The ABC's of Infant Sleep- Fighting Sleep!


If you've been following our ABC's of Infant Sleep, you've heard us talk about awake times and overtired babies. That's all helpful information for sure, but what do you do when your baby is already so tired they are restless and angry...rangry?

That made up word was fun to say, but a rangry baby is not fun to experience.

So then...what do you do when your baby inconsolable?

It's 2am and your baby is 'screaming her head off' you might say.

Arms are flailing, head is bobbing up and down on your chest and there is no end in sight.

You're exhausted and so totally unsure what to do at this point. Those two things make the most perfect recipe for stress and anxiety.

You are not alone there.

Now baby feeds off of your energy...and the cycle continues.

I want to give you some tips on what to try to break up the cycle, find relief...and sleep.

If your baby is overtired the goal is sleep but their body first needs help winding down and transitioning. So here's what you can do.

1. Make sure physical needs are met {diaper change, dry comfy clothes, fed}.

2. Reduce stimuli. Turn off the busy noise {tv, chatter}. Turn off the lights {tv, lamps, etc}.

3. Avoid passing your baby from person to person because this only adds to the stimulation via smell, touch, change. Though, if your energy is anxious and you need a breather, passing them off to a confident, calm helping hand would be beneficial.

4. Add in a sound machine and turn the volume up to as loud as their cry.

5. Swaddle if still of age. If baby has outgrown the swaddle there are other safe options like the zippadee-zip or sleep sacks.

6. Hold your baby in a comfortable position that allows them to relax.

7. Sway or rock, whatever helps bring baby's energy down.

8. Shush in baby's ear if they are still crying and shush loud enough to help 'drown out' their crying.

9. Offer breast, bottle or pacifier {especially if they were too upset to eat earlier}

10. Follow your baby's cues! Their energy may decrease as you are holding them or it may increase. They may want to be laid down to get out their restless energy. Every baby is different and they have their own preferences like we do.

So in short, reduce stimuli that keeps their brain active and awake and turn to a more soothing atmosphere, considering the energy that is in the room. Little babies like to be snug, give them a nice and tight swaddle, a sound machine and you are well on your way to helping your baby come down off this fighting sleep mountain!

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