Missing the signs of my overtired baby…
We read that tired babies are fussy and can often seem gassy or colicky when all they actually need is to sleep more. We’ve learned this the hard way.
We bought Gripe Water, Mylicon gas drops, we made catnip & lemon balm tea for her, gave her digestive enzymes and basically tried everything to cure what seemed like tummy pain that caused her to fuss and cry inconsolably.
Turns out she was awake way more than she probably should be and she was getting so overstimulated and overtired that getting her to relax for sleep was practically impossible by the end of the night.
When we headed home with her everyone was all “babies will tell you what they need when they need it”. I nursed on demand, let her sleep when she wanted to, changed her when she screamed. All that resulted in was a fussy, rashy, unhappy baby that would sleep right through the night and fuss all day.
Once we figured out that babies typically shouldn’t be awake for more than about 2 hours at a time it was easy to see what the problem was…
She was getting overly tired and overtired babies only have more issues going to sleep which is probably why E would only doze off in my arms but would not fully sleep or let us lay her down for a nap. The whole time we were thinking she was fussing and crying in pain, it was just exhaustion though.
We committed a baby signals interpretation fail! Poor E.
Now we have made a few changes to help Everly with falling asleep and staying asleep per our reading.
Things like keeping our bedroom dark, changing her and feeding her in the dark when sleep should follow and building a bed time routine have helped. Also, we are having to swaddle her and also place her in the swing to get her to initially fall asleep at night.
The good news is she is actually napping during the day these days which in turn makes her easier to get back to sleep thought the day and night. A well rested baby fights sleep much less and isn’t as fussy. It is amazing and kind of “duh” all at the same time. This revelation is all thanks to reading, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Some parenting books have been very helpful reading material, I’ll admit there is quite a bit of conflicting info out there though. We were lucky enough to find some helpful stuff this time. If you’ve got a parenting book you love please let us know @laurensnellings from twitter recommended the above mentioned book to me and boy are we glad she did.