How do you recognise baby's sleep/feed cues?

(10 Posts)
Whatapavlova Tue 19-Jul-16 17:30:01

My ds is nearly four months and I still don't feel I know what he wants. He's grizzly most of the time and I think it's because he's tired because I just can't get him to nap unless we go out in the car. I'm trying to look for sleepy cues to see if that would help me settle him but I just can't tell. Same with feeding, he's always got his hands in his mouth so I just guess if it's been around 3 hours and he's fussy it's worth a go. I feel like I don't know my own baby and I frustrate him! Any tips or advice?

haventgotaclue1 Tue 19-Jul-16 20:17:07

I was in exactly your position when my DD was first born (and for the 1st 6 months...!) - I really didn't even know I was supposed to look out for "sleep cues" and thought if she was tired, she'd just fall asleep.....yeah, right hmm It wasn't until we saw a Sleep Consultant that we started to know what to look for. In our DD it was one or more of the following things in the 1st 6 months: yawning, rubbing eyes, clumsiness when playing with toys, grizzling, staring at nothing, loosing interest in her toys around her.

Re feeding cues, I didn't really go on feeding by demand (even though I was BF her) - we kind of did it by the clock, unless she was crying / sucking on my finger and then I'd feed her sooner.

Don't be hard on yourself - I for one definitely didn't find it easy to figure out what she wanted....she's now almost 20 months and is very able to communicate what she wants (and she's not even saying very much!!!).

Whatapavlova Wed 20-Jul-16 09:44:44

Thank you! I feel like I know what I'm supposed to be doing but actually doing it is another matter. Sounds like it gets much easier though. I'll just keep watching him and offering a bf every few hours!

Tumtitum Wed 20-Jul-16 09:49:06

My DD is5 months and we more similar... She rarely asks for food and hands are always in her mouth these days!! If she roots when I pick her up I offer a feed or if she starts crying for a random reason, but generally its around 3 hourly. Sleep wise she tends to aget tired after about two hours but her signs seem to be staring into the distance, yawning and rubbing her eyes ( although she always disagrees that she's tired and screams like a banshee when I put her down for naps so I'm clearly missing some earlier sleep cues!! ;) ).

Caterina99 Wed 20-Jul-16 18:18:18

We did EASY eat awake sleep (you time). It worked really well for me as it separated his sleeping from eating and I knew that he was either tired or hungry based on the clock.

Think it was around 1.5 hour awake time at that point, but obviously it wasn't exact, and I didn't deny him if I thought he was hungry or needed a nap and it wasn't the right time. It just helped me know what came next in the cycle and plan a bit better

JeepersMcoy Wed 20-Jul-16 18:24:17

I just had a list, nappy, food, sleep, too cold, too hot, any random shit I could think of in my sleep deprived excuse for a mind.... I worked through them until I got one that worked.

It was such a relief when dd started communicating I can tell you.

Cineraria Wed 20-Jul-16 18:33:03

DS pants like a thirsty dog when he sees me if he wants a feed. His sleep signalling (and a lot of his sleep) seemed to be absent until he reached about eight months and suddenly started doing the ear touching, blank staring, eye rubbing and yawning, like he'd read the manual overnight.

I used an activity tracking app for about three weeks and from that worked out a schedule that worked for him. Doing that was so helpful and really made me feel like I was doing the right thing at the right time for him. He was much more content after that but it may have just been that he picked up on my confidence.

Idontknowwhoiam Wed 20-Jul-16 18:41:33

I'm on my third child now and I think I might have cracked it!
Ds1 I had no clue
Dd she wasn't such a demanding baby but still not great at recognising and as pp said used to go through a list!
Ds2/dc3 I just get him although he's pretty placid...
I think my point is babies are hard work!!

29redshoes Wed 20-Jul-16 18:48:54

Sleep cues for my DD are yawning, rubbing eyes, staring into space. Then as she starts to get overtired she weirdly gets more alert, starts really waving her arms and legs around and looking at everything in the room. It's too late by that point though!

Sounds like you got a nap fighter in the baby lottery - I did too! Some babies just seem to fall asleep when they get tired (my friend's baby does this) others make you really work hard grin

29redshoes Wed 20-Jul-16 18:56:58

Oh and if your baby sleeps in the car it might be worth trying a sling? Works for my baby as long as I keep walking...

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