There’s a reason why they call that time in the late afternoon to early evening the witching hour (in my case I called it suicide hour) – when your baby goes into meltdown for no apparent reason. Overstimulation, hunger and tiredness can lead to a world of misery for both of you that manifests itself in the witching hour. If you’re struggling, here are some solutions:
Create a special space
Taking your baby away from the stresses of witching hour can help. When he gets niggly, try putting him in his bouncer in a quiet corner. Try to pack away noisy toys and give just one cuddly toy to encourage down time. If you have a teepee, this is the ideal space to create down time.
Have a bath
If your little one is having a meltdown, or you can sense one coming on, it’s worth getting him in the bath even if it is a little earlier than usual.
Regular massage on your newborn can smooth some of those cranky kinks out. A massage helps develop your baby’s nervous system, so he can cope better with the stimulation he receives during the day.It also releases feel-good hormones which lower the build-up of stress hormones.
Put your baby in the pram and go for a walk. The fresh air good for you and simply getting out of that stressful space will be good for you and a bonus to get some exercise.
Keep an eye on the time
There’s a limit to how long a baby can be awake and happy and if you push that limit, you’ll end up with a fractious child. The time limit changes as little ones get older – for a new baby, it’s 45 minutes to an hour. Create a routine so that you put your baby to sleep around the same time every night.
Everyone wants to come and look at your gorgeous new baby, but you have to be strict if you want to keep his crankiness to a minimum. Other people bring a lot of sensory information that add to your child’s sensory overload. Try not having visitors after 5pm and keep the two hours before she goes to bed as calm as possible. Try set a routine.