Overstimulation

Why doesn’t my baby like crowds?

Babies, like adults, sometimes need to get away from noise and crowds. Some babies are particularly sensitive to crowds and caregivers may consider avoiding or minimizing such situations and using a baby carrier instead of a stroller. If the baby is upset in a crowd, caregivers can consider cuddling the baby and moving to a quieter place. They can try speaking or humming quietly, rocking, or walking with the baby. Mothers can offer the breast if the baby is interested.

A) Describing overstimulation

Just like adults, babies sometimes find the world too much to deal with and need a little downtime. Unlike adults, who have had time to adjust to the world, babies are unfamiliar with loud noises, lights, and crowds. Neither can babies remove themselves from an uncomfortable environment; they rely on their caregivers to respond to their unhappy signs.

B) Decreasing overstimulation

If your baby tends to be unsettled by crowds, consider:

  • Avoiding situations in which the baby will definitely be unhappy.
  • Limiting the total time the baby spends in these situations.
  • Giving the baby quiet time breaks.
  • Keeping the baby in a baby carrier instead of isolated in a stroller.
  • If using a stroller, have the baby facing you instead of away from you.

If your baby is upset, consider the following:

  • Move to a quieter place.
  • Minimize the stimulation.
  • Speak or hum quietly and calmly to the baby.
  • Cuddle the baby tummy to tummy.
  • Rock the baby gently.
  • Walk with the baby.
  • Offer the breast if the baby is interested.