Find Your Inner Mantra


It’s that time! You knew it would come and expected it to come, but you are never ready. Your baby begins to fidget then takes a deep breath, turns red, and lets out a loud, piercing whale. You know there isn’t much you can do to stop the crying. You’ve tried it all: rocking, feeding, changing, bathing, singing, massaging…nothing works. Your heart is racing and you feel short of breath. This exhausting time of day, when your baby appears to be completely inconsolable, is known as The Witching Hour.

When your baby is having a meltdown, it’s difficult not to have a meltdown yourself. It seems contagious! Chances are, if you have other kids, they are having meltdowns during this time as well.

Many mothers tend to take it personally when they are unable to console their baby. The Journal of Pediatric Healthcare explains that this causes increased levels of anxiety and depression due to feelings of guilt, helplessness, disappointment and not being a “good enough” mother.

So what can you do to stay calm and avoid spiraling into the hole of invalid negative thoughts about yourself as a mother?

Take a deep breath, and recite the word OM. OM is a traditional mantra with origins in Hinduism and Buddhism. According to these traditions, just by chanting the word, or even thinking about the word, a person can achieve a quiet mental state. Additionally, the National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology reveals that chanting OM lowers heart rate and blood pressure. Something you most likely need to manage when you feel dysregulated and stressed out by a screaming baby!

If chanting OM isn’t your thing, other Mantras can be just as helpful. Maybe, you would prefer to make up your own, or maybe you have a prayer you would like to recite. Find a statement to repeat over and over again that you find meaningful.

According to the The National Journal of Research in Ayurved Science, mantra chanting has calming and uplifting effects on both the mother and the baby. So, hopefully chanting your mantra will not only give you a sense of peace, but it will help calm your baby down as well.

Now… when that dreaded time of day rolls back around, add a mantra on your list of things to try. It can support you in staying calm and positive, hopefully making that witching hour feel like a witching minute.

Bridget Benninger