Your baby needs a certain degree of interaction and stimulation in order to develop properly. Your baby needs colorful, interesting or noisy things to experience. She wants to look, she wants to touch, she wants to listen, and she wants to play. However, for some babies, it’s actually possible to become overly stimulated, which can cause problems with your baby’s sleep.

It’s a good idea, in general, to keep your baby’s crib free from visually stimulating toys or other items. The place where your baby sleeps should be a soothing place, and restful. If your baby’s crib is full of loud, bright colors, or if you put toys into your baby’s crib at night, chances are pretty good he’s just going to stay awake longer, or at least as long as she can manage to keep her cute little eyes open.

Of course, babies are eventually going to drift off to dreamland, regardless of how stimulating their environment might be. The fact is that a baby needs a signfiicant amount of sleep. Eventually, her body is going to take over and she’s going to pass out.

The other side of that coin, of course, is that a baby isn’t going to fall asleep until he’s good and ready. Yes, you can take steps to make sure that your baby’s room and crib are a soothing environment, but in the end if your baby is overly stimulated he’s going to stay up for a while.

The question isn’t so much whether we allow our baby to be stimulated or even how much stimulation they should receive. The real questions are when and where it should happen. Avoiding stimulation in the bed is probably a good place to start.

Finally, make sure your baby does get enough stimulation while she’s awake. Expose her to all of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures of the world around her. Some of the most significant joy in parenting is being able to watch your little one encounter her world, one little stimulating bit at a time.