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Witching hour(s)

(5 Posts)
burritofan Fri 19-Jul-19 13:59:47

When did your baby grow out of their witching hour? My 12-week-old DD reminds me of the kitten I used to have who would, like clockwork, wake up at 7pm every evening and start dementedly climbing the curtains as if overtaken by demons.

Whether I spend all day watching her sleepy cues like a hawk and pouncing and getting naps into her (she's a serial catnapper and takes 5-6, 30-45-minute naps a day, usually sling, occasionally pram or BF to bed, 45-75 mins awake time max – less in the morning, longer as the day wears on), or go "fuck it" and don't try too hard but end up with a similar amount of naptime (4 hours or so total), she goes batshit somewhere around 6pm to 8-9pm at least 5 evenings a week.

It makes any introduction of a bedtime routine impossible, and she won't be consoled with feeding because she's too angry. I'd happily cluster feed her all eve but she's having none of it. We basically just have to hold her while she screams until she drops off for 20 minutes, wakes for more screaming then nods off for 45 mins, then will happily feast away on my boob.

I keep being told she'll grow out of it – by 9, 10, 11, 12 weeks. Here we are at 12+3 and she's as bad-tempered as ever from 6-9pm – just louder now she has bigger lungs. It's not quite colic as it's not non-stop, but it's wearing and obviously affects her sleep and feeding.

Pretty sure I can't change it but would happily hear your similar stories of wakeful cranky babies who magically stopped their witching hour overnight! (Please no "at that age mine dozed happily in their Moses baskets each evening, waking only to feed"; that's not my baby.) Or dire warnings that it didn't wear off til they were 6 months or whatever.

OP’s posts: |
NoNonsense234 Fri 19-Jul-19 18:04:09

I can't answer your question but have a similar situation here! DD is 13 weeks (I think) losing track now as she turned 3 months so I prefer to use that instead of weeks now.
6 o'clock is when hers begins and has been this way since birth, I initially thought it was colic but it's not as bad as the constant screaming you read about with colic, more like occasional screaming/constant grissling/being a moody cow 🙄
I'm pretty much a single parent at the moment (long story, dad is involved but due to circumstances doesn't see her often) so I spend the evenings rotating her from room to room counting down the minutes until bedtime.
I think maybe my DD gets herself tired earlier than the bedtime routine she was in before so I'm thinking of maybe starting the routine a bit earlier to see if that makes any difference, failing that I'll have to patiently wait until she grows out of it!

HalfStar Fri 19-Jul-19 23:25:26

I'm sorry if this isn't much help but it does get better, just in tiny increments so that one day you look back and say oh yeah remember 12 weeks, that was shit wasn't it?

I've had 3 like this, #3 least bad but still well able to go. Ignore any 'dozing happily in Moses baskets' stories. Your evenings will get better that's a promise but in the meantime there's just a bit of gritting teeth and getting through it to come first. A lot of it is just a small baby getting used to the world and its own body. You're doing all you can and working so hard, I'm sure. Payback may be that you get an easier ride during toddler years...

burritofan Sat 20-Jul-19 17:55:56

@NoNonsense234 Yes, I think my plan amounts to "she'll grow out of it". She won't be screaming at 6-8pm when she's 18. I hope..,

@HalfStar Thank you for this! It's actually reassuring to hear it may only improve incrementally because we've been waiting for the magical transformation people keep promising and it feels a bit like we're getting it wrong or at fault that that hasn't happened yet. Keep feeling like I should be looking for the magic cure-all: if I could just get naps right, or instill a bedtime routine (while she's screaming?!), or any routine, or figure out what sends her to sleep other than rocking/feeding/the sling, it would all somehow "click", but I suspect the only cure-all is time. I just hope it passes quickly…

OP’s posts: |
Rainatnight Sat 20-Jul-19 22:58:08

My eldest is 3 - still waiting! grin

Seriously, though, it’s a well known grumpy time of day for small kids, not just tiny babies. DS is 1 and his teething is definitely worse at the witching hour. DD is 3 and quite often gets tired and emotional at that time.

Sorry it’s not better news!!

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