5 Tips to Help You Survive Your Baby’s Witching Hour

In traditional lore, the witching hour refers to a time of night when supernatural creatures, such as witches and ghosts, reach their height of their power. In other words, it’s a time for evil to come out and play.

As the parent of a newborn, you might suspect that a demon has inhabited your child’s body in the wee hours of the night as he cries without end for no apparent reason. No matter how you coddle, swaddle, or cater to your baby’s every need, it may seem like nothing will put a stop to the piercing wails.

Welcome to parenthood! The good news is that this won’t last forever, even though it sometimes seems that way. After a few weeks or months your baby should settle into a routine and start sleeping through the night.

Until then, you need to find ways to cope with the late night crying jags so you don’t lose your mind. Here are a few tips to help you weather the storm of your baby’s witching hour.

1. Speak with Your Doctor

It’s pretty normal for infants to experience a witching hour early in life, but just in case, you might want to check in with your doctor to make sure it’s not a common issue like colic. About one in five babies will suffer from colic and the long hours of crying that result.

You obviously don’t want your child to suffer needlessly, so if frequent bouts of extended crying occur, at night or otherwise, speak with your pediatrician to find out if colic or other causes could be to blame. If it’s colic, switching to goats milk for baby or even organic baby formula could make a difference. In any case, knowing the problem may lead to a solution that means more peace and quiet for your entire household

2. Eliminate Stimuli

All kinds of factors could contribute to restful sleep where your infant is concerned.  Therefore, it’s best to reduce stimuli like lights, noises, and temperature fluctuations as much as possible. This is especially important when you baby wakes up.

Turning on a hall light, a nightlight, or the television can serve to make your baby even more restless and delay your child’s return to slumber. If noises like the HVAC clicking on or neighbor dogs barking seem to be to blame for waking your infant, you might want to try out a white noise or wave machine to lull your baby back to sleep.

3. Feed and Burp

Whether you breastfeed, you use Hipp Formula, or you rely on organic cow milk for babies to keep your infant satisfied, feeding when your baby wakes up at night and cries could be a good way to calm him and help him fall back asleep. This doesn’t work for every baby, but in the beginning it’s normal for newborns to feed at frequent intervals and he may wake up with hunger pangs that cause him to cry.

If your baby wakes soon after feeding, there’s a chance he simply got gassy and uncomfortable. Burping after late night feedings could help to alleviate additional waking.

4. Get Moving

Your baby spent months in your belly, getting used to the gentle movement of your body. In many cases, moving him around can help to calm him and induce slumber. This is why so many nurseries include a rocking chair.

You could also carry him around in your arms or a sling.  You might even want to strap him into a car seat and go for a ride. Many new parents swear by the motion of a car to lull their restless babies back to sleep in the witching hour.

5. Pamper Yourself

A lot of your waking hours will be consumed with catering to the needs of your newborn, but you’re going to burn out if you don’t find a way to take care of yourself, as well. You need a little TLC if you’re going to survive your child’s infancy, especially with hours of nightly crying cutting into your sleep.

Your parents, siblings, friends, and your extended support network can be a real help if you let them.  When they offer to bottle feed during the day so you can get a much-needed nap, take a shower, or sit down to a hot meal, for goodness sake, accept their assistance.

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