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What's witching hour like in your home?


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#1 misse10

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:40 AM

by DS is 6.5 mo and is finishing his second sleep around 3pm each day. i've been told to ensure he goes down at his bedtime of 7pm he shouldnt sleep past 4.30pm, but that means he's not tired enough to take a 3rd nap before its 4.30pm and i'm not supposed to let him....so in effect bub is up 4 hours before bed (rather than the 2-3hrs at other times). the only exception is if i walk him in the pram and he sneaks in 15 minutes...but i cant walk him every day.

i think its too long for him so he's whingy from about 4.30pm onwards, only breaking for feeding or bath times, and wanting to be held. he falls asleep well but has constant night waking.  

is this the same with others? or is witching hour just a newborn thing? how to others handle this time...especially if you have more than 1!

ps. i've thought about putting him to bed earlier, but then he'll just wake up earlier and i'll still have the same problem of the number of hours before bedtime! won't i?

Edited by misse10, 03 December 2012 - 08:52 AM.


#2 Bluenomi

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:48 AM

Moved his bedtime later and let him have his afternoon nap! Worked for us. DD went to bed around 7:30, got her afternoon sleep and it was so much better for all of us.

#3 Ehill

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:51 AM

Welcome to the worst hour of motherhood!

DS is now 12mo and he is UNBEARABLE some days from about 430 until dinner time, then he is whingy from 630pm untill bedtime at 7pm.  It is hard.  There is no other way to describe it.  

I just have strategies to deal with it.  For example bath is now at 5pm to get through the half hour before dinner,  dinner is generally always pre-prepared so on the table quickly.  When DS was younger (the same age as yours) I fed him his puree at about 5pm, I just couldnt get him to last until family dinnertime.

DD is now 3.5yo and thankfully she is easier to deal with at this time now but until near 3yo she would be hysterical too.  Try having 2 of them hysterical while your trying to cook at 530pm!  OMG no wonder I drink so much.

So yes, another solution, alcohol.  biggrin.gif

#4 Matthias' mum

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:06 AM

Why does he need to go to bed at 7pm exactly? I would either move bedtime earlier, or let him have a nap, and put him to bed later. DS went to bed for the night at about 5.30 - 6pm at that age. He used to get up for the day at about 6. We tried later bedtimes so that he would sleep later, but it never worked. He woke at 6 anyway, but was really cranky!

DD is nearly 6 months. She has a later nap if she needs it, and still happily goes to bed by about 7.30 - 8pm, without any issues.

They are all different, and I've never understood why 7pm is the magic bedtime that everyone is supposed to follow. I've always found it to be a really inconvenient, as it's right in the middle of dinner/post dinner cleanup for most people.

#5 marnie27

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:08 AM

My DS used to have an hours nap every day 5-6pm. We didn't follow any strict routine but he was always shattered at this time. It worked out perfectly though - we'd cook dinner, tidy up a bit and chat about our day and then get him up for dinner and a bath. He'd be back down by 8pm.

Maybe a later bedtime might help him avoid being tired and miserable all evening?

#6 lady lady

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:24 AM

QUOTE (misse10 @ 03/12/2012, 05:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i've been told to ensure he goes down at his bedtime of 7pm he shouldnt sleep past 4.30pm


Do what works for you and your family.  You know your child and his needs better than you realise go with your instinct.  There is no magical time that all children should be in bed.  If you feel your child needs to sleep or have a 3rd nap and go to bed later - let them.... sleep breeds sleep.

We don't really have a witching hour ...but from 4:30pm onwards through until bedtime it is very methodical.  It works for us and there are no tears which is my main priority at that time of the day.... to be one step ahead of the 2 year old and 6 week old.

#7 Bluenomi

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:01 AM

QUOTE (Matthias' mum @ 03/12/2012, 09:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They are all different, and I've never understood why 7pm is the magic bedtime that everyone is supposed to follow. I've always found it to be a really inconvenient, as it's right in the middle of dinner/post dinner cleanup for most people.


7pm is the magic time because Tizzie said so  rolleyes.gif

#8 ~ppp~

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:08 AM

My 7mo old has just given up his 4-5pm nap so now does

6-6:30am wake
8-10ish nap
12-2ish nap

And then awake till bedtime. He only lasts till 6pm and is exhausted and goes to bed.

Far preferred when he napped 4-5 pm and I could just deal with my toddler but unfortunately that is no longer so

I figure as he grows and his sleep requirements drop he will be less tired at that time.

#9 nup

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

It starts at dawn and goes through until 8pm. There are a few respite breaks throughout the day but they aren't nearly long enough.

#10 brangisnotaword

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

At that age, I found the more they slept, the more they slept.  Mine would often wake at 5.30 and be yawning again by 6.30.

#11 Lucretia Borgia

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:36 AM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 03/12/2012, 10:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
7pm is the magic time because Tizzie said so  rolleyes.gif

..,did the OP mention Tizzie...? I note she's edited her post, so she may have initially....but I have not read Tizzie and I still aim for a 7 pm bedtime...the baby rarely makes it...6:30 is generally his limit, but with DS2 (6) we aim for a 7 pm bedtime and have for a long time....it's stretching out to 7:30 now with DLS but its what works in order to give him a decent amount of sleep...we are somewhat dictated to by school hours, we have to be at school at 9, in order to do that we need to be all up by at least 7 am ...so to get 11, preferably 12 hours of sleep 7 pm bedtime works....I imagine many would be in the same boat so maybe that's why a 7 pm bedtime is popular...?

But to answer the OPs question, yes witching hour is bad for us at the moment...it IS getting better...at 6.5 months our DS was the same, once he really took to solids and we could feed him a substantial meal at 5 things improved, he would then have a bit of a play until 6.... Then bath and bottle....but he is still pretty "ratty"....

#12 sophiasmum

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

I used to put DD to bed even for an hour in the late afternoon otherwise she was feral.

#13 PurpleNess

Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

DS was still having a third nap at that age, sometimes I'd but him down at 4 or 4.30 or even 5 but only for 1 cycle, so no longer than 45 minutes. Then he'd have dinner, play, bath, bottle & bed, still by 7ish.
Agree though bring his bedtime forward to 6 or 6.30.

Experiment & find  out what works.
FYI my DS is 11.5 months now, has 2 naps a day and goes to be at 6.45 & sleeps great until 4-5am ( but he's cutting all 6 top teeth at the moment so I get the early wake ups!)

#14 premmie_29weeks

Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

When my little one was on three sleeps he would go down for about 30 minutes at 4.30pm. I would put my toddler in front of the tv while I bathed the baby and put him to bed. Then while Bub was asleep I could bath the toddler and get their dinner going.

I would try to make sure washing, bottles and our dinner were all done prior to this time too, just to take stress out of a busy time.

Now he doesn't sleep at that time so I bath them together and get ds1 dressed in the bathroom. It kills the time particularly if its been a shorter afternoon nap, meaning more up time before bed. I just try to get everyone bathed prior to dinner, their dinner is at 5pm, so once dinner is over I can give the baby milk earlier and get him down at 6.45pm if need be. Most nights he managed quite well till 7ish though. But they both sleep thru too...

I would either allow the afternoon nap, or move bedtime earlier. And if the night waking bothers you, then address that first. I used a bref stint of cc with both kids around 7 months and found once they slept all not their day sleep also improved.

Also a decent afternoon tea helps too. I found ds2 is ratty because he is hungry not tired

Edited by premmie_29weeks, 08 December 2012 - 12:11 PM.





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