How to spot signs of tiredness in babies

baby sleep tired stock sl

One minute, your baby is happily gurgling away on the rug, and the next it seems they’re miserable and over-tired and you can’t settle them for love or money. What went wrong? And what can you do to catch those tired signs next time, before it goes downhill again?

We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.

Signs of tiredness

Your baby will be ready for sleep once you have fed them, changed their nappy, and had some quiet playtime – total time awake about one and half hours. Play, in the first few weeks, will be a bath or a cuddle and a quiet chat — about 15 minutes. By eight weeks, playtime may have stretched to 30 minutes, including some tummy time on the floor, sitting in a baby rocker chair, and ‘chatting’ together while you have a snack or a drink, or are reading them a story.

Watch for the early tired signs that indicate your baby has had enough stimulation and is ready for sleep. They may turn away from you or start to whimper. Learn to recognise your baby’s signs. If you don’t notice these, or misinterpret the signs, and instead try to cheer them up with more play, then they will become overtired and more difficult to settle. If you find you’re constantly trying to settle a distressed baby, then you may be missing the early tired signs. Try starting the settling routine earlier.

Possible tired signs:

  • Turns away from you (disengages)
  • Yawns
  • Frowns or pulls a distressed face
  • Starts to whimper or whinge
  • Becomes tense and agitated
  • Clenches fists
  • Kicks and thrashes arms and legs
  • Rubs their eyes (when older)

This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.

(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)

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