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While we try to prepare ourselves for motherhood, nothing can really prepare us for the dreaded witching hour. We can read till the cows come home, but nothing is like the real deal.

Some mums are lucky and get kids that literally sleep like a baby. I didn’t have that luck….TWICE.

You may have heard of the concept of purple crying or the witching hour. It is when babies reach about 6 weeks and then just start to cry…A LOT! For my girls, witching hour (or hours) would start in the evening around 9 pm, and sometimes went on till 5 am. Nothing could soothe them.

Some said: “Oh, I’m sure it’s colic!”
No, it wasn’t.

The baby didn’t have belly pain or was curling up in pain. It was nervous crying, stretching hands and feet, and screaming their thoughts out. It just seemed endless. The worst part lasted for about two months. Then it slowly subsided. I even took advice from our pediatrician and gave my older daughter drops for colic. But after two days she started to get real colic pain. So I stopped. And googled for witching hour survival tactics.

Here are some of the things that saved my life…and my partners:

1. Babywearing

This worked with my older daughter during the awful witching hour. I had a baby wrap, and when she would get fussy or start crying, the moment I put her in a wrap she would calm down and fall asleep. She loved being in the wrap. I carried her everywhere. But I still had problems with the witching hour. When I took her out she would start crying. So I had a backup plan…. with tip no.2

2. Pilates Ball

Oh, the nights we spent on that ball…. it really did wonders. The second I would sit with her on the ball she was at peace. Like the bouncing reminded her of being in the womb while mummy is walking. First I had to bounce high, and then as she calmed I would slow down. Me and my partner did a lot of bouncing with the eldest during witching hour….but that was the only way she wouldn’t cry those first months.

At night, my partner would bounce her on the ball next to the bed and when she was totally asleep I would start nursing her in bed and sometimes she just continued to sleep. We did this as many times as needed until she would finally stay asleep.

I still see myself on the pilates ball at 2 am, bouncing and crying from pain in my hands and thighs….. the wonders of motherhood…haha. But this too shall pass…. Trust me…

3. I Saved The Best Till Last

The second daughter didn’t like to be carried. I even bought the famous Ergo baby this time around to save my back. Because let’s be honest… Ergo is the best! She just couldn’t stand it! OMG, now what!?! She was a totally different baby. The bouncing did help, but I just couldn’t bounce the night away again. I knew about the wonders of white noise. I even broke one blow-drier with my firstborn. She wouldn’t sleep without my breast in her mouth until 10-months old. The blow-drier kept her sleeping for some 10 minutes while laying alone, or kept her calm while changing….

With my second daughter I discovered the magical Womb Sound on Youtube. There are lots of those sounds, but one was the best! Even now when she’s almost 2 years it helps sometimes when she’s unsettled at night. I don’t know who this guy is but he has got almost 10 million views…. and I hope he gets rich out of it

Check it out below:

You can even buy it on amazon and always have it prepared, ready to go.

Imagine a baby screaming like someone is poking her and you put on the sound and all of a sudden she peacefully closes her eyes and sleeps. I love that this clip goes for 10 hours!! Oh, how many nights we slept with it playing. First I would put it on loud, and little by little, I lowered the volume.

The Bottom Line

I read that babies that cry a lot are smarter, intelligent. If it is, my girls are going to be geniuses! Anyway, maybe it will give you some comfort. Witching hour is something most parents have to endure, and it’s hell… My friends’ babies would all sleep and eat. I was so jealous. Now I believe that my babies are different, curious, always in need of some stimulation…. And one day they will achieve a greater good… That’s how I see it… I always try to find the bright side of everything…

WE ARE ALL STRONGER THAN WE THINK

If you enjoyed this story, read more on amumtomum.com… See ya!

Write a comment below on how you coped with witching hour, or how did my advice work for you. Let’s share knowledge…

 

  • I wish I’d known about this when my boys started this. Was told by our then local doctor that I was the cause of their screaming because I didn’t know what to do. I would sit up in a chair all night rocking them to sleep so my husband could get sleep. I let him think I was just up early every morning. I know he would have helped but being a shearer I didn’t want him getting tired with that handpiece going. Thank you for sharing this information for all of the women who are going through this and hopefully it helps.


    • Oh my, I’m so sorry you went through it alone. You doctor really is not a good person telling you its your fault! It was never your fault, you are a great mum…. remember that always…
      I just hope this helpes other mums

    Reply

  • I’d never heard of this term but my daughter definitely had this! For me it started just after everyone else went back to work and I was on my own (about 3 weeks) I literally thought I was killing her. Doctors didn’t help they had me super stressed thinking I wasn’t producing enough milk because she didn’t gain as much as they thought she should. In the end she was/is fine. She’s 8 now. Baby wearing definitely worked for her.


    • Hello Sars, thank you for reading. I must tell you… you are a mum, and your instinct is the best care of your child. A lioness woken inside us when we become mums is a like a new woman was born. I am here if you need any advice…
      Good luck dear

    Reply

  • First time I have read that others have had to contend with this. Thought I was just nuts at the time – I would stay awake with my baby through the week and my partner would stay up on the weekend so I could at least get two days rest. Lasted for a couple of months and just horrendous at the time, but as you say – all these things pass. Couldn’t have had a better child apart from this early problem.


    • Thank you for your comment darling. That is why is important to talk about things like that, so we don’t feel alone or going mad. None of my friends had scenario like me…. thanks heavens for google and forums…. so I found some comfort in others stories. That is why I wrote this …. To help others, to know you are not alone.
      Sending hugs

    Reply

  • Important not to compare your baby with others. They are all different and you need to work out what works for your baby. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it all gets too much


    • Not to talk about it is the worst a new mum could do for herself. If not your friends or family, forums and social media groups can be a really good support. If it continues, doctor is a must do

    Reply

  • I tried a few of these techniques and each baby is different. Glad the stuff stated was things that I was already doing, meaning I was on the right track


    • Yes, all babies are different. Only few cry 10hours a day like mine did….and for each, some other technique helps. That is why we mums must be here for eachother and learn each day.
      If my article helps and saves the nerves of just one mum….I will be proud of myself.
      Good luck to you and I hope it will pass soon????

    Reply

  • Isnt it funny how some thing are ment to happen? Like me stumbling upon this article while my daughter has started screaming for our witching hour that never seems to end ???? I have just downloaded a womb sound so im hoping that this does the trick!
    And I totally feel the ‘my friends babies just eat and sleep’ because mines NEVER done it and my friends ones have so im a bit jealous! Even from birth she would scream if i put her down for 5mins ???? But reading this reminds me there is hope and it will end. It just better soon ????


    • I am so happy you read it in the just right time! Yes, it will pass, just have patience. I went through it twice as you read it. Please do write back how did it work for you! Good luck

    Reply

  • Yep! After learning when babys leaps happen it makes it easier to know the witching hour serves a purpose, and is a season that will pass as bub grows. Its definitely one of the hardest stages when your body has just been through the wringer


    • Also it is great to hear I am not alone on this one. Most of my friends had no trouble with their babies sleeping. Thank heavens for google????

    Reply

  • So glad to here that I’m not the only one calling it witching hour.


    • Isn’t it the wright name for it haha????



      • I love how its called witching hour when its goes for way long than an hour….


      • You are wright! I should have written the witching hours????

    Reply

  • How did I not know about this YouTube clip before. I’ve looked more at apps but a lot of them only play for set hours which is less than what baby needs at night. Will definitely be looking at that one!


    • There are a lot of similar sounds on youtube. But this one has some magic in it. You must try it out. It still helps sometimes, even my LO is 2 years old. I also wish I knew this with my elder.. Do try it and let me know????

    Reply

  • When my grandson was born, was the first time I had heard of this witching hour. Never knew it existed when my kids were babies


    • Hello! Thank you for reading! Yes, that is what my mum also said. Its theese new generations hehe

    Reply

  • Thanks for sharing your tips. Yes, these fussy evenings can be intense ! I always found the tips on Kellymom.com very helpful and your tips are found within their list, so you think in the right direction. Our kids are all different and it can be trial & errror to find out what works for your little one. In the end mums know best.
    Soothing techniques for the fussy times

    Wear baby in a sling or baby carrier. This will free one or both hands for other tasks (fixing dinner, caring for other children) while you hold, soothe and nurse your baby.
    Change of pace. Let dad have some “baby time” while mom takes a shower or simply gets some time to herself to relax and regroup after a long day.
    Go outside. Relax baby (and mom too) with a walk, or just sit and enjoy the outdoors. Try this a little before baby’s regular fussy time.
    Soothe with sound. Sing, hum, talk, murmur shhhh, listen to music, or use ‘white noise.’ Try different types of sound, different styles of music and singers with different types of voices.
    Soothe with rhythmic motion. Walk, sway, bounce, dance, swing, or even try a car ride.
    Soothe with touch. Hold or bathe baby, try baby massage.
    Reduce stimulation. Dim lights, reduce noise, swaddle baby.
    Vary nursing positions. Try side lying, lying on your back to nurse with baby tummy to tummy, etc.
    Nurse in motion (while rocking, swaying, walking, etc.).
    Combine rhythmic motion with soothing sounds.
    Avoid scheduling, even more so in the fussy evening hours.
    More soothing techniques;
    https://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/fussybaby/#comfort

    Comfort measures for fussy babies
    (many fit into several different categories)
    Basic needs

    Nurse
    Burp baby
    Change his diaper
    Undress baby completely to make sure no clothing is “sticking” him

    Comforting Touch

    Hold baby
    Carry baby in a sling, wrap, or other soft carrier
    Give baby a back rub
    Carry baby in the “colic hold” (lying across your forearm, tummy down, with your hand supporting his chest)
    Lay baby across your lap & gently rub his back while slowly lifting & lowering your heels
    Lay baby tummy-down on the bed or floor and gently pat his back
    Massage your baby

    Reduce stimulation

    Swaddle baby
    Dim lights and reduce noise

    Comforting Sounds

    Play some music (try different styles and types of voices to see which baby prefers)
    Sing to baby
    Turn on some “white noise” (fan, vacuum cleaner, dishwasher)

    Rhythmic motion / change of pace

    Nurse baby in motion (while walking around or rocking)
    Give baby a bath
    Rock baby
    Hold baby and gently bounce, sway back and forth or dance
    Put baby in a sling or baby carrier and walk around inside or outside
    Put baby in a baby swing (if he’s old enough)
    Take baby outside to look at the trees
    Take baby for a walk in the stroller
    Go for a car ride
    Set baby in a baby carrier (or car seat) on the dryer with the dryer turned on (stand by him, as the vibration can bounce the seat right off the dryer onto the floor)


    • Thank you for reading! I also love kellymom.com. I often found useful advices



      • Yes they sure have helpful advises !

    Reply

  • Enjoyed reading this, has been super helpful with some great tips there. Witching hour is horrible and only just begun for my little man 2 nights ago, it’s dreadful, heartbreaking and exhausting. But the womb noise I’m definitely going to try. Thank you


    • Thank you CasLee for reading. I am super excited you liked it! Its my first post on MoM. I told my friends theese advices and they thank me every day. Hope it will help you as well. Feel free to ask any question, or if you need furthure assistance.

    Reply

  • Love the tips! I never would have thought of that


    • Thank you mom467510, It will be my honor to help you. Please try my tips and get back to me if it helped you! I would love to hear your feedback.

      Also please forgive my english if I make mistakes. Its not my native language. I’m from Croatia.

      Good luck!????



      • Your English is fine AMumToMum !

    Reply

  • I’ve always believed that witching hour refers to that time around 5-7pm at night, when everyone’s hungry, tired, and uncooperative.


    • Thank you BellaB for reading… Love your nickname… my doughters name is Bella????.
      And no, for us it had nothing to do with hunger, tiredness…. it was just every day, lasted for hoooours…. and I wish someone told me what I know now hehe.
      Do try my tips and get back to me…
      Stay safe!

    Reply

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