Recognizing Sleepy & Drowsy Cues

What Tired Signs Look Like and When and How to Settle My Baby to Sleep

Wakeful Window Table

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 – he 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 0-8 weeks will be drowsy and ready for sleep within 45-90 minutes of waking.

Settling him when he is drowsy and before he is 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 him to fall asleep and harder for you to settle him down.

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

If he has been asleep and exhibits these “drowsy” cues, you can give him a few minutes to see if he transitions back to sleep before picking him up.