The science behind the ‘witching hour’: experts reveal why your baby turns into a screaming banshee from 5pm to 11pm – and offer tips for surviving it
Many new parents know that as soon as 5 p.m. rolls around, the dreaded “witching hour” begins and can last until 11 p.m.
Research has shown that inconsolable crying starts two to three weeks after you bring home your bundle of joy and while it can be excruciating for new parents, there’s a science behind why it happens.
The reasons for screaming for hours can be upset stomach, fatigue and overstimulation.
Pediatricians and sleep experts have teamed up to support new parents as they navigate the witching hour and have found tips for calming a newborn.
It’s the time of day that new parents dread – the witching hour. From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., your newborns are inconsolable. Experts reveal why and how to survive
The witching hour is different from colic, which is defined as episodes of crying for more than three hours during the day, for more than three days a week and happens for at least three weeks in a row.
However, some new parents may find that they have a baby with cramps who also participates in the witching hour.
Pediatric sleep coaches and medical professionals believe that understanding why witch hour occurs is a start to taming it later on.
And overtiredness is considered the main reason for fussy babies.
It may seem like your newborn baby sleeps constantly, but they were once in the womb where they slept in a warm environment for almost all hours of the day.
Now they are in the world and they sleep in a new environment that can relax them.
During this time, babies may begin to release adrenaline into the bloodstream, making it difficult to fall asleep and becoming overtired as the day progresses.
Medical professionals recommend taking your bundle of joy outside during the day and late afternoon to help them sleep better at night.
Newborns are also just beginning to make their way in the world: the lights, sounds, and movements are all new and exciting.
The reasons for screaming for hours can be upset stomach, fatigue and overstimulation
This can be too much for their little bodies and they become overstimulated.
By the time it’s five o’clock your newborn may have reached its stimulation and is therefore crying, start crying as a result.
Symptoms of overstimulation include wanting to feed more, clenching fists, and not wanting to be touched.
Child sleep coach Desiree Baird, a mother of twins, recommends eliminating background noise to help your baby relax.
“Dim the lights, turn off the TV, and go to a quiet room to eat. A calming environment and a full tummy may be just what your baby needs during witching hour,” Baird said in a statement. blog post.
Another reason that could cause the witching hour could be stomach upset due to gas or acid reflux – both of which are common in newborns due to their developing digestive system.
Although there is nothing in the pharmacy that is suitable for babies, mothers can look at their diet to see if any of the foods they eat can contribute.
WebMD suggests eliminating spicy foods, sugary drinks, and common culprits like beans, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
Another tip is adding white noise to the mix, which mimics the sounds your baby heard while growing in your womb and can take them back to the only place they know.
Experts also recommend having a bedtime routine, which consists of bathing for five minutes, feeding for the next 15 minutes, reading a book, and then turning off the lights.