If you have a baby or babies, you should know about the witching hour. This article will tell you the witching hour and what happens when the baby is entirely in those dreaded hours.
Let’s think about yourselves first. You come home, exhausted after a long working day, fed up with everything, saturated with cleaning, cooking, noise, baby or baby care, etc. And your partner (it also happens to couples) also asking for dinner. But you don’t have the strength to do everything perfectly because you are tired, fed up, and stressed.
And something similar happens to babies at the end of a long and stressful “journey,” and that is that all babies, whether they are ten days, ten months, or two years old, have moments when they can’t take it anymore, and they explode. That time calls the witching hour when you can’t calm your baby in any way.
What is the witching hour and when it starts?
During the first few months, it happens a lot that babies get fussy when the day is ending. So, why its named witching hour? What do witches have to do with the need to relax a baby? That is the name for that time of day. Witching hour usually starts in the afternoon to evening, usually before bed between 8:00 and 9:00 pm (or earlier), when the baby becomes incredibly nervous. When it gets to the chest, it starts to jerk, twist and latches on, but it lets go again. Then we notice them irritable, and they start crying.
Well, nasty or quarrelsome would be to stay a bit short, sometimes directly they start with an uncontrollable crying that puzzles us in every way; what happened? Why cry? Will something hurt? Why every day at this time? And little by little we are accepting something: It will be colic!
But no, sometimes they are not colic. That is a long topic that I prefer to talk about in another post to elaborate on it. However, when the night is falling, you are about to finish the day. You feel tired after a whole day of work and wish that your baby falls asleep soon so that you can take a rest from a long day of work. Or attending to a baby who has only wanted arms and a breast all day. And when you think that moment is approaching, wham! Your baby starts crying like there is no tomorrow and your nerves are on the surface.
Why Does the witching hour occur?
When the sun is setting, and this change in ambient light occurs from day to night, our body begins to secrete MELATONIN, a hormone in charge of sleep cycles. That is, it helps us sleep.
After a day that could be stressful for them to arrive at night with extreme fatigue, babies have had their naps. But when night falls, their brain begins to tell them the impulse of these hormones that they need to sleep. And there comes the problem, they are sleepy, tired but they can’t sleep.
For a baby, sometimes, falling asleep is difficult. Especially when they are exhausted and also when perhaps his parents have not been able to be with him all day because of work. After end of the day, when they arrive at night, they only wish to play with him, and instead of calm. That time he is receiving stimuli.
It is also expected that a baby who quickly falls asleep to the breast during the day, at nightfall, does nothing but reject her and fight with her. Could it be that she no longer wants the breast? No, it will be that he is not hungry, that the tit wants it to be able to sleep, and just by sucking a little, he would fall asleep, but even that right now, it is an effort.
How do you survive the witching hour?
Well, like everything else, first understand it, put yourself in his place and be aware that what he has is excellent fatigue. Do not take it personally, or you get angry because he does not intend to get angry. For him, it is also the wrong time.
In other words, it is the result of overstimulation. Not because you have subjected them to a highly stimulating environment. they are adapting to extrauterine life. Isn’t it true that when you feel tired, you are much more irritable?
The same thing happens to babies. Try to put him to sleep before that time and if you have missed bath time, save it for another day. Above all, do not doubt your breastfeeding because we tend to think that the baby is left hungry.
The witching hour of the infant will no longer happen around three months. And don’t confuse it with colic. Fortunately, there are some methods with more consensus among the pediatric and specialist community in dealing with babies, such as those listed below:
Observe for any signs that may indicate the cause of the baby being unwell.
Experts agree that caregivers of the child have to make sure what factor causes their lack of comfort. “Crying is an expression of discomfort for the baby throughout his first year of life. It is that time when he still does not have the words” to communicate. In this sense, the pediatricians consulted point out the leading causes that produce the child’s crying: hunger, pain, and disease.
Increase physical contact
Contrary to popular belief that holding a child in your arms a lot is spoiling it, most specialists deny that letting the child cry is the best option. The North American anthropologist Jean Liedloff (1926 – 2011) in the work for which he obtained great recognition. The Continuum Concept affirmed that “the place of the baby is not the crib or the pushchair or the stroller, but the human lap.”
Rock your baby gently.
It is precisely one of the primary keys to the method of Robert C. Hamilton. This Californian pediatrician taught in a video the secret of his formula to make a newborn child stop crying in seconds. Hamilton believes that rhythmic movements have a calming effect on the baby as they remind him of his life in the womb.
This method is ancient. Greeks and Romans already wrapped their babies in soft and warm shawls. This habit fell into disuse, but lately, in the Nordic countries, it is being reintroduced. And the child feeling a sense of containment and protection similar to when he was inside his mother. It also prevents the baby from waking up due to his uncontrolled movements, something expected in the first weeks after delivery.
Walk the baby in your arms
“A walk with your baby is always recommended,” according to child psychologist Coks Feenstra, and very practical since in most cases, if the baby is not hungry, not in pain, or uncomfortable for any other reason, stop crying. And he falls into a deep sleep. And remember that, in addition, sunlight, even if it is cloudy, will help you synthesize vitamin D, which is very important for the digestive system to absorb calcium. But also walking inside the home will calm the little one’s restlessness.
Massage your baby
The author of Why is my baby crying? He maintains that “it is not necessary to follow a special technique.” Since what it is about is to massage all parts of the body “delicately.” You can also do it with warm oil, such as Lavandula or coconut. The massage will help you get used to your body and relax.
Bath the child
Most parents have seen the relaxing power of water at one time or another. That is why experts recommend using this method if the baby is overstimulated or restless. Another situation will remind the child of his intrauterine stay, especially if the parents also rock the child in the water.
It is the main advice given by a pediatrician. He explains that parents feel exhausted in children with more persistent crying after hearing them cry for hours. So “many times the person who rocks the child is not in the best conditions.” The child psychologist Feenstra also emphasizes this aspect: “Without a doubt, the crying of the baby causes tension in the mother and this tension makes the baby cry more.” So, you should calm yourself so that you can calm your baby.
FAQ on what is the witching hour
1. What to do with witching hour in babies?
Putting the baby down next to the mother when he begins to get dark before his “witch” hour begins can be infallible. If it does not work, we suggest you alternate carrying skin to skin and applying local heat.
2. What is the twilight cry?
A reasonably frequent situation, which can occur in up to 30% of babies under one month of age, is what in pediatrics is called “twilight cry”: suddenly, at dusk, the little ones begin to cry desperately. The baby does not usually suffer pain in these cases.
3. What does it mean to hear a ghost baby cry?
Crying indicates that the person had a traumatic death. But, unfortunately, that spirit has not yet risen and is asking to rest in peace and harmony.
4. What does it mean to hear the cry of a baby in the womb?
Ultimately, crying ensures that the baby can indicate to his mother, father, or caregiver that he needs help. Also, he needs to get out of a situation that he believes is threatening or distressing. It is a survival mechanism.
Conclusion on what is the witching hour
The witching hour is quite normal to every parent. Remember that, we adults can express our emotions by speaking, and we can recognize our emotions and name them. Babies can’t. They can only cry and pay for their fatigue and stress with the person they trust the most: you and the tit. And the problem is not the tit, but the tit may be the solution. So, don’t be exhausted; try to calm yourself so that you can survive the witching hour.