Jul 272012

Just like her daddy, my daughter needs a lot of sleep. And she gets quite easily overtired. Here are some things I’ve learned to do with an overtired kiddo.

Prevent, prevent, prevent

We keep a pretty regular routine with an early bedtime and scheduled nap time each day. We’ve found that sleep really does beget sleep. We make exceptions of course (especially as she gets a little bit older), but sleep is a huge priority at our house. Preventing an overtired kiddo makes everyone happier and healthier.

Don’t bother with reason

My daughter has responded relatively well from a young age to talking things out. But if she’s overtired? Forget about it. No amount of talking will calm her down from a meltdown induced by a lack of sleep.

Be flexible

Confession. If we made a rare exception and are getting back super late, I’ve been known to skip brushing our daughter’s teeth to get her into bed more quickly. I figure it’s not worth the inevitable teeth brushing meltdown that will likely result in very little plaque being removed anyway.

Show compassion

There’s nothing worse than someone being snippy with you when you’re overtired. Overtired children tend to be whiney, grumpy and difficult. It’s our job as their parents to show extra compassion with kind words, lots of hugs and a bed as soon as possible.

What tips do you have for handling overtired little ones?

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 Posted by at 12:01 am

  9 Responses to “Tips for Overtired Little Ones”

  1. We to have had those melt downs you speak of. One in particular we got home late and the boys were both so dirty they had to have a bath before bed. Both cried and cried the whole time. D and I could just laugh at each other about the whole situation. During those times, they usually want to sleep with mommy and it tends to calm them down. We don’t make it a habit to let the boys sleep with us but we will let them fall askeep in our bed and then take them to their bed later. It isn’t worth the heartbreak of hearing them cry down the hall when in just 20 min or so they will be asleep.

    • I’ve had to do the bath thing when she’s overtired before and even though she usually likes her bath it didn’t go very well. Thanks for commenting. :)

  2. Overtired children, parents..love your compassionate attitude. My heart aches for children in groceries stores that are over tired and then their parents are snippy with them, or worse.

    It has been a whirlwind week for me, having been away from my immediate family, helping my mom through health issues. Upon crawling into my own bed last night, my husband put his arms around me and empathized with me:). Great welcome home.

    • Oh, my skin crawls when I see parents acting nasty at stores with their little ones. Makes me want to take these kids home with me or at least give them a hug (and have a few words with the parent). I get bored in stores!! – I know my littles do, too.

      Yes, Steph. I am the same way – by all means skip the teeth/hair brushing! If I can get a quick hand washing squeezed in before they crash, we’re good.

    • Yes, compassion makes all the difference. And I’ve also seen things in grocery stores that upset me greatly. :(

  3. Great tips. I especially agree with your number 1, routine is everything. My daughter may “follow” her unpredictable schedule every day, but having an overall routine for the day/week is very important in our house.
    Your last tip is also so important. When kids are overtired, they need compassion more than anything. They already have a hard time as it is so its time for the parents to step up and pull themselves together.

    • “its time for the parents to step up and pull themselves together.” I like the way you phrased that. It can be hard work on the parent’s part to exercise compassion in these situations.

  4. When my kiddo is overtired, I do my best not to overstimulate if I could help it. And yes, I let a lot of things slide because I know I wouldn’t be up for a ton of things if I was miserably tired.

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