Overtired babies have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.
Here’s how to know if your baby is overtired and how to get your exhausted baby to sleep.
Can’t tell if your baby is overtired? Here are the signs and tips on how to help your baby get better sleep habits.
Signs of an overtired baby:
Babies that do not sleep enough and who stay awake for longer than they can handle, end up having a stress response, an increase in adrenaline and cortisol, making it harder for them to wind down for bedtime.
Sometimes it’s obvious your baby is overtired and other times the signs are more subtle. Here is what to look for in your little one:
-She only takes brief catnaps, instead of full-blown naps.
-She has a hard time settling down for sleep.
-She’s more prone to meltdowns (in an older baby).
-She falls asleep at random times during the day (in the highchair when eating, for instance, or as soon as she hits the stroller, even if it’s not naptime).
-She doesn’t get a lot of sleep at night.
-She’s very cranky or fussy.
-She’s less able to handle frustration or pain.
How to prevent your baby from getting overtired:
In general, make sure you are giving your baby plenty opportunity to meet his sleep needs. Here’s how much sleep baby needs according to their age:
– A 1-month-old should get about 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day, broken into eight to nine hours at night, with the other seven to nine hours in naps during the day.
– A 2-month-old should get a total of around 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day, with eight to 10 hours at night and four to eight in naps.
– A 3-month-old should get about nine to 10 hours at night and a few naps of one-and-a-half to two hours each during the day.
– By 4 months, your baby should be sleeping between 12 and 15 hours a day, with two or three daytime naps that total around three to four hours, and about 10 to 11 hours of sleep at night.
– When your baby nears 6 months old, he should be sleeping about nine to 11 hours at night with two longer naps during the day.
Following a consistent nap and bedtime schedule, limiting stimulation before bedtime and having a set bedtime routine can all help.
Remember, it’ll be easier to sleep train a baby who is not overtired, simply because overtired babies sleep less well in general and have a harder time getting to sleep.