Signs of overstimulation
If your Teeny Tiny is overstimulated you might notice
- Unsettledness or fussy
- Turning their head away from you
- Jerky or stiff movements
- Clenched fists
Seen that list before ? Yep – it is very similar to the over tired signs – you will learn to tell the difference but know this - often in the first 3 months it is very easy to overstimulate your Teeny Tiny. Go with my mantra of LESS IS MORE.
Providing your Teeny Tiny with stimulation doesn’t mean you need to spend all day, every day being a fun time parent. Your Teeny Tiny also benefits from quiet independent time in a predictable and familiar environment. Give me opportunities to learn to entertain myself and become comfortable with my own company. You are of course nearby and can offer verbal reassurance.
What to do ?
When you see that your baby is overwhelmed, take her somewhere quiet where they can calm down – I often found a simple walk outside to the letterbox was a great option.
A warm cuddle or the feeling of containment can help calm down a Teeny Tiny. Your baby might also find it soothing to be carried next to your body. Hold them close to you to soothe and reassure them calmly. Movement may also help try rock or sway, with big rhythmic movements, perhaps try these movements on a Swiss Ball.
Faces – babies love faces so bring their attention back to your familiar face that has a calm expression.
Be patient and persevere- Some babies will switch off faster than others. If your baby has become over stimulated you may find you need to try these responses for at least 10 minutes, maybe more – sorry. Above all, the best thing you can do is to trust your instinct.
So how much is ok?
There’s no one ‘right’ answer to how much stimulation is too much, because every Teeny Tiny is different. Some babies cope with stimulating environments better than others. Let your Teeny Tiny be the guide, and remember that moderation is best.
But my baby gets bored ?
Overstimulation happens when babies are overwhelmed by more experiences, sensations, sounds, and activities than they can cope with. For instance, a newborn baby might start crying after a family gathering where they have been cuddled by lots of strange adults.
It is more often that parents get bored and try to add more stimulus than babies.
What about all the toys, mobiles, classes ?
ALL a newborn baby needs is you and your face watching faces is mesmerising for your young baby. Time will come for the classes and toys – right now the first 3 months you are the best toy for your baby.
You are enough for your Teeny Tiny, be aware of the social pressure to do everything with them from the beginning and FOMO ! Your baby won’t be a genius because you attended a sensory class at 2wks old, or get a better job because you bought them the fanciest play gym!
Relax, go with it Mumma Bear - trust that you are enough.