Babies tend to be quite fussy on some occasions. There can be no two opinions about it and new parents have to bow their heads down to this reality and also learn to tackle it.
Especially, a large number of babies get fussy from between 5 to 10 PM which is quite lovingly referred to as the Baby Witching Hour. In European culture, witching hour is the time of the day when demons, monsters and all kinds of supernatural beings are unleashed and at their strongest. Pretty frightening, huh? Some also refer to it as the baby’s arsenic hour which is equally scary.
The troubling thing about the baby witching hour is that the terminology can be rather misleading since it lasts for about 3 to 4 hours only.
Are you feeling horrified? Well, we did not mean to scare the hell out of you. However, if you still feel a bit frightened, then you should know that there are some simple ways that can be very handy in such an apparently torrid situation. It’s perhaps time to become a witch or a wizard yourself!
Causes of the Witching Hour
It might sound a bit disappointing to you but the fact of the matter is that no known causes leading to this scary phenomenon have so far been unearthed. Colic can be a frequent reason for this which is a stomach and intestinal discomfort caused by gas. The primary cause for the colic are baby bottles so the first step you should take for ultra-gassy babies is to get your hands on good baby bottles integrated with anti-colic vent mechanisms.
Other possible causes for the horrific baby witching hour include:
- Overtiredness: Babies tend to find it difficult, at occasions, to develop an appropriate sleep pattern. So as they are not able to get the requisite amount of sleep, they get overtired. Here is an interesting article that will guide you regarding how to comfort your overtired baby.
- Overstimulation: Infants tend to become overstimulated comfortably with the ambience and surrounding lights and sounds. They tend to get even more excited during the day. The baby might not be participating directly in all the kerfuffle but the surrounding environment does tend to have its impact on the little one; thereby leading to a tired and fussy baby.
How to manage it?
You simply have to keep yourself on your toes!
It is a situation that will inevitably transpire and you want yourself to be super-prepared to cope with it. No matter how hard you try or even kneel yourself in prayers to avoid this scenario, you will have to get up at those freaking hours of night when the rest of the world is sound asleep and you alone with your little one are wide awake. It will definitely test your guts out but it will surely be a lot easier to tackle if you are prepared for it beforehand.
The good news that this situation is not going to prevail always. With a little bit of good fortune, it will constitute only a small amount of yours and your baby’s life and sooner rather than later it will come to an end.
I suggest you to be ready for it. Let us assume that your baby is crying his heart out at 3AM in the morning and I wonder how you will be able to watch your favorite movie over that terrible noise.
If the weather is pleasant, you can perhaps arrange for a little nighttime stroll. It can be handy sometimes.
1 – Comfort Feed
There are some people who are totally against comfort feed, but believe me, it is all right. It won’t develop into an irritating bad habit and to be honest, sometimes, all what a baby is yearning for is nice food to get his little stomach filled up and off he goes into the dreamland.
You can try to bottle feed your baby or if it is possible breastfeeding your little one could be the ultimate solution. Nevertheless, try it out and hope it works out.
2 – Don’t be too harsh on yourself!
During all this kerfuffle, parents tend to get too harsh on themselves which makes the entire situation way more chaotic than it is actually meant to be. You should keep in mind that this is a phenomenon that is common to all babies out there and you cannot do anything to prevent it from happening ever. It does not mean that you have failed yourself as a parent. There are millions of parents out there across the globe who are going through similar hard times.
3 – Teamwork can help!
You can seek your partner’s help in dealing with the dreaded baby witching hour. While your partner looks after the little one, you may go outside to take a breath of fresh air and get your act together. It can sap your energies so trying to regroup yourself can be a pretty good idea. You may also solicit some assistance from your friends and dear ones in this regard so that you are able to get the much needed respite.
4 – A white noise machine? Does it work?
White noise tends to have a fantastic calming influence on fussy toddlers. You can get your hands on the affordable white noise machines and they do their job rather well. A fan swirling in the room can also serve the purpose of a white noise machine.
5 – Take a bath together
A calm and warm bath can be the ideal solution to get yourself out of all this chaos and it holds true for the baby as well as the parents. In a low light ambience, some serenating music in the background and a stream of warm water pouring over you can really relax your nerves down.
Get in the bath and spend some time together. It will really do wonders!
6 – Minimum background noise
Overexcitement can be the cause of the dreaded baby witching hour so it is prudent to get rid of all the external stuff over stimulating the baby. Switch off your smartphone and ensure that no other noises such as a barking dog or a car in the street distract your baby.
7 – Try out new things
You can try out new things since babies tend to have different preferences and inclinations. One thing may work for your baby and might not work your friend’s. You can lay them down straight, burp them, cuddle them, sing them lullabies, bounce them or even swing them.
You will definitely find out something that really works.
If you have any tips and suggestions that can help other parents tackle with the dreaded baby witching hour, then do not forget to share it with us.