Over Stimulated Children: Is Your Baby Over Stimulated

It is not uncommon to have an over stimulated child. How do you know if your baby is over stimulated?

Babies are hard to communicate with. You can try to talk to them, but they just can't talk back until they are about twelve months, give or take a few months.

Babies communicate in ways other than speech. They may cry, they may babble, they may scream, they may turn red, they may avert their gaze.

Often when a parent does not know what is wrong with the child, she will try the usual things to see if they make the baby stop crying: feed him, change his diaper, rock him, try to put him down for a nap, give him his pacifier. Parents may not realize that a baby sometimes cries just to exercise his lungs. And what may never cross the mother's mind is that the baby may be feeling overstimulated.



Especially if a lot of company is over, but not necessarily always the case, a baby may end up feeling overstimulated. Babies need time to comfort themselves. If you are having a birthday party for baby Jimmy's older sister, Kelly and a lot of people are fussing over baby Jimmy, and he starts screaming and crying, or he starts averting his gaze (purposely looking away from guests who put their face right into his), that may be a clear sign that Jimmy is feeling too overstimulated and really needs time to himself, without anyone cooing at him for awhile. Averting the gaze is a very subtle communication signal, but with babies, they have so few ways of communicating, that they will use any ways that they can. You need to pay close attention to baby Jimmy's communication signals.

Having a lot of people in baby Jimmy's face isn't the only thing that can make him overstimulated. Just even his mommy and daddy or anyone playing with him for a long time, not giving him time by himself, can cause overstimulation. Again, you can tell by if he averts his gaze (looks away from you when you try to look him in the eye) or starts screaming and crying (and, yes, it might be that he is hungry, tired or wet, but give him some distance and see if he stops crying or not), if he does, then it was probably overstimulation.

It is imperative that parents try as hard as they can to pick up on these subtle communication hints. It can have an impact on the future. Children whose parents do not pick up on their communication skills and the baby's being overstimulated may later think that mommy and daddy do not listen to his demands and does not respect his privacy.

However, when a baby is overstimulated and the mother and father give the baby time to comfort himself, this gives the baby a feeling of self-esteem and confidence, and makes the baby feel happy that his parents respect his demands and know him well enough to know when to give him time by himself. This also helps children become more independent, by seeing that he is allowed to and is capable of soothing himself. Children whose parents pick up on the overstimulation usually have a healthier and closer relationship with their parents later in life. YES, babyhood does have an impact on later life!

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