How to Soothe an Overtired Newborn

An overtired newborn may not be able to sleep or settle down easily and become fussy and restless. This can cause various issues, including difficulty with breastfeeding, excessive crying, and irritability. Learning to soothe an overtired newborn can help both the parent and baby feel calmer, improve sleep patterns, and even minimize health problems associated with chronic overtiredness.

How to Soothe an Overtired Newborn

The advantages of learning to soothe an overtired newborn are numerous. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of an overtired baby, as this will help you determine the best course of action for providing comfort and relief. Overtired babies tend to struggle with sleeping and feeding, become fussy and easily frustrated, and may even experience difficulty calming down. In this blog article, you can find step-by-step instructions on how to soothe an overtired newborn.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Soothe an Overtired Newborn

Step 1: Inspect the Diaper

An overtired newborn is usually uncomfortable; often, this discomfort can be attributed to a wet or dirty diaper. Changing the diaper may immediately help soothe an overtired newborn baby. Using a soft blanket, swaddling your baby can provide them with a sense of comfort and security that will help calm them baby down.

Step 2: Mimic the Womb Environment

Newborns are used to the womb’s dark, warm, and quiet environment. It’s important to try and recreate this environment when caring for an overtired newborn. Dim lights, gentle music, or humming can help create a calming atmosphere. A warm bath may also help soothe and relax a baby.

Step 3: Comfort the Baby Physically

You Can Provide Gentle Rubbing

Physical touch has been proven to have a calming effect on infants, especially those who are overtired. You can provide gentle rubbing or stroking of your baby’s skin, cuddle together in a rocking chair, or even just hold your baby close while speaking in a soothing tone.

Step 4: Take Time to Feed

An overtired newborn may not want to feed at first, but it is important to take time for the baby to try and do so. Feeding can reduce stress hormones and give your newborn a much-needed break from being overstimulated. Be sure to follow the proper breastfeeding or bottle-feeding guidelines and give yourself time to relax while feeding your baby.

Step 5: Take Breaks When Needed

It can be difficult to care for an overtired newborn, so make sure you take a few breaks when needed. You should find someone who can look after your baby while you take a few minutes to yourself. This will help reduce the stress and fatigue that build up when caring for an overtired newborn.

If you follow these steps, your overtired newborn should be able to find some relief. Remember that all babies are different and what works for one may not work for another. Be sure to try different methods and be patient as your newborn adjusts to the world outside the womb.

Safety Precautions for How to Soothe an Overtired Newborn

Avoid Waking the Baby
  1. Avoid waking the baby to feed if he or she is already asleep. Let them sleep as much as possible when they become overtired.
  2. Don’t hold your baby for too long, even if it’s comforting for both of you, because prolonged contact can also overstimulate and increase fussiness.
  3. Do not attempt to soothe your baby with too much noise or sound. Keep the atmosphere in and around the baby quiet, calm, and peaceful.
  4. Ensure that the room is not too warm or cold; find a comfortable temperature range that will make your baby feel secure and cozy. 
  5. Use white noise, such as running water, a fan, or a sound machine, to create a calming environment for your baby.
  6. Swaddle the baby in a light blanket, as this can help calm him or her down and make them feel secure.
  7. Sing lullabies to your baby in a gentle, soothing voice, being careful not to rush through words or move too quickly.  This can help soothe the baby and encourage sleep.

Following these safety precautions will ensure that your newborn is comfortable and content while they are overtired. However, seek medical attention immediately if you notice any signs of distress or discomfort.

How Often Should You Put Your Baby to Sleep During the Day and at Night?  

It is important to establish a consistent sleep schedule for your baby. During the day, you should aim to provide periods of active play followed by quiet time, napping, and sleeping at regular intervals. How often you put your baby to sleep depends on their age and individual needs; however, newborns typically need between 8-9 hours of sleep during the day and 10-11 hours of sleep at night.

To help your baby stay on their sleep schedule, ensure they are awake for no more than two to three hours between naps. If your baby seems overtired during the day, try settling them into a nap earlier. You can give your baby cues when nighttime rolls around to help them get ready to rest. For example, dim the lights, rock or cuddle with your baby and play soothing music.

 Establish a Consistent Sleep

How Can You Help Your Newborn Stay Asleep Longer at Night? 

When a newborn becomes overtired, it can be difficult to help them settle down and sleep. You can try some simple tactics that are designed to comfort and relax your baby so they can rest peacefully. One way to help an overtired newborn get back to sleep is by swaddling them in a light blanket. Swaddling can help your baby feel secure and calms them down. It’s also important to ensure the room is dark and quiet so that your baby isn’t distracted by outside noise or light.

You can also try rocking, swaying, patting, and singing lullabies to help your newborn settle down and sleep. Gentle massage with calming oil like lavender or chamomile can also be soothing for an overtired baby. If your newborn is still having difficulty falling asleep, you can try using a white noise machine to create peaceful background sounds that can help your baby relax and drift off to sleep. You may also want to avoid loud noises and sudden movements, which can stimulate and make it harder for your overtired newborn to settle down.

How Can You Help Your Newborn Transition From Day to Night Sleep? 

If your newborn is overtired, it can be difficult for them to settle into a regular sleeping pattern. To help them make the transition from day to night sleep, establish a bedtime routine that you stick with every night. This could include giving them a warm bath, putting on their pajamas, reading or singing songs together, and saying goodnight. It is important to keep the atmosphere soothing and calm so they are not stimulated. You can also try swaddling your newborn in a light blanket or special swaddle sack. Swaddling helps them stay warm and secure, which helps them relax and transition into sleep more easily. If possible, turn off the lights and draw the curtains to block out any light disturbances.

It is also important to pay attention to your newborn’s sleep cues so you know when they are getting tired and need to wind down for bedtime. A few common signs of a sleepy baby include fussiness, rubbing their eyes, yawning, or turning away from stimulation. When you start to notice these signs, make sure to give your baby time and space to rest.

How Can You Prevent Your Baby From Becoming Overtired in the First Place? 

  • Establish a good routine of naps and bedtime. Aim to have your baby nap approximately every two hours during the day and go to bed simultaneously each night. This will help regulate their sleep patterns.
  • Make sure your baby is getting enough time in natural sunlight each day to tell them when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to sleep.
  • Monitor your baby’s activity level. Try to ensure that they don’t get too overstimulated during the day by providing them with plenty of opportunities for quiet and calm play.
  • If your baby seems overly tired, try putting them down for a nap before their usual nap time.
  • Block out distractions like noise or lights from entering the bedroom at night to help your baby drift off more easily.
  • Be mindful of your baby’s food and drink intake, as too much sugar, caffeine, or dairy can interfere with their ability to sleep well.
Monitor Your Baby's Activity

Following these steps can help prevent your newborn from becoming overtired in the first place. If your baby does become overtired, understanding how to soothe them is key to helping them get the rest they need.


In conclusion,  soothing an overtired newborn is not always a simple task, but there are some techniques you can use to make it easier. You should start by reducing the stimulation that your baby experiences and encouraging them to take naps when possible. Make sure they are comfortable in their sleep environment and have the right clothing for their age and temperature. Additionally, providing white noise, swaddling, and rocking can effectively calm an overtired baby. Other techniques, such as pacifiers or singing lullabies, may help soothe them. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to soothe an overtired newborn. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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