So, picture this…
It’s 6pm. You and your newborn have had a wonderful day. Naps have been on track. Your baby fed well all day. And then “it” happens…
Your baby goes from happy as can be to fussy, upset, irritable and crying inconsolably. You’re scratching your head, and so is your partner, and you are pulling out all the stops to get him/her to calm down and he/she just… WON’T!
Welcome to “The Witching Hour”. And no, I am not just talking about Halloween. Definitely not, as it’s only February.
The witching hour generally takes place between 6pm to around 11pm and it’s when a baby suddenly gets fussy and cries all the time. Eugh! No fun right?!
It starts to sneak in at around 3 weeks of age and can continue and even worsen right up past 6 weeks of age. It is NOT a cool time and sometimes parents even seek medical attention because they think something is literally wrong with their baby. And worse of all? There are only a few small things you can do to try to combat it.
Here are some things you can do to get through the dreaded witching hour:
- Reduce stimulation as much as possible
- Shhhh Shhhh – long shhhh’s
- Don’t let them get overtired (follow age-appropriate wake times)
- Reach for the dummy – they are a great soother for young babies
- Swaddle your little one
- Give baby a calming bath
- Skin to skin contact
The truth of the matter is – the witching hour is just a reality for a lot of parents as their baby gets used to this new life on the outside world. It is a short phase but your baby needs you to get through it. And you WILL get through it with them.
Offer lots of comfort and cuddles and think ahead to quieter days.