The Messy Bun Life is excited to have Felicity Frankish of The Baby Vine share her wisdom on the dreaded witching hour with our community today as a guest blogger.
When it comes to welcoming a new baby into your lives and your home, there is this little thing most people don’t tell you about. It’s called Witching Hour.
Your baby is born and you have the sleepiest, cuddliest and best behaved little one in the world (and you aren’t biased, of course). They sleep, they feed, they repeat, and you are sent home from hospital feeling nervous, yet excited, and ready to tackle this parenting thing head on.
Then, without warning, it is like your little one decides one day to just wake up. And from that day forward, at the same time, witching hour will commence.
Don’t let the name mislead you. Witching hour often goes on for much longer than an hour. It is a period in your day where your baby won’t be put down. They want to be cuddle, they want to cluster feed, they want to fall asleep in your arms and they want to cry – a lot.
It often falls at the end of the day when your baby is tired and just can’t settle themselves and your boobs often produce less. It’s a time where you are trying to get dinner of the table, clothes folded and put away, washing older siblings and getting them to bed and so on. Witching hour is hard enough when you have one kid, let alone more.
Here are some tips to make witching hour that little less stressful and to help you maintain your sanity through it.
The best way to beat witching hour is to be prepared for it. Bring in those clothes off the line early, have dinner prepped and ready to go, make sure those bottles are washed and sterilized. The more you can get done in the earlier hours of the day, will take the stress off you when witching hour begins. While it would be nice if we could just avoid this time altogether, being prepared for it does help.
If your baby doesn’t want to be put down, instead of confining yourself to the couch, giving babywearing a go. There are plenty of different carrier options out there from ring slings to baby wraps, which are nice and comfortable for a newborn, while leaving your hands free to get things done.
Invest In Devices
While you don’t want your home to become overload with baby things, a good bouncer, swing or swaying machine really is invaluable. Sometimes a gentle rock that can come from an electronic bouncer is all your little one needs to help them settle during witching hour. If anything, it’s a great place to pop them while you run about getting things done. You can keep them in the thick of things so they know you haven’t gone anywhere and you can pick them up and comfort them when you get the chance.
Take a Break
If it all becomes a bit too much for you, don’t be afraid to step away. Put your baby somewhere safe and remove yourself from the situation. This gives you a chance to cool down, catch your breath and head back in to tackle everything. You need to be able to put yourself first.
Call for Backup
If the option is there, call in reinforcements! If your Mother in Law wants to visit, feel free to ask her to come during witching hour to be another set of hands. Guests love to be helpful, so put them to work!
Remember it’s a Phase
Like everything in parenting, it’s important to remember that this is a phase and it too shall pass. As hard as it can be when you are right in the thick of it, it can be useful to realise that this will end some day and there is light at the end of the tunnel.