Awake windows (also referred to as “wake” windows) are often THE TOPIC of conversation when focusing on baby sleep. Before diving into the nitty-gritty of why awake windows are so important, let me first explain what an awake window is for anyone that might not be 100% certain.
What Are Awake Windows?
An awake window is the periods of time that your child is awake in between sleep periods. The awake period begins when you take the baby out of the crib/bassinet until you lay your baby down for sleep again. So all of your baby’s daily activity is happening during your baby’s awake window.
Why Are Awake Windows So Important?
Awake windows are often a popular topic for discussion because they have a huge impact on your child’s ability to go to sleep and stay asleep. When there is an improper balance with awake windows, you could potentially lay your child down for sleep too late and it could lead to an overtired baby. OR, it could be the opposite, a baby that is not tired enough! This can probably go without being said, but if you lay your child down for sleep and your child isn’t tired enough, then baby will end up fussy because there isn’t enough sleep pressure built up for the baby to go to sleep OR it could result in a much shorter nap.
Which Awake Windows Do I Follow?
It is important to know that the awake windows do vary by age. You want to make sure as your child get’s older, that you adjust the awake windows accordingly.
So first, you’d want to focus on your baby’s awake windows by age. Here are the awake window recommendations:
It is extremely important to pay attention to your child’s behaviors and also focus on paying attention to the child’s sleepy cues (yawning, losing focus, rubbing their eyes, etc.) If you start to notice your baby is showing signs of being sleepy fairly early you’d want to stick to the shorter end of the awake period. If your baby seems happy, content and you’re not noticing any sleepy cues, you can aim towards the longer end of the awake period range.
Awake windows can seem overwhelming because it’s not exactly cookie cutter. Every baby is different so it does take some trial and error before you’re able to nail them, and then, make sure that adjustments are made to the lengths of time as baby gets older and is able to handle being awake for longer periods of time.
When you start to notice that naps and bedtime are less of a battle and baby is able to fall asleep in 15 minutes or less, you’re more than likely on the right track with baby’s awake windows. If you get to the point where you feel like your baby’s awake windows are great, but you’re still struggling with your baby’s sleep, you can reach out to me for a call here.
As always, I’m happy to help!