Plenty babies fight sleep–and it can often seem as if they’d happily go on playing and socialising for hours without a break…that is, until, they suddenly go from zero to meltdown. Fact is, little ones are very easy overstimulated (the world is SO exciting, Mum!); no matter how vague their methods of communication may be–or your ability to pick up on their cues.
Here’s 5 warning signs your babe is prepping to release the Kraken…and five ways to tame the beastie back to his zen and cuddly self.
Jerky moves: If your baby’s movements become disorganised–or if he begins to ‘march’, it’s usually a hint that he’s trying to escape the chaos.
The head turn: Babies love faces; but if they spurn your loving looks by turning away, they’re likely sending the message that they need a little alone time.
Flying limbs: Fist clenching and kicking are just what they appear to be: a preview of an impending overtired battle.
Faster breathing: This can be tricky since tots obviously breathe faster if they’re excited; so check to see if your bubs is showing any other signs of being overstimulated.
Increased crying: It might start off as moaning that gradually ramps up into an unbroken siren wail, or a sudden screaming fit. If your ears are aching, you’ve probably waited too long to respond to the first signals of overstimulation.
How to Wind ’em Down
- Take your baby somewhere quiet and removed from activity.
- Swaddle, or wrap up in a sling or carrier to minimise exposure to sensory input.
- Use relaxed body language and a low, soothing tone of voice to let your babe know it’s time to chill out.
- Ensure that your baby is fed, dry, and comfortable.
- Don’t feel pressured to stay at home all day so as not to mess with baby’s routine, but if there’s been a particularly disruptive period of excitement, try to take it easy on the calendar to allow your little one to feel safe and relaxed with the predictability of your regular schedule.