New parents quickly learn that one of the most important things to avoid is letting mommy and daddy’s little angel get overtired. Overtired babies are hard to calm down and have a harder time staying soundly asleep once they are finally settled.
Getting an overtired baby to sleep is probably one of the most common problems you’ll face. That doesn’t mean you can’t help your tuckered one out to get the rest they need. Here are overtired newborn symptoms and sleep tips for solving them.
How To Know If Baby Is Overtired?
They are zoned out — Your baby may stare off into the distance or avoid eye contact. This is often a missed signal that they need sleep.
Rubbing eyes or face — Some babies will also tug on their ears or hair when they’re tired. Respond promptly by getting baby down for a nap.
You know, that cry — Your baby uses different cries to communicate their needs. The overtired cry is often accompanied by symptoms, like getting easily frustrated.
They’ve hit their ideal wake time — Babies are awake and happy for a limited time, depending on their age. Tracking your baby’s ‘wake windows’ and keeping a consistent sleep schedule will help prevent overtiredness.
Getting An Overtired Baby To Sleep
Watch your wake times carefully with your baby, and if baby becomes overtired try these tips.
- Go through baby’s bedtime routine — Usually that means a feed, bath, cuddles, lullabies, a book, etc. That is baby’s signal it’s time for sleeping.
- Hold baby on tummy — Holding your baby belly-down against your chest can soothe them. However, make sure to not put baby in the crib on this stomach. Always place baby on her back when sleeping in the crib or bassinet.
- Master movement — You can use movement to get an overtired baby to settle down, such as a swing or rocking baby into drowsiness. Also, a gentle and relaxing massage on a baby’s foot using thumbs and finger tips can help baby relax and induce sleep.
- Swaddle baby — Swaddling provides a similar environment as the womb. Try putting baby down drowsy in a snug swaddle to help baby feel safer.
- Use white noise — A sound machine can help calm an overtired baby. Babies are used to the loud noises of the womb and silence can be deafening for them.
How To Prevent Baby From Getting Overtired
Responding promptly to sleep cues will help prevent your sleepyhead from getting overtired in the first place.
Making sure your baby gets enough daytime and nighttime sleep will go a long way. Following a consistent nap and bedtime schedule and limiting stimulation beforehand are all important.
Once you’ve gotten baby back on track, more restful nights are on the horizon.