How to Soothe an Overtired Baby

As much as we try to avoid it, it is inevitable that there will be days where our little one is overstimulated, overtired and fussy! In this post, we’re sharing a few simple tips to prevent and manage a fussy, overtired baby.

Visitors, doctor visits, errands, vacations or just an off day can lead to overtired, overstimulated little ones! Overtired little ones can often be harder to get to sleep, and stay asleep through the night. We’ve all been there! Avoiding an overtired little is of course ideal but, if it’s already too late, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few things we can do to help prevent them from becoming overtired and, if they do get overtired, how to manage it!

Already Overtired?

There are a few things you can do to help:

  • Get back on track with your routine at your next feed time
    • See our Crazy Day Tips in the Moms on Call Typical Day Schedules. On days when nothing goes as planned, utilize the 15 minute grace periods on either end of the feeding times and do your best to hit the “Crazy Day” times in the schedules. 
  • If under 12 weeks swaddle well
    • Try the Ferris Wheel Technique!
    • Watch Co-Founder of Moms on Call, Jennifer Walker, demonstrating the ferris wheel here.
  • Turn lights down
  • Sound machine on!
    • The sound machine should be turned up loud enough for you to hear on the other side of the door and should be kept 12-24 inches from the head of the crib.
  • Snuggle for 5-10 minutes while rocking 
  • Use a paci for 2-3 minutes
  • Attempt naptime by giving them 5-10 minutes to settle (on their own!)
  • If it is a late evening, try going for a walk with them in the stroller or wear them in a baby carrier. 

So, what if you see signs of over-tiredness and want to avoid the inevitable? Keep reading…we’ve got you covered with three simple tips!

How to Avoid Having an Overtired Baby

  1. Stay consistent with your routine!
  2. Try for at least 2 good nap opportunities per day (when realistically possible) for little ones under 12-15 months.
    • Nap should be at consistent times each day and in the right sleep environment (according to age).
  3. Adjust the evening routine to 15 minutes earlier.

…and just for kicks

4. YOU’VE GOT THIS!!

We have all been there and there will be days we wander back to it, and that’s okay. You are equipped with the tools and tips to get you through it!

Moms On Call is dedicated to providing positive, practical and effective ways to help parents feel more confident and rested. You’re already a great parent—we’re here to help you better understand your little one and enjoy the parenting process with practical advice that really works! Visit our Knowledge Center for more parenting resources to sleep, feed, laugh and love birth through toddlerhood.