If you've ever had a baby who just absolutely refuses sleep despite all of your best tricks, you know exactly how hard it is to cope when you are desperate for some Zs, but your baby just is not having it. They may scream and kick, they may cry, or they may just be wide awake for seemingly no good reason. It's exhausting, but if your baby is showing one or more of these signs your baby is fighting sleep, experts say that they may actually be overtired.
"The number one reason that babies fight sleep is over-tiredness," says Jamie Engelman, MS and Pediatric Sleep Consultant with Oh Baby Sleep consulting. "Our bodies secrete hormones to keep us up and running during the day and different ones to help us settle down and sleep at night. These regulate based on a variety of different factors, but timing is the most common. When our little ones are awake for too long, the body assumes that there's a reason that it hasn't been allowed to get to sleep, assumes that it needs to stay awake, and fires up those stimulating hormones again."
Engelman tells Romper that in adults and older children, this phenomenon is typically known as a "second wind" and is sometimes the reason why toddlers who are very wound up, despite it being time for sleep, are actually overtired in most cases.
Babies sleep a lot to keep up with the demands of their rapidly growing bodies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends infants ages 4 to 12 months sleep for approximately 12 to 16 hours each day. Their sleep is broken up between day time naps and nighttime sleep, both of which can be the subject of resistance for babies when they are overtired. If your baby's sleep habits seem to need extra attention, these six signs could tell you that they're fighting a snooze.