Awake windows. You’ve probably heard the term being thrown around when it comes to your little ones sleep but are they really that important? We spoke to our friends Slumber & Sprout to get the lowdown.
Getting your little one on an age appropriate schedule is an important element in forming solid sleep foundations because how long your baby is capable of being awake is driven by their biological need for sleep. A baby’s age helps us to determine the amount of time that they are capable of being awake during the day from one sleep to the next, known as awake time or awake windows. Awake time includes all time spent awake including feeds and wind down time.
Why do appropriate awake windows help drive good sleep?
If you get your baby down to sleep at the right time, your baby will generally go to sleep easier and will sleep better. Getting the timing right can be a little trial and error but if your little one goes to sleep with minimal upset, is napping well and is happy during their awake time, it’s a good indication that you have the timing right. In saying this, some babies fight sleep even with the right timing so it’s always good to look for signs of tiredness and monitor your baby’s cues in conjunction with their age appropriate awake window. By getting the timing right you will avoid putting your baby down overtired or under tired, both of which can result in sleep issues.
What is the right awake window for your baby?
Every baby is different, some will be able to stay awake for longer or shorter periods of time than other babies. The below guide is based on a baby who is well rested, taking adequate naps and sleeping well at night. It is important to use the below awake lengths as a guide only and compare them with your baby’s sleep needs and sleep cues. If your baby isn’t taking adequate naps or is awake for long periods during the night they may need shorter awake lengths than the below suggests.
Awake windows aren’t the only important element of sleep but they do play a large role in sleep success.