Babies can get overstimulated and stressed. Parents need to identify when baby has too many things going on in their environment.

Look at the ‘Pēpi says’ section on page 3 of the Whakatipu book 'Te Pihinga 1'. This contains important information about a baby’s needs at this very young age. Pēpi talks about the importance of being responded to and made comfortable when they feel unsettled.


Babies learn through their senses – but there’s also such a thing as sensory overload, when there’s too much stimulation for baby to cope with.

Parents play an important role in monitoring what’s going on in the environment around their young baby. To avoid baby becoming overstimulated, stressed or anxious, it’s helpful for parents to identify signs of sensory overload.

Look at pages 5 and 6 in the ‘Whānau say’ section of 'Te Pihinga 1' together with the whānau, and use the text to get conversations going about their baby’s signs.

Ask the whānau:

  • What have you noticed that your baby needs?
  • How does baby let you know when things are going OK?
  • What about when baby’s had enough and wants a break – can you work out what’s going on?
  • What have you noticed that relaxes them?
  • What upsets them?
  • How do they like to be held or fed?

Page 6 says, ‘We try little routines …’

  • What ‘little routines’ have you been doing?
  • How have they been working out for you?
  • How does baby go to sleep?
  • How might baby know how mum or dad are feeling?

Read the other ‘Whānau say’ sections in the booklet together. Ask whānau:

  • What are the messages in these sections?

Helpful resources for whānau