Looking at our baby's behaviours always through a "Tired Lens".

How many times have you been told to “watch for you babies tired cues & get them down for a nap or into bed before they get overtired”?

I’m sure you have been told that the “overtired cues” are things like:

· Fussing

· Looking away

· Becoming frustrated

· Jerky movements

· Clinched fists

· Not interested in feeding or you

· Grizzly

· Crying

Nap time!! Right? Those well-meaning people around you also might be telling you your baby is overtired and needs a nap.


How many times have you then tried to offer them a sleep and it just becomes a battle? It feels like its winding them up more than it use too….

How many times have you then found yourself trying for 30mins, 45mins or even an hour to get your baby to take sleep because the cues were there? Its’ stressful and confusing right?

This is when we as mums start to doubt our abilities and think we are just not getting it right. But it’s more about our baby’s normal cognitive developmental and their need for more sensory nourishment in their day and not that you’re getting it wrong..

For the early weeks these cues can indicate true tiredness but as our babies mature in their cognitive development, these so called “tired cues” might not be about sleep so much anymore.The trouble is we can’t blame over-tiredness for all “fussy” behaviours all of the time. Babies, like us, feel other things in their day, other than the feelings of tiredness. So if we understand normal baby behaviour and what occurs in development & why, we as parents can be more curious about what our babies are trying to communicate with us. Instead of defaulting to always trying to put our babies down for a nap, when possibly this isn’t the reason for their fussy behaviour.

Any time after 3-4mths old (approx..) our babies brains start to go through the next big brain development and new neural pathways are being laid down to learn more about the world around them, including how to interact and engage with those in their life.

They start to need more sensory nourishment experiences in their day than they ever did before, more awake times to learn about the world around them and more opportunities to engage with you and others in their life. This might mean they want to be outside more, going on walks in front pack or push chair, being social in different environments, watching and engaging with nature and learning from you through play. Although as a result, sleep can all of a sudden feel like it takes a backseat.