A cranky baby is no fun. As a mother, a crying baby can take you to your breaking point (1). And the surest way to crankiness is an overstimulated, overtired baby.
Your baby cannot talk and express her feelings. So, how do you know when she is tired and ready to nap? Well, if you learn to read the cues your baby is giving out, you’ll know well in advance the ‘right’ time – way before your baby has a meltdown!
So, let’s help you interpret your baby’s unspoken plea for sleep!
Is Your Baby Tired?
So, your baby was happily playing around, creating a mess, and suddenly there is no consoling her. She just won’t settle down! Well, that’s what happens when a baby is overtired. Now, don’t blame yourself. It can happen to the best of us. In fact, the result of an overtired baby is more sleep deprivation for you. And you need sleep. We all do (2)!
If you want to avoid the same situation in the future, look out for the following signs of tiredness in your baby:
1. Changing Facial Expressions:
If your baby’s expression goes from happy to grumpy, know that she is getting tired.
2. Avoiding Eye Contact:
When a baby is tired, she may tend to avoid looking at you directly and may even stare blankly into space.
3. Rigid Or Tense Body:
When she is tired, your baby may have rigid, or tense hands and legs.
4. Clenched Fists:
Look at your baby’s fists. Are they clenched? If yes, you need to start preparing for her bedtime.
5. Losing Interest:
If your baby suddenly loses interest in her favorite toy or food, it may be because she is tired.
6. Rubbing Eyes And Ears:
These are among the most common signs of tiredness among babies.
This is one sign you cannot miss! When your baby is yawning, wrap up whatever you are doing and put her down to sleep.
8. Fussing And Crying:
If your baby has started fussing, you may have missed the bus!
Most of these early signs tiredness are easy to miss. But if you overlook these cues, you may have to deal with full out meltdowns, which can be a nightmare to deal with!
Understanding your baby’s cues will help make bedtime easier too. No more battling a grumpy baby – now, doesn’t that sound like a dream come true? But what should you do if you see signs of tiredness in your baby?
Dealing With A Tired Baby:
Some babies are ready to sleep at the first signs of tiredness. But some babies need to be dead tired before they can fall asleep. You’ll know the difference as you go along. But if your baby is tired, here’s what you can do:
- Try and settle her down at the first sign of tiredness. Don’t wait for a full-on wailing session!
- Have a bedtime routine in place and follow it diligently.
- Make your baby comfortable. Dress her in comfortable clothing.
- Keep her room cool and dark.
- Don’t make eye contact. Your baby may be tired, but she may snap out of it at the first sign of attention from you.
- Give her some quite time. The last thing a tired baby needs is even more stimulation. Take her away from noisy situations. No TV, no loud conversations allowed when a baby is tired!
- When a baby is tired, she may wake up soon after she falls asleep. So be ready to soothe her back to sleep.
- Read a book to help settle her down. Use a calm, soothing voice to help calm her faster.
The most important thing about babies is that they thrive on schedules. So, make sure your baby has a fixed bedtime/nap time to avoid over stimulation. When you know that your baby goes to sleep at seven in the evening, you’ll be ready with her bedtime routine beforehand.
With practice, you learn to decipher your baby’s unspoken words. Do you know what that means? Yes, a calm baby during bedtime! For moms, that’s music to the ears!
How do you know when your baby is tired? How do you deal with a tired baby? Share your tips with us.