Your Guide to Awake Windows

Your Guide to Awake Windows

One of the most common questions I am asked about is awake windows.

"How long should my baby be awake?" or "Is my baby sleeping too much?" These are totally normal questions to ask and there is no right answer but I've compiled a handy example list of what an awake window looks like by age to act as a guide for you. But first, it's important understand that each child is going to have different awake windows and display the signs of being tired at different times. Which is why you need to be able to identify the signs that your child is tired. Babies and toddlers show slightly different signs so I've complied a list of each below so you can tell when it's time to start winding down.

Signs your baby is tired:

  • Ear pulling
  • Closed fists
  • Jerking movements
  • Red eyebrows
  • Sucking on fingers
  • Hiccups
  • Arching back
  • Staring

Signs your toddler is tired

  • grizzling or crying
  • clinginess
  • attention seeking
  • boredom
  • fussing over food
  • irritability
It’s so important to monitor your child's awake window to know when they are over or under tired because it’s very easy to get stuck in in a pattern on short naps and very difficult to get out of. But by sticking to age appropriate awake windows, it helps to ensure your child isn’t going to sleep over or under tired and therefore will be going down when their hormones are optimal for sleep.

Example Awake Windows

I compiled an example of what an awake window looks like by age below. But please remember these are a guide and may vary for each individual child give or take 15mins.
  • 1-3 weeks 40-60mins
  • 4-6 weeks 60-90mins
  • 7-12 weeks 90mins +/- 15mins
  • 4 months 1 hour 45mins
  • 5 months 2hours approx.
  • 6 months + 2.5hours approx.
  • 8-18months 3 hours +
  • 18 months 4 hours +
  • 2 years or older 5 hours +
If you want more information about sleep patterns for your little one, check out our sleep programs here. You’ll thank us later.
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