Why is looking for sleepy cues so important?

We want to make sure that we are catching our little one’s sleepy cues so that they can fall asleep easier.   The reason why catching the correct cues is so important is because that is when your little one’s body is preparing for sleep and producing melatonin (the sleepy hormone).

You might be thinking about these cues:

  • yawns
  • eye rubbing
  • arching of the back
  • increased crabbiness

I am really talking about, the sleepy cues before those cues.   When you see these signs, you might be running a bit too late.  It will likely be a bit harder to get them to sleep once you have seen these cues. In addition, their rest may not be as restorative as it could be.

What you are looking for to know that your little one is ready for sleep are signs that are subtler. These signs come before the yawns and eye-rubbing.

These are the cues to look for:

  • A small yawn
  • spacing out
  • slowing down
  • stops playing

This is the time, if you are coming up on a nap or bedtime to move your little one to their crib or bed.  This is when melatonin is kicking in. This is an optimal time for them to go to sleep.

Is your little one under 4 months of age? Follow these cues and sleep them anytime they are ready.  What if they are older than 4 months? You then want to make sure that they are sleeping at a time that is appropriate for their age.  For an idea of how much sleep your little one should be getting, see my post on Healthy Sleep: Sleep Schedules.

Please reach out to me if I can help you further.

My Best,





Certified Sleep Consultant

Good Night Sleep Site Florida




*based in Orlando, FL, but work remotely with families