Babies are on the hunt for a ton of first-time sensory experiences. As a result, it is also an exciting time for the entire family. Those baby senses are working really hard to understand and explore a brand new world. Even though it may be tempting to hug and love on your baby at all times, please know that even your tiny tot may need a break from it all. An overstimulated baby can make for some upsetting moments. Rest assured, we’ll arm you with the right knowledge so that you can care for your little one in the best way possible.
Overstimulated Baby Signs
Babies are just like adults in more ways than one. They can certainly get too much of a good thing. Maybe you had a lot of friends over to hold the baby, maybe your baby is tired, or maybe your baby has simply just had enough. Too many experiences and too much sensory stimulation can leave your baby feeling totally overwhelmed. Signs of an overstimulated baby include:
- Turning head away
- Trying to move the body away from an activity
- Acting upset, cranky, or tired
- Waving limbs, kicking, clenching fists
- Crying Loudly
- Refusing to Nurse
Remember that babies, children, and adults all have different levels of tolerance. Where one baby could go on for what seems like forever, another may be worn out after a few minutes. If you know that your little one’s physical needs are met and you see them showing these signs, it’s time to consider how you can make things easier for your baby.
Time for a Change of Pace
While baby overstimulation is not serious, you’ll want to make sure you help your little one get back to feeling A-ok. Of course, your baby is likely living their best life at the moment as their daily lives are filled with a ton of new activities. This is as it should be, but balance is key in order to avoid dealing with an overstimulated baby. When your baby is struggling with signs of overstimulation, take them to a quieter and darker environment. For newborns, it may be a good idea to wrap or swaddle your baby in order to avoid physical sensations. Much of the time, environments that are too loud or active can lead to your baby feeling overstimulated. If you have company over, make sure to advocate for your baby. Saying something simple to guests like, “I think they’re ready for a quieter activity” can do the trick without upsetting any feelings.
Preventing Overstimulation in Babies
Remember that your baby can’t communicate their feelings and emotions yet. You’ll do them great justice by looking for patterns. At what point do they get too much? Additionally, an overstimulated baby can benefit greatly from routines. A good mixture of play and rest can do wonders, but you may need to experiment a bit to see what works for your child. In terms of routine, try your best to keep on schedule with meal and nap time. If your baby has an unfulfilled physical need, their ability to tolerate new activities and environments goes right out the window. You can also help prevent overstimulation by taking breaks from any long-lasting activities. Be watchful of how your baby responds to various situations. If responses seem out-of-the-ordinary for their age such as consistent distress to certain sensory situations, don’t be afraid to bring it to the attention of your pediatrician.