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Baby Whisperer: Sleep Cues

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Here are some cues from Tracy Hogg that show your baby is ready to go to sleep (found on page 177). I have also listed additional cues found in The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems (page 181):

  • Yawning.
  • Fussing.
  • Fidgeting.
  • Opening eyes wide.
  • Making sounds like a creaking door.
  • Sqeaking.
  • Turning head from objects or people.
  • Burying face in your chest.
  • Involuntary movements with arms and legs.
  • Rubbing eyes.
  • Pulling at ears.
  • Scratching face.
  • Less coordination.
  • Lose interest in toys.
  • Arching back and leaning backward.
  • Falling while walking or bumping into things.
This list moves from younger baby up through older baby.
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Reader Comments/Advice:
  • Emily said...
    That is so funny, when my daughter is tired she'll pull her ear, fall a lot and cry when it actually didn't hurt (this is her best cue), or rub eyes. She was right on with my daughter!
    October 2, 2008 1:46 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Emily, thanks for sharing that. I think it is always good to get a list of cues from other moms so people can be more likely to recognize the cues in their kids.
    October 6, 2008 2:57 PM


Tara Terry said...

This blog is amazing! I check it almost every day since I'm a first time mum of a 3 week old and for the past week or so I've been really struggling with working out my baby's nap cues. Quite a few times after I've fed him (which generally takes about 30 minutes) he starts getting fussy after only about a minute or two and then I see him yawn so I put him down and generally he cries for about 5 minutes and then he starts to fall asleep and then 3 minutes later I check and he's contently wide awake and he stays awake for about 5 - 10 minutes more and then the crying begins again for about 3-4 minutes and then he starts to fall asleep and then 5 minutes later he's contently awake again .. this cycle can continue for about an hour when I put him down .. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing wrong because he's fussy straight after I've finished feeding & burping I've made sure when I put him down that his diaper is clean, and he's burped and the temp is good in the room but I have no idea why he just stays awake when he looks really tired to me and he's only been awake sometimes for 35 minutes when I put him down ??
Also sometimes after this cycle has continued a few times he contently falls asleep without a peep and other times he cries til he's alseep (generally no longer than 3 mintues)
I thought I had his nap cues right but he rarely goes straight to sleep and if not then I can't work out why he is always crying after feeding and burping and diaper change?
Any advice??

Plowmanators said...

Tara Terry,

His behavior sounds like he is overly tired. Check out the "optimal waketime" blog label for help in that area.

I would look into reflux. Some of what you described sounds like he might have reflux.

I would also suggest you see the label "4 S's" for a post on helping baby go to sleep peacefully.