Crying: Tired or Overstimulated
British Columbia Specific Information
A crying baby can become frustrating for parents and caregivers, especially when it goes on for long periods of time or you do not know the cause. To learn about why your baby might be crying, and for tips on what you can do to comfort your child, see HealthLinkBC File #86 Shaken Baby Syndrome, or visit Healthy Families BC - Crying, BC Children’s Hospital – Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome BC, or The Period of Purple Crying.
If you have any reason to believe a child’s crying is related to possible harm or abuse, call the Helpline for Children toll-free at 310-1234 (no area code needed) or if there is immediate danger call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Call 1-866-660-0505 for TTY services for those who are deaf or hearing impaired. The Helpline for Children is a toll-free service, and there is no charge to call the operator if you call from a pay phone. The helpline is available for children, parents, and others who may call to report abuse. For more information, visit Helpline for Children.
Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been, or is likely to be, abused or neglected has a legal duty under the Child, Family and Community Service Act to report the matter. Visit Ministry of Children and Family Development - Reporting Child Abuse for more information.
Small children sometimes cry to release tension when they are overtired or overstimulated. This happens when they have been held by a lot of people in a short amount of time or exposed to lots of noise, bright lights, loud voices, or music.
You can protect your child from becoming overtired by keeping a regular routine for meals, naps, and play times.
If your child is crying because he or she is overtired or overstimulated, try the following:
- Reduce the noise in the room.
- Reduce the amount of movement and visual stimulation in the room. Turn down the lights and ask others not to bother your child.
- Turn on a continuous, monotonous sound, such as a vacuum cleaner or a recording of ocean waves. Sometimes these sounds soothe and relax a child.
- Place your child in a safe place, close the door, and set a kitchen timer for 15 to 20 minutes. If your child has not settled down after 15 to 20 minutes, check to see whether there is another reason for his or her crying.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of: November 20, 2015
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