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Article: What Is Witching Hour For Babies?

What Is Witching Hour For Babies?

What Is Witching Hour For Babies?

A baby's "witching hour" is a term that many parents meet but don't fully understand. During this time, the baby may be more unappeasable than usual, which can cause frustration and concern for the parents. 

Although witching hour is not a clinical term, it is widely recognized by parents and healthcare professionals alike that the "witching hour" is a common stage in a baby's development. Understanding what causes the "witching hour" and how to deal with it can help both parents and babies get through this challenging time. 

What is the witching hour for babies?

A baby's "witching hour" is usually in the late afternoon or early evening when they become irritable. Witching hours usually can make parents feel overwhelmed and don't know what to do. 

During this time, your baby may cry even more, even if they have been fed, changed clothes, and comforted. Witching hour is a phase that many babies go through. Although it can be difficult, it eventually passes with time. Don't worry too much.

When is the witching hour?

The witching hour generally occurs in the late afternoon or early evening, usually between 5 pm and 11 pm. This is not an exact time, but a general time period where babies become more agitated and harder to soothe. Some babies may not have a "witching hour" at all. Witching hours can be a challenge for both babies and parents.

How long does the witching hour last?

The length of the witching hour varies from baby to baby. Some babies may only last an hour or two, while others may last several hours. On average, however, a baby's witching hour tends to peak around 6 p.m. and then tapers off over time. Parents may need to be prepared for this period of time.

What causes the baby's witching hour? 

Why do babies have a witching hour? The reasons for babies having a "witching hour" are not entirely clear, but there are several factors that may cause this: 

  • Fatigue, overstimulation, hunger, bloating, or discomfort from colic. 
  • Babies have developing nervous systems. 
  • Babies’ sleep cycles have been reversed in the womb. 
  • Babies tend to be more energetic in the late afternoon and early evening. 

Colic vs. Witching hour

The below comparison outlines the key differences between colic and the witching hour:



Witching Hour


Excessive, inconsolable crying lasting at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks.

Period of increased fussiness and crying in babies, usually occurring in late afternoon or early evening.

Start From

Around 2-3 weeks old.

Usually start around the age of 2-3 weeks.


Lasts for at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks or longer.

Can last for varying durations, ranging from an hour to several hours.


Around 6 weeks of age.

Usually between 6-8 weeks old.


Intense and prolonged crying.

Increased fussiness and crying, may not be as intense or prolonged as colic.


Occurs at least 3 days a week.

Can occur daily or intermittently.

Outgrow Time

Gradually outgrow by 3-4 months of age.

Typically resolves as baby grows and develops, often by 3-4 months of age.

How to soothe your baby during the witching hour?

When it comes to soothing a baby during the witching hour, there are several strategies that parents can try:

Create a calm environment: 

Dim the lights and reduce noise to create a soothing atmosphere for your baby.


Swaddling sleep sacks can help comfort your baby by recreating the feeling of being in the womb. Make sure you swaddle your baby safely and securely.

Offer a pacifier: 

Some babies are comforted by sucking, so offering them a pacifier can help soothe them when they're irritable.

Try movement: 

Rocking, swaying or gentle bouncing can help calm an irritable baby. You can try using a rocking chair, baby swing, or carrying your baby around.

Skin-to-skin contact: 

Skin-to-skin contact with your baby helps regulate body temperature, promotes bonding, and has a soothing effect on both you and your baby.

White noise: 

Playing white noise or soothing sounds, such as soft lullabies or nature sounds, helps drown out other noises and creates a calm environment for your baby.

Feeding your baby:

Hunger may cause your baby to be irritable, so feeding your baby at the cradle moment may help to soothe him or her.

Check if your baby is uncomfortable: 

Make sure your baby isn't uncomfortable because of a wet diaper, tight clothes, or other physical discomfort.

Give your baby a massage:

Giving a baby a massage can be a good way for parents to connect with their babies, promote relaxation, and provide comfort and relief during times of fussiness or discomfort. However, it's important for parents to learn proper massage techniques.


Q: When do babies outgrow the witching hour?

A: 3-4 months.

Q: When is the witching hour?

A: The witching hours usually occur in the late afternoon or early evening, usually between 5 pm and 11 pm.


In short, the "witching hour" for babies is a frequent but challenging phase that many parents will meet when their babies are a few months old. 

Although the "witching hour" can bring many difficulties for parents, with patience, support, and the use of soothing techniques we mentioned, it can be easier for babies to understand and cope with the "witching hour." Most importantly, parents need to remember that the witching hour is usually temporary and a normal part of their baby's development and that it will eventually pass with time.

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Yujia Shi

An expert in sleep sack design, is a valued contributor to Kaiya Baby's blog. With a strong background in baby sleep bags and maternal care, she is highly regarded for her professionalism. Yujia Shi prioritizes baby comfort and safety in her designs, using high-quality materials. Her insightful articles on sleep bags have been featured in reputable publications and have gained a significant readership. Trust Yujia Shi to help you create a comfortable and safe sleep environment for your baby, backed by her proven track record in the industry.

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