Whether you’ve been a parent for twelve months or two, you will already understand how vital your child’s sleep truly is. Not only is the sleep incredibly important for your child’s health, but also you need the downtime to unwind and relax! If your child doesn’t obtain enough sleep, you’ll know about it and your own sleep will likely be diminished significantly. Unfortunately, babies are unable to express themselves, so you’ll need to look for obvious signs, in order to determine whether or not you child needs a good nap.
Once you’ve learned how to detect your child’s tiredness, you’ll have a much easier time preventing crankiness and keeping your toddler happy. So, how can you really tell, if your child needs a nap? Within this comprehensive guide, you will examine 8 signs that can help you pinpoint a tired child.
Is My Child Sleepy?
A baby’s behavior can be very erratic and their attitude can truly change at the drop of a coin. One second, your child could be bouncing off of the walls and enjoying him or herself. The next minute, they might be wailing and crying nonstop. Generally, this is one of the most common signs of a sleepy toddler.
This is truly natural and even the world’s best parents will be forced to contend with an overtired toddler at some point or another. In order to keep your toddler happy and to ensure you obtain enough sleep, it is incredibly important to put your child to sleep in a timely manner and before they can reach this severity.
Below, you will find some of the most common signs that can point to a tired child.
Watch Your Child’s Facial Expression
First and foremost, you should always pay close attention to your child’s facial expressions. Although they might not be able to speak to your verbally, they can do so in other ways. One way babies communicate is by using their facial expressions. If your child’s smile disappears and they begin sporting a grumpy pout, you can guarantee your baby is tired!
Watch Their Eyes
Normally, babies are inclined to make eye contact with their parents. If the child becomes tired, their eyes will begin to wander and your baby may even seem to be staring at the wall. Once you notice this type of behavior, you should put your child down for a nap.
Does your child appear to be tense or anxious? This is a sure sign that your toddler needs sleep.
Has your baby tightened his or her fists, as if they’re ready to throw a punch? This is very telling. Don’t duck and try to avoid a clobbering. Instead, you should put your child to sleep and allow them to awake anew.
Loss Of Interest
In all likelihood, your child has a favorite toy, food or activity. When your child is awake and full of energy, they’ll refuse to give up this precious item or activity. When they become drowsy, your baby will actually begin to lose interest in these belongings. If he or she no longer wants to play with his or her favorite toy, it is time for a good, long nap!
Rubbing And Rubbing
Although babies are unique, when compared to adults, they do share some commonalities. Both will exhibit some of the same behaviors, when they begin growing tired. When adults get tired, they’ll commonly rub their eyes, if trying to stir themselves back into reality. Babies tend to do the same thing. When your baby begins rubbing their eyes and ears, he or she is most likely in need of a nap.
Again, babies and adults are not entirely different. When you begin feeling tired, you’ll most likely let out a little yawn. The good news is that your child will certainly do the same.
Sometimes, babies just don’t know exactly how to express themselves. When they fall into a situation, which is unfamiliar and don’t know how to tell you about it, they’ll begin crying and fussing. This is generally true, when your child becomes drowsy and sleepy. If you’ve allowed your child to get this far along, you might have a difficult time attempting to lull them to sleep.
The bad news is that the majority of these signs are easily missed. In fact, even the world’s most attentive parents can miss these signs or mistake them for something else. To make matters even worse, once your child has reached number 8, you’re going to have a problem on your hands. Calming down a fussy, tired child can be immensely difficult and the problem may spiral into a meltdown.
The good news is that you can prevent that devastating nightmare from transforming into a reality. By better familiarizing yourself with your baby’s natural behavior and the signs above, you will be able to detect their sleepiness much easier and quicker. This will help you put a halt to the problem, before it can escalate and reach the dreaded number 8.
How To Soothe A Tired Baby
Babies are all unique in one way or another. This tends to be true, when it comes to their sleeping behaviors. Some babies can fall asleep quickly, as soon as they hit the crib. Others will not and will be more inclined to put up a fight. Although the fight is sometimes unavoidable, there are some ways to swing things into your favor.
When you begin noticing that your child is becoming sleepy, you will want to follow the tips below to help ensure your baby falls asleep quicker.
Properly Prepare Their Bedroom
Babies are very similar to adults in many senses. As an adult, you probably have a terrible time trying to fall asleep, when your bedroom is too hot or too cold. Your baby is exactly the same. If the child’s bedroom isn’t perfect, they’ll be much more likely to toss and turn for a lengthy period of time, before they finally fall asleep. Make sure that the child’s room is cool and refreshing, but not too cold.
At the same time, it is pertinent to make sure that your child’s room is pitch dark. A nightlight is fine, but you should put thick curtains on your windows. Shutting the door slightly to prevent light some seeping through is also recommended. Setting up the environment in this manner will help to ensure that your child drifts off into a peaceful slumber much quicker than they normally would.
Prepare Ahead Of Time
Babies are truly balls of energy and sometimes refuse to stop enjoying themselves. This is where the parent needs to step into the picture. Once you begin noticing the early signs of a sleepy toddler, you will want to spring into action. Begin calming your child and try to prevent them from playing any more. Calm down the environment and give your baby time to adjust, before taking him or her to the bedroom.
It is also a good idea to avoid eye contact. A tired baby can quickly spring back into action, if they make eye contact with their parent. Do your best to avoid eye contact, until your baby has been put down and is sound asleep.
A Quiet Environment
Babies are very likely to respond to the sights and sounds around them. If you switch on a cheerful song, it is almost certain that your baby’s face will light up like a Christmas tree and they’ll probably develop a big grin.
Although these songs are great for playtime, they should be shutoff, before sleep time! Approximately thirty or forty minutes before you plan on laying your child down, you should shutoff all music, songs and even the television.
This will help to calm the environment and will tell your child that it is time to sleep.
Reading A Book
In all likelihood, you are already well familiar with this tip. All parents should understand that a good book could help to lull their children to sleep rapidly. Of course, you should read the book in a calm voice, so you can sooth your toddler. This will also help you establish a pattern. By repeatedly reading to your child, before bedtime, they’ll know that when the book comes out, it is time to go to sleep.
Feeding and Sleep Time
While there is no set time, when you should place your infant in his crib after feeding, it is very important to take extra time for burping. When the infant feeds, they will ingest a significant amount of air along with their milk. By burping the infant, you will be helping them relieve the ingested air from the tummy.
This could potentially help reduce the risk of milk regurgitation once they have been put down for a nap. Never lay the child down, before they have burped, because it can cause the child to become very restless and may even cause them to exhibit colicky symptoms.
While all parents have a list of tasks that need to be done outside the home, infants tend to rest better in their own environment. When you begin to notice the sleep signs, you should return home to allow your baby to take a nap.
Your tasks can wait, until your baby is ready to take on his/her next adventure. You should also consider taking turns with grocery shopping and other outdoor tasks, until your child is old enough to enjoy the adventures with you.