Life would be so different for parents if babies understood the beauty of sleep. In the first few months of their lives, babies can spend as many as 18 hours a day asleep. And yet it can feel like they’re awake so much longer than that because of their tendency to do everything in their power to fight sleep. But being able to read the signs your baby is exhausted and not just fussy can help you win more bedtime battles.
When my daughter was a newborn, I remember staring at her as she slept the day away and hoping she would wake up so we could play. Now that she’s nearly a toddler, sleep seems to be her archenemy. I spend a decent amount of time every day watching to see if she’s getting tired, and pouncing on her and putting her down for a nap when it seems the time is right.
It would be amazing if babies could clearly communicate what they need when it comes to sleep. But since they can’t, it’s up to moms and dads to decipher their cues. Luckily, babies seem to have some pretty universal signals that help their parents figure out they’re feeling tired. Here are seven things to look out for when you think your baby might be on his or way to Dreamland.