Over­stim­u­la­tion in chil­dren isn’t good for them

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE -

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?


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.


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!

REF­ER­ENCE rais­ingchil­dren.net.au.

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