The Witching Hour For Babies: What It Is And What You Can Do
All babies get fussy every now and then, but what if your little one is having fits every day at the same time? This recurrence, known as the witching hour, can be stressful, but the witching hour in babies can be solved using a few simple tricks!
What Is The Witching Hour?
In its original use, the term “witching hour” refers to a specific time between 3 and 4 a.m. when evil spirits are lurking. For your baby, however, the witching hour is crying that regularly takes place in the late afternoon to early evening and lasts from a few minutes to a few hours.
The witching hour might seem like a major hurdle at first, but don’t be frightened! It is a very natural thing for your baby, and there are plenty of ways to keep them calm and happy.
What Causes The Witching Hour In Babies?
While each case of the witching hour likely has a different cause, there are a lot of common things that might make your little one upset. Keeping an eye out for these can help narrow down the source of your baby’s cries.
(If you suspect that your baby’s fits are the result of something more serious, be sure to contact your pediatrician.)
An Overtired Baby
Not getting enough sleep can be hard on newborns, especially since their recommended amount of sleep in a day is between 14 and 17 hours. When too much of that time is spent awake, it can quickly lead to exhaustion.
Your baby may be overtired because their itchy skin is keeping them awake at night. For little ones with eczema-prone skin, try our Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas.
Using microcapsule technology, these 100% cotton pajamas deliver skin-soothing moisture to the skin throughout the night so your baby can sleep comfortably and soundly.
An Upset Stomach
Even if you’re sticking to your regular burping routine, a baby’s stomach can be upset by many things. Allergies, constipation, certain medications, or traces of certain foods in breast milk are all factors that might result in their tummy discomfort.
A Hectic Routine
You’re a parent, so you have a lot going on. This is especially true when your baby has older siblings, and it’s hard to give them all of the attention they’re after.
If your routine is hectic and you spend a lot of time tending to other things, then your little one might feel the need to cry out for attention themselves.
As your baby grows, their tummy will get larger, too! This means they’ll get more hungry and may begin to cluster feed.
When babies cluster feed, they want one meal shortly after another. And since their eating schedule is changing, knowing when to feed them isn’t the easiest task. In fact, the only indication that they’re hungry may be fits that seem hard to stop.
What Can Stop The Witching Hour For Babies?
The witching hour can feel endless, but have no fear! Even if you’re not absolutely sure what’s causing your baby to have fits, there are different ways to stop their regular crying spells.
Change Up Your Routine
Spending a bit more time with your little one might be just the thing to keep them from trying to get your attention. Although changing your routine is easier said than done, even spending a few more quality minutes with your baby could be enough to keep them calm.
Having someone else interact with your little one throughout the day can also keep them occupied and tantrum-free.
It helps to make sure your little one has a routine of their own, too! Try bathing them with our Gentle Cleansing Gel or other bathtime products before gently patting them dry and getting them ready for bed.
Then, read them a story and see if their witching hour turns into a long stretch of sleep instead.
Consider Their Diet And Yours
Consuming a lot of caffeinated beverages, like coffee, can leave trace amounts of caffeine in breast milk. Since caffeine can upset your baby’s stomach, even a little bit can be more than enough for them to have an on-schedule tummy ache.
Making sure the nutrients your baby is receiving aren’t hurting their stomach can keep them happy and healthy. And, for babies that seem to be getting hungrier and hungrier, cluster feeding may be what they need to get all the energy their growing body needs.
Create A Calm Environment
Part of what could be upsetting your baby is a loud or stressful environment. Eliminating any background noise or spending some time relaxing outside can help change the pace and assure them everything is OK.
Babies require a lot of sleep during a 24-hour period. And if they’re not getting the proper amount of rest, then they’ll be sure to let you know.
With regularly changing and busy schedules, it can be hard to account for a missed nap. However, rocking your baby to sleep with a baby wrap or other carrier can help them fit in all their naps while keeping you on schedule.
Be Sure To Burp
Some cases of the witching hour are just stomach pains caused by gas that needs to pass. If this is the case for your baby, burping them after each feed can help ease that gas out and give them sweet dreams rather than a bloated belly.
For any little messes that might happen when you burp your baby, keep our Organic Micellar Water with Olive Oil and Aloe and our Certified Organic Water Wipes with Cotton and Aloe on hand. Both of these are gentle on skin and ideal when you’re at home or on the go!
Use Soothing Sounds
Steady and mellow noises can have incredible effects on your baby’s sleep and mood. Try alternating between relaxing music and white noise to see if either has a particularly strong impact on preventing their witching hour fits.
Some white noise machines will even have a setting to imitate a heartbeat. This mixed with the constant hums of white noise reminds your baby of the womb, calming them right to sleep.
Wait For It To Pass
So, you’ve tried everything on this list to prevent the witching hour, but your little one still has a crying fit each day around the same time. What more can be done?
The best option might be to wait it out. The witching hour in babies is extremely common and only lasts for a couple of months. By the time you’ve tried everything on the list a few times, your baby is likely near the natural end of this stage anyway.
Surviving The Witching Hour
The witching hour varies for all babies, but it typically ends when they’re around three or four months old. When you’ve done everything to help them through it, make sure that you’re doing everything you can to help you get through it!
Eliminating stress for yourself can also help put an end to the witching hour. When you’re stressed, your baby will likely mimic that frustration. So, take time to wind down, relax, meditate, and give yourself a bit more peace of mind.
Using our skincare line for moms might be just the thing to help you and your baby relax. And be sure to give their skin the care it needs, too! Use our baby oil to stimulate their senses and prepare them for some much-needed rest.
We also recommend our line of organic skincare products for the whole family so you take care of everyone’s skin no matter what the day holds!
And, if the fits your little one is throwing seem to be anything more serious than a prolonged tantrum, contact your pediatrician immediately.
At Mustela, we care about making sure you and your little one get through the rough times so you can focus on all the best parts of life.
As your baby goes through these natural stages, choose from a variety of products that soothe their skin and keep them happy, healthy, and ready to take on their next milestone!