Babies: 0 - 3 Months

How do you soothe an overtired baby?

Our LO has the tendency to go past her "tired" state and into an overtired one at night where she fusses and refuses to go to sleep. We know she's tired because she will constantly yawn, always wants to suck (she is EBF and we don't use a soother), and just has an overall attitude change when she gets this way. Does anyone have advice to help soothe her when she gets this way? She is almost 8 weeks. I've never let her cry it out because DH is a shift worker and he really needs his sleep (he operates heavy machinery), and because I feel she is too young to cry it out. We do have a bedtime routine where we wipe her down, bathe her, feed her, and then quiet time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Re: How do you soothe an overtired baby?

  • Have you tried swaddling at all? When my DD gets like this, I bundle her up tight, stand up and hold her on her side so that her belly is flat against me. Then, I dance, rock, jiggle her, sometime with music playing, sometimes with white noise or shushing.

    I FF, so I don't know what is appropriate with pacifiers, but since you've EBF for a while now, would it be appropriate to introduce a pacifier during sleep times?
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  • I also EBF and do not use pacifiers. If DD gets this way I swaddle her and ask DH to take her so I can regroup. It gets hard on you and LO can sense that. If you are tense LO may be too. Have you tried to put her in a swing or something to give yourself a few minutes then try again? My DH works 3rd and I hate to wake him during the day but sometimes I need to. Being with someone calm soothes her enough to start to sleep and let's me calm down and regroup so I can finish putting her to sleep. 
  • We no longer swaddle, but it is worth a shot to help calm baby. We EBF but use a paci at bedtime. At 8 weeks you might consider trying a couple out to,see if LO takes to,it. He spits it out when he falls asleep and doesn't need it again for the most part. I also use the swing or have DH stand and sway or Rock him for a long long time.  

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  • Have you read Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp? The 5 "S"s work great for tired and fussy babies. They are Swaddle, Swing (rock, jiggle, etc), Shush (making a shhhhhhhhhh sound, or white noise), Side or Stomach position, and Sucking.

    Only super fussy or colicky babies will often need all 5 of those. The degree of fussing determines how many of those Ss I need with him. When my little guy is really overtired, he will be almost instantly calmed by being swaddled nice and tight, being held sideways against my tummy, and bounced on the yoga ball. If he is still fussing a little bit or needs an extra push into dream land, I make the shushing noise. Rarely if he is in a super meltdown, I swaddle and nurse him and he passes out.








  • image ShadyKull:
    Have you read Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp? The 5 "S"s work great for tired and fussy babies. They are Swaddle, Swing rock, jiggle, etc, Shush making a shhhhhhhhhh sound, or white noise, Side or Stomach position, and Sucking.Only super fussy or colicky babies will often need all 5 of those. The degree of fussing determines how many of those Ss I need with him. When my little guy is really overtired, he will be almost instantly calmed by being swaddled nice and tight, being held sideways against my tummy, and bounced on the yoga ball. If he is still fussing a little bit or needs an extra push into dream land, I make the shushing noise. Rarely if he is in a super meltdown, I swaddle and nurse him and he passes out.


    Thistry the Happiest Baby techniques. You can rent the video on Netflix for the quick and dirty version. LO is way too little to cry it out. I also recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth. It helped a lot when we were trying to figure out sleep issues for our DS.
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  • I swaddle and put the blowdryer on and when he starts to calm down i pop a boob in his mouth and he falls asleeep
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  • image LiciaWayne:
    Have you tried swaddling at all? When my DD gets like this, I bundle her up tight, stand up and hold her on her side so that her belly is flat against me. Then, I dance, rock, jiggle her, sometime with music playing, sometimes with white noise or shushing.

    I FF, so I don't know what is appropriate with pacifiers, but since you've EBF for a while now, would it be appropriate to introduce a pacifier during sleep times?


    All this! My lo would calm down with this method every time!!!
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  • We EBF too but do use a soothie pacifier.  The AAP actually recommends putting them to sleep with one as a SIDS risk reduction.  The need to suck is highest around 8 weeks, I would have lost my mind without it. She is already using it less on her own at 12 weeks.  If you are not totally opposed to that it is worth a try. 

    The few times my dd has been inconsolable I have stripped her down to a diaper and done skin to skin and nursed.  She usually falls sleep. 

    We also swaddle for sleep at night and most naps.  

    The most important thing is to watch for cues and put them down right away, but of course that is not always possible. At 8 weeks my dd got tired after being wake for about 1.5-2 hours max. 

    Good luck! 

    We are so thankful that our second daughter, Lillian Elizabeth "Lily", was born healthy and happy on February 11, 2013.  We love her to pieces.  

    We lost our first daughter, Hannah Grace on May 4, 2011.  She was buried on May 14 during a beautiful service at my home church. We are grateful that if she could not be here with us, that she is healed and whole with the Lord. We look forward to the day when we will get to meet her. We love her so much.


  • move bedtime up 10-15 minutes. that might be the problem. or notice when she starts to hit her tired phase (is it 45 min? 60 min?) and start bedtime routine before that point. I start LO's bed time routine 20-30 minutes after her last nap, because 45 minutes tends to be when she gets tired around that time at night.  i try to start the routine around 6:45-7:00 and she is bed between 7:45-8:00

     

    she is definitely too long for CIO. One thing that would happen in the beginning with her is that we wouldn't make her take a nap after she got up around 4/5, so she would always be up too long. now, even if it's 6 or 630, i put her in the sling to sleep for one sleep cycle, so that she doesn't hit her over tired phase during bed time.

    BabyFetus Ticker Little Riley-our first little girl coming March 1st, 2013 (or sometime around there;)
  • as far as soothing her...skin to skin, swaddling and rocking/swaying all will help.  At this point for nighttime, I swaddle her, sit in a rocking chair, and put something on my phone to watch while i rock and pat her back.

    You're best bet is to try and prevent it from happening because she may sleep worse because she IS so overtired....

    BabyFetus Ticker Little Riley-our first little girl coming March 1st, 2013 (or sometime around there;)
  • You're right, she is definitely too young for cry it out.  I would try swaddling and white noise.  Our DS used to get like this too - the witching hour.  Bouncing and shushing loudly helped immensely.  The shushing needs to be louder than her crying and once her cries get quieter you can decrease the volume of your shushing.  It is something that they usually outgrow (this witching hour), but you could definitey try putting her to bed earlier before she gets overly tired.

     

     

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  • a13049a13049
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    We EBF, but we use and love our paci.  It has saved us many nights.  When LO is super fussy, we use the bath to calm her.  she loves the sound of the running water and the warmness seems to calm her.  When we take her out we with wrap her in a sleep sack and use the 5 "s" and she will be out.  I will say 6-8 weeks were really cranky period for my LO and then things seemed to get easier.

     

     

     

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