How Can I Tell When My Baby Is Tired?
Find the answers to questions that pique your curiosity in our series “The Short Answer.” Pediatrician Maureen Ahmann, DO, explains how to tell if your baby is tired or fussing for another reason.
A: Parents sometimes can tell the difference in their baby’s cries. One means tired and another means hungry, for example. But the reason for fussiness isn’t always obvious.
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Sometimes parents get frustrated when their baby seems to be crying for food but refuses to eat. That can be a sign that the baby is actually tired, not hungry.
Other signs that your baby is tired include:
On the other hand, if your fussy baby is rooting or turning toward your breast, hunger likely is the cause of distress.
To prevent baby from becoming overtired, put him or her down for a nap as soon as you notice signs of drowsiness, such as eye rubbing and droopy eyelids.
How much your baby should sleep varies by age:
There’s a range of “normal” sleep habits, and all babies are different. But keeping babies on a regular sleep-wake schedule will help them be better at falling asleep, staying asleep and not becoming overtired.
— Pediatrician Maureen Ahmann, DO