What comes to your mind when you hear “The Witching Hour”.
Sounds like something that you usually hear from horror movies, right?
But the witching hour that mums, like you and me, experience may also be a horrifying and stressful experience especially if we don’t understand and prepare our body and minds in the whole scenario.
Now, I know as a mum of a 2 year old boy, I have had my fair share of the “haunting” witching hours that mums experience on a daily basis.
The witching hour usually starts before dinner time and ends before your baby go to sleep. This is a crucial hour or two where babies become fussier and are at their neediest.
As mums, especially first time and working mums, we want to have a peaceful and quiet night to wind down, have dinner together with the family and enjoy a calming night. But in reality, all you can see and hear is your baby’s crying. By mealtime, all they want to do is be with you constantly, play with you and just needs all your attention. And by the time you are done with dinner, they still have that energy to cry out for their “lost” toy before settling down for bedtime.
Too familiar, right? I’ve got you!
As stressful as this may sound, the witching hour should not be something that we consider a “curse”.
I truly believe that when we understand the situation more and understand our babies more, we can start to take this time of day in our stride.
So let me tell you my top 5 things that can help you manage witching hour.
- Plan ahead. Witching hour is not something rare. Most parents experience this situation. So instead of avoiding it, or trying to control the situation (your kids), accept it and plan ahead. For instance, you know that your baby will want your attention during witching hour, so instead of preparing and sterilising toys, you should use this time to play with your baby or bond with your toddlers. Or maybe cooking your meals ahead of time so, during this hour, you play with your kids or join them in watching their favourite TV show.
2. Acceptance is the key. There are some things that you just can’t control. And that’s okay! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something about it. The best way to handle these situations is to manage how you respond to them. Yes, you have the power to make these sticky situations into something beautiful and positive. The witching hour is inevitable for most parents. So instead of fighting your way through the situation, allow it to happen and respond to it in a positive way.
3. Overtiredness is a no-no. Let’s face it. Even adults get irritated and extra sensitive when overtired. So, to manage the witching hour, make sure that your baby gets plenty of nap time during the day. Remember, daytime sleep will not interfere with their nighttime sleep. It’s actually the opposite. If your baby does not get enough recommended daytime sleep, they get overtired, which means that they will have a hard time sleeping at night. And you know what that means, right? No sleep for you also.
4. Make use of white noise devices. In my personal experience, white noise really helps a baby relax and calm down. You know why? Because experts believe that white noise mimics what they were acclimated to hear when they were inside your womb. There are a lot of devices that you can use to create white noise: blow dryer, vacuum, and fan. You can also download white noise applications that can help calm your baby and put them to sleep. In my experience, I used apps that mimic the sound of rain, wind or even water flowing. Try experimenting with different mediums and apps and see at which device or app would your baby feel more relaxed.
5. Relax with your little one. You don’t have to be too hard on yourself when things get out of hand. Allow your baby to relax and calm down by providing a calm environment. This means that during the witching hour, you should also relax with your baby. Detach yourself from any digital distractions so you and your baby could have some quiet bonding time. Remember, your presence and warmth is the most soothing experience that your baby should have.
BONUS TIP: Be there for your baby. The most important thing that you can do for your baby especially during the witching hour is your full attention and presence. During this time where they feel needy, felt something new, or whatever their emotions are, make sure to always be there for them. Because that one thing that they really want to have is you. So shower them with your love. Don’t worry about your household chores, or your work or anything else, just focus on your baby.
Whatever your situation is, whether your a first-time mum or a working mum, you just need to remember that your bubba just needs you and your undivided attention. So splurge on that neediness and that genuine love from your baby!
Embrace the witching hour! It may be testing your patience but you’ll get through it. Think of that one thing you really want for your baby… for them to feel safe and happy!
You’re doing great, mumma!
What do you do to keep your baby calm and relaxed during the witching hour? Share with us your thoughts and tips and let us know in the comments below.