The overstimulated baby is the baby that gets passed from person to person. The mother seems frustrated and everyone wants to help.

First, her friend. “I’ll take the baby. You go relax for a few minutes.” She takes the baby. She brings the sweet crying bundle up on to to her shoulder and she walks. She shhhh’s and she bounces and she walks. She shhhh’s some more and she bounces some more and the crying continues.

After 20 minutes, friend number two steps up and says, “Let me try.” “Oh yes, little girl. I know. You’re so sad. Let’s go upstairs.”

She lays the baby across her body in the cradle position and marches up the flight of stairs. She heads into the nursery where the walls are brightly painted and the jungle themed room complete with giraffes and swinging monkeys seems to come alive. The baby continues to cry. She goes from toy to toy in the room trying to distract the baby and get her calm.

The overstimulated baby cries harder.

After 20 minutes, this friend is ready to tap out. But lucky for her, the baby’s Grandmother has just arrived! And she looks amazing! That bright red lipstick and her animated facial expressions, combined with that overwhelmingly putrid perfume ought to calm that overstimulated baby right down…

The problem with having an overstimulated baby is that what most people do to calm them down, is even MORE OVERSTIMULATING to the baby…

Steps for calming an overstimulated baby:

  • Give the baby to its mother or father.
  • Take the parent and baby to the darkest room in the house.
  • Have the parent hold the baby tightly to their body with the baby’s cheek pressed against their chest.
  • Have them sit on a chair or a birth ball and VERY SOFTLY bounce or sway.
  • Encourage them to make a low and long OOOOOOOH sound causing a soothing vibration in their chest. This will soothe both the parent and the baby.

Remind the parent to resist the temptation to change the baby’s position, bounce fast or hard, or get up and walk. The least amount of stimulus is what we are going for here!

Moms and dads, try to stay calm. Do your best to relax. You are doing your best and at Northeast Doulas, we truly recognize your love and patience!