Overstimulated Baby: How Can You Tell & How to Prevent It

Being a parent comes with many moments of trying to understand what might be making your baby upset. As time goes on, certain cues will help you more quickly determine what it is that has your little one in a fuss. Among reasons such as being hungry, needing a diaper change, and sleepiness, baby overstimulation can be one of the reasons your baby’s behaviors might be impacted. This blog will review some of the causes and signs of an overstimulated baby. 

Signs of Overstimulation in Babies

Table of Contents

What is overstimulation?

Your baby or toddler will newly experience many sights, sounds, and people. Overstimulation occurs when some of those surroundings become too much for your baby to take in. Just as we can get overwhelmed as adults, babies and toddlers can too. As babies frequently have new surroundings to adjust to, overstimulation is quite common. Knowing what signs to watch for, how to soothe an overstimulated baby, and how to prevent overstimulation in babies will help you with keeping your baby relaxed as they take in their environment. 

Does overstimulation affect newborns?

Overstimulation can happen in any phase of your child’s development. For newborns, overstimulation can be rather common as they newly adapt to all their surroundings. Common causes of overstimulation for your newborn can come from loud noises, bright lights, and being around new people. This can include being passed around to new people. Since there will be plenty of loved ones ready to snuggle your baby, we’ll help you recognize signs that it may be time to remove your newborn from an overstimulation situation. 

How can you tell if your baby is overstimulated? Signs to look for

1. Newborns or babies

Since newborns and babies can’t yet tell us when they need a change in their environment, here are some of the common behaviors you can look out for that are signs of an overstimulated baby: 

  • Increasingly clingy or wanting to be held even more than usual 
  • Crying more (or louder) than usual, fussy, or irritable  
  • Increasingly tired (this can sometimes look as if they’re spacing out)
  • Needing extra comfort measures (feeding, pacifiers, or sucking their hands or fingers) 
  • Acting scared or jerking movements 

2. Toddlers or preschoolers

While toddlers or preschoolers are just as likely to be overstimulated, the signs may look a bit different for this older developmental stage. Here are some signs that your toddler may be overstimulated: 

  • Behavior outside of their norm such as temper tantrums, anger, or throwing fits 
  • Crying or visibly upset, but they can’t articulate what it is that’s bothering them 

Causes of overstimulation in babies and toddlers

Baby overstimulation can be caused by a variety of things. As we mentioned, babies are often overstimulated by exposure or stimulus to too many things at once. For example, your baby may become overstimulated at a birthday party or large family gathering. As there are lots of people and sounds occurring at once, this can simply be too much for your baby to process at once. For toddlers, the causes can be quite similar. Things like new people, new places, and loud sounds can all be cause for overstimulation of your baby or toddler. Keeping your baby close and comfortable can help keep them calm. One way to help calm them is by babywearing. The Tushbaby is a doctor-recommended hip seat carrier that can help overstimulated babies calm down: with 4 carrying positions, you can help keep your baby away from overstimulation without sitting out of events or daily activities. 

How to calm an overstimulated baby

Now that we know the causes of overstimulation, you may be wondering what methods are best for calming an overstimulated baby. While we can try to prevent overstimulation, it’s bound to happen sometimes as your baby or toddler adjusts to many new surroundings as they grow. Here are some ways you can comfort or calm an overstimulated baby: 

1. Finding a quieter space 

When you see signs that your baby is overstimulated, taking them to a quieter space is the first step. This can be done by simply taking them to a quieter or darker room or even by going for a walk outside. 

2. Carrying or holding your baby 

As we mentioned, your overstimulated baby may be slightly more clingy than usual and want to be held even more. Having the right support for holding your baby will be important, as you won’t want to cut these snuggles short. Tushbaby has you covered. Having a hip seat carrier handy for those moments of needing to be held even longer will help you not only soothe your overstimulated baby, but also help save your back and your arms. 

3. Soothing methods 

As we mentioned, your baby may be in extra need of things that help soothe them, such as pacifiers or feeding. Here are some tips to be best prepared to provide that comfort. 

4. Pacifier 

Keep your baby’s pacifier clean and handy for moments when they need a bit of extra comfort. Your Paci Pod will help you keep that pacifier in a clean and handy space, so you don’t have to go digging through the diaper bag when you need it. 

5. Feeding or nursing 

If your baby is showing signs of overstimulation, feeding or nursing can be a way of soothing them. Use your Tushbaby carrier in the feeding position to allow for a more comfortable and positive experience for both you and your baby in times of overstimulation. Your baby will have a comfortable place to lay, and your back and arms will remain supported while you either breast or bottle feed. 

How to calm an overstimulated toddler

For an overstimulated toddler, it will be important to help them achieve comfort in any way you can. This can be by leaving the situation or offering calming mechanisms for distraction. Some distractors can be calming toys, reading books, or even extra snuggles. At Tushbaby, we’re all about having the right tools to keep you prepared as a parent: the Tushbaby carrier can help you be ready for those extra snuggles, and your Totebaby will help ensure you’ve got the space you need to pack along all the necessities for your toddler. 

How to prevent overstimulation in babies and toddlers

Preventing overstimulation can be tricky with a baby, as many of their surroundings can cause extra stimulation. If you know you’re going to a gathering, store, or any situation where there can be a lot of stimulation, it can help to have a plan in place ahead of time. This may include identifying a quiet room in the house or thinking about where you can take a quiet walk with your baby when they get stressed.  

How to balance activity time and quiet time

Many parents find that the best way to balance activity and quiet time is by finding a routine or schedule that works for them and their baby. This leaves the guesswork to a minimum, and you can find ways to adjust as you learn your baby’s cues and when they need some quiet time. We hope this blog has provided you with some guidance and tips for being best prepared for moments when your baby or toddler may be overstimulated. 

Calm your overstimulated baby by babywearing. . . order your Tushbaby today!

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