Who drives a baby between all possible tasks till it misses her day-sleep-time? That’s me. Ugh, bummer. This happens over and over again. Not every day, of course, but pretty often recently.
First time I had a shock. I couldn’t put my little angel to sleep for an hour or so. The next time happened in the evening – and that was almost 2 hours of struggling and crying. Ugh, bummer.
Today I have a better day, though I missed babies’ sleeping time again.
You need to calm a baby first – 10-15 min of easy, quiet, simple rocking or playing, or reading, or anything like that. Then repeat rituals, put a baby to sleep and never miss a perfect sleeping time ever again.
There are several reasons why a baby can get overtired. Knowing them will help to prevent the same situation in the future:
- baby is awake for too long and becomes overtired. This happens all the time with me, I try to stay calm as much as I can and to watch the time better.
- a baby had crazy activities right before bedtime and became overstimulated. This often happens when Daddy or guests come and it’s time to get a baby to sleep.
- baby is having a developmental leap. Crawling, walking, speaking – oh my God, a baby has so much work to do! It is no surprise it has troubles to stay calm.
- baby doesn’t have proper rituals. She simply doesn’t know it’s time to sleep. Prepare baby to be drowsy just before going to bed. Don’t forget the sleeping bridge!
- baby feels herself bad. Too hot or cold, too tight or loose. You know this may be a real thing, check is there anything uncomfortable for her.
How do I know my baby is overtired?
You’ll know, sister. But let’s check the main sings of it:
- Fussiness and crying
- Difficult to calm
Remember when a baby wheeled around in your arms and nothing could stop it doing that and make go to bed? Yeh, that was it.
So, what to do in such situation?
- Stay calm. Yes, this is the first advice and it really works. Get a pause, go drink water or take a candy – but keep yourself calm. Your baby doesn’t do it on purpose, he really needs help.
- Don’t force a baby to get to sleep. Extra rocking or screaming a lullaby won’t work. It’s also not the best time to try a Cry-It-Out sleep training (it’s up to you though).
- Take a break, take a 10-15 min slowing a baby down. Offer a milk/formula/water. Hold a baby in any way it can’t turn around or slip away. Walk around. Play quiet games. Watch the window. Sing songs. Stay calm and slow down.
- When holding your baby, turn it face so it was on your left hand and really close to your heart. Little ones feel the heartbeat and it makes them feel safer.
- Turn on the white noise. If you have never used it before – this is the best time to start.
- Try again. Do a simplified routine (like dim the lights) and try to make a baby go to bed. (I couldn’t make it “to bed”, but I could rock my kid until its fall to sleep. It was a victory.)
How to prevent having an overstimulated baby?
- Watch the clock. All. The. Time. Learn your babies typical awake time and try to get him to bed around that period.
- Track babies sleep cues. Eye rubbing, yawning, slowed activity, whining and fussing, and loss of interest in people and play.
- Create a sleeping routine and stick with it. Even if you travel or missed a perfect sleeping time. Do your rituals no matter what.
- Train a baby for a self-snoozing. This is my weak part, but I’m working on it.
- Check a room for proper conditions. It should be dark and quiet. No other stimulators around (pets and other kids too).
Sleeping is the most important renewal instrument for a baby and its parents. Stay cool and help your kiddo. It will be much better soon!