As a parent when our child cries, we want to bring comfort and soothe to calm the fuss and it can be very overwhelming when you don’t quite understand why the crying is happening and nothing you do seems to calm your baby down; especially when you know your baby isn’t hungry, doesn’t need a diaper change, isn’t too cold or hot, etc.
If this sounds like something you’re currently experiencing with your baby, your baby could be experiencing the “witching hour.”
Witching hour often peaks around 6 weeks of age and it’s very common for newborns and even sometimes older infants to experience this in the evening between 6-9 p.m. I remember years ago when I first heard the term, it sounded like something that would be scary, but there’s no need to worry, it will pass as your baby gets older. In many instances, parents can mistake witching hour for colic.
Here are a few tips that will help you get through witching hour with your sweet baby:
#1 – Stay Calm!
If you’re upset, your baby can sense this and have a harder time calming down. It’s important that you remain calm. If you can, take a break and let your partner try and soothe the baby until you’re able to step back in.
#2 – Give Baby A Warm Bath
Try giving your baby a bath to help him settle. Baths are very soothing to babies and can often help them calm down.
#3 – Dim The Lights & Turn On The Sound Machine
Try to create a calming soothing environment for your baby. Babies can easily become overstimulated as they are adjusting to their new environment. Dimming the lights and turning on the sound machine can great the environment that your baby experienced in the womb and can help your baby to calm down and settle. Sound machines are also great for blocking out other household noise that may be going on during that time.
#4 – Try Baby-wearing Or Just Walking Around With Baby
Babies have spent so much time in the womb and are used to being close to you. Try wearing your baby in a carrier or wrap to see if this helps your baby to settle. If you don’t have a carrier or wrap, try walking around with your baby and bouncing or rocking. When babies are in the womb, they spend a lot of time in motion, so oftentimes this can help!
#5 – Try Nursing Or Offering A Bottle
Newborns can oftentimes cluster feed. Try nursing or bottle feeding and see if this will help your baby settle.
#6 – Make Sure The Awake Windows Align
Your baby’s fussiness can increase if baby is overtired. During the newborn stage, the awake windows are only 60-90 minutes, so make sure you don’t miss your babies ideal sleepy time!
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “the days are long, but the years are short,” right? I know these fussy nights with your baby are tough, I’ve been there personally myself.
Do your best to stay calm, and focus on creating a calming, soothing environment for your baby. It can be frustrating and totally overwhelming, but you will get through this!