Poll Discussion: Witching Hour

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If your baby had witching hour, then I am sure you remember wondering things like, “When will this end?” “WILL this end?” “What can I do to help my baby?” It can be a very disconcerting experience to have your baby essentially inconsolable and for no obvious reason. And so, a poll on the topic can definitely serve to add comfort to future parents who have a baby with witching hour. 

It is very helpful for me when compiling answers if you at least number the answers you give. You can also copy the questions and answer them. If the question does not apply to you, simply put “N/A.”


  1. At what age did your baby start having witching hour?
  2. At what age did witching hour go away?
  3. What hour/hours of the day did baby have witching hour?
  4. Did anything help keep your baby content during witching hour? 
  5. Any advice for parents experiencing witching hour?

For posts on witching hour, see:

valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

6 Comments

  1. Titus 2 Student
    August 12, 2015 / 1:28 PM

    1. It started around 1 month.2. It ended right at 4 months.3. It lasted from about 6:30 to 10:30pm (then she crashed and STTN after what was supposed to be dream feed time).4. Holding her while reading, trying some cluster feeding, wearing her while doing dishes or tidying up for the evening, and sometimes the swing for brief periods all seemed to be what we cycled through doing. Thankfully my husband came home during this period and was able to relieve me a lot after that.5. It helped me to remember it had to end eventually and I kept 4 months in sight a lot as a point to reach since I'd heard so often it resolved itself for many families then (which it sure enough did for us!). It helped to remember that other parents around the world were dealing with the same thing right then. I also enjoyed leaving the house with her sometimes during this time since she wasn't sleeping anyway just to kind of change scenery (girls night out, grocery store, etc)…it seemed like she just wanted to be with people at that time. She was an amazing napper all day and slept through the night very early, and I almost wonder if she partly just really wanted some more social time? I know she was overtired during that time period, but I wondered if that might be a small factor.

  2. me
    August 12, 2015 / 5:11 PM

    At what age did your baby start having witching hour?Right in the first week of her life. She was 2 weeks overdue, maybe we missed that "honeymoon period" 🙂 At what age did witching hour go away?3 months What hour/hours of the day did baby have witching hour?Basically anything after the second nap. So from 3-4 pm on she had a rough time till bedtime and always had trouble going to sleep at night too. Sometimes she'd take her 3rd nap without trouble but never the 4th. Did anything help keep your baby content during witching hour? I would wear her in a baby sling for her last nap. I'd push my toddler in the stroller and go for a walk or something. It was a lifesaver. As an interesting sidenote, I have loved having my baby used to sleeping in the sling from birth. She slept in her bed the majority of the time, and still does now, when we're home. But if we're out and about and can't be home for naptime, like Sunday in church, she will still sleep in my sling (14 months old now). It is very convenient. The other MAJOR game changer for me was cutting out all chocolate. Once I did that, the inconsolable screaming went away. It was a huge improvement. From research I found that it's the theobromine in chocolate that a lot of babies can't handle? Mine sure couldn't. Even a little piece… it was tough for me 😉 but helps with the baby weight 😉 Any advice for parents experiencing witching hour?Hang in there. Don't be afraid to try different things. If your baby does 2 naps a day in her bed then I feel like she's still learning to sleep there and you can try different things if the last nap isn't working. Seems to me like babies go through so many stages of sleep training. If you don't do everything according to the book those first 3 months, it really doesn't mean that you blew it for good. There will be lots of other chances. Don't be so "strict" that you will regret it later. I don't regret any of those times I snuggled my baby in my sling and she's a great bed napper now. Don't stress about it.

  3. Stephanie Burnham
    August 13, 2015 / 11:59 AM

    My baby started witching hour around 4 weeks and it stopped around 8/9 weeks. I would do the 5 S's from Happiest Baby on the Block or just feed her. Hers only lasted from 7-730 or so. I also cut out dairy and I think that helped. Just remember like everything else with babies, things change fast! I barely remember the witching hour now but at the time it seemed like it would never end.

  4. Acasper3
    August 13, 2015 / 2:49 PM

    1. About 1 month2. Around 5 months 3. 7-9pm but she would have. Dream feed around 11pmand sttn until 8/9am.4. Cluster feed, hold her a little but mostly just let her cry to get it out of her system.5. There is always something with kids. As parents, we need to stay vigilant and persistent. Constant love and patience. Don't give up, ever, or try to clock out.

  5. Jennifer
    August 15, 2015 / 2:37 PM

    1. 2 weeks2. Around 5 months 3. 4:00-7:00pm4. Cluster fed, put in swing, and went on walks when the weather was nice.5. Know that witching hour is normal and it will pass so quickly you won't remember it a few months later! Also, don't worry about "breaking the rules" during this time. Do what you need to for your baby.

  6. Valerie Plowman
    September 8, 2015 / 8:30 PM

    Thank you everyone for your comments! This post will be up tomorrow–September 9.

Leave a Reply

Poll Discussion: Witching Hour

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Let’s discuss witching hour! 

  1. Did your baby have witching hour?
  2.  If so, what age did you notice it started?
  3. What age did you notice it ended?
  4. What hours of the day did baby have witching hour?
  5. What did you do to help with witching hour?

My Answers:

Brayden:

1. I honestly do not know.

Kaitlyn:

1. I don’t think so, but it is possible.

McKenna:

1.Yes!

2. About 8 weeks

3. Sometime between 3-4 months.

4. It was evening for her–right around bedtime (so 6 ish PM)

5. We went out as a family. She was happy if she was held or in motion, so we just left the house.

Brinley:

1. Yes. It was more mild than McKenna’s.

2. About 3 weeks.

3. Close to 4 months old.

4. Close to bedtime. It was the 7-8 PM hour.

5. She was fine during awake time, but had a hard time falling asleep. Because of this, I nursed her to sleep. When I did that, she was fine and it didn’t interfere with other naps at all.

Your Turn! 

Answer the questions for your child(ren). Please share all you want to–I think it will be helpful for moms who have babies with witching hour to hear your stories. And also, it would be helpful if you numbered your answers like I did.

valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

18 Comments

  1. Holly M
    December 5, 2012 / 5:45 PM

    1. Yes!2. Around 8 weeks old.3. 4 months old.4. 6:00-7:00 when it was time for the 4th nap.5. We struggled through it for a long time until one day I just grabbed the pacifier and sat in the dark room holding him until he fell asleep. He went to sleep much faster (like 30 minutes faster). Once we decided to try to skip the nap one night and go to EAESY routine, the witching hour almost immediately went away.

  2. Katy
    December 5, 2012 / 5:48 PM

    1. YES2. 3 weeks?3. Around 3 months?4. 4-6/7pm5. He was largely inconsolable. We'd walk inside/outside, bounce, talk, sing, etc… But it was pretty much 2-3 hours straight of screaming. He'd usually improve outside, though.

  3. The Atwoods
    December 5, 2012 / 6:37 PM

    1. Yes!!2. Around 6 weeks3. Around 10 weeks4. 4:30-8:00 PM5. The baby swing was a lifesaver!!!

  4. Alikoch
    December 5, 2012 / 6:42 PM

    Hi! Babywise worked wonders the first three months for my baby. At four months she started waking up 1 or twice from what I thought was teething. Now at 8 months she is still waking up! I follow the routine daily and I'm so bummed that this worked so well and now it doesn't. Help!!

  5. Shea Lafferty
    December 5, 2012 / 6:44 PM

    First son1. Yes2. Early, at like 2 or 3 weeks.3. I think it went on until he was at least 4 months old.4. It was evening time for 1 to 2 hours starting at around 6 or 7ish.5. My husband would stand and do a bounce with rhythmic 3 pats that really helped calm him and we often used the swing. Sometimes we could take a ride in the car and he would calm down.Second son1. Not really a cry it out witching hour like the first. He has some trouble taking his 4th nap, so it is witching hour like. If he is not well rested in the afternoon then he gets more fussy.2. He did not start this until 6 or 7 weeks old3. He is 14 weeks and still struggles with nap number 4.4. We have used the swing or just holding him and keeping him occupied. He also likes the bath so we will do a long one if needed followed by massage.

  6. Anonymous
    December 5, 2012 / 7:06 PM

    1. Did your baby have witching hour?I don't think so, at least not yet (She's 3 months old). We did struggle with some painful gas issues early on, so it is possible that some of that was witching hour and we didn't know it. Once we figured out the gas pains, she was almost like a different baby.2. If so, what age did you notice it started?NA3. What age did you notice it ended?NA4. What hours of the day did baby have witching hour?NA5. What did you do to help with witching hour?NA

  7. Danielle
    December 5, 2012 / 7:17 PM

    My daughter is almost 2 now and I've only heard of witching hour recently. She didn't have any of the symptoms for it so I would say no.

  8. Xio
    December 5, 2012 / 7:24 PM

    1. Yes2. 4 weeks 3. 7 weeks, 6 days4. 6-ish to 9:30-10pm5. My husband would sit in the bathroom with him, lights off, fan on, white noise blasting, and rock him side to side.

  9. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    December 5, 2012 / 8:27 PM

    DS (now 4.75yo)1. Yes (but it was kind of all day)2. 2 days3. 10 weeks4. Any hour, but worst 8pm-1am5. Co-slept and breastfed. Part of DS's problem might have been that we were doing attachment parenting and he was no doubt severely OT at all times of the day.DS (now 22mo):1. Yes2. 6 weeks3. 15 weeks, when we did CIO at bedtime4. 6pm – 11pm5. Held and rocked. From 11-15wo, it had to be in a quiet, dark room with white noise the entire time. At 15wo, that stopped working, and we established a bedtime using extinction CIO (which didn't end up being all that much crying, anyway). Also, we increased some nursings as needed during the witching hours.

  10. Katie {My Paisley Apron}
    December 5, 2012 / 8:28 PM

    Oops, my 2nd kid (now 22mo) is DD, not a DS. 🙂

  11. Muffy
    December 5, 2012 / 9:08 PM

    Mary-Meadows:1. Yes.2. About 8 weeks3. 11-12 weeks4. 8-11 pm (From bedtime to dreamfeed)5. She started out in her bed, after 15 minutes if she was crying, I moved her to her swing, where she would usually calm down, if she was still crying in the swing after 30 mins, I would hold her. Towards the end of 11 weeks, she started sleeping when I held her, then gradually, she started going to sleep in the swing and finally, she just went to sleep. The first few weeks of this were crazy until I sat down & figured out this plan. (Thanks to reading your blog about doing what you needed to do to keep baby happy during witching hour). But one thing that did help during that time was going over to a friend's house because she was going to be awake anyway.

  12. Anita Barton
    December 5, 2012 / 9:29 PM

    1 yes2 around 5-6w3 around 6w4 5-7pm5 shortened her wake time during the day so she napped better and got more sleep. I think hers was an overtired accumulation problem. And tried to get her to sleep through it however I could (on me, nurse to sleep etc)

  13. Kristina H.
    December 6, 2012 / 3:49 AM

    Big N (first-born, boy):1. YES2. birth (lol, he cried a lot)3. is it supposed to end? he's 10 now (just kidding, about a year)4. early on, it was all the time. by 2 months, it was between 5-8pm5. took A LOT of walks; had husband and parents come hold him so i didn't lose my mindSweet C (2nd born, girl):1. no, thank You, Lord! :)Special K (3rd born, girl):1. yes2. about 3 weeks3. maybe 4 months or so4. dinner time/pre bedtime5. carried her, rocked her, bouncy seat, swing…distracted her with my older 2 kiddosLittle N (4th, the baby, boy, now age 5):1. i don't think so…if he got fussy, he was easily distracted by my 3 older kiddos

  14. Kristin L.
    December 6, 2012 / 1:12 PM

    1. I think so, although it was hard to tell with acid reflux problems mixed in there.2. Around 4 weeks old.3. Around 10 weeks when we got the acid reflux under control (after trial and error of different formulas and medication).4. Dinner time, so 5:30/6:00ish5. We'd let our son nap in the swing while we ate dinner.

  15. Bethany Guthrie
    December 6, 2012 / 2:46 PM

    1. Yes.2. About 3 or 4 weeks old.3. 3 mos. old to the day.4. Between 4 and 9 PM.5. Going out and more frequent feedings.

  16. barnold barnes
    December 6, 2012 / 2:52 PM

    1. Nope and he's 8 months now

  17. Lys
    December 6, 2012 / 4:03 PM

    1. Yes2. About 2 weeks old3. between 4 and 5 months4. between 4 and 9:30 pm… basically she would not take a nap between those times. She was also fussy, but not screaming or anything like that.5. Just dealt with it somehow… took turns carrying her around, etc. I often put her in a baby sling and would go for a walk to put her to sleep. We would hold her all evening and she would sometimes sleep on us but other times we had to keep walking with her. It went away at 4.5 months and now she goes to sleep (by herself) beautifully at 7 pm. Still has a bit of trouble with her 3rd nap sometimes.

  18. Landonsmommy
    December 7, 2012 / 8:31 PM

    1. Yes2. Around 8 weeks3. Around 12 weeks4. Between 6-7 pm5. If it was 6:30 or later we just put him down earlier for the night. It did not seem to effect his morning wake-time. If it was 6:00 we would give him a long bath. He loved just sitting in the water.I should also mention that we were visiting family from weeks 8-10. He could have been fussy because he was not taking as long of naps as normal.

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