It takes most babies at least a year or so to learn to talk, which means parents are stuck doing a lot of guess work for the first part of their child's life. Whether they're tired, hungry, or in pain, parents are left to read their baby's cues to try to figure out what they need. Luckily, babies send some pretty consistent signals to communicate their needs, especially when it comes to sleep. There are several ways your baby is trying to tell you they're ready for a nap, and knowing what they are can make getting them to bed much easier.
According to What To Expect, a baby will sleep as much as 16 to 20 hours a day for the first six months of their life. That means naps are a key part of getting the rest they need to grow and develop. And of course, naps are great for moms and dads too— you can either snooze along with your baby, use the time for housework, or just relax on the couch with a good book or your favorite show. I have no shame in admitting my toddler's nap time is one of my favorite times of the day.
Here are seven signs your baby wants a nap, ASAP.
1. They Yawn
No surprise here— a baby's yawn means just what an adult's does: they're tired. According to Parents, a yawn is the most important baby sleep cue to keep an eye out for.
2. They Rub Their Eyes
When it comes to nap time, the eyes have it. According to Belly Belly, when a baby starts to rub their eyes it's another sign they're ready to sleep.
3. They Can't Keep Their Eyes Open
If your baby's eyes are fluttering closed or even going unfocused, you might want to get the crib ready for a nap. According to the Raising Children Network, both are signs that your baby is tired.
4. They Pull Their Ears
Seeing your baby tug or pull on an ear might make you anxious about an ear infection, but there's often a less worrisome explanation. According to Parenting, it can mean your baby is getting tired.
5. They Get Clingy
Baby snuggles are amazing, but they become a little less enjoyable when your baby is so clingy that you can't put them down. According to the Baby Sleep Site, clinginess is a sign that your little one needs a nap.
6. They're Not Interested In Playing With You
Just like adults, babies won't want to do much when they're tired. According to Kid Spot, losing interest in playing with you or their toys means they're probably sleepy.
7. They Throw A Tantrum
Dealing with tantrums is never fun, but you may be able to nip them in the bud with a well-timed nap. According to the Baby Sleep Site, your baby's meltdown may be caused by a lack of sleep.