What Overstimulates a Baby?
Being a new parent can be overwhelming and a little nerve-wracking. It is natural to be concerned about your baby’s development and creating a safe and secure environment for them.
Although adults can often handle overstimulation quite easily, it can be a bigger issue for a baby. It is important to be aware of a baby’s cues for when they are becoming overstimulated and what the signs are.
Signs of Overstimulation
There are a few signs that you can look out for that indicate your baby is overstimulated:
- Roaring and Fussing – if your baby is making loud noises and fusses more than usual, it can be a sign of overstimulation
- Crying – crying is a sign of distress and can indicate your baby is overstimulated and overwhelmed
- Hiding – if your baby is trying to get away from the source of the overstimulation by curling up in a ball, hiding their face, or even turning away, it could be a sign of overstimulation
Causes of Overstimulation
There are a few things that can trigger a baby to become overstimulated. Some of these are:
- Too much sensory input – this could be visual, auditory or tactile input. Loud noises, bright lights, busy environments, numerous people, tickling, and too much handling can all be sensory over-load for a baby.
- Lack of breaks – it is important to give your baby a break from stimulation. Scheduling in down-time can help reduce the chances of your baby becoming overstimulated.
- Unfamiliar situations – babies are very sensitive to change and unfamiliar situations. Make sure to introduce change slowly and at a pace that your baby can manage.
Steps to Alleviate Overstimulation
If your baby is becoming overwhelmed and overstimulated, there are some steps you can take to help them:
- Reduce Sensory Input – this can be done by removing toys, dimming lights, and reducing noise.
- Provide Breaks – allow your baby to have some quiet time away from the stimulation and noise to give them a chance to relax and calm down.
- Boost Security – the best way to help your baby feel secure and reduce the feeling of overstimulation is to hold your baby or take them to a comfortable or familiar place.
Becoming aware of your baby’s cues and symptoms of overstimulation is key to helping them manage and prevent it. Knowing the causes of overstimulation and taking the necessary steps to alleviate it, can help your baby to lead a calmer and more restful life.