daughter and just enjoy her as she was. Wanting to “preserve” the marriage became my new obsession. I kept pushing the children away. Only after Grams harsh words did I start becoming not only a good wife but also a MOTHER.

  2. My first child was like this-screamed the first 6 months every night from 5pm to midnight. I seriously wondered how anyone could handle having anymore kids! He is now a wonderful 10 year old. It seems never ending but time really does go by fast! Blessings to you and your family, Katie

  3. Thank you so much for this post. Baby number 4 sounds very similar to your Sophia. The older she gets and the more she discovers she can do, the happier she is. It’s sad in one way because she’s not going to be a “baby” for long,but we all are ready for a break from the loud crying.

    • I’m so sorry! I understand about how you feel. This is the first baby that I’ve been excited to see her get older, but then I realize the baby days will be over. :/

  4. This makes me cry just thinking about it; our daughter was like this; we nursed for hours & hours every nighr, probably 45 minutes out of every 2 hours during the day, had to “sleep” with the light on & music blasting, I wore her in the carrier for the first 6 months at least. NO ONE in my husband’s family understood at all just thought I was selfish & standoffish with the baby & they made it so.much.harder on our marriage. Having multiple chronic illnesses that make it hard to function & not able to drive made it worse too. She’s 18 months now & way better. Praying like crazy our next one due in a couple months is nothing like her.

    • ((hugs))) If it’s any help, we have only had 2 children that were super fussy as babies. So far it has been our oldest and youngest, but our youngest was by far more extreme than our first child. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hang in there! I know it’s so hard when people don’t believe you. I understand being nervous about another baby coming, I’m nervous at the thought of another baby down the road. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thank you for being real. I am sorry you’ve had a tough time with her, but I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. I had two babies right in a row and it was very hard. They both seemed very fussy, though nothing was “wrong” with them, but it’s hard to compare when you haven’t had any “easy” or “good” babies. And to make it worse, other moms seem to have all the answers that somehow didn’t work for me.
    When friends have babies, people always ask me if I miss the baby stage. I usually reply “no”. I used to feel guilty saying that, especially because it seems I’m in the minority, but it’s the truth. Part of me wishes we’d have kept on having kids, but part of me knows I couldn’t have handled it. Sleep deprivation is real. No one seems to understand that, either. I wish I could have more kids…minus the first year! lol
    Who knows, maybe the Lord will grant my desire…we’d just have a huge age gap! Not every family has to have a bunch of stair-step children, right? : )

  6. I haven’t read a blog in months, and I think God really knew I needed to read this. My son is 22 months and still does not sleep through the night ever. He has been so demanding and difficult from the moment we brought him home. I have continually struggled with guilt at how little I have enjoyed his babyhood.

    Thanks for writing this, it’s so comforting and uplifting to know that I’m not alone!

  7. This is such a wonderful post for us moms of fussy babies. My two oldest (3.5 years apart for a reason!) were incredibly fussy. Our oldest highly sensitive in the most extreme sense–noise, light, anything could overwhelm him. The hardest part was feeling alone, and feeling like no one understood. And feeling like a failure as a mother. Now that he’s the most wonderful 8 year old in the world, it’s easy to have perspective, but posts like this are such a blessing to all, but especially new and young mothers who might not have the advantage of perspective. And I love how you point out that it is okay to adjust your life to meet the needs of a little one like this! It’s not their fault! They are just wired differently. Oh my, I can’t wait to hear what a creative, charismatic, intelligent, interesting little person Sophia will turn into!

  8. Just getting around to reading this post in my feed, but it came at the perfect time! We recently had our first child, a son, on December 1 after trying for years. About 2 weeks in he started acting very colicky and still is. He wants to nurse all the time and the only time he isn’t crying or screaming is when he’s nursing or soundly asleep (which is difficult as he has trouble falling asleep). It’s been discouraging and exhausting for my husband and I. I dread having to leave the house and am constantly worried that he’ll wake up when we go somewhere. I know this won’t last forever, and I’m thankful for this encouragement in your post. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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