Sleep signs for your baby or toddler

The cue is defined as a signal that helps us understand what is needed in a particular situation. Newborns are born “firmly wired” with a desire to communicate and communicate; they use signs to bridge this gap in communication until they are big enough to communicate more formally with us. Many parents may guess that crying is the way a newborn communicates, but in reality, crying is the last resort for the baby. There is always a behavior or signal that comes before a shout. Our babies will use their hands and body movements to communicate, and every time we respond to our babies, they become better at communicating.

So if we observe and respond to our newborn’s signals, we learn to be proactive with our care practices. In contrast, if we do not understand that the signal comes before the cry, we react to crying, but we still do not really understand what the baby is trying to tell us.

Research on a child development and behavior tells us that by responding to the baby’s signals, we can help reduce the amount that a normal newborn will cry. By allowing your baby access to his arms, you are helping your baby learn to communicate better with you. Access to their hands maintains the ability to calm down and can also help your young child learn to “talk” with his hands, body movements and behavior. When we look at the types of signs that newborns use with their caregivers, we like to say that there are signs of “connection” and there are signs of “interruption.” Let’s look at a few examples of some of these signs:

Connection signs

– Relaxed face and body

– Looking at your face / listening to your voice

“Raise your head.”

-Emitting sounds / movements for feeding with the mouth

-Rooting reflex

– Putting your hands to your mouth


Disconnect signs

– Turn your head to the side and look to the side

-Backing back and turning the body

-Stretching fingers with a stiff hand

-Tensor body

-Sawning / falling asleep


Sleep signs fall into the category of break-up signs, because when our babies get tired, they may become more irritable and fussy if you don’t know what to look for. You can assume that a tired baby will just fall asleep on its own. However, babies and young children often show us sleep signals and behavioral signals that require our attention and support in order to fall asleep. We provide comfort through soothing techniques as well as through practicing consistent sleep routines. It is also possible that if we miss sleep signals, our babies and young children will become overtired, making it difficult for them to fall asleep or fall asleep due to the accumulation of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies.

So how can parents learn the secret to understanding and responding to their child’s sleep signals? It helps to understand a little more about the science of sleep first. Homeostasis of sleep and wakefulness is a biological regulator driven by sleep hormones that accumulate until they reach a turning point that causes sleep. This regulator is built all day for babies and young children to a pressure that requires a nap. This nap can last from 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the sleep your baby’s body needs. As this homeostatic sleep builds up, your baby or toddler will begin to show sleep signals as signals that their body needs sleep. Some parents believe that it is important to observe the windows for waking up or a certain time during which the baby is awake before having to fall asleep again. However, every baby is different and each day can be different, which can affect sleep patterns. That’s why you think of wake-up windows only as very free directions. Instead, pay close attention to your baby’s behavior and learn to observe sleep signals that will help you plan your daily routine with your child.

As your baby grows and matures, he will become more skilled at displaying more defined signs. With newborns, you may feel like you have to become a baby detective to understand their signs! But in general, newborns need much more sleep than older babies and young children, so they usually follow a routine waking-eating-sleeping routine and are awake and alert for only a short period of time. Older babies and young children will have the ability to have longer periods of wakefulness that they spend interacting with and caring for those caring for them, so they are more likely to try to deal with this. sleep-wake homeostasis if you have fun and want to stay awake. This is another reason why parents need to learn how to read their child’s sleep signals so that they can catch the signals early and prepare their child for a nap and bed to prevent fatigue.

Here are some examples of sleep signals by age / stage:


  • Looking or turning
  • Red eyelids
  • Pulling / rubbing the ears
  • Sucking is slower / weaker during feeding
  • Yawning
  • Pickiness or crying


  • Red eyes / eyelids
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Pulling / rubbing the ears
  • Glazed look in his eyes
  • Delayed activity level
  • Less voice / social
  • Quieter / calmer
  • It’s harder to distract
  • Yawning
  • Pickiness or crying

young children:

  • Red eyes / eyelids
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Glazed look in his eyes
  • Delayed activity level
  • Loss of interest in an activity or game
  • Yawning
  • Pickiness / irritability / whining
  • Ignoring requests from carers / disobedience
  • Outbursts of temper
  • Search for attention / stickiness
  • Awkwardness
  • Food / food pickiness
  • Crying

You are your child’s expert, so believe in your ability to learn your own child’s signals. The more you respond to your baby’s signals, the better your little one learns how to communicate with you. In essence, parents and children develop their own special form of communication based on signals and responses. When it comes to sleep signals, remember how important it is to have a consistent bedtime routine.

A consistent bedtime routine can actually serve as a signal to your child that sleep time is soon approaching, and this helps him begin to calm down, relax, and allow himself to expect sleep. If your child has also had the time and opportunity to develop calming skills, they will often continue to use these skills during your break and you will notice behaviors such as sucking a thumb / finger, rubbing their hands on their cheek or near their mouth, or suck on a pacifier while reading a bedtime story or singing a favorite night song. It is extremely important to help our little ones learn to pay attention to their own sleep signals as well, so that we can encourage them to rest when they are tired. By responding to your child’s sleep signals and providing a consistent sleep pattern, you help raise a happy and healthy child with great sleep habits.

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