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Your infant may become irritable each night at the same time, which may perplex you. Typically, newborns sleep for long periods of time, but it may take several weeks for your baby to go hours without being quiet. This irritable period, which may last up to three hours, is often referred to as the baby’s witching hour.
All newborns are prone to crying. The daily average is around 2.5 hours. Some infants indeed cry more than others. Babies with colic may wail for up to three hours straight for no apparent cause. They sob every day, usually in the evening, at the same time. This article will give you a guide about a baby’s witching hour.
What is Baby’s Witching Hour?
The “witching hour” normally starts around the second or third week of a baby’s born and usually happens in the evening, between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., precisely when you’d think your newborn would be ready to relax and drift off to sleep. On the contrary, this period may be accompanied by anxiety that develops into a full-blown howl.
Babies often cry since it is their sole form of communication. However, it is common knowledge that the overnight hours between 6 and 8 weeks are the most challenging for parents of infants. Your baby’s witching hour is mistaken for a colic symptom because colic babies typically cry for three hours a day in the same way.
Related: Things to do with Babies at Home
What Causes the Baby’s Witching Hour?
A newborn’s sleep-wake cycle differs from an adult’s during the baby’s witching hour. Many factors can cause this, but the most common cause is that they haven’t learned how to regulate their sleep/wake cycles.
Baby’s witching hour causes include:
- Tiredness: Babies get tired at night because they need more rest than adults. So if your baby is feeling cranky during this period and having trouble falling asleep, it may be due to physical fatigue rather than any other issue.
- Hunger: Babies also need food during their waking hours; if they aren’t getting enough nourishment while awake or napping, then their bodies might send signals seeking out food! It’s essential to keep track of how much formula or breast milk your baby consumes during these periods—you want them to get plenty of calories through both sources. Hence, there aren’t any nutritional deficits later down the line when other behaviors might emerge as part of a normal development process.”
- Overstimulation: A baby is easily startled by bright lights, loud noises, or even a barking dog. Keep in mind that your baby has come from the safety and relative darkness of your womb into the glare and noise of the outside world and that this might be quite a shock for him or her.
- Colic: Your baby’s tears may be caused by colic, which also peaks around 6 weeks of age. Colic, which is a catchall term for excessive crying, may seem quite similar to your baby’s witching hour sobbing. Both tend to occur at regular intervals throughout the evening.
- Frustration and exhaustion: Newborns do not have the ability to calm themselves and bring their nervous systems into balance before going to bed. While a result, kids may have difficult bedtimes and cry for long periods of time as they try to fall asleep.
How Can I Calm My Baby during Witching Hours?
There are a few things you may attempt to calm your baby during the “witching hours,” which are often late afternoon and early evening when newborns are fussier than usual:
- Make sure there are no apparent causes: When your infant is fussy, you need to investigate whether it is the result of a problem that can be resolved. Make sure they have enough to wear, that their diaper is clean, and that they haven’t been hungry. If your infant is less than two months and has a fever, you should contact your doctor immediately.
- Turning on white noise: By doing this, you will be able to block any background noise and focus your attention on your child.
- Don’t overfeed your child: The more they eat in the evening, the more sleep-depriving their bodies will feel when they wake up at midnight.
- Change the environment: Eliminate background noise from other activities in your home or outside, such as traffic or lawnmowers. Your baby needs a quiet environment, so changing the environment may help.
- Swaddle your baby: swaddling tightly so your baby can’t move around too much while he sleeps—this reduces movement, which makes it easier for him/her to fall asleep quicker than usual! It is possible to avoid your baby’s witching hour by doing this.
- Massage your infant: Rubbing their tummy gently or placing a whole hand on their head and softly stroking from the back to the front of the head are also good options. Calm your baby down with a massage during your baby’s witching hours.
- Incorporate some movement: Movements like swaying, rocking in a chair, or gentle bouncing while walking are soothing and divert your baby’s attention, and they may even bring up fond memories of the time spent in the womb.
- To soothe, you may try a pacifier: Try a pacifier instead of the bottle or breast for a while and see if it helps. Non-nutritive sucking is soothing and calming for many infants.
- Determine whether the baby has a food allergy: Whether you are nursing and wondering if cutting out milk or caffeine is a good idea, you should talk to your child’s physician. Sensitivity to milk proteins may be diagnosed in certain infants by their symptoms. Formula-feeding parents may also discuss formula variations with their child’s physician.
- When in doubt, consult a medical professional: Consult a physician if you think your infant has colic. If you’re nursing, consider switching to a hypoallergenic baby formula or avoiding particular foods. Colic symptoms in a baby who often throws up or gags may be gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).
The baby’s witching hour only lasts for six weeks, which is one of the most important things you need to know. This means that after this period, everything returns to normal—your baby will be back on track with their usual sleeping and eating patterns. I hope you find this article helpful.