,If you are an experienced parent, you can relate to the witching hour(s). However, most soon-to-be parents have little idea what that phrase really means. No, your child does not turn into a Halloween witch. They do however, witch. Simply put, there will potentially be a few hours a day where you can do little, if anything, to soothe your baby’s unpleasant mood. Generally, the witching hour(s) happen in the early evening, most often along side the sunset. Crying, fussing and general discontent are all quite common in newborns during this time. Why do they do this? Unknown. I know, not the best answer, but the closest to real answer I can state is that as babes transition from womb to earth their whole physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health shifts too. This is a BIG transition for a wee soul.
The good news, you have done nothing wrong or have caused this so-called witchy behaviour. Another good thing is that this phase ends, relatively quickly. Most babies outgrow this phase by 12-14 weeks of age. That said, as a breastfeeding, baby wearing mama of three, this stage was not pleasant. I remember dreading it. At certain points in my postpartum it would borderline induce anxiety. Gah. That feeling sucks. I remember sweating, crying and a feeling of fatigue coupled with total physical and emotional overwhelm. Again, it’s not your fault, it’s biological within infants and it DOES end!
During the early days of postpartum, you are literally in survival mode. You hear about it right? A shower? What’s that? Eating or doing laundry, what? It’s true. However, it isn't tangible until you are living it. Remember, newborns eat roughly every 2 hours. Often for a half hour+ at a time. That means you are potentially feeding your baby for 6 to 12 hours a day, everyday, all day. I’m not writing this to scare you. However, knowing this ahead of time is helpful as it helps align your expectations. Expect to be tired, overwhelmed and feel moments of joy along side this.
So, how does one survive the witching hours? Surrender! BREATHE & surrender to the fact that you will likely be unable to soothe your baby. Hold them, breathe, talk to them, breathe, have a bath with them, breathe, walk with them, breathe, carry them, breathe, offer them skin on skin and…ASK FOR HELP. Allow other people to participate in the witching hours by doing the same tasks above. When it ends, drop your shoulders and do a quick check-in with your physical and emotional self to see where you are holding tension. Release it, have a bath, shower or some yoga to rinse yourself clean of the witchy energy.
Good luck mama/papa-to-be.