The composition captures the young baby resting its head on its mother's shoulder, as she takes a rare moment to appreciate the peace and quiet. They are seemingly within a domestic setting, as the child is unclothed and the mother is in nightwear which underlines her role as chief carer for this young baby. During these early months and years it is a hard task in dealing with the various activities of a young child as it sets out on learning the many life's lessons. Mary Cassatt would get inspiration from the mother and child bond many times within her career and this touching genre would become the most common within her oeuvre by the end of her long career. She also played a big role in encouraging the greater involvement of women within the art world, both as artists but also in seeing their lives depicted more often. She regularly used models that she sourced locally as well as calling on friends and family in order to find different subjects for her portraits, which normally featured either young women or children, or the two together.

This pastel drawing was completed in fine detail, with no areas of the paper left unfinished, which did happen quite often in some of her other designs. This is therefore intended as a completed artwork which could be sold or gifted as such, whereas some of Cassatt's other drawings would just be for the purpose of practicing various elements of a composition, in preparation for something else. There is a precision to this piece which would normally be associated with oil painting, such as with the glints of light which appear across the mother's hair and the back of the baby's neck. All in all, a fantastic piece which would now be worth a considerable amount of money, were it to ever come up for sale - some recent pastels by this artist have achieved prices as high as several million dollars, which is unusually high for the pastel medium and also underlines the popularity that Cassatt now enjoys.

This artwork can be found within the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art in the US. They also own two prints from her career, titled The Bonnet and Denise Holding Her Child. Cassatt did produce prints at various points in her career and some were directly inspired by her interest in Japanese art, which itself was highly influential upon the European art scene across the 19th and early 20th century. By the time that she produced Sleepy Baby the artist was heading towards the end of her career - sadly her eyesight would deteriorate to such an extent that she did not feel comfortable releasing new work anymore as she was not convinced it would be up to the same standard of what she had created in previous decades. For those interested in the achievements of Cassatt, you may also like the work of related artists such as Gustave Caillebotte, Joaquin Sorolla and also John Singer Sargent.