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Signs That Your Baby Is Sleepy

One of the hardest parts about caring for a newborn is that they cannot tell you what is wrong with them. You have to adjust to your baby, and realize the signs that he or she is presenting. A tired baby can become almost impossible to soothe, that is why it is important that you catch the early warning signs.

If you can crack the code of when your baby starts displaying signs of tiredness, you will be able to provide comfort to him or her without them becoming totally fatigued. However, there may be underlying issues that need to be handled before your baby will settle down to sleep, such as being hungrey or pain.

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The longer your baby exhibits distress without you figuring out what they need, the more fatigued they will become. An overly tired baby can turn into a wrestling match, that your baby will refuse to give in. In the end, not only will your baby be exhausted, you will be as well.

Check out the age groups and signs below to find out if your baby is tired or is trying to tell you something else. Sleep signs change with age, that is why it is important that you are aware of each stage.

0 to 3 months

A newborn doesn’t have full control over their body. They are unable to hold their head up on their own, and they will present signs through reflex actions. At this stage, your baby will show discomfort in the same way, so you have to use a process of elimination method.

Sleepy baby signs at this stage include:

  • Fussiness – whining, crying or screaming
  • Fixed Stare – looking away, turning the head away or arching their backs.
  • Clenched fists
  • Waving or moving arms and legs.
  • Drawing up knees.
  • Continuously wants to suck or feed.

3 to 12 Months

At this stage, your baby has better control of their body, which can help you determine what they are trying to tell you. They will also have a familiar feeding and sleep schedule, which makes it a lot easier to recognize when they are tired.

Sleepy baby signs at this stage include:

  • Fussiness – whining, crying or screaming
  • Rubbing eyes or nose
  • Pulling ears or hair
  • Yawning

12 Months and Older

Babies at this stage are beginning to be verbal, which can help you figure out if there is an underlying issue such as pain or hunger. This is also the stage where fighting sleep becomes an issue, because they do not want to miss out on anything.

Sleepy baby signs at this stage include:

  • Loss of co-ordination – bumping into things, falling and spilling stuff.
  • Yawning
  • Fussiness – whining, crying or screaming
  • Rubbing eyes or nose
  • Pulling ears or hair

How Long Can They Stay Awake

Of course, all babies are different, but you can start to recognize how long your baby can tolerate being awake before they need a nap.

Here are the average time spans that a baby can stay awake before needing to take a nap.

  • 2 to 6 weeks: an hour to an hour and a half.
  • 6 weeks to 3 months: one to two hours.
  • 3 to 6 months: two to two and a half hours.
  • 6 to 9 months: two and a half to three hours.
  • 9 to 12 months: three to four hours.

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