tired signs in babies

Tired Signs in Babies & Toddlers

Babies and toddlers have their own ways of letting us know that they’re ready to go to sleep. They can’t communicate by telling us they’re tired, or they might not want to because they don’t want to miss out on any time with their family. So, it’s up to us as their parents to keep an eye out and learn to recognise the telltale signs that our little ones need a nap. This article will be your easy reference guide to tired signs in babies and toddlers so you can get them settled as soon as you notice they’re starting to feel sleepy.

What to do when you notice tired signs

When you notice your little one is showing signs of being tired, start prepping them for sleep in the following ways:

  • Reduce external stimulation – turn the lights off, turn the TV volume down, etc.
  • Take them to a quiet, familiar place to sleep
  • Hold them gently and rock them if they’re resisting sleep
  • Quietly play music or other sounds to drown out environmental noises

When to look for tired signs

Newborns: after 1 to 1.5 hours of being awake.

3-6 months: after 1.5 to 3 hours of being awake.

6-12 months: after 2.5 to 3 hours of being awake.

12-18 months: if they skip a morning or afternoon nap during the day.

What are tired signs in babies & toddlers?

Tired signs in newborns include:

  • Frowning
  • Sucking on fingers
  • Yawning (super cute newborn yawns are the best)
  • Eyelids fluttering / struggling to keep eyes open
  • Difficulty focusing on what’s happening around them
  • Jerky movement in legs and arms
  • Arching backwards
  • Pulling at ears
  • Closing fists

Tired signs in babies and toddlers include:

  • Clinginess (wanting cuddles or to be picked up)
  • Clumsiness (aren’t we all when we’re tired?)
  • Attention seeking
  • Grizzling or crying
  • Boredom with toys and other stimulants
  • Fussy with food

Keeping an eye out for these signs and acting quickly to get our little ones to a safe, comfortable place to sleep is one of the key factors in creating a successful sleep time routine.

If you need any help at all recognising when your child is tired and helping them get into a sleep routine that works, please get in touch with the expert team here at Sleep Sweet Sleep Deep. We’re always happy to help where we can!

Sleep Sweetly and Deeply everyone!

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