sleepy cues

Baby's Sleepy Cues

Our babies begin to "tell" time by doing the same thing at the same time each day. As you start to follow a routine, you may notice the baby's "sleepy cues."

What Are Some of Baby's Sleepy Cues?

These "cues" can sometimes mean several things. It is okay if you miss one or aren’t sure; it can sometimes be a mystery. But, more often than not, a consistent routine will help you determine the next steps. Follow along with the Moms on Call routines mapped out by times in the “Typical Days” section of the Moms on Call 0-6 Month Book and in the Moms on Call Scheduler App available on Apple and Android devices.

  • Getting Tired: Typically, we notice this about 15 minutes before your Moms on Call “nap time.”
    • Cues baby may show are:
      • Rubbing eyes
      • Flushed eyebrows
      • Staring
      • Not making eye contact
    • We can begin the pre-nap routine.
  • Ready for Nap:
    • Right at “nap time” during your pre-nap routine of changing diapers, snuggling, and story time, you may notice these cues:
      • Rubbing eyes
      • Getting fussy
      • Yawning
      • Closing eyes
      • Movement of arms/legs
    • Now is the time to get down for that nap.
  • Overtired: We may have missed the previous two windows due to the realities of life.
    • Some cues to look for:
      • Intense crying/fussing
      • Stiff
      • Arching
      • Hard to settle
    • Do your best to spend a few minutes in a calm environment, swaddle if under 12 weeks of age, and gently sway.
    • If over 12 weeks of age, snuggle and hold close for a few minutes. Dim lights, play some music, hum.
    • Then, get the baby to sleep as soon as you can.
  • If you often deal with the over-tired phase, try moving nap time to 15 minutes earlier.
    • Keep in mind, with the Moms on Call routines; you have a 15 minute grace period on either side of the times listed.
      • This helps accommodate varying levels of the baby's alertness and the realities of life.
  • If the baby is super alert and playful, we can extend nap time to 10-15 minutes later.

Moms on Call provides simple, sensible parenting resources to sleep, feed, laugh, and love birth through toddlerhood. You can find tips like this and more in our books and Online Video Courses for 0-6 months, where we cover everything from feeding and sleeping to schedule transitions and typical days at each stage.

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