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Signs And Cues That Your Baby Is Tired

4 min read

None of us like to miss our ‘sleep windows’ or being kept awake when we are sleepy. Babies too have the same tendency and because they cannot talk, they exhibit something called ‘baby cues’, which is their way of telling you what they want. Behavior is the only means with he could communicate with you. Whether its hunger, need of change of a diaper, illness or sleep, your baby tells you everything in a non-verbal language, and if not attended to, can be irritable, cranky and fussy.
An important thing that makes the little one grumpy is when he is tired.
Yawning tired baby

How Much Sleep Does A Baby Need?

Getting an idea about the sleep cycle of the baby will be useful for a new mother. Usual sleep schedules according to age are:

  • New born babies sleep for around 16 hours a day. But at a stretch, they won’t sleep for more than 3 to 4 hours
  • Between 6 to 8 weeks old they will start to sleep shorter period during day and longer period during the night
  • Between 4 to 6 months they start to sleep 8 to 12 hours at a stretch through the night

Babies of different ages behave differently and sleeping hours will also change with the age. Always remember, each baby is unique and what we have presented above is an approximation.

When Do Babies Get Tired?

Not getting enough sleep is the main reason for the baby to get tired if there are no other health issues. Even if your baby is tired due to some sort of health issues, sleeping is an important healing therapy for the little one. A newborn baby gets tired after being awake for 1 or 1½ hours. A 3-6 months old baby needs to sleep almost every 2-3 hours, and once your baby is about 12 months, 3 hours awake time generally calls for a nap. If your baby is tired, she will show some signals, and a tired baby most definitely needs to sleep. As you can figure, getting tired and feeling sleepy are related.

Why Is It Important To Understand That The Baby Is Tired?

Understanding that your baby is tired will help you to provide him a favorable situation to sleep. If you try to make him sleep before he is ready, that will upset him. Similarly, when you won’t make him go to bed when he is ready may lead to over tiredness. It will be difficult for him to catch sleep when he is overly tired. So it is important to be aware of the signs shown by your baby when he is tired. Moreover, understanding and responding to baby signals helps your little one develop a sense of trust as he feels that he is able to influence his environment. This will alter help your child in emotional development, and the capacity to understand that we can control our emotions.
The crying stage indicates most probably that he is over tired. So catch the cue before your little one reaches the crying stage.

What Signs Does A Newborn Baby Show When She Is Tired?

At this age, the baby doesn’t have much control over his arms or legs. Jerky movements of arms and legs are the usual signs to show their distress. A new born baby will get tired if she is awake for more than 1 ½ hours. When you find the following signs never hesitate to take your baby to sleep:

  • Yawning
  • Sucking fingers
  • Looking worried (facial expression)
  • Arching backwards
  • Clenched fists
  • Fluttering eyelids
  • Tugging at ears
  • Jerking arms and legs

Signs Of Tiredness In 3 – 6 Months Old Babies

3 to 6-month old baby will get tried when she is awake for more than 3 hours. Now that she has developed greater control over her limbs, she may appear to be clumsy and clingy. The following signs indicate that the baby needs to sleep and should not be over stimulated.

  • Eyes get sleepy
  • Yawn and sigh at the same time
  • Rubs the eyes
  • Gets restless
  • Staring into the distance
  • Pulling hair
  • Becomes clingy
  • Cries and gets irritated when left alone

Tired sleepy baby

Signs Of Tiredness In 6 – 12 Months Old Babies

6 to 12-month old baby will show signs of tiredness if she misses on any of her naps.

  • Demands constant attention
  • Becomes rest less
  • Not paying much attention to the toys they love
  • Fussing
  • Whining
  • Cry in your arm but when try to put down starts to cry louder
  • Refuse to eat
  • Rubbing nose

Once your baby passes the first year along with the above signs, once tired, they will:

  • Bump into things
  • Loose balance
  • Spill things more than usual
  • Start throwing the toys
  • Become very grumpy
  • Lie down on the floor
  • Walk backwards
  • Become less active

Babies don’t know when they are going to be tired but the watchful eyes of a mother can figure that out. Never overlook these “I am tired cues” of your baby. It is not easy to calm an over tired baby. Once you pick the cue, provide him a good sleeping environment. Click here to read more from our section on Baby Sleep And Rest.

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