An overtired baby is usually an unhappy baby.

How to Soothe an Overtired Baby

by Kathryn Hatter

Sleep might become one of your most important issues after a baby arrives. Between resting whenever possible and monitoring your baby’s sleep schedule, you will have many sleep details to manage. If your baby becomes overtired, he may have trouble settling. Soothing an overtired little one takes some effort, but helping your baby drift off to sleep will help everyone feel better.

Wrap your baby snugly in a swaddle wrap to help her feel secure, suggests the Children’s Physician Network. Spread a light receiving blanket on a firm surface and fold down one corner. Place your baby diagonally on the blanket with her head just above the folded down corner. Fold the left corner over your baby and tuck it snugly around her body. Fold up the bottom corner and wrap the remaining right corner around your baby snugly. If your baby likes to suck on her fingers, leave her hands near her face as you wrap the blanket.

Offer your baby a pacifier to try to soothe him. Sucking can help a crying baby relax, advises the Mayo Clinic. If your baby does not want the pacifier, do not force him to take it.

Hold your swaddled baby closely to comfort her. While you hold your little one, rock in a rocking chair or walk around the house, jiggling her gently. Play music or sing to her. Some babies calm with white noise in the background, such as a dishwasher or washing machine, according to the State of Connecticut Department of Children & Families.

Massage your baby gently if he continues to fret. Infant massage can relax a baby and help him sleep, according to the Infant Massage USA website. Place him on a firm surface, such as his changing table. With a small amount of lotion in your fingers, begin massaging from the head, down to the neck, arms, chest, tummy, legs and feet. Keep your touch light and talk soothingly to your baby as you massage him.

Place your tired baby in her crib for a few minutes if your efforts fail and she continues to fuss. Sometimes, soothing methods increase stimulation in an infant instead of calming her. Monitor her for 5 to 10 minutes to see if she will settle on her own and go to sleep. If she does not settle, pick her up again and resume the holding and jiggling techniques to try to help her fall asleep.

Items you will need

  • Receiving blanket
  • Pacifier


  • If you feel frustrated and overwhelmed by your baby’s crying, place him in his crib and call a family member or friend for support. Never shake a baby or lose your temper when he cries because you could cause a serious injury.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

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