5 Tried and True Ways to Help you Get Through the Witching Hour
For many parents, you mention the words “witching hour” and you'll see their eyes widen. It is inevitable no matter how well behaved our children are during the day, if it's the early evening, our children magically start acting out in ways that we never thought they could.
The witching hour is when our children seem to be so upset and overstimulated. For babies, this can mean that they are overly fussy and it's harder to soothe them. For older children, they might throw more tantrums, be cranky and harder to please. No matter what the age of your child, the witching hour is hard to get through for both parents and our little ones.
I'll never forget the first time I experienced the witching hour with my oldest daughter. As a new parent, I was still adjusting to the routine of having this little one around and figuring out her cues. I'd been warned by others about the witching hour, but never thought it was actually a real thing. It wasn't until the evening hours where she'd just cry and I'd rock her back and forth while holding her and walking her up and down the hallway in our home, that I came to quickly learn, it was, in fact, a real thing.
Much like most things with parenting, finding out what works is trial and error. I tried many different ways to successfully get through the witching hour before finding a few that worked for our family. One thing that works and has worked for us from day one is getting outside.
When my kids were babies, I'd put them in the baby carrier so they could have one-on-one contact and we'd walk around our neighborhood. Now that they are a bit older, I'll open up our back door and let the kids run outside until it's time for dinner. With the fresh air and letting them get their energy out, it seems to calm down the situation a little bit better. I also let them relax a little bit and read books. I'll put some music on in our house and dim the lights so that they feel more serene. This helps them connect with each other and helps us get calmer before dinner and bedtime.
There are so many ways that you can help get through that dreaded witching hour and it's best to keep trying until you find something that works for you and your little one. We asked moms what they do to help make the witching hour a bit less stressful and here's what they said.
1. A Bath
“Bath if it's really bad. With bubbles & colored water. If we're doing okay, we go outside and water the garden... which usually leads to mud puddles and then a bath inside.” - Adrienne K.
“Bath and rocking chair.” - Olive M.
“Baths!!!!!! Giant bubble baths!” - Ashley S.
“Babywearing, skin to skin, go outside, change of scenery (switch parents or call for reinforcements), lots of deep breaths.” - Aryn H.
“Baby wearing in wrap or Ergo---just in the house or for a walk around the neighborhood!” - Kristin N.
“For infants babywearing and toddler/older kids music and dancing” - Katie K.
3. Getting Outside
“Outside!! Park, playground, hike, backyard. Rain, sunshine or cold. It always seems to help in some way.” - Colette L.
“Walk! Walk! Walk!!!!!” - Cindy M.
4. Music and Dancing
“Depending on the mood of the house, story time or singing and dancing. It helps mom just as much as the kids!” - Laura G.
“Turning on Music-works 100% of the time, and often we will have dance parties or bath time! Art works great too!” - Erin F.
5. White Noise
“White noise and swaddles.” - Shanna M.
The witching hour can affect all of us, so it's important that we can find ways to manage it so that both parents and our children are back to their happy selves again.
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