The signs your baby is overtired and ready for sleep are often misunderstood, affecting our ability to put babies to sleep at the right time.
Sadly, there are so many misconceptions passed down from generation to generation regarding sleeping patterns for babies. These have gone along in affecting the overall development of our little ones.
In this article, we have provided expert guidance on identifying the signs to tell a baby is overtired and putting them to sleep the right way – when they are ready.
12 Signs Your Baby is Overtired and Ready for Sleep
1. Clenching Fists
Once you notice that your baby is clenching their fist repeatedly, know that it is a sign that they are overtired, and the little one wants some sleep.
2. Yawning Repeatedly
It is gorgeous to behold; I must confess – seeing a baby yawn – that little awesomeness!
Well, while you admire the moment and take snapshots of your little one in this state, have it in mind that your little one is informing you that nature beckons. It’s time to sleep!
3. Pulling of Ears
When babies use their little hands to pull on their ears, it is a sign to tell you they are overtired and need to sleep. No, nothing is itching them over there. Sleep is calling.
4. Staring into Space
When babies lose focus, and you find out that they are staring into space. No, they are not deep in thoughts (hahaha).
The little one is trying to connect to Mother Nature and go on a journey of sound sleep.
Whenever you see babies frown, two things are involved. They are either pooping in their diapers or overtired and need to get some sleep.
When you see this sign, check the diapers – and if it isn’t poop, the baby wants to sleep.
6. Sucking of Fingers
I know many mothers or caregivers do not like seeing their babies suckle their fingers. But pay attention when they do this. It is a sign that they need some sleep because they are overtired.
When a baby cried, the general conception is that they want food or attention. While these are likely demands from a baby when they cry, sometimes all they want is sleep.
8. Not Wanting to Play
You are trying to play with your baby and swinging their favorite toy over their faces, but they seem uninterested.
There is no need for alarm; the child just wants to sleep and is trying to tell you that it’s not a good time to play. Other than to sleep, the baby is not interested in anything else.
9. Not interested in Food
When you try to put a nipple in your baby’s mouth or offer him a feeding bottle of a warm, nutritious meal, but the baby seems uninterested; it is a sign that the baby needs sleep.
Sleep is probably the only thing a baby prefers to food. (If we neglect crying and pooping of cause – hahaha)
10. Demanding Attention
When a baby is holding at your fist or starts crying when you look away, they are obviously demanding your attention.
This could be a sign that they want to sleep. At that point, they just want to be cuddled to sleep.
11. Rubbing their Eyes Vigorously
When babies rub their eyes vigorously, it is a sign that they want to sleep. This is the time you would want to pick them up and cuddle them to sleep.
Yes, a baby can be restless. When they feel easily irritated and seem agitated, it could be due to sleep.
If you have not showered the baby, do so and put the baby to sleep.
Restlessness is a one of the signs your baby is overtired and ready for sleep.
How to Put Your Baby to Sleep In 40 Seconds
There are a lot of misconceptions about ways to put a baby to sleep. Some mothers and caregivers – especially, go as far as giving the babies medication to make them sleep.
As a professional psychologist, I can tell you that this is evil and can cause your baby untold damage.
Below are five trusted ways to put your baby to sleep the right way.
1. Place Babies on their Backs
The position you place your baby will determine whether they will sleep or not. To make your baby sleep faster, place them carefully on their backs.
2. Clear the Crib
Mothers and caregivers often leave towels and pads inside the baby’s crib. These items in the baby’s sacred sleeping space prevent the baby from sleeping well.
If you want your precious one to sleep well – and longer, clear the crib!
3. Start a Sleep Routine
It would be best to start a sleeping routine, like playing a particular song or doing a specific rocking pattern. This helps the child to recognize when it is time to sleep subconsciously.
Do these every time you want to put the baby to sleep, and soon the routine will do all the magic for you going forward.
4. Let them Familiarize with the sleeping Environment
Do not always make the baby go to sleep before placing them in the crib. When you do this, any time the baby opens his eyes and doesn’t recognize the surroundings, the baby will cry and have difficulty sleeping again.
Cuddle them to sleep in their crib so that even when they open their eyes later, they recognize where they are and go back to sleep again.
5. Make Sure the Room is Cool and Quiet
Babies like calm and quiet environments. When you want to put a baby to sleep, make sure the environment is calm and peaceful. This does not only help the baby sleep but will help the baby sleep longer.
What to Do When Your Overtired Baby Won’t Sleep?
Dealing with a baby that won’t sleep even when they are clearly overtired is one of the ‘interesting’ sacrifices of motherhood.
Do not blame your baby for this, because it is not their fault in any way. Contrary to what you believe, they do not enjoy disturbing you in the middle of the night and keeping you awake until morning.
On most occasions, babies have trouble sleeping due to discomfort, illness, teething, or routine changes.
These issues are all normal, and you don’t have a cause for alarm. Here are five things to do when your overtired baby won’t sleep.
1. Play a Lullaby
Babies are suckers for a good lullaby. When you notice that your overtired baby won’t sleep, try playing a lullaby.
There are various options for infant lullabies available online for free.
2. Breastfeed or Give the Baby a Bottle
There is no disputing that hunger may be one of the reasons why an overtired baby is finding it hard to sleep. Before you try other means to put them back to sleep, try breastfeeding or giving them a feeding bottle.
3. Hold them Against Your Chest
Always hold the baby close to your chest when you notice they are finding it hard to sleep despite the fact they are overtired. This will help them feel calmer and relaxed – and help them sleep.
4. Cuddle them
Babies love to be cuddled, and when they are – sleep is inevitable. Try to cuddle your baby in the crib until they slowly doze off.
5. Put them on their Backs
Babies find it hard to sleep when placed on their sides or facing the crib. When the baby is already asleep, they can be placed in any manner. But if they are awake and you want to put them to sleep, placing them on the backs works best.
Signs Your Baby Is Ready To Start Sleep Training
Before we go into the signs that indicate if a baby is ready for infant sleep training, let’s look at the meaning of Sleep Training.
What is Sleep Training?
Sleep training in infants refers to the conscious techniques parents use to regulate and improve the sleeping patterns in babies.
Sleep training aims to help your children enjoy their sleep in a stretch without having to wake up several times at night.
Signs Your Baby Is Ready To Start Sleep Training
When you see these signs, know that your baby is ready to start sleep training.
1. Sleeping for longer hours
As babies grow older, you will notice that some days the sleep time is longer, and without the usual interruptions, this is a sign that the baby is ripe for sleep training.
2. When they are 4-6 Months of Age
According to experts, parents are to start sleep training for babies from 4-6 months. Mothers and caregivers are free to give sleep training to their infants within this period without any risks.
3. Waking more frequently at night
If your baby is around 4-6 months or older and is still waking up frequently at night, it is a sign that you need to commence sleep training for the baby.
There is a common misconception that when babies sleep during the day, they will not sleep at night. So, many mothers and caregivers deprive their babies of sleeping during the day ‘so they can sleep at night.
The truth is that children are not wired the same way as adults. In children, “sleep begets sleep.” What this phrase means is that the more a baby sleeps during the day, the better they will sleep at night – interesting, right?
The fundamental principle in all of this is to strengthen the mother-child connection. When this is in place, you will quickly understand your child’s communication language, and the baby will understand yours.
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