It’s not always obvious when a child is getting tired… Here’s how to recognize sleep signs so you can get your child to bed before they become overtired!

Usually when someone refers to “sleep signs,” clear signals that the child is tired, they think of yawning and perhaps eye rubbing. Some signs you may not be aware of though are nose scrunching and ear pulling, anything that has to do with rubbing the face.

It’s easy to miss some of the signs of fatigue, but if your child is doing any type of rubbing or pulling, they’re definitely tired. Don’t wait for a yawn.

Typical signs of overtiredness include squirming, not wanting to stand up, arching their back, crawling around very quickly, laughing hysterically, laughing one moment and crying the next. These are all signs of an overtired baby who is ready for sleep.

Keep an eye on the awake times (check the Awake Times Guideline) and make sure you get your baby into bed during one of their sleep windows. If you catch them at exactly the right time, it will be easy to get them to sleep. But if you miss the window, their body will send them a rush of cortisol and they start to become hyperactive, clumsy, and irratic. Then you have an overtired baby on your hands and it´s really hard for them to wind down and relax and fall asleep.

Even if they’re calm and happy and not showing any sleep signs, I always suggest that it’s better to put them down too soon rather than too late. Sometimes the calmer the baby goes down, the faster sleep comes and it becomes an easier transition for them.

Keeping an eye on your child’s individual sleep signs, along with the clock for those who don’t show any clear signs, will definitely help your child sleep well.