My 4-month-old daughter always starts crying for some reason after 5pm and the only thing that makes her stop is a walk in her stroller. Sometimes she will fall asleep part way through our walk. She sleeps 11 hours every night without waking and takes a few naps during the day.
The problem is we live in Colorado and the season is about to change. I can’t figure out how to make her stop crying for the 2 hours before she goes to bed. Once it starts snowing here I am afraid she is just going to cry non-stop for that 2 hour period in the evening and its so hard to hear. What can I do?
Baby Help Line:
Tips For The Evening Cranky Times
This is SOOO common! The evening cranky times! Firstly remind yourself everything is a stage and they do grow out of it!
There is nothing like a crying baby to raise our stress levels. You are very lucky she is sleeping so long at night, it is so much easier when you have had a good night’s sleep!
The main reason babies get cranky at this time of night is you! It is usually at this time that we are getting tired, that our attention is shifting to getting a meal ready, maybe looking after other children, doing a quick tidy up before Daddy gets home, bringing the washing in… So baby picks up on all this and can’t cope. The younger the baby, the more tuned in and sensitive they are to everything that is going on in you, so when your attention shifts they become fearful, and the more frustrated you get with them crying, the more anxious and upset they get. A vicious circle!
I would highly recommend you try a baby sling. Many babies settle much quicker in a sling, they can hear your heart beat, smell you, you can be talking and moving about doing things around the house. Don’t just use it at night though, or she may well associate it with the busy time, try during the day when you are both more relaxed so it is a happy comfortable place to be.
Also try organizing your day so there is not such a busy time in the evening. Prepare dinner in the morning, leave the tidy up until she is in bed, try to focus on keeping yourself really chilled out at that time. Maybe you have some soothing music you love, it will help you to relax and her too. Take a bath together, change the routine so it is a fun peaceful time, rather than an endurance. Water is often very soothing, so a long play in a warm bath might do the trick. You can find more play tips as well as developmental milestones for your baby here.
The evening walk is a great way to settle a baby (and get some exercise!) but as you say it will become harder as it gets colder. Unless the weather is really bad, you can still rug up well and head off for a walk, and maybe by the time you can’t she will have grown out of the evening crying! You can also do “stroller walks” at home by simply taking the stroller inside your house and push it back and forth preferably in a calm enviroment to help her relax.
Wishing you JOY,
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