Premature Infant: Signs of Overstimulation - Topic Overview
Extremely premature infants are born before the nervous system is
mature enough to handle outside stimuli without becoming overstimulated. Such
an infant is said to have a disorganized nervous system.
If your premature infant has a disorganized nervous system, you may
notice physical reactions (destabilization) in the presence of too much sound,
touch, movement, or light, including:
- A drop in blood oxygen levels (oxygen
- A drop in heart rate (bradycardia).
rapid heart rate (tachycardia).
- Looking away from you when you
speak or make eye contact, a more subtle sign of overstimulation.
If you see such signs, give your infant some peace and quiet. The
next time you're together, try only one stimulus at a time (such as touch or
voice, but not both).