Do you know the signs of an overtired baby? If your baby isn’t sleeping well and you watch her carefully, you might notice that she’s an expert at staying awake. You may witness her use all kinds of tricks to keep her muscles from relaxing, her eyelids from closing and all of you from a few precious hours of slumber.

iStock_000053924226Small-285x300Of course if you know anything about SleepWell Baby, you know I will tell you that sleep is a science and a skill that all our children can learn, even those babies with a grand repertoire of stay-awake tactics. If this is your life you should call us right away so we can help you get the sleep you need. While you’re thinking about making that call and you’re trying your best to stay awake during the day, why not copy the skills of your little one and benefit from the tricks of a master? Or at least have a laugh or two while you get us on speed dial and decide if you’re ready for our help.

These are the stay-awake tactics of my own daughter when she was 13 months old, long before I learned about SleepWell Baby and became a Certified Child Sleep Consultant. If you’re really tired and need to keep yourself awake, try the following tactics:


  1. Poke yourself in the eye.  Actually, don’t poke- ram your index finger into the corner of your eye until you hear a mushy sound. Repeat, even if someone pulls your finger out of your eye and tries to restrain your arm.
  2. Hit yourself in the head repeatedly.  Continue, even if someone tries to make you stop.
  3. Grab a fistful of your own hair and pull.  Again, continue if someone tries to make you stop.
  4. Grab a fistful of another person’s hair and pull, or hit someone else in the head repeatedly.
  5. Kick your leg on a hard surface repeatedly so that it makes a thumping sound.
  6. If all else fails and you’re really desperate, see if you can muster up a poop.  A poop in your pants is a sure winner.  There is no way you’ll fall asleep after that.

I hope these valuable, tried and true tips help you in your attempt to stay awake when you’re sleepy.  Glad we could be of service. Now call us and we’ll get you and your little ones the sleep you need.


Alysa Dobson is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant with SleepWell Baby. She works with families to help them get the sleep they need. Alysa offers support to parents with children ages 4 months- 8 years old through both in home and remote consultations. She can be contacted at alysa@sleepwellbaby.ca.





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