Overstimulation in children isn’t good for them
AS PARENTS, you want your child to grow in a stimulating environment that’ll nurture their learning and development.
But at the same time, too much and a child can become over-stimulated.
Over-stimulation is simply when your child is swamped by more sensations, noises, activities and experiences than they can handle. It’s important to give your child downtime and to find balance so they’re not over-stimulated. It’s also important to be able to recognise when your child is at risk of overstimulation.
So how can we recognise and prevent over-stimulation? How can we find that balance between helpful stimulating experiences and enough downtime?
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
For newborns and babies, it’s important to be alert and aware of signs as they mightn’t be obvious at first. While a crying or cranky baby can be a sign of over-stimulation, it can also signal hunger or time for bed. It’s important to consider all the possible reasons and look for other signals.
These signals can include moving in a jerky way, clenching fists, waving arms, kicking and turning their head away from you. As your baby grows into a toddler or pre-schooler, the signs may be more dramatic.
FINDING THE BALANCE
Your baby doesn’t need toys dangling in front of them at every waking moment and your toddler doesn’t need to always be doing something. Removing toys or set activities can help your child learn to entertain themselves quietly, in their own way and at their own pace.
Our Wide Bay Hospital Health Service team is available to support local families.
Even if you just want to have a chat and a bit of reassurance, the WBHHS child health team is here to help!