Week three is in full swing here and we’re all doing okay! Yesterday we brought baby out a few times — to Chef Zorba’s and then for a long walk in Wash Park. Denver did its thing and gave us a beautiful 70-degree Sunday after a snowstorm dumped a few inches over city rooftops on Friday. The park was packed with runners and bikers and volleyball players. I lost count of the number of baby strollers.
We have been experiencing what are commonly called baby’s witching hour(s) with B. We tend to experience this common newborn issue in the hours between the late afternoon nursing session and our seven p.m. bedtime each day. He is fed, he is dry, he is being rocked and held and loved on…and he’s crying, even screaming. No one told us about this in the baby care classes we took.
It is difficult to hear B cry. Period. I love him and I want to give him what he needs. It’s especially hard when C comes home to us and B is inconsolable. ”Has it been like this all day?” The answer is no. We wake up, we nurse, we play and read and lay on our tummies. We nap, we do it all over again. Warmer days, we take walks. We do a lot of nursing, and that’s a calm, quiet time.
I finally got a chance to catch up on a blog I read often, &Kathleen. She and I were a few weeks apart in our pregnancies and it was a comfort to read the details of someone who was going through a similar situation for the first time as well. Imagine my interest when I saw this post, titled Witching Hour. Phew. We are not alone.
Newborns are basically on information-overload from the moment they leave the womb. There is so much stimulation. So much noise. So much to learn. It’s exhausting for them. Because communication is not a strong suit for these little tiny babes yet, the only way they can deal with their unhappiness and tiredness after being overly stimulated throughout the day is to cry…and cry and cry.
Throw a gross green diaper or a little gas in there and the game is all over.
The good news is that this phase shouldn’t last forever and as Benjamin continues to grow, he will learn how to tell us what he needs and become better at self-soothing. And we will hopefully figure out his signals (before we enter the hour) to put him to bed without the incredible upset.