After reading comments from various forums and dozen of blog articles about sleep training an overtired baby vs. undertired baby, do you find yourself more confused than before? 

If yes, then you’re at the right place!

Drifting off to dreamland becomes a piece of cake when the baby is neither overtired nor undertired.

Let’s get to the bottom of sleep training overtired and undertired babies, and look at some of the best tips. 

Signs of an overtired and undertired baby

Sleepy-time cues of overtired babies

Before you begin sleep training an overtired baby or an undertired baby, it’s imperative to which group your little one belongs to. To do so, you should look out for some subtle bodily signs.

If your baby is overtired, you will realize he has a difficult time settling down for sleep. Even if he falls asleep, it is mostly catnaps.

This results in the baby being cranky, fussy, and more prone to meltdowns.  You may also observe your little one drifting off to sleep at random times during the day in random places like on the chair while eating the meal. 

Sleepy-time cues of undertired babies

When it comes to pinpointing the signs of undertired babies, you should look out for signs like eye rubbing, crankiness, yawning, and even ear or hair-pulling.

No matter what you do, the baby will resist sleeping. And lack of adequate sleeping hours is significantly detrimental to the baby’s growth. With that in mind, it is important to master the art of sleep training an overtired baby or an undertired baby. 

You can go through one of our posts to learn more about sleep training.

Loving mother hugging and kissing infant in photo studio

Sleep training tips

The bedtime routine

As an adult, you must have noticed that you fall asleep faster when you’re tired. You might think that overtired babies’ sleep routine works the same.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t! Instead, babies find it difficult to relax and seamlessly shift between different sleep cycles. 

The primary key to sleep train both an overtired and undertired baby is to set a well-thought-of bedtime routine, so the baby enjoys good, consolidated night sleep.

While the bedtime routine shouldn’t be too stimulating for the overtired baby, for the undertired baby, it can be a tad bit stimulating to tire them out. However, keep in mind that it should be gently stimulating, like picking him up and putting him down.

The regimental pattern helps the baby know that it is time to doze off and call it a day. From nursing and feeding to gently rocking and snuggling, having a routine signals the baby’s body to feel drowsy.

Also, remember to put your baby in the crib when he’s drowsy and not after he’s asleep in your arms.

While this may be a Herculean task for overtired as well as undertired babies, consistently incorporating it will start to show the positive transformation.

Pro Tip: Did you know that babies thrive on having a simple yet reliable pattern to the entire day and night?

Figure out the nap

You must crack the nap code if you are committed to sleep-training an overtired baby or undertired baby. Fostering good sleep habits starts with your baby taking at least one nap a day. 

Overtired babies are poor nappers, so when it’s bedtime, they are fatigued. This leads to sleep resistance attempts. In the case of undertired babies, they have too much daytime sleep, and they fight going to sleep.

Therefore, scheduling their nap hours can help you unveil the fact if the baby is overtired or undertired. If the baby has poor nap quality, you can encourage more daytime naps by drawing the curtains and playing white noise.

You can browse through some of the best sound machines, so your baby enjoys a relaxing environment.  

For the babies who nap too much, you can entertain them with some physical activities in the daytime to cut down on their nap time. This does not mean that you shouldn’t let them nap as it is necessary for a baby’s healthy growth. 

In both cases when babies are resisting sleep, you can swaddle your little one or even feed him until he is drowsy. You can also use additional calming techniques like using a mild humidifier to moisten the air to create a sleep-conducive ambiance. 

Baby Wearing White Onesie

The bottom line

Having a baby is undoubtedly a blissful experience. Raising your child can be an equally fantastic journey once you start understanding his needs. And sleep is one of the important things a baby needs for healthy growth. After all, sleep-deprivation is the last thing you would want for your little one.