If your baby is exhausted, it means that their body is too tired to sleep. Nobody would enjoy that! Sleep is really important for your child. How can a baby’s body get exhausted and how can you prevent it from happening?

When your baby is overtired, their body activates the stress response system. There is so much cortisol and adrenaline rushing through their small body, making it hard to relax. Your baby will have difficulty falling asleep and also will sleep less well during the night. In turn, this makes their body even more tired.

How do you know if your baby is exhausted?

Your baby can get exhausted if they stay up longer than they should in between naps. Newborns need a lot of sleep. Staying awake for more than 45 minutes before going back to bed, might even be too long. It’s not surprising that a new-born can easily become overtired! When your child gets older, they will need less sleep.

Each baby is unique, and they show different signs of overtiredness. But in general, these could be signs that your baby is exhausted:

  • Your baby rubs their eyes or face a lot
  • They hiccup, yawn or sneeze a lot
  • Your baby is whiny and seems inconsolable
  • Your little one becomes more affectionate to mom, dad or their caregiver
  • The longer hey are awake, the more active they become

How do you prevent your baby from becoming overtired?

When your child is overtired, they can be very restless. So, the first step is to calm down your baby. Swaddle your child, or gently rock them back and forth. Or you could use your singing talent and sing them a lullaby. This provides a relaxed base and allows your baby to fall sleep again.

Nutrition can also help with preventing or solving overtiredness. You cannot separate sleeping and feeding for babies, because a well-rested baby drinks more easily and sleeps better than a restless one. This all fits into a fixed schedule that many parents use. That is not without reason! Creating a rhythm works wonders for adults, but it helps babies too.

Therefore, the best tip is to stick to a fixed order. Don’t base your feeding rhythm on the clock, but on a fixed sequence of events. Sleeping first, then feeding and then spending some time awake. The order doesn’t really matter, as long as you stick to that order. This helps your child understand that it is time for feeding when they wake up, and that they should go back to sleep afterwards. It’s also easier for you as a parent, because you can distinguish hunger signals from sleep signals more quickly and easily.

Pay close attention to those kinds of signals. If you notice that your baby is getting sleepy, despite the fact that they should be awake for ten more minutes, you can put your baby to bed anyway. A regular schedule is important, but rest even more.

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