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The Dreaded Witching Hour and How To Cope

by | March 18, 2019

It seems to be a worldwide phenomenon that babies have crying spells in the evenings. I used to call it the witching hour. My babies didn’t have colic or reflux yet almost every day for four months they would cry between the hours of six and nine. At first, I didn’t know what to do. I tried everything to soothe them, changing, feeding, checking if they were too warm or cold, swaddling and shushing. Eventually, after many chats with my pediatrician and family members, I learned just to put them in the baby carrier and go about my nightly chores.

Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash

The witching hour is a fussy period that a lot of babies go through. It usually happens around the same time every day and generally in evening hours. It usually starts around week two and peaks at week six. Thankfully, it tends to fade by three months.

The ‘witching hour,’ sometimes referred to as a ‘crying curve’ can cause frustration and worry in exhausted new parents. Crying is how a baby communicates. They can’t speak up to tell you if their hungry or tired, so they cry. Soothing a fussy baby during this time can be difficult.

Once you’ve established that your baby isn’t hungry, tired, uncomfortable, or in pain you can try these soothing methods.

Witching Hour

  • Put your fussy baby in their stroller and take a walk.
  • Wearing your baby can really help to soothe them, it also allows you to continue (somewhat) your usual evening routine.
  • Place your baby in their car seat and go for a drive.
  • Tag-team with your partner so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
  • White noise is great for soothing a fussy baby.
  • Sucking, either on the breast, bottle or pacifier can also help to soothe a crying baby.
  • Swadling your baby helps to recreate the feeling of being in the womb and can help with soothing.
  • A baby swing is a great investment. A lot of babies can be soothed by the swinging motion.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, ask your partner, a friend or family member to take over for a little while and go take a few minutes for yourself. Take a shower or go for a walk, anything to calm yourself down as babies can feed off your stress.

Sometimes crying spells can be a sign of colic. As always please talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby.

witching hour

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Did your baby suffer from the witching hour? let us know in the comments.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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