Question: My baby girl just can not go to sleep between 8-11pm, she cries when we put her down in her cot or she moves non stop between those 3 hours, but once she finally goes to sleep she only wakes up at about 7am.
Heidi's Answer: Hi Nuno,
This restlessness at the end of the day is very typical at this age. Many babies start having it at about 3 weeks of age, and it peaks around 8 weeks. Sometimes it is a digestive problem ("baby colic") or allergy related but mostly there is no real reason. It’s as if baby needs to get rid of the day’s impressions. It is a blessing that she sleeps so well after that though, so do try to enjoy that for now and I hope you also get to sleep that whole stretch!
The best thing to do is to make her as comfortable as possible in those times, in a quiet and reassuring environment. She may not be able to sleep at this time, but keeping it as relaxing as possible for both of you will help:
- Avoid TV, loud music or any exciting sounds or activities. Even a boring baby-cartoon may trigger her too much. - Avoid evening-dinner-stress by planning simple meals and try not to cram too much chores into the late evening. - Give your baby a bath during that time if she enjoys bathing but avoid it if she hates the bath itself, or the getting undressed and dressed again. - Good ideas are playing soft music, cuddling up with her in the sofa, singing lullabies, carrying her around in a sling, … All of this not so much to get her to sleep, but to keep it comfortable for both of you. No worries about spoiling her by the way, you have many months left before you can spoil her).
Aside this, when she cries, check for excessive crying or overstretching as discussed in the newborn crying article.