If your toddler is acting like they’re having a witching hour, it’s time to rework their daily schedule for more peace.
Maybe you’ve got a toddler who seems to be melting down, throwing fits, avoiding bedtimes, getting second winds, and being unreasonable. In the sense they aren’t making sense.
You know what I mean.
Perhaps they’re just having a large time of melodrama at a particular interval. You probably wonder if your toddler is having witching hours.
What's in this post...
So is my toddler having witching hours or is it just a meltdown?
This is the right question. As a certified baby and toddler sleep consultant I can tell you something. Witching hours are real but they’re usually something little babies have.
Now, toddlers can have their own form of this but it’s usually as a result of overtiredness. Or staying up too late past bedtime. And getting a second wind which makes them appear hyper and not tired at all.
Which is just not true. They just need to be put to bed before they hit that high.
This free guide gives you the main 4 reasons little ones won’t settle at bedtime (or stall, keep coming out, cause power struggles, etc.) and what to do!
Do witching hours (or regular meltdowns) go away on their own?
Most babies will grow out of witching hours when they are established in good daily naps, good bedtime routines, and are not overtired at bedtimes. Most babies past 4 months old don’t have witching hours unless they have unpredictable days and are overtired.
Toddlers, on the other hand, can meltdown for a variety of reasons. And if they’re having regular meltdowns at the same time every day, THAT’S GOOD NEWS. It means the issue will be easy to isolate.
Is toddler melting down around bedtime?
If your toddler is regularly melting down at bedtime, I’d move bedtime up 30 minutes. Start the bedtime routine earlier, is possible, and then have your little one into the bed 30 minutes before they previously were. This will help beat them to the overtiredness.
This will also prevent them from getting a second wind which causes a whole host of other issues. And causes them to be much more resistant to go to bed, you get into power struggles, and bedtime becomes a battle instead of a lovely peaceful thing.
Is your toddler waking up and having “witching hours” in the night?
As said before, witching hours don’t really happen to toddlers and certainly not in the middle of the night. However, if your toddler IS waking in the middle of the night, or after a few hours of sleep and wanting to come out of their beds, etc. then it’s time to do some sleep intervention.
By sleep intervention I mean a formal type of sleep training that helps teach them to stay in their beds. When done correctly they feel safe, happy, and don’t wake up and call for you. They simply sleep through.
Sometimes around this age toddlers will get some separation anxiety, but the solution isn’t to intervene heavily at night. It’s too create security and safety during the day, and keep boundaries for the night.