Recognizing Sleepy & Drowsy Cues

Catching your baby’s tired signs and getting them down before they are overtired will help in a smoother transition to sleep. Below are the cues and behaviors your baby will show you as they are getting tired.

“I’m getting sleepy” and “Drowsy” cues:

  • Decreased Activity
  • Slower Motions
  • Less Vocal
  • Sucking becomes weak or slow
  • Quieter
  • Calmer
  • Disinterested in Surroundings
  • Eyes less Focused
  • Drooping Eyelids
  • Yawning
  • Irregular Breathing

*Crying can be a sign that your baby has become overtired

Drowsiness serves as transition both in and out of sleep. Your baby will have a delayed response when in this state. If left alone – they may go to sleep or gradually awaken. This is a key time to start to soothe or put down to sleep. If it has been awhile since they have been up, then this would be a good time to put them down to sleep.

Tip: Most babies between 8-12 weeks will be drowsy and ready for sleep within 60-90 minutes of waking.

Settling them when they are drowsy and before they are too tired will help you ease your baby into a more restful period of sleep. Try not to wait until your baby is overtired which will make it more difficult for them to fall asleep and harder for you to settle them down.

Keeping a predictable routine may help to keep your baby calmer allowing them to rest more easily so try to watch their behavior & cues and keep them from overwhelming situations that may overstimulate them.

If they have been asleep and exhibit these “drowsy” cues, you can give them a few minutes to see if they transition back to sleep before picking them up.