We've all been there. Christmas is hectic. One of the busiest times of the year for many, and it's easy to let the usual routine slip a little. And why not too? Routines should be flexible enough to allow room for extra visits or later nights. But what happens if it all becomes too much? Here are three tips for dealing with an over tired baby at Christmas...
Know the signs
First of all, it's important to be able to recognise when baby is over tired. It's not always that easy! Some babies can keep going and going right up until the point of no return. And THEN they drop with a bang! So keep an eye out for the signs, and nip it in the bud as soon as you spot them.
- Early stages: eye rubbing and yawning. Realistically, this means it's bedtime. Don't let it go any further!
- Second stages: Baby may next try some self soothing strategies, such as thumb sucking, resting her head on any available surface, etc.
- Third stages: If you haven't yet picked up on previous signals, baby may next move on to some more serious sleep cues. She may start hiccuping, sneezing, breathing quickly, fussing, crying.
- Final stages: It's too late. Your baby is already over tired, and now she is entering seriously over tired status! Signs of this stage include crying, fussing, refusing to play, refusing to feed, arching her back, kicking her legs, screaming.
Avoid over tiredness
So simple. Pay attention to the sleep cues and get baby in bed at the first stage. But it's not always possible. If you're out, make sure you're out with your SnoozeShade so that you can create a cosy nook for baby to sleep in. If you're at home, change your plans slightly so that baby can nap in her room. If you're visiting, either cut short the visit or ask if you can have half an hour to settle baby to sleep. The SnoozeShade for cots is a great idea to take with you so that baby can sleep easily wherever you are.
Get your over tired baby to sleep
It's not easy, but it can be done.
- Swaddle her
- Rock her
- Hold her
- Feed her
- Make sure the room is dark
- Play white noise
Basically use all of your usual techniques to help baby fall asleep.
- Take 15 minutes to wind down before putting her down to sleep, so that she is relaxed and calm. Baby massage is a good idea too.
- Read a book in a dim room
- Rock her
- Feed if it is feed time
- Sing a lullaby or play white noise
Again, use your usual techniques to calm and encourage sleep.
Remember that babies need a lot more sleep than we do, and when you're busy it's easy to forget the usual routine and carry on with whatever you're doing. But your guests will wait, your baby will not. Read our guide to baby's routine over Christmas here. Good luck!