Five Ways to Survive The Witching Hour
Ghosts, ghouls, and scary clowns might give you the creeps…
…but nothing haunts a new parent quite like an eerie evening with a fussy baby. When it comes to the Witching Hour, it’s easy for a new parent to get spooked. Jenny shares five Sheppy-approved strategies to calm even the crankiest little creature.
The Witching Hour
Lovingly referred to as the “Witching Hour,” these seemingly hours-long evening nursing, bouncing, screaming, burping, then nursing again sessions often occur with babies between the ages of 2-4 months, when self-soothing skills may still be emerging and mysterious colicky madness is at its very peak. These episodes can be emotionally and physically draining for mamas and papas just trying to figure it all out and they can really do a number on your confidence. I still find myself flashing back to walking a double-swaddled baby Shep back and forth across the living room from 6 pm until sunrise.
The good news is that it doesn’t last forever. Before you call your friendly neighborhood exorcist, try calming your baby banshee with these Sheppy-approved tactics:
1. Beat Baby Boooo-redom
Get outside! Show off your shadow puppets! Sing your spookiest rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”! Babies can get bored too, changing up your environment or providing a little stimulation could be just what your little zombie needs to find his Zen. On the other hand, if you’re watching NASCAR, using the Vitamix, and attempting tummy time, you might tone things down instead.
2. Make it Mummy-Style
When it comes to soothing baby, swaddling has been standard practice since about the Paleolithic period. While it isn’t always easy for parents to get the hang of, it can help baby control some of her primitive reflexes, result in better sleep, and ultimately, cause a few less bumps in your night. For tips on how and when to swaddle, check out the AAP’s Swaddling 101.
3. Feel Around for Fangs
For older babies feeling frenzied at 5pm, emerging teeth could be the culprit. Applying pressure to the gums, giving baby something safe to chew on, and managing teething pain with your pediatrician’s recommended analgesic may all be helpful.
4. Do the Monster Mash
Bumpside babies know a thing or two about bouncing and while you might be lobbying for a snuggle sesh on the sofa, your little could need some swing dancing instead. Recreate those fond fetal memories with a little rocking, bouncing, swinging, or walking.
5. Teething Toy Tricks
Of course, we think chewing on one of January Moon’s Charcoal Pacifier Clip or Charcoal Teething Bracelet is a brilliant way to distract your baby from the teething blues. Miserable at mealtime too? Gnawing on our Charcoal Spoon + Fork can help tame the little monster at your table so everyone else can finish eating their dinner too.
6. Dial the Doctor
If your baby doesn’t seem to be him/herself, you begin to have trouble coping, or your medical mama instincts are telling you it could be something more, call your pediatrician.
When things get wild during the Witching Hour, remember it’s just a season. Before you know it, baby will be busy on her belly scaring you in a myriad of new and exciting ways! Plus, you can always exact revenge by nabbing that ridiculous Halloween costume now and saving the snaps for the wedding slideshow later. Muhahahaha!