The goal, of course, is to never let your baby get overtired by sticking to the schedule as much as you can and the routine of sleeping, eating, then playing — always in that order. When you adhere well to the schedule, your baby will not get overtired. The opposite will happen…you will get a well-rested, happy, healthy baby. But when the unexpected happens (as it inevitably will!) and you’ve let him get overtired, recognize the signs and do your best to get him caught back up to his schedule quickly.  The more consistent you are, the better sleep he’ll get regularly.


1. makes hand-to-face gestures (pulls at his ears, rubs his eyes) and/or flutters his eyelids.

2. cries inconsolably.

3. yawns.

4. becomes “clingy.”

5. becomes more and more active as the night wears on.


Sleep-deprivation is different. According to the experts at Babycareadvice.combabies can become sleep-deprived when they’re allowed to become overtired often because unlike adults who become lethargic, overtired babies become hyperactive and therefore have a difficult time sleeping. Of course, all babies behave like this from time to time. It’s the degree and frequency to which a baby displays these behaviors, plus the fact that he’s getting much less sleep, that points to sleep deprivation.  


-receives well below the amount of sleep that the schedule suggests for his age.
-fights going to sleep.
-is easily awakened even by the slightest noise (doors opening, talking).
-sleeps very little during day time naps (typically 20–30 minutes total).
-appears uncomfortable during feedings or periodically refuses to feed during the day, while feeding well during the night.
-often has a worried expression.
-is generally more content in the mornings than in the afternoons.
-finds it increasingly more difficult to fall asleep as the day progresses.
-cries often, ranging from whining to vigorous, inconsolable cries.
-has a short attention span.
-requires constant attention from you when he’s awake.
-wants to be held continuously, fusses in your arms, but cries whenever you put him down.
-protests going into his crib, high chair, or car seat.
-startles often.
-experiences extreme separation anxiety.
-has an insatiable appetite.
-may feed briefly or fall asleep before the feed is completed.

– Babycareadvice.com Overtired Babies article

You want to do your best to avoid sleep-deprivation in your baby, so again, make sure to be as consistent as possible with his schedule and catch him back up to it quickly when he’s been allowed to get overtired.


Check out these PPB posts to see if your baby’s behavior is due to something else:

Could he be going through a Growth Spurt?

Could he be Overstimulated?

Are you making any of these 10 Biggest Napping Mistakes?

Is he burping well after feedings? 3 Key Burping Positions

Are you and your baby Getting a Late Start to the scheduling game?

Are the Baby Temperatures in his nursery ideal?

Does he have the Crib Essentials he needs for good sleep?

Do you have the Nursery Organization Must-Haves in his nursery set-up?

Is he getting enough stimulation during his Playtime?

Is he a faker? Baby Acting

Are you Swaddling him for every nap and/or swaddling him tightly enough?

Do you know our Crying Facts?

Do you know Why You Should Use PPB Schedules?