How To Get An Overtired Baby To Sleep

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Overtiredness in babies is defined as the particular phase when babies have already passed the time they should be sleeping.

And this is the very time when a parent can find it most challenging to coax them to sleep. It is commonly known as every parent’s nightmare.

We understand. We’ve been there.

  • Adults can pretty easily fall asleep at any time whereas babies find it extremely difficult to snooze. It’s more difficult still for you to try to encourage them to dreamland when they are resistant.

There are many ways to determine if your baby is overtired and why they can’t seemingly get to sleep at any cost.

We will help you out today with some handy hints on overcoming this knotty issue.

Get the sleep you deserve while guaranteeing the best quality of rest for your precious newborn.

How To Tell If a Baby Is Overtired

There are some common pointers when it comes to working out if your baby is overtired.

  • Baby is Yawning

One of the telltale signs that your baby is getting overtired is seeing them constantly yawn. Yawning is not just a manifestation of tiredness but of being sleepy as well.

  • Rubbing The Eyes

This action is very rare in older kids and adults. For some reason, rubbing the eyes when feeling tired and sleepy seems to be exclusive to babies and toddlers.

  • Constantly Rubbing The Face

You can tell if babies are overtired if they rub their faces constantly with matching grumpiness in their actions. This way, the baby is trying to tell everyone that he is already feeling sleepy and is getting irritable about not being able to sleep. Babies can make their feelings known surprisingly clearly.

  • ​Mild Fussing

​A baby will try to get your attention to help them get to sleep by exhibiting a mild fussiness. He is trying to encourage you to help him drop off.

  • ​Unstoppable Cries

This will follow everything above if you still fail to notice and give appropriate attention to your baby’s gestures. Once crying sets in, you will find it even harder to make the baby stop and sleep. Make sure things don’t reach this stage.

  • Baby Will Become Increasingly Hyper

After the overtiredness ceases and the sleeping phase wears out, your baby is likely to feel very active. He might start to play or just stay awake and alert. At this point, you won’t be able to make them sleep anymore and will simply have to sacrifice your own sleep and sit with him.

  • Important Note: To avoid overtiredness constantly happening to your baby, always keep an eye out for these signs and get them off to sleep as soon as they are ready.

Getting an overtired baby to nod off might be very tasky at times but it can be done.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure you achieve the apparently unachievable!

How To Get An Overtired Baby Back To Sleep?

How To Get An Overtired Baby Back To Sleep

Remember that the key to this is to calm and relax your baby in order to make them sleep.

  • Swing/Rocking Motion

This technique has been embraced by mothers since the beginning of time. When a baby doesn’t seem to want to fall asleep, after the crying and tantrums, swaying and rocking them into your arms can generally do the trick. It might take a while but it almost always pays dividends.

  • Important Note: Rocking the baby in a hammock doesn’t work as well. If the baby wakes up and cries after a short time, just wait a few seconds. See if he will continue crying or return back to sleep. If the baby continues to cry, simply gently try to make him sleep again.
Tapping The Baby
  • Gentle Taps

​Tapping the baby gently on either his buttocks or thighs make him feel sleepy and relaxed. You will need extra patience though because it sometimes takes a bit longer than other methods.

  • Sing

​Singing lullabies or nursery rhymes is a wonderful way to help your baby to sleep.

Humming is fine if you don’t enjoy singing. The sound of your voice alone is soothing to your infant. Singing is a great chance to relax him.

Humming is fine if you don’t enjoy singing. The sound of your voice alone is soothing to your infant. Singing is a great chance to relax him.
  • Lights Off

Turn off the lights as you put your baby back into their crib. If it’s still daytime, try darkening the room by closing the curtains. Choose dark colored drapes to give a more somber shade to the room.

  • Feed the Baby

Sometimes, babies are just hungry. They can suddenly cry which is a sign they want nursing. If they just won’t stop crying or won’t accept any food either, chances are they are showing signs of overtiredness. It’s time to pursue other methods.

  • Proper Ventilation

Sometimes the reason why babies can’t get to sleep is because the temperature in the room isn’t cool enough to adequately settle them. Check if their back is wet with sweat. Monitor the neck. Change their clothes for fresh, dry ones. And turn up the fan temperature higher or, better yet, turn on the air conditioner. If there is no power, fan the baby till he sleeps and until the power comes back.

  • Swaddling

Swaddle the baby with a thin blanket to comfort them. This is a technique in which newborn infants are covered from the neck down with a blanket to restrict their movements and make them feel secured and relaxed.

  • Cuddle Up

There is no other method more comforting and secure than putting your baby on your chest. This actually mimics the time the baby is still inside their mother’s womb. The infant remembers the feel of closeness and security during the time when he was not yet born. More often than not, babies tend to stop crying and fussing when the mother takes them to her chest to sleep.

  • Quiet Moments

A quiet environment speeds up the sleeping process for adults and babies alike. An overtired baby will not be able to get a lengthy, decent sleep if there are loud noises around them. Make sure anything that might create unnecessary noise is turned off to keep your baby asleep longer.

However modern the world we live in now, however advanced technology is, there is still nothing that can beat the warmth of caring and loving that a parent can give their little ones.

Take the time to spend with your baby and help him to get the best night’s sleep.


We hope you have found these pointers about overtired babies useful.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions at all. We’re here to help in any way we can.

Enjoy your sleep!

Hi there, I’m Mary, editor at My Mommy Guide. I want to help make every step of the journey with your new baby easier. My goal is to inform you about as wide a range of subjects related to newborns as possible. Whether you are a new mother or the parents of several kids, this site aims to cater for all. Although there are no rules for being a parent, there is certainly plenty of sound practice. I will bring you ongoing, fresh content and always encourage your feedback. Welcome to our site!
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