Calming tricks you can use to soothe an overtired infant.
As a new parent, you have probably already had a sleepless night or two. And while those are pretty common, nothing prepares moms and dads for the constant battle of trying to get your newborn to sleep. It’s not always easy calming down a fussy and exhausted baby unless you’ve got yourself a ‘unicorn’ baby that naps on demand. But what options do parents have for soothing an overtired infant?
Why Babies Become Overtired and How to Cope
Overtired infants can tire even the most patient of parents. When your baby becomes overtired, it can be a difficult experience for both your child and you as a parent. An overtired baby is fussy, clingy, and frustrated. And the more tired they become, the harder it becomes to put them down for a nap. This doesn’t mean there is no hope for soothing an overtired infant. Rather, you can benefit from learning to recognize the signs of an overtired child early on to take measures.
Parents must learn how to soothe an overtired baby, so that they can sleep well at night. Children don’t know how to manage their energy so they “keep going” until they have a meltdown. This is why prevention is the best medicine in calming down your overtired infant. The first step in doing that is to know how and why your baby is overtired. There are cues that a baby is becoming stressed. If you act quickly, you will be able to calm down your overtired baby before they start crying.
The first three years of a child’s life are very important for their development but also very taxing. Your infant is growing and learning at breakneck speeds, and their body is performing high energy tasks such as crawling, pulling, walking, and running. Naturally, after a day of fun and exciting activities and experiences, they are not only tired but exhausted. When this happens, you need to know how to soothe your overtired toddler to sleep with the tips described below.
Tips to Soothe Your Overtired Baby
There are a few ways to get your infant down for a nap. Remember that it’s important not to get angry and be patient with your child. Every baby is different, and yours might need a completely different approach to fall asleep when they’re overtired and cranky.
You’ll have to try out a few of the different methods and find what’s best for your child. With time and practice, you will become more attuned to their needs and learn to recognize the signs early on to prevent your infant from getting overtired.
The first thing you need to do is to establish a bedtime routine. Consistency is crucial to child development and infants thrive on repetitive patterns. If you perform the same rituals night after night, your little one will fall asleep easier and sleep better. In time, your child will start recognizing the signals that it’s bedtime and find them comforting and soothing.
To help with soothing your child when they are overtired, try to engage them in quiet and calm activities before bedtime. An abrupt change from play to sleep only upsets toddlers, sending them into a tantrum. A child engaged in a stimulating event cannot lie down quietly the next. Try a series of step-down actions to make a smooth transition. Reading, story time, a bath, or a warm glass of milk are all good ways to get them settled down for the night. A lot of parents prefer baths as an opportunity to enjoy calming warm water together and one-on-one bonding time.
Don’t overlook the ambiance in your child’s room as well. Bright colors, many plush toys, and cushions may look good in catalogs, but they are all stimulants for your little one. Adopt a minimalistic approach when decorating your infant’s room and go for calming, neutral tones, less furniture, and toys. Have a night light that can be dimmed. A few essential baby items such as crib mobiles are a suitable option as they play lullabies and project soothing images on the ceiling that cause drowsiness as well.
The most important thing to remember is that your child needs you in these moments more than ever. They are just as tired as you (if not more), don’t understand why they are cranky and expect you to make it better. After all, isn’t that what a parent does?
It’s easy to give in to exhaustion after yet another failed attempt to put your infant down to sleep, but patience is key. Don’t rush the routine you have established to soothe them when they’re overtired. Hold them, hug them, and comfort them. It’s the most natural thing for a child to need their parents and for the parent to be close to their children while they are falling asleep. Sometimes, just skin-to-skin contact with your baby can have an immediate calming effect. Infants know their mom’s heartbeat, smell, touch, and voice, so those familiar sensations can quickly soothe a fussing baby. If you are worried about safety, you can learn how to Co-sleep with Your Baby Successfully.
An overtired infant is a stressed infant, so there is no need to create even more stress by enforcing rigid routines or harsh treatment that only makes things worse. Approach this from a place of calm, patience and understanding and your child will pick up on your soothing emotions. Parenting is about rules and routines but also about nurture, care, and loving guidance. And no one needs those more than an overtired infant.