The Witching Hours start around 2-3 weeks, peak at 6 weeks, and end at 3-4 months max.
And it’s those handful of hours when a baby suddenly loses their mind (lol), cries nonstop, gets anxious, fussy and restless during the same time every day, usually late in the evening around 5 to 11pm.
When they began with Sofia, I thought she had stomach ache, that it was something I was eating that was upsetting her. But then I understood what happened & how to minimize them.
HOW TO MINIMIZE THEM
1. Prevent from getting overtired. Babies are sensitive to being awake for long periods of time as they release cortisol & adrenaline to keep them going giving them a second wind, so make sure they get their naps.
2. No stimulation. As soon as it begins: No lights, no loud voices, and minimal changes. This is part o the reason why I love going upstairs around 8pm when it starts, and keep my room dark and quiet.
3. Take a bath. Start the night routine with a bath. Mom & baby or just baby. It helps kick start the night less fussy. It can also promote more restful sleep.
4. Infant Massage. It helps regulate their system, improves digestion, growth, development, muscle tone, sleep, calms a colicky baby, lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and stimulates melatonin production, helping babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
TO GET THROUGH THEM
1. Hold them tight or swaddle & hold.
2. Use a paci, they are anxious and want to suck.
3. Bounce on the ball OR sooth them by rocking them in arms back and forth with a small range, but quickly.
4. You can add the shusher / white noise.
5. Don’t feed much. It may seem like they want to feed/are hungry, but usually it just gets them more overwhelmed and anxious. They just want the sucking motion so that’s why I use the paci.
6. Ask for help! After 2h of all of the above, i take a break when my husband comes to the room from putting Sofia to sleep, and then I take over again.
Don’t worry. The witching hours magically disappear! We just have to get through them, and then we’ll get other phases like leaps & teething lol!