When it comes to your baby or toddler's nap schedule and bedtime, there is something you should always keep in mind: Their sleepy cues & their awake times.
You may be thinking how do I know what are my little one's awake times supposed to be?
If you haven't grabbed a copy of my "Mom's Schedule Cheat Sheet", now would be the time to do that. It is a chart broken down by age to help you know what is an average awake time for your little one. This will help you know when you should be aiming for your next nap or if it's time for bedtime.
You may also be thinking how do I find out what my little one's sleepy cues are?
To start with, sleepy cues are anything your baby or toddler does to let you know they are ready for sleep. Use the cheat sheet to help you learn when your little one is starting show sleepy cues by watching them when a nap time should be nearing.
There are usually 3 stages of cues: “Falls Asleep Easy” Sleepy Cues, “Sleep Time Gets a Little Tougher” Sleepy Cues, & “Maxed Out/Overtired” Sleepy Cues
Learning your little one's "Falls Asleep Easy" sleepy cues are going to be the most beneficial for you. Some little one's are harder to read then others and some are very obvious.
Here are some of the most common ones to watch for:
▪ Red around the eyes
▪ Avoids eye contact
▪ Eyes beginning to glaze over
▪ Slight slowing in play
▪ Zones out on an object
You may be surprised to learn that rubbing eyes and yawning are actually cues that appear in the second stage so pay close attention to find those first stage signs.
Your baby will not start to follow a strict schedule until they are around 4-6 months so prior to that, following sleepy cues and paying attention to awake times is very important.
These are two things that are very important when it comes to creating an age appropriate schedule for your little one.
If you are still struggling to find that optimal schedule, check out "The Ultimate Sleep Course for Tired Moms: Creating Ideal Sleep Schedule for Littles 0-3 Years Old" as it walks you through exactly how to create a schedule for your little one.