The Witching Hour for Babies

The Witching Hour for BabiesHave you heard of the witching hour for babies? You may not know it by this name, but you probably know it through experience. It’s that time in the evening when your baby is fussy, Fussy, FUSSY! If that rings a bell, keep reading because we have some tips on dealing with the witching hour.

First things first, please realize that the witching hour is not your fault. We’re writing about it because it happens to SO many babies. This common yet stressful time of night may be caused by many different factors including being tired, over-stimulated by an exhilarating day (thanks to you, mom!), gassiness or hunger. Some of these problems are easy to fix, others don’t have a solution at all. Just don’t blame yourself!

Here are some of our best tips for calming your baby during the witching hour:

Feed your Baby: Breastfeeding calms your baby because he gets to be close to you and he gets that awesomely satisfying breast milk that you make so well. Cluster feeding in the evening may help your baby sleep better at night too. The crying during the witching hour probably stimulates your milk supply for several great before-bed feedings that also help keep your baby calm. Pretty cool, right?

Wear your Baby: Speaking of being close, there’s nothing like cuddling in mommy’s pouch in the evening. Not only will your baby love being with you, you can also get things done with two hands and less crying. Win-win for everyone!

Head Outdoors: Nature has a way of relaxing babies and parents alike. Step outside to see if a change in scenery, temperature and vibe will snap your baby back into his usual chipper mood. Taking a walk in the stroller, carrier or in your arms may also do the trick.

Rock, Swing Bounce or Dance with your Baby:  Like being in a moving car, the soothing motion of a rocking chair, a baby or outdoor swing, bouncing on a ball, or your arms while dancing can ease your baby’s fussiness. Keep the movement going as long as your baby needs.

Burp your Baby: Sometimes all the feedings of the day catch up with your baby and he needs a really good burp. If you suspect a burp is in order, use all of your burping techniques to try to get one out.

Bathe your Baby: A calming warm bath may relax your baby, especially if it is part of your usual bedtime routine. Babies thrive on consistency and a bath may signal a time to wind down and get ready for bed.

Take Turns: Handling a crying baby for several hours every evening may get tedious and frustrating. Plan on having some backup help whenever possible so you can take turns trying to soothe the baby. Even a 5 or 10 minute break can make a big difference.

The witching hour for babies is rough, we’re not going to lie. Do know that it is temporary. Eventually your baby will mature out of whatever is causing his anxiety in the evenings, making your pre-bedtime hours more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.

Sources: Baby Sleep Site, Mighty Moms Club and Belly Belly