Why is my 5 week old baby fussy? Is this really normal?
Read this question from a worried mom, and our answer.
Why is my 5 week old baby fussy?
My daughter is 5 weeks old and she is very fussy! She has 8-10 loose and smelly stools, difficulty sleeping, and cries for long periods of time. She is acting like she wants to eat more in one feeding but it’s hard to get her to latch on to the bottle.
What is wrong with her and what can I do about it?
Easy Baby Life:
Tips when a 5 Week Old Baby is Fussy
Congratulations on your little daughter! You ask what is wrong since your 5 week old baby is fussy, poops often, has difficulties sleeping, cries and and has troubles latching. Honestly, this sounds very much like the average newborn baby! Let’s go through all these behaviors one by one.
5 Week old Baby Fussy and Crying
To begin with, there is nothing wrong with your baby for being fussy!
Babies cry because they need you, it isn’t being fussy, it is her way of letting you know she is uncomfortable, hungry, lonely, has a tummy or headache. Your baby is so young, the best thing you can do is have her with you as much as you possibly can, in fact, if she is unhappy, often skin contact is the most soothing thing (and Dad can tuck a baby inside their shirts too!) You can learn about more ways to soothe a baby here.
When you think about it, your little one has been happily safe and sound inside you, every need is taken care of, and now out in a big wide world full of everything new and having to figure out how to communicate her needs to you it is a real challenge (for you both!).
Studies show that 6 weeks is actually the peak in the amount of time spent crying for newborn babies unless they develop colic; after that, the time spent crying slowly starts to fall as the baby grows and matures.
I actually think 6 weeks is the peak of Mom’s and Dad’s crying too although I haven’t seen any studies on that. It can be a very exhausting time! Things do get easier and better.
Newborn Baby Sleep Habits
When it comes to difficutlies sleeping, this is very common for newborn babies!
All new babies are different, some sleep for long periods of time, others have lots of little naps, very frequent feeds and seem to be awake for long periods of time. In general, the younger the baby, the shorter the sleep cycle, which is why so many newborn babies catnap a lot. You can learn about baby sleep patterns at different ages here.
Since waking up often is so common among young babies, it is very important to catch as much sleep as possible as new parents. Sleep when your baby sleeps and find other ways to maximize your sleep.
And don’t think you are doing something wrong or that there’s something wrong with your baby for sleeping! It is simply very common baby behavior!
Baby Fussy While Eating and Pooping
You also mention that your baby has difficulties latching and is fussy while eating. There can be many reasons for this. One reason, again, is her young age. It takes time to figure out eating – both for baby and mom!
You also mention loose, smelly stools. It is also common, particularly for breastfed babies, to have frequent bowel movements in the beginning. Formulafed babies usually do not have as frequent stools as breastfed babies in the beginning, so the frequency could indicate a problem. The stools being smelly – this is difficult to assess. Formulafed babies do have more smelly stools than breastfed babies.
Since you mention that you are bottle feeding, it is possible that some of her struggling (both the crying and pooping) can be related to her formula.
For many reasons, breastfeeding doesn’t work for all Mom’s, but breast milk is the ideal for a new baby’s digestion. I suspect her little tummy is still pretty immature and she is struggling to digest the formula. That could explain both the stools and her discomfort. She might cope better with more frequent, smaller bottles. You could talk with your Health Nurse or Pediatrician as to trying a different formula, some babies do better on Soy formulas, for example.
You are both getting used to feeding and bottles, although convenient take a bit of getting used to for many new babies. You can experiment with different teats on the bottle, she may prefer one with bigger holes.
You can also try to feed her a bit more frequently – and try to feed her before she is starving.
To be fair, breastfeeding often takes weeks to figure out for mom and baby too!
Enjoy the Ride!
To conclude, it is very common and normal for a 5 week old baby to be fussy! And it is completely normal to worry about it as a new mom too!
At this young age it is all really an experiment to figure out what suits your baby, and what suits your lifestyle – there are no set rules. Babies pick up on Mom’s stress too, so if you are feeling anxious or worrying about going back to work for instance, your little one will be picking up on your stress.
Try to relax and just enjoy her as much as you can, before you know it she’ll be off to school and you will wonder where the time went!
Warm wishes and good luck with your new baby,
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Is your 5 week old baby fussy too? Or do you have any tips for this mom? Share by leaving a comment below!