Overtired Baby? 7 Things All New Moms Need to Know

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Today we are talking about what to do if you have an overtired baby on your hands!

helping an overtired baby

Having an overtired baby can not only be frustrating but it can be downright exhausting for the parents as well.

If your little one is fighting sleep, it’s time to reassess and rethink your baby sleep strategies.

Don’t focus on the fact that your baby is getting their sleep schedule all out of whack.

Instead, focus on what you can do to recognize the signs and pivot to help address.


Recognizing the Signs of an Overtired Baby

More than likely, you can see the signs that you have an overtired baby.

After all, you’re basically spending every moment with them while they’re awake, trying to figure out why they just can’t go to sleep. 

To see it can be downright difficult to figure out is an understatement, to say the least. 

And while it might seem that you’ll never find the light at the end of the tunnel on how to get your child to rest, stop fretting and instead, challenge yourself to find ways to be better.

Having an overtired baby is just a little hill that you’ll have to adjust to overcome. Once you do, you won’t even think about it again! 

How to Break the Cycle of an Overtired Baby

Here’s the deal. Once your baby is downright exhausted, it can be hard to break that overtired baby cycle.

A Typical day with an overtire baby looks like this: 

  • Baby wakes up
  • Is happy for a short amount of time
  • Refuses to take a nap
  • Then ends up in a wonky sleep pattern that’s inconsistent and unreliable
  • Wash, rinse, repeat!

Welcome to the cycle of an overtired baby. But even more than that, their cycle of being overtired suddenly becomes your cycle, too.

You’ll find that you’re not sleeping as much and then it all starts to feel like eerything is just going downhill.

Instead of throwing in the towel, you can take steps to break that vicious, sleepless cycle.

Here are some things that you can try to do to help your child relax more and get a good sleeping routine again.

Keep Naps Consistent and Create a Pattern

Dim the lights, turn on the fan, play a soft song in the background…and then continue to do that each and every time.

That way, your child recognizes that it’s time for a nap and they’ll start to soothe themselves and calm down. 

Snuggle Them If They Need to Be Snuggled

So many times children fight the napping and sleeping pattern because they just want to be held by you.

If this is the case, hold them for a while.

Snuggle them and love on them before tucking them into bed.

You may be surprised that once they feel that safety, warmth and love, they just might be able to settle themselves down and drift into a deep sleep.

Try Various Sleep Training Methods to See If Any of Them Will Work

How many sleep training methods have you tried with your child?

There are a wide variety of options that you can try and see if any of them help your child rest easier or better.

The most common sleep training methods include:

  • Ferber methods
  • Cry it out
  • Fading
  • The chair method
  • Fading

Do your own research to see which sleep training method sounds right for you and your baby, might help your child get a better night’s rest. 

Other Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep

If none of the above basic sleep techniques worked, we have a ton of fantastic baby sleep tips that you can check out.

Some of these are actually pretty ingenious and made by a mom who was tormented by lack of sleep with her first baby. (Umm, me. I’m that mom by the way.)

Signs of an Overtired Baby

If you think you have an overly tired baby, you probably do.

And if you’re on the fence about it, just know that there are certain signs and clues that you can watch out for that will give you the answer that you’re looking for. 

Babies really aren’t all that different from adults except for the fact that they can’t use their words.

If you’re looking for a few clues from your nonverbal baby that they’re tired, it’s a good guess that they are probably throwing a ton of them at you in various ways.

Long Periods of Crying

Young babies are still trying to figure out how to self-soothe and calm themselves down.

And if they’re feeling overstimulated or overtired, you can bet that they’re going to use those vocal cords in the only way that they know how.

Excessive crying can be a big sign that your baby is overtired needs some solid sleep. 

Rubbing their Eyes

This is one of the more common signs that your baby is needing their sleep.

And because they’re rubbing their eyes and doing their darnedest to fight it, see if a gentle rocking or walking with them can help put them right over the edge into a restful sleep. 

Refusing to Take a Nap

Didn’t you know that babies are stubborn, even at a young age?

Maybe it’s because they just love to be around you and don’t want to miss out on any of that time…but more than likely, it’s because they just don’t want to go to sleep.

Maybe they’ll cry and fuss until they get their “second wind”, or maybe they’ll make sucking noises with their lips or even take that moment in time to discover that they can suck on their fists instead.

Whatever they can do to not sleep, they’ll try.

These are just a few of the ways that babies show that they’re overtired and do what they can to avoid giving in to sleep.

If you really stop and think about it…it’s actually quite humorous.

As adults, we all know good and well that sleeping and napping is one of the greatest feelings in the world, right?

Then why do babies and children right it so much?! 

Will my Overtired Baby Sleep Again?

And now, for a question we see mama’s ask all too often.

Will my overtired baby ever sleep again???


No matter how far off sleep may see, your baby will in fact sleep again!

Just keep trying different soothing techniques are distraction.

If you are feeling especially frazzled and are having a hard time, it’s perfectly OK to put your baby down in a safe place, like their crib, and walk away to a quiet place.

Sometimes being in a calm environment can help you regain your own composure and help you stay calm.

After all, if mom is frazzled, there’s a good chance that your baby is feeding off of your energy.

But, I promise that this is temporary, and your baby will in fact sleep again!


If you have an overtired baby, do what you can to figure out the root cause and try some of the different methods above to help overcome.

With a little bit of patience and same varied tactics, you can and will find out the perfect combination to help your baby get caught up on their sleep and get a good nights sleep. 

What other clues have you noticed that indicate you have an overtired baby? 

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