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As I have mentioned in the past, a baby will not display every sleep cue on a list. Also, your baby might have her own unique cue not included on any list, but my guess is among these three, you should be able to find what your baby displays. This list is found on page 63 and page 71 in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child:
- Decreased activity
- Slower motions
- Less vocal
- Sucking is weaker or slower
- Appears disinterested
- Eyes less focused
- Eyelids drooping
- Less social (smiling less and a lack of engaging you)
The above list is a list of signs your baby is ready to go to sleep. Now for a list of cues that signal your child is overly tired:
- Rubbing eyes
If you study the three posts closely, you will notice there are things Hogg and I list as cues that Weissbluth lists as over-tired cues. You will also noticed Hogg says baby will get fidgety while Weissbluth says baby moves less. Welcome to baby life 🙂 Your job is to figure out where your baby falls in these ideas.
Now for the sleep cues of my children.
Brayden: Brayden’s sleep cue was easy and ever the same: fussiness. Newborn on up, it was fussiness. As he grew into a toddler, this moved into him being naughty when he was tired. He still at age five gets emotionally upset when he is tired.
Kaitlyn: Kaitlyn was one of those “cue-less” babies. At about two months, she dropped her signs. She was about a year before she started giving me hints again. So I had to judge her waketime on her naps. If the naps were good, I knew her waketime was right. Even today, she doesn’t show any sign of needing sleep until she is very overly tired. She will be up 3 hours past nap time before any classic cue comes out. We have pretty much always had to be clock people with Kaitlyn’s naps.
McKenna: McKenna had classic “seven-mile stare” described by Hogg. She would star off into space when she was ready for a nap. Now at 19 months, if she is ready for a nap, she comes looking for me and wants to sit in my lap.
Please share the sleep cues you relied on for your children.
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