Thank you to our guest author and Expert, Liesel Teen for this amazing article!
After you bring your newborn home, there is so much bliss and joy in your life. Seriously, there’s nothing better than baby snuggles, am I right? But along with that little bundle of joy comes a number of obstacles that make the newborn days TOUGH.
One common challenge SO many mamas face is a very fussy baby for a few hours every evening. Sound familiar? Mama, it’s a thing and you are NOT alone. This magical (sarcasm) time of the day is known as the witching hour.
And if you have a 0-3 month old, I’m guessing you are nodding your head, but maybe you didn’t know it was so common there’s even a name for it!
Before we get more into the witching hour, let me introduce myself. I’m Liesel Teen, L&D RN and the face behind the popular Instagram account and website – Mommy Labor Nurse! It’s my passion to provide support and education to expecting and new mamas, and I’m thrilled to be over here on Crane USA sharing some tips related to fussy newborns.
The witching hour is a fussy period that almost all babies go through. It tends to happen around the same time every day and most frequently occurs in the late afternoon and evening hours (6 p.m.- 12 a.m.). It usually begins between weeks 2 and 3 and peaks around week 6, then declines around the 3-month mark.
During this time, baby might be a little fussier than normal and difficult to soothe. If you are nursing, baby might want to cluster feed or might not want to nurse at all. They may seem tired but don’t want to sleep!
And yup, I realize that may not be totally helpful, hah. It’s because one of the TOUGHEST things about the witching hour is that often it seems like baby doesn’t know what he or she wants! While this behavior can be challenging to manage for many parents, it is important to remember that it is normal, and it’s temporary.
One thing to note – the witching hour is different than full blown colic. Colic is a term used to refer to babies that have regular, long, intense intervals of crying. Usually, it’s defined as crying for 3+ hours per day, more than three days per week for three or more weeks.
If you have a colic baby, I see you mama. It can be SO hard to have an inconsolable baby, and I feel for you.
Sometimes, colic is the result of a food allergy/intolerance or extreme and painful baby gas. But sometimes – like the witching hour – colic can be difficult to understand. The tips below can help with colic babies, too, but I do encourage you to talk to your baby’s pediatrician if you think this is what’s going on!
Alright, if you’re here, you’re probably looking for tips to get through this challenging and exhausting part of the day. Here’s a list I’ve compiled including things that have worked for me AND advice from other mamas in the Mommy Labor Nurse community.
The most important thing to remember about the witching hour is that it is temporary. I can’t even put my finger on exactly when it happened for my boys, but suddenly you’ll realize you’re NOT dealing with nightly crying anymore.
You can get through this, mama, and with the tips on this list hopefully it won’t be quite so intense. Do you have another tip or piece of advice about the witching hour? I’d love to hear from you! Don’t be a stranger.
Liesel Teen is a labor and delivery nurse (L&D RN), mom of two, the face behind the popular pregnancy Instagram page @mommy.labornurse, and creator of the online childbirth class, Birth It Up. Birth is something she’s been passionate about for as long as she can remember, and she loves sharing her nursing knowledge to help mamas-to-be learn more about pregnancy and birth.
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