Children can get overwhelmed with too many activities or sensations. They need your help to find a balance between activity and down time!
How to tell when your baby or toddler may be overwhelmed or over-stimulated:
- Clenching her fists or waving her arms and legs.
- Turning his head away from you when you are talking.
- Having jerky movements.
- Becoming cranky and crying.
- As a toddler, telling you she’s had enough of a certain activity or experience.
Tips for handling over-stimulation in your baby or toddler:
- Wrap your baby in a swaddling blanket, which can be soothing. If your baby gets sleepy when swaddled, remove the blanket before putting him down to sleep; this will help him have safe sleep.
- If you are “wearing” your baby and she seems to be getting overstimulated, turn her around so that she is facing your chest.
- Cover the car seat or stroller if the outside environment is too noisy or overstimulating.
- Reduce the noise around him by turning off the TV, radio, or other devices.
- Choose a calming activity, like singing or reading.
- Allow her to entertain himself and explore her environment in her own way.
Preschoolers and school-agers can also get overstimulated. Like toddlers, they may tell you they don’t want to do a particular activity, or they may be tired and cranky and have behaviors that are tough to manage.
You can help by:
- Reducing the amount of activity your child is involved with.
- Using healthy communication and helping your child express how she is feeling using words.
- Helping him determine ways he can learn to calm himself, such as going to a quiet room or reading a book.