Do you sleep well when you’re over tired or sleep deprived? Of course there will be times that you’re so exhausted and in such sleep debt that your body nearly enforces sleep and perhaps you have even fallen asleep while standing! However, for the most part when we don’t have good sleep habits or we are generally over tired we don’t sleep well. You can perhaps relate to that feeling of ‘passing your window’ of sleep? You’re tired but just cannot get to sleep and it’s actually pretty frustrating.
Well it’s the same for our kids and even more so when they are newborn or young babies. Their tolerance for overtiredness is far lower and in fact over tiredness becomes the absolute nemesis of good sleep. Let’s just repeat that. Overtiredness if the absolute enemy for kids to find sleep and to stay asleep.
So just remember the basics:
1. Respect the relevant awake time for your child as much as possible – this is absolutely critical with newborns and younger babies who will not have the resilience to deal with going past their awake time threshold.
2. If you have had sleep on the go (pram, car etc) that day then your child will be more tired as that sleep isn’t as deep so they may be tired a bit earlier than normal as the day goes on
3. If your bub is overtired they may need more time to wind down at the end of the day for bedtime, get things dim and calm earlier and perhaps a massage
4. Don’t skip naps thinking that the more tired they are the better they will sleep
5. With younger babies (those in newborn stage or prior to sleep coaching) that are overtired and who have now become upset, stick to one thing you are going to do to help them for at least 20 minutes rather than thinking ‘oh this isn’t working’ and changing your approach every few minutes. For example, you may stand there bouncing your baby and shooshing as your approach so keep that going for 20 minutes. It can be tough but they will get there and you staying calm and consistent with your support will be wonderful for bub.