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How to Survive Baby’s Witching Hour

Becoming a parent is a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its challenges. One such challenge is dealing with baby’s “witching hour” that many babies go through. In this article, we’ll explore what the witching hour is, why it happens, and most importantly, how to survive it with your sanity intact.

Understanding the Witching Hour

The term “witching hour” refers to a period of time, usually in the late afternoon or evening, when babies become fussy and inconsolable. It’s a common occurrence among newborns and young infants, and while it can be exhausting for parents, it’s typically a phase that eventually passes.

What Causes the Witching Hour?

The exact cause is not fully understood, but experts believe it may be related to a combination of factors including overstimulation, tiredness, and an immature digestive system.

Typical Timing of the Witching Hour

It usually occurs between the hours of 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., although this can vary from baby to baby. It tends to peak around 6-8 weeks of age and gradually improves as the baby grows older.

Signs That Your Baby is Experiencing the Witching Hour

Signs include crying inconsolably, difficulty feeding, arching their back, and resisting soothing techniques that usually work.

Tips to Survive the Baby’s Witching Hour

While the witching hour can be challenging, there are several strategies that parents can try to help soothe their baby and make it through this difficult time.

Establish a Soothing Bedtime Routine

Creating a calming bedtime routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down for the night. This could include activities such as a warm bath, gentle massage, and reading a bedtime story.

Offer Comfort Through Feeding or Cuddling

During the witching hour, your baby may need extra comfort and reassurance. Offering to breastfeed or bottle-feed, and providing plenty of cuddles and skin-to-skin contact can help soothe them and provide comfort.

Create a Calming Environment

Creating a calm and relaxing environment can help your baby feel more at ease during the witching hour. Dimming the lights, playing soft music, and using white noise machines can all help create a soothing atmosphere.

Practice Babywearing

Wearing your baby in a carrier or sling during the witching hour can help them feel secure and comforted while allowing you to have your hands free to attend to other tasks or simply take a break.

Seek Support From a Partner or Caregiver

Dealing with the witching hour can be overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to ask for help from your partner, family members, or friends. Having someone else to share the load can make a big difference in how you cope with the situation.

Coping Strategies for Parents

In addition to soothing your baby during the witching hour, it’s important to take care of yourself as well. Here are some coping strategies for parents:

Stay Calm and Patient

It’s natural to feel frustrated or overwhelmed when your baby is crying inconsolably, but try to stay calm and patient. Remember that this phase won’t last forever, and that you’re doing the best you can for your baby.

Take Breaks When Needed

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to take breaks and step away from the situation for a few minutes. Even a short break can help you recharge and come back feeling more able to cope.

Communicate With Your Partner

Communication is key during challenging times like the witching hour. Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling and work together to support each other through this difficult time.

Additional Resources and Support

If you’re struggling to cope with the witching hour, remember that you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources and support available to help you navigate this challenging phase.

Online Communities and Forums

Joining online communities and forums for parents can provide a valuable source of support and advice from others who have been through similar experiences.

Parenting Books and Articles

There are many parenting books and articles available that offer tips and strategies for surviving the witching hour and other challenging aspects of parenthood. Take advantage of these resources to find what works best for you and your baby.

Professional Help if Necessary

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a paediatrician, lactation consultant, or mental health professional. They can offer guidance and support to help you and your baby through this difficult time.

The witching hour can be a challenging time for both babies and parents, but with patience, support, and the right strategies, you can survive it and emerge stronger on the other side. Remember to take care of yourself as well as your baby, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.


Is the witching hour the same for all babies?

No, the timing and intensity of the witching hour can vary from baby to baby.

How long does the witching hour typically last?

The witching hour usually peaks around 6-8 weeks of age but can last for several weeks or even months.

Are there any foods or drinks that can help soothe a baby during the witching hour?

Every baby is different, but some parents find that offering a warm bottle of formula or breast milk can help soothe their baby during the witching hour.

Can the witching hour be prevented?

While it’s not always possible to prevent the witching hour entirely, establishing a soothing bedtime routine and practicing calming techniques can help reduce its intensity.

When should I seek professional help for my baby’s fussiness during the witching hour?

If you’re concerned about your baby’s fussiness or crying during the witching hour, it’s always a good idea to consult with your paediatrician to rule out any underlying medical issues.

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