The Parenting Witching Hour: Have you got the curse? Bedtime Blues!

wp-1469370920691.jpg We all know that period of time, that god-forsaken hour, when it is just before your child’s bedtime, they are starting to get tired but they aren’t ready to start their bedtime routine yet. They are fading, with hands starting to rub their sleepy eyes, irritable, they are starting to turn almost HULK like. (Believe me, we’ve had HULK experiences! See [here])

hulk baby blabbermama
Yes- it’s not just teething, but tiredness too!

This is the period of time when parents across the land quiver with fear and anticipation. The hour of doom- usually between 6pm-7pm depending on the age of your child it may be earlier or later. We refer to this dreadful hour as;


The Parenting Witching Hour Curse

We have previously talked about the disease that EVERY parent develops which is incurable [here] but now, we are talking about the curse that smites most households across the land. Several emotions are felt during this period by parents;


  • The mood swing, the one that seems to be amping up towards the end of the day, you see the slight remnants of a potential pout, with the lip puckering outwards (you know the one)

wp-1469786275596.jpg Β Note lip, in this case being bitten, eyes wide, brows are furrowed, rattles in the background are unloved and in the metaphorical ‘graveyard’ (see next point)Β The PWH has arrived in all it’s doom.

  • THAT toy that seems to have dropped out of favour suddenly,it used to do the trick, it worked everytime, but now, without warning, it’s hit the toy graveyard to be recycled at a later date
  • The TV show that has ended or has hit a break, and adverts have came on TV, who thought in their right mind that adverts are a good idea? Separate from the fact that it breaks viewing time (the horror to any child) but they also display wonderful toys or the next big app to purchase. Santa comes ones a year not all year round!
  • The post dinner time lull that is sweeping in, the beastΒ child is fed, you have nurtured their nutritional needs but now, they are either, worked up on unspent energy or, so satisfied that it starts the sleepy wind down a little too soon! (We all know the feeling after having a big dinner and needing the sofa for a kip)



  • Soon the children will be in bed, and whilst you love them, it’s nice to have that parent time to;
    • Drink your favourite tipple
    • Eat your chocolate/crisps/snacks, actually being able to eat of your OWN plate without interruption is pretty great as well
    • Catch up on TV– Netflix, movies, soaps etc, not the Kiddie TV variety
    • Cuddles! If you have a partner, having that much needed cuddle time
    • Sleep, you’ve had a hard day, working or looking after your child, you need to recharge
    • Relax, switch off, do nothing!
    • Hobbies or work, Blog, write, social media, market, picture edit, news read, gossip search…

If you were to come to our house during the PWH, you would witness quite a sight;


The 9 month old Little Lord loves R’n’B of any description, perhaps a bit of Club music, absolutely no Rock to his rocker parent’s dismay. When the PWH commences, Little Mama switches on the TV and frantically searches for a tune that will satisfy the Little Lord’s hip tastes. If she doesn’t get the vibe right, if she makes a wrong decision, the balance between Hulk and happy baby sways in a moment’s notice! Of course, there are other factors to consider;

  • What if adverts are on the channel she finally chooses?
  • What if the song is about to come to an end?
  • What if his Lordship has altered his music taste without notice?
  • What if the neighbours hear his awesome beats? It’s really hot at the moment see [here] where baby nearly catches fire (huh?!) and [here], we have the windows open all the time!
  • What if Little Daddy gets the remote control and switches the channel to Kerrang again?! Defying Little Mama’s personal DJing prowess!

PWH- it’s a difficult time, we have no suggestions, we have no remedies, our thoughts are with you at this dreadful hour!

We do have some plotting however;

Just think though- in the future, when your little munchkin is in early adulthood, ready to head out and party, throughout their childhood they have moulded (and almost like some sort of correctional therapy or baby bootcamp) whipped you into rising for the early morning awakenings at dawn or long before, it would be nice to get some payback, perhaps wake them up when they’ve had a late night? Revenge is ours, I’m sure of it!

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33 thoughts on “The Parenting Witching Hour: Have you got the curse? Bedtime Blues!

  1. Oh my out little one just through a massive tantrum last night around this time just as we tried to get him into the bathtub. I really enjoyed your post and feel like I can totally relate. Speaking of which it is almost naptime here so here we go again. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    1. Definitely a never ending cycle, I’m getting myself ready for tonight’s stint! Goodluck πŸ™‚

  2. Haha love this! It’s so true, they start turning green around 6/7 and I start to get very, very nervous. Amazing Hulk photo, that was genius. I also agree that we should spend time cuddling with our partner, we get very few minutes with them so we should try and savour that time. : ) #fortheloveofblog

    1. I have a green looking HULK baby at the moment- going to be a tough night haha! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Oh god I HATE the witching hour. Ours tends to last 2 hours though, from tea time finishing until bedtime.. The bath does save my life though, our 5 & 2 yr olds have been know to pass by most of witching hour turning our bathroom into a wet room, but it gets us through!!
    They should have a special wine van that goes around from 5-7 helping Witching Hour parents everywhere…

    1. Ours is turning into a 2 hour stint as well, my little guy has dropped his second nap and he’s clearly not ready but he’s powering through with it anyway! I LOVE the idea of a wine van- like the ice cream man, just don’t play any music though- don’t want to wake the kids haha! Thanks for your comment

  4. Haha this made me laugh. I don’t think there are any answers for the witching hour apart from trying to keep them calm and occupied but easier said then done! #MarvMonday

    1. I agree, there’s nothing you can do during the witching hour, just power through with the little ones!

  5. I woould love to tell you that when they reach 2 or 3 they grow out of it. But I would be lying. All I have learnt in my 3 and a half years as a parent of twins is to Be Prepared, have a routine and as you say spot the ‘witching hour’ moves. #MarvMondays

    1. Parent of twins I salute you! That’s double the witching hour preparation!

  6. This is such a funny but true post. My 18 month old goes through the ‘nervous’ stage from 6/7pm. Especially if she hasn’t had a good nap. That hour of the day is most definitely the longest. How we manage to pull it off I will never know. Oh and your little one is a right littl cutie by the way, thanks for a great read #marvmondays

    1. aww thank you! I think so too but I’m obviously crazy biased! Love the ‘nervous stage’ terminology. You can almost see the fidgeting and increasing annoyance as the minutes pass by before you can finally start the bed time routine!

  7. I used to meet up with nct friends and this happened at 4pm…moods, screaming and we all had to take the babies home. Just too much for them!! It’s a nightmare and you just praying for bedtime. Must try rnb with my daughter. Love it xx #marvmondays

    1. It’s always so much more stressful when you are away during the witching hour, puts on that little bit more parenting pressure to keep the baby happy(ish) during they most tedious time of the day πŸ™‚

  8. Hahahaha! Amazing πŸ™‚ Between 4 & 7 every night my daughter was a nightmare! I would literally spend 3 hours jiggling her in the living room just to try and stop her crying. She was a temperamental baby at the best of time but God help you at 4pm! #MarvMondays

    1. I have one of those temperamental babies! He isn’t so bad now but when he was younger it was like swaying a little bundle who was ready to melt down at a moments notice! The joys of parenting πŸ™‚

  9. I dread the hours of 5-7 in our house, the PWH is in full swing an I’m on the countdown to bedtime!


    1. Ours is starting to length to 5-7 as well! As soon as dinner is over it’s always a struggle to get through those final minutes before bedtime routine kicks in.

  10. “revenge is ours” – hahaha! I think the witching hour is so much more frustrating because kid-free time is in touching distance but you have to get this mammoth task of getting them to bed it of the way first! And as you say, the favourite toy suddenly doesn’t work anymore. Aaargh! #DreamTeam
    Lucy (@Lucy_at_home) recently posted…Breastfeeding Myths DebunkedMy Profile

    1. This is true, you are in touching distance to adult time and to be honest everything is probably heightened just waiting for bedtime to happen. Especially if you know your going to experience bed time struggles. I always think about the revenge in the future, when he’s a stroppy teen who barely leaves his bed…CAN’T wait! haha

  11. Ugh my littlest one is definitely a fully signed up member of the PWH club. It starts like a light switch moment the second that I say “Right, I’ll go and start tea”. He instantly feels the need to cling to my legs and wail, demanding to be cuddled. I normally then have to try and cook a meal whilst shuffling about in the kitchen with either an infant in one arm or dragging along gripped to my leg. I’m trying not to take it too personally. I mean can my cooking really be that bad? πŸ˜‰ I’ll send you positive thoughts at 6pm tonight lovely, and a virtual high hug with a side of cake. πŸ™‚ x

    1. Hugs and cake- couldn’t ask for more! Haha the toddler cling and wrap is a hard one to combat, I’ll be thinking about you at dinner time! Thanks for commenting Dawn! x

  12. Revenge CAN be yours! Trust me it feels so good! Your photos are just so adorable and this post really made me grin…I remember the witching hour. Mind you, my 17 year old has a bit of a witching hour at the moment. She gets over tired and at 11pm, when we’re in bed trying to sleep, I can hear her banging about…come the morning though…REVENGE!! Mwahaha πŸ™‚ Alison x #DreamTeam

    1. Hahaha revenge is where I’m at, when he’s a lazy teen stropping because he can’t sleep in more- can’t wait to drag him out of bed! Thanks for commenting Alison! x

  13. I hate this time of day so much! It varies for us throughout the week depending on whether it’s the weekend, or whether our daughter has been in nursery. If it’s a non nursery day it can start at 430, and last until 630. If it’s a nursery day the witching hour as usually commenced at 6 and is really short. I hate the anticipation and I hate feeling that I wish my child would go to sleep, especially on the nursery day ls when I’ve not seen her all day. Thanks for sharing your post with us at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    1. I get that, routine really is everything with young kids, it’s so hard to battle through that witching hour(s) especially when they have been to nursery all day. I’m told it gets better eventually! Here’s hoping πŸ™‚

  14. We are having a nightmare with bedtime at the moment. Who knows why, but suddenly after tea, it all starts to go downhill a touch. We are all in this together it seems πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for linking up the #DreamTeam xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…When I Grow UpMy Profile

    1. We are having a bit of a nightmare as well, my little one is trying to enforce one nap a day instead of two. I keep thinking he isn’t ready but now I’m starting to sway towards the reality that it’s probably me who isnt ready! Thanks for your comment

  15. Oh I can totally relate. I hate that hour!! So stresful

    1. Everyday without fail in our house, although music does really help with total meltdowns!

  16. Urgh, the dreaded witching hour! Im sure this exists to push parents to the limit each and every day. I can definitely relate to a fair few of these, and it always helps to know that you arent alone πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

    1. This is so true! It always helps to know that other parents are going through the exact same stages as you are, thanks for your comment!

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