What if I never see sleepy cues?#
That can happen! In the busyness of life, sleepy cues can be easy to miss. Maybe you’re finding that you don’t notice any sleepy cues until you’re already in the “I’m Overtired” stage.
So, what can you do?
One way to help prevent an overtired newborn is to know about your baby’s wake windows. A wake window is the amount of time your baby is awake between one nap and the next. A typical wake window for a newborn is 60-90 minutes. Aiming for full, age appropriate wake windows will help your baby to fall asleep easily and stay asleep longer. With newborns, we are going to really focus on sleepy cues over the time on the clock. But, being mindful of your baby’s wake windows will help you know when to look for those sleepy cues.
What if my newborn is showing sleepy cues before hitting a full wake window?#
Our goal is to aim for a full wake window without pushing your baby to overtiredness. Some babies may briefly yawn or look away when they simply need a break from interaction or if they are ready for something new.
If it hasn’t been close to a full wake window and your baby is flashing sleepy cues, try changing his environment. Do something different like going outside or try to incorporate a different type of newborn play. Sometimes a change of scenery or activity is enough to re-engage him and hit that full wake window.
If after a few minutes, your baby is still showing cues or progressing to “I’m ready for a nap!” go ahead and offer him a nap. We are meeting your baby right where he is developmentally.
What do I do if my baby is overtired?#
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, we miss the sweet spot and baby becomes overtired. When this happens, your little one may fight that nap he desperately needs. You may notice that later in the day it can be easier to miss those cues. That’s one of the reasons that we can so easily end up seeing “colic” symptoms during the witching hour. If you find yourself with an overtired baby, here are a few tips to help: