8 signs of a tired toddler

Kinderling News & Features

The toddler years are a lovely time, and an opportunity for you to marvel at your child's growing independence. Toddlers can also be very trying, testing your patience day in, day out! Fortunately, a lot of their challenging behaviour is indicative that they need a little rest.

Watch for these eight signs to know when your little one might need to catch some z's!

1. They’re acting clingy

If you've got a little monkey who won't unwrap themselves from your leg, or is begging to be carried or cuddled, this is very often a sign that they're getting tired. Toddlers know when they're not feeling up to par, so hanging onto Mum or Dad seems a step in the direction of feeling better, in their eyes. Ease your clingy child down for a sleep sooner, rather than later, so they don't get overtired and hard to settle. 

2. They want your attention

As your toddler starts to feel weary, you'll find them needing to be the focus of attention, more and more. This behavioural shift is a cue that your child needs to slow down and that nap time should be on the agenda. Perhaps you've spotted this behaviour during the world famous late afternoon "Witching Hour"?! 

3. They’re not eating properly

When toddlers are tired, nothing seems quite right, and food is no exception. Kiddo fussing with food they normally love? Refusing it or throwing it or pushing it around their plate? Consider whether they're worn out and need a nap to recharge their batteries. You can try to feed them again later, when they're more alert.

4. They’re cross and grumpy

Perhaps nothing you do for your child is sitting right with them? Or they might be hyper-sensitive and impossible to deal with? Chances are they are overtired and need to be tucked up for some Zzzzzzzs. 

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5. They’re yawning

This is an easy one, right?! It's also easy to ignore when things are busy and there are chores to do and errands to run. When your toddler begins to yawn, shift into nap planning mode. (And it goes without saying that you should watch out for toddlers who are heavy-lidded and on the verge of nodding off too!) 

6. They’re unhappy

If your usually mild-mannered or curious child is finding everything WAY too hard - or is disinterested when they're usually adventurous - this may signal that they're overtired and need to be settled down and snuggled up. 

7. They’re being testy

Toddlers grizzle for a number of reasons - and ONE of them is tiredness. If your little one is miserable and finding the world a challenge, look for other signs of sleepiness and consider if it's a good time for a kip.

8. The waterworks have started

Toddlers don't always cry because - or when - they're tired, but a LOT of the time it's a sure sign that they've had enough and need to have a nap and recharge. Plenty of cuddles and reassurance are the best response to a distressed toddler, obviously, followed by some gentle steps in the napping direction.

This article was originally published on Babyology.