To be fair, it is not your child’s fault and it is not yours. It is biology and you can find out more about the science behind the curse at the Baby Sleep Site.
I have found that my son hits this time around 7:00 pm at 2 months old. We try to put him to bed by 8:30 pm and the process leading up to that can be quite tiresome at times.
After weeks of struggling we have combined a number of methods that we can resort to when it’s time to pull this crazy train into the station for the night.
Well if he is already grumpy, give him a bath. His mood won’t get any worse and at least he will be clean afterwords. Sometimes the stress a child feels, if any, during bath time will be released when it’s over with and bring with it a sense of calm and relaxation. At this point it’s a perfect time to swaddle, feed one last bottle, read a book and put them to bed.
This trick has helped us out immensely. Our son eats a lot! He eats like an NFL linebacker in training season. Food is always something he will accept and if we can give him two bottles in that window between 7:00pm and 8:30pm that magic tranquilizer, “Milk Drunk” will do the rest. Just make sure to get some good burps in on the first one, but it is ok to let the second bottle go without burps.
*Feeding without burps is a trick I learned when trying to get my baby to sleep through the night. Find out what else works in my post here.*
My boy will be calm 90% of the time when he is carried. He was carried for 9 months and seems to think it’s his birthright to be escorted about town like an Egyptian prince. We’ll have to talk about that when he gets a little older.
Until then, this method usually works. It’s also fantastic when we have people over. Say we have a birthday party or a little suare at our place and have a few friends over. Invariably someone will want to hold him and if it’s that time he will happily accept a ride in a house guests arms over the tired embrace from daddy or mommy. Sure enough, he is much calmer if not actually drifting off. Once you’re there, then just follow the tuck in procedures.
From one Dad to another, may these tips help you lift the curse of the witching hour.