Witching hour or as we call it in our house, “Unhappy Hour,” is that time when parental exhaustion meets baby’s desire to list all of the wrongs of the universe at the loudest possible volume. Baby standard time dictates when this will occur.
With my oldest, her wind up began around 4:30 p.m. so that by the time my spouse returned from work, I was in desperate need of a hand off and hot shower. With my middle guy, 6:00 p.m. marked the beginning of unhappy hour, meaning bedtime for the oldest was often a juggling act of bouncing an unhappy baby and corralling a overtired toddler.
Whether it occurs at 4 or 8 p.m., this tricky hour (or three) requires a basket of tricks and Nested Mama’s got a basket ready for you. In this three part series, I’ll share with you my favorite resources, tips, and sanity promoting approaches to surviving unhappy hour.
Last week in Part 2, I shared with you some ideas about relaxation and affirmation to alter your experience of stressful moments. This week in Part 3, I’m sharing my witching hour playlist - those songs that always make me move and smile.
The witching hour - that time every day when baby is done and you are done. And everyone is exhausted.
Sometimes this time of day calls for a tight swaddle and white noise.
Sometimes this time of day calls for a walk outside.
And, sometimes, it calls for an epic dance party. That’s right - sometimes you just need to dance it out. I find this to be even more the case as we add more children to our family and the toddlers and preschoolers hit the tricky time of day right alongside the baby and the adults. Weary of being asked to play quietly lest they wake the baby, older children love the chance to jump and dance through this time day. Dig out a couple flashlights, pull the curtains, and you have your own light show, too.
Here is my playlist for making it through the witching hour and then safely to dinner and (hopefully) an early bedtime.
These songs not your brand of happy tunes? No problem. Build yourself your own witching hour playlist so it is just a click or a swipe away. Whatever you do, don't forget to boogie.
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Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.