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Signs of an overtired infant or toddler

Unlike adults who become lethargic when tired, an overtired infant becomes hyperactive. An overtired infant or toddler will have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep, resulting in shorter naps, frequent overnight wake ups, and less restorative sleep.



As always, sleep begets sleep. Meaning the more sleep your little one gets, the better they'll sleep. Assuming they don't get too much sleep, of course. So how do we know when our infant or toddler is overtired? Here are some quick tips to help you know what's going on when baby is showing these tired and overtired signs.⠀⠀


Being overtired can result in:⠀⠀

  • Short naps

  • Disrupted sleep

  • Early morning wake ups

  • Taking a long time to fall asleep for naps/bedtime

  • Waking 1-2 hrs after falling asleep at bedtime

  • Middle of the night wake ups⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Signs of an overtired infant⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Begin sleep routine:

Turning head, red eyebrows/eyes, nuzzling into your body while holding, blank stare.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Get to bed ASAP:

Yawning, pulling ears, rubbing eyes, starting to fuss, clingy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀



Arching back, hysterical crying, becoming rigid, tight fists, hard to put to sleep.⠀⠀

Signs of an overtired toddler⠀

Signs of an overtired toddler vary by the toddler, but here are some common signs: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Hyperactivity

  • Increased stumbling or falling

  • Purple/reddish color around eyes

  • More easily prone to meltdowns

  • Lower tolerance for frustration or pain

  • Bouts of crying for what appears to be no reason

  • Refusing to eat or drink

  • Restless sleep⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Toddlers 2-4 years old need roughly 11-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. If your little one is getting less than that and you're seeing any of the signs above, you likely have an overtired kiddo. Moving bedtime earlier can be your best friend in this situation!

How to prevent overtiredness

The best way to help prevent your child from becoming overtired by following age-appropriate wake times. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀



How I can help

My goal is to provide SIMPLE, data-driven, step-by-step sleep programs for the tired parent who's ready to SLEEP AGAIN! Whether you have a brand-new baby, a 3-year-old who's never slept through the night, or you just need some help making a schedule change. I have a program just for you!


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