How to tell if your baby needs to sleep
Long before your baby talks, he will use nonverbal cues to tell you what he wants. He may have very subtle early cues that tell you he needs sleep, and if missed, your baby may progress quickly from being happy and playful to being tired and fussy. In the first few weeks when there is little pattern to his sleep, being aware of the sleep cues can really help.
If your young baby is tired, you might see some of the following tired signs:
- Whining or fussing
- Staring blankly into space
- Losing interest in people and toys
- Jerky arms and legs
- Arching of back
- Clenched fists
- Rubs eyes
- Pulling at ears
- Sucking on fingers or fist
Often the very first signs that your baby needs sleep is when he becomes quiet and still after a period of wakefulness. In some babies their cues can be very subtle, so it may take time to get to know your baby’s sleep cues.
Typical sleep cues for older babies and toddlers:
- Staring into space
- Rubbing eyes
- Fussiness, grizzling and crying
- Losing interest in toys or activities
- Becoming fussy with food
Once you’ve tuned into your baby or toddler’s early sleep cues now is the time to reduce stimulation and start settling him to sleep. Your little one will find it much easier to fall asleep if you are able to respond to those early tired signs.