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Understanding the Baby Witching hour: What It is and How to Cope

Updated: 6 days ago


The baby witching hour, a term that might sound mysterious but is all too familiar for many parents.


This, often occurring in the late afternoon or early evening, is when your baby has increased fussiness and lots of crying!


No matter what you do!!!!


So what is it exactly and why does it happen?Plus how on earth you navigate it?


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What is the witching hour?


The baby witching hour is a time of day, typically between 5 PM and 11 PM, when babies can become particularly irritable!


Despite its name, it’s not a single hour but a stretch of time. During this period, babies may be harder to soothe, seem inconsolable, and cry more frequently.


Why does it happen?


1. Overstimulation : By the end of the day, babies might be overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and experiences they've encountered.


2. Tiredness: Fatigue can set in, especially if your baby hasn’t napped well during the day.


3. Digestive Issues : Gas, colic, or digestive discomfort can cause distress.


4. Growth Spurts : Rapid growth can make babies hungrier and more irritable.


5. Need for Comfort : Babies often need extra comfort and reassurance as the day winds down.


How to Cope with the Witching hour


1. Stay Calm and Patient : It’s easier said than done, but your calmness can help soothe your baby. Take deep breaths and remember this phase will pass.


2. Create a Soothing Environment : Dim the lights, reduce noise, and create a calm atmosphere. This can help minimise overstimulation.


3. Swaddling : Wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket can provide a sense of security and comfort.


4. Feeding : Sometimes, offering a small feed can help, especially if your baby is experiencing a growth spurt.


5. Movement : Rocking, swaying, or a gentle walk can help soothe your baby. Some parents find that a car ride or a stroller walk works wonders.


Settling baby - Adora newborn practical care

6. White Noise : Background noise like a fan, white noise machine, or gentle music can be calming.


7. Tummy Time : Gentle tummy massages or time spent on their tummy can help relieve gas and improve digestive comfort.


8. Ask for Help : Don’t hesitate to ask for support from your partner, family, or friends. Taking turns can provide much-needed breaks.


9. Chat to your Dr : If your baby’s crying seems excessive or you’re concerned about their health, it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional.


Remember this is Temporary


The witching hour can be challenging, but it’s a common phase in a baby’s development.


Not forgetting your baby, in those early weeks and months is making big transitions, from growing in your tummy, to be out in this big world.


It takes time, as with many things, for them to make these adjustments.


So all we can do, is help ease them into everything we have alreasdy become accustomed to.


Most infants outgrow this stage by 3-4 months of age. Until then, try different soothing techniques to find what works best for your little one and lean on your support system when needed.


Navigating the witching hour takes patience and a bit of experimentation.


By understanding what’s happening and why, you can better manage this challenging time and help your baby (and yourself) find some much-needed peace.


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