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Over-Stimulation

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:

  1. Clenching her fists or waving her arms and legs.
  2. Turning his head away from you when you are talking.
  3. Having jerky movements.
  4. Becoming cranky and crying.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. If you are “wearing” your baby and she seems to be getting overstimulated, turn her around so that she is facing your chest.
  3. Cover the car seat or stroller if the outside environment is too noisy or overstimulating.
  4. Reduce the noise around him by turning off the TV, radio, or other devices.
  5. Choose a calming activity, like singing or reading.
  6. 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:

  1. Reducing the amount of activity your child is involved with.
  2. Using healthy communication and helping your child express how she is feeling using words.
  3. Helping him determine ways he can learn to calm himself, such as going to a quiet room or reading a book.

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