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Thread: Arsenic Hour - Fact or Fiction? Give me your horror stories!

  1. #1
    jojozep Guest

    Default Arsenic Hour - Fact or Fiction? Give me your horror stories!

    I keep hearing and reading that all babies have a time through the day that they are cranky (some label it the "arsenic hour") Just wondering what your experiences are, and what you have done to overcome it?? The last week DD at has become inconsolable at around 5pm every day, it lasts for about 2 hours - she wont feed, wont sleep, wont play - she just screams. The only thing that seems to help is a bath, as soon as she gets in shes happy, but once shes out she starts up again. Eventually she will feed and then go to sleep. Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing and if so what have you found has helped??


  2. #2
    cazoraz Guest

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    Yup I think its true!

    Coleman was really cranky, unsettled and inconsolable from about 4pm-10pm from birth til he was 6wks old. Nothing we tried worked, then when he got to 6wks he started having a bad night every other night, then every third, then not at all. Who knows why but the only thing I could do was breastfeed him constantly at that time. We tried rocking, walking, dancing, singing, white noise, ANYTHING, but nothing really worked well except the boob and mummy's cuddles. Pain in the bum but he outgrew it soon enough.

    Hope your bubba outgrows it soon too!
    xxxCaz

  3. #3

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    Yep I'd say its pretty true for both my two too! I say be prepared, know that you won't get much done in that time, try and get dinner pre-prepared if its around dinner time or plan to have help. I found arsenic hour as a baby easier than arsenic hour with a crawler or toddler... so different things would happen through different stages. And now at 4 Paris still goes crazy between 5-7 bouncing off the walls and I have to remind myself of this if I start to loose my temper! I tell you arsenic hour is definitley harder with two LOL why couldn't they both choose a different hour ROFL!

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  4. #4

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    I found that Maggie liked to cluster feed in the evening. I used to think it was a problem, then I found out it was normal, and part of the reason why she could sleep longer stretches at night (back then, not now though). It was a PITA to be tied to the couch at nights, but it really lasts a short time. Go with the flow, it makes it easier to deal with, remember your stress can make bubs worse.

    As for other suggestions to help, have you tried a massage after the bath with calming music? What about using a sling (eg HAB) What about a shower instead of a bath, it is relaxing for both of you and the room gets nice and warm, so it is not so jolting on bubs to be taken out of the water.

  5. #5

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    I was just thinking about arsenic hour this afternoon and now I find a post here about it. I think that I have an arsenic hour too which also falls in the afternoon. Sometimes both my bubs throw hissy fits in the morning buts its never so hard for me to deal with the morning dramas as the evening ones. I think that by the end of the day its much harder to stay calm and level headed.

  6. #6

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    I'm starting to think maybe my 4 month old dd Abbie has one of these, hers is from 11:00 to 12:30 in the afternoon. The first time was about a week or so ago, she got really fussy and cried - at the time she was just getting over gastro plus meeting her grandpa for the first time. About a week later she was crying inconsolably around the same time of day, her grandpa was visiting again so we attributed it to that. Today she had a major crying fit just before and after her 11:00 am bottle, I thought maybe she is going through a growth spurt and wanted more formula.....but maybe its an Arsenic Hour rather than the different events that caused her fussing? Interesting!

  7. #7

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    Yep, definately get in in my house........

    When Olivia was a tiny baby (birth to 4 months) it wold be from about 5pm till 11pm.......cluster feeding and cuddling was all that worked.

    Now she is nearly 2.5 and her revolting time is between 4.30-5.30pm.....I think it is becasue her blood sugar is low to be honest.....as she often wakes from her nap at about 3.30pm but WON'T eat a snack, but as soon as she has had dinner at around 5pm, she is fine & lovely again.......

    Charlie is a shocker from 6pm-7pm.....just over-tired, over Olivia, over Mummy, desparate for a bath & a cuddle.........

  8. #8

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    We really have not had arsenic hour here. After 5pm I feed on and off until bed at 7pm. We have solids at 5, then bath, some more milk and there is not alot of time for unhappiness!! I think i've been rather blessed with a placid little thing. Just wish she'd sleep a bit better at night now!! xo

  9. #9

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    Yep we definately have arsenic hour over here, it usually starts by about 5pm... Aidyn just gets so tired, cranky and irrational. He will often refuse his dinner and protest against his shower, and just throw tantrums the whole time...
    But funnily enough when bedtime comes around he adopts a whole new attitude and runs around playing happily, pretending that he's 'just too busy' to possibly go to bed! (its very funny!)

  10. #10

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    Oh yeah it is definitely a fact! DD's used to be between around 5-6.30 just as trying to get dinner ready and DH walking in the door. This went on till around 10 months old. My mum said the same thing used to happen with me and my sister at the same time and dad would always walk in and say "Has this baby been crying all day" which made mum feel even worse. I think it is just an inbetween hour - bed, bath dinner etc. Even now at 2.5 we still get an arsenic hour but it is around 11-12 in the day, once again just before food and nap!!

  11. #11

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    yep we used to have it (and probably still do to some sense) - the 5 to 7pm kind of time - and no matter what you did it didn't really help and although he was tired there was no way he would go to sleep until after his next feed. It usually just meant one of us held him or whatever while the other organised dinner and ate etc - and DS was a very placid baby and would sleep eat or just watch the rest of the day quite happily except during witching hour.

    my friend also had a similar thing although she used to insist on trying to put her bubs down for his sleep because dinner time was their time, he was due for a sleep so it should happen (she wasn't prepared to amend her or his routine for anyones sanity) - personally I think it was a waste of time cause it never succeeded he'd just scream unless being held (and he was a big screamer) and it wasn't until he got older and into his own solid meal times and this hour of the day not being his sleep time and was able to occupy himself that their arsenic hour subsided.

  12. #12

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    Me too... well Matilda too LOL she has always had an arsenic hour since birth. ATM she has a 4.30-5.30pm one and then settles.

  13. #13

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    Matthew`s now 12 months and I`m still waiting for arsenic hour, perhaps I was lucky.

  14. #14

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    We never really had it when Grace was a baby but we have it now! From about 4-6 the kids go a bit feral, I think it might be because I am busy trying to get dinner ready and they are hungry...Usually once they have eaten dinner they settle down a bit then get frisky again after having a bath!

    Bon

  15. #15

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    Both of mine had arsenic hour around 5 or 6 pm when they were young babies. No matter how much I breastfed them, they would still cry and cry while I was trying to make tea and eat my dinner. I often breastfed them on a feeding pillow on my lap while I was eating my tea! It was just the most stressful time of my life I think. It's something they do grow out of though. I think the turning point for us was when at 4 months I started them on solids and was able to spoon feed them while I was eating tea. I have heard that arsenic hour can drag on for hours, until 9pm, but I've never heard a solution. Infant's Friend helped my second baby with colic, but overall, I think they just have to grow out of it. Hang in there. It might not look like it now, but it will get easier. They are definitely grouchy around that time even as toddlers, but it's no where near as bad as when they are a screaming baby. Good luck. You're definitely not alone .

  16. #16
    jojozep Guest

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    Thanks so much it really gives me strength to know that im not the only one going through it, and that it eventually does pass. The breastfeeding pillow is a great idea so far I have been leaving my dinner until bubs is finally settled, im starting to get used to cold food

  17. #17

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    Our arsenic hour has changed a bit now they are a little more grown up and more aware.....

    Arsenic hour for me is now from about 6pm to 7pm as the littlies are desparate to see Daddy, playing up badly in the bath, fighting over who gets which story.....arggggg! It drives me mad.

    Maybe its the cold weather.....I always seem cranky in my rush to get them pjammied up quickly that I get so impatient.......

    Please tell me I am not the only one???

  18. #18

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    Lucy, hehe. With you sweets! Lol!

    Yep, usually between the 6 - 7pm mark, after tea when its clean up from dinner, a bit of play and then pack up toys. DD#2 is rather clingy and will pounce if I stand/squat in one spot for a mili second and DD#1 goes delirious as she doesn't nap during the day (and if she does she doesn't fall asleep til really late!). So touch and go as to whether teeth brushing becomes a breeze or a battle I agree with being as prepared as you can I guess with whatever needs to be done around those times - so minimise your work load coz it really stresses my head out if I want to achieve a lot in this time and then the girls cop it with mummy's frustration as I achieve nothing

    I can't say that for us the phase has passed as such, just the time, length and magnitude of feral zone has altered, mostly gotten better *phew*

    So all I can suggest is freeing yourself up to do what is necessary during this time of day to help your little one through it without putting any added pressure on yourself to have to achieve anything else. It will get better, I promise!!

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