Is My Baby Overtired or Undertired?


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How have you learnt in case your child or toddler is over or beneath drained? There are many indicators together with rubbing eyes, tugging ears, yanwning and even rejecting sleep all collectively. However how are you going to inform if it’s over or beneath tiredness affecting your youngster’s sleep?  In relation to understanding whether or not your youngster is overtired or undertired, it might generally really feel like a complicated puddle of “grey matter.”

Why is understanding the distinction so vital anyway? 

Understanding the distinction between overtiredness and undertiredness is vital as a result of it’s the KEY to nailing your youngster’s supreme bedtime.

On this video, I’m going to clarify the distinction between your youngster being overtired or undertired, the indicators to look out for and tips on how to get well from every of them so that you just and your loved ones can stay well-rested. 

Overtired and Undertired Defined

If I’m being utterly trustworthy, the subject of being overtired or undertired is difficult as a result of there’s a really effective line between the 2. 

So let’s shortly outline what it means to be overtired and undertired. 

I need you to think about a line within the sand.

This line within the sand is the perfect time that your youngster ought to go to mattress or go down for a nap.

In case your youngster is overtired, then which means your youngster has crossed the road, and has gone previous the perfect time for naptime or bedtime. 

In case your youngster is undertired, which means your youngster hasn’t made it to the road but they usually really need extra awake time earlier than their supreme bedtime. 

When your youngster is overtired, they’ve had an excessive amount of awake time and their physique is having to depend on a false “second wind.”

When your youngster is undertired, they haven’t had sufficient awake time and their physique nonetheless must burn off some power earlier than they’re prepared to go to sleep once more. 

Indicators of Overtiredness

Now that we perceive what it means to be overtired and undertired, let’s first dive into the indicators of overtiredness.

First, in relation to being overtired, it is possible for you to to see it written throughout your infant’s face. Sleepy facial cues are the #1 signal that your youngster isn’t simply drained, they’re overtired.

Signal #1 Sleepy Facial Cues

  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Pulling at their ears
  • Wiping/rubbing/contact their face
  • Pink eyebrows
  • Yawning 

Though society makes use of yawning and rubbing of eyes as an indication for “bedtime,” these facial cues are literally a “warning” signal that your youngster is formally overtired and may have gone to mattress a very long time in the past.

Don’t use sleepy cues for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

You possibly can search for them and use them for newborns, however we aren’t them previous that new child stage as a result of in case your youngster is yawning or rubbing their eyes, then that’s them speaking to you that their physique is overtired. 

Signal #2 Hyperactivity  

The second signal of overtiredness is hyperactivity. 

This signal may shock you, until you could have a toddler, after which you understand precisely what I’m speaking about. 

Overtiredness in toddlers manifests itself in hyperactivity. 

It’s quite common toddlers to catch a false second wind between 5:00-6:00PM within the night. In case your toddler skipped their nap for the day, or has dropped naps all collectively, this era of hyperactivity signifies that their little physique is overtired and has compensated with a false “second wind” to make it to a later bedtime. 

In case your napless toddler is operating round the home, singing on the prime of their lungs, scaling the partitions, and leaping on and off the furnishings, then you may chalk it as much as overtiredness.

It’s vital to know that this hyperactivity is a step past your typical “toddler” power. 

As a mother or father or caregiver of a toddler, you understand what’s regular toddler power and what’s loopy, “hyperactive” toddler power. 

In case your toddler protested their nap for the day or has just lately dropped their mid-day nap, then be sure you get them to mattress between 6:00PM-7:00PM to stop any overtiredness from the day. 

Signal #3 Crashes to Sleep Inside 5 Minutes or Much less

Image this – you’re getting your child prepared for mattress and also you’re placing them within the crib and also you shut their door, stroll downstairs, activate the monitor they usually’re already asleep. 

Wonderful, proper?

Not precisely.

In case your youngster is crashing to sleep inside 5 minutes or much less, then they’re overtired. 

If we’re going to mattress on time, it ought to take our our bodies between 10 to twenty minutes to go to sleep and the identical is true for youngsters.

Throughout this time your youngster needs to be rolling round, discovering a place they’re snug in, self-soothing for some time, after which drifting off to sleep.

If they’re crashing to sleep, that may be a signal that they’re overtired and may have gone to mattress earlier. 

Signal #4 Restlessness 

The following and ultimate signal that I’m going to handle in relation to being overtired is restlessness. 

This signal of overtiredness goes hand in hand with hyperactivity.

Restlessness usually happens once you’ve had an off day. Perhaps you and your loved ones are touring and also you needed to get up actually early and naps have been skipped or shortened. 

Or possibly you had a night occasion that precipitated bedtime to be later than traditional. 

You possibly can determine in case your youngster is experiencing restlessness all through the evening by listening to them on the monitor and evaluating their sleeping place(s) all through the evening. 

Are they crying out throughout their sleep? 

Have they modified positions a number of instances all through the evening? 

These are all indicators that your youngster is experiencing restlessness, which is straight linked to overtiredness. 

For those who discover that your youngster is stressed all through the evening, replicate on the occasions of your day.

For those who had a busy, full day and naps had been shortened or skipped, think about providing your youngster’s bedtime 15-Half-hour earlier to assist offset any overtiredness that they may be experiencing.

Indicators of Undertiredness 

Now let’s transfer on to the indicators of undertiredness. Undertiredness can present itself in a number of other ways.

#1 Taking Too Lengthy To Fall Asleep 

The #1 signal that your youngster is undertired is that they’re taking too lengthy to go to sleep as a result of they weren’t fairly prepared to fall asleep but. 

Perhaps it was like proper a bit of bit beneath the road and like this was the road, they had been completely prepared for sleep.

For those who’re placing them to mattress too early they usually’re not drained sufficient, then they don’t seem to be going to go to sleep inside 10-20 minutes. 

As an alternative, they may take 30-60 minutes to go to sleep. 

If it’s taking your youngster 30-60 minutes to go to sleep at evening on common foundation, then it’s doubtless they’re undertired and want a later bedtime. 

For infants, who’re rising and altering weekly, this may imply they want a brand new nap schedule. 

For toddlers, this may imply that you must cap their nap, or widen their wake window earlier than bedtime and add extra play and exercise to their day. 

For preschoolers, this may occasionally imply that they want drop their nap and have extra alternatives to get their power by way of the day.

If it takes over 20 minutes in your youngster to place themselves to sleep, then they’re doubtless undertired.

Signal #2 Protesting Bedtime 

In case your youngster will not be prepared for mattress, and they’re undertired, then they’ll doubtless protest bedtime or their bedtime routine!

 In case your youngster is genuinely upset about their bedtime routine they usually’re upset that they’re about to go to mattress, then it may very well be that they actually aren’t able to go to mattress as a result of they aren’t drained sufficient. 

Simply because it’s vital to look at your youngster’s daytime schedule when they’re experiencing overtiredness, it’s simply as vital to look at your youngster’s schedule when they’re undertired.

Is your youngster getting an excessive amount of daytime sleep?

Is their wake window earlier than bedtime too brief? 

Are they burning sufficient power throughout their wake home windows throughout the day? (That is actually vital for toddlers!)

Are they getting sufficient time outdoors? (One other actually vital one for toddlers. Study extra about this in our 18 Month Sleep Regression publish HERE )

Signal #3 Your Baby is Telling You They Aren’t Prepared for Mattress

Okay, the ultimate signal of being undertired is that your youngster is telling you they’re not prepared for mattress.

Appears easy proper? 

Now, you continue to should be discerning with this remark and piece of data as your youngster does nonetheless want sleep.

I’ve an eight 12 months outdated who says she’s “not prepared for mattress” as a result of she desires to learn all evening lengthy. 

There nonetheless must be boundaries and expectations with it involves your youngster’s daytime and nighttime sleep alternatives. 

Nonetheless, in case your toddler or preschooler is telling you their not drained, you must cease and think about what they’re saying!

Take a second, consider your youngster’s day, and think about if their bedtime actually is being provided too early.  

Tips on how to Get better From Overtiredness or Undertiredness

Now in case you’ve recognized whether or not your youngster is experiencing overtirednesss or undertiredness, let’s discuss what we are able to do to assist them.

Consider your youngster’s schedule

 The very first thing you are able to do to assist clear up your youngster’s beneath tiredness or over tiredness is to judge their day by day schedule.

That is one thing we’ve made actually, very easy right here at Little Z’s as a result of we have now an entire schedule information so that you can obtain and have all through the years.


Schedules change, particularly between 10 to 24 months outdated, and we wish you to have the data and instruments to confidently help your infant by way of these adjustments. 

Our modern, fantastically designed schedule information will aid you to remain on observe along with your youngster’s awake home windows and correct schedules so that you just and your youngster can keep away from lengthy seasons of overtiredness or undertiredness.

Consider Your Baby’s Sleep Wants

The following factor you are able to do to assist resolve overtiredness or undertiredness is to judge your youngster’s sleep wants alongside of their schedule.

Let’s take a look at how they’re rising and altering. 

Did your youngster take their nap(s) or skip it? 

Was their nap a enough size? 

Is your schedule off since you’ve been touring and life has been actually busy these days? 

Attempt to get again to the fundamentals of your sleep expectations. 

Consider your present season of life is essential once you’re making an attempt to judge the beneath tiredness or over tiredness of your youngster and making an attempt to get again to that center floor of getting their supreme bedtime. 

Distinctive Conditions 

In relation to overtiredness and undertiredness, there are occasions when your youngster will inevitably expertise each of those conditions.

 For example, your youngster will naturally be overtired once you’re going by way of a nap transition.

When your youngster goes from 3-2 naps or 2-1 nap, it is rather regular for them to expertise a number of weeks of overtiredness. Throughout these weeks, an early bedtime could also be mandatory as they modify to their new schedule. 

However I need you to vow me that you just received’t go backwards to your youngster’s outdated schedule.

 It is advisable to preserve transferring ahead. 

It is going to doubtless take your youngster 2-4 weeks to start settling into their new schedule after which they are going to start to really feel much less overtired.

Mother and father will usually inform me that it might’t be time for a nap transition as a result of their child or youngster is so drained they usually can’t probably deal with extra awake time earlier than their nap or bedtime.

Truly, your youngster can deal with extra awake time they only want time to get used to it. 

When your youngster experiences longer wake home windows for the primary time, their our bodies want time to regulate! 

It’s so simple as that. 

So don’t consider overtiredness throughout a nap transition. Your youngster shall be overtired, and its mandatory as they turn out to be used to their new wake home windows and schedules. 

The identical factor is true for undertiredness. 

In case your youngster is taking Half-hour to go to sleep for nap or bedtime, don’t instantly assume they’re undertired.

As an alternative, I need you to consider what new ability(s) they’re studying. 

Perhaps their studying to crawl, stand, bounce, sing, and so on.

Or possibly their potty coaching!

Generally, when they’re studying one thing new, your youngster will current indicators of being undertired.

Due to this, be sure you consider your youngster’s season of improvement earlier than altering their schedule once more. 

Overtiredness and undertiredness may also be an indication of a sleep regression or a newly developed sleep behavior. Study extra in regards to the distinction between Sleep Regressions and Habits HERE.


It is extremely frequent for youngsters to turn out to be overtired and undertired as a result of they’re continuously rising and their sleep wants are continuously altering!

Under are the indicators of overtiredness and undertiredness and methods to get well from them in order that sound, restorative sleep is usually a factor for you and your loved ones once more.

Indicators Of Overtiredness

  • Sleepy, facial cues
  • Hyperactivty
  • Crashing to Sleep in lower than 5 minutes
  • Restlessness

Indicators Of Undertiredness

  • Taking greater than 10-20 minutes to go to sleep
  • Protesting bedtime and/or bedtime routine
  • Telling you they aren’t drained or prepared for mattress

Tips on how to Assist Your Baby Get better From Overtiredness and Undertiredness

  1. Consider your youngster’s day by day schedule (Use our free schedule generator HERE)
  2. Consider your youngster’s sleep wants (Was your day without work? Have you ever been touring?)



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