Newborn Wake Windows: How it Works and Why it’s Important

Have you ever wondered about improving your baby’s sleep and your own life while being a mother and raising a baby? Information about newborn wake windows is just what you need.

What is a baby wake window?

A lot of parents face troubles with baby sleep. Instead of long and healthy sleep periods, their baby has only short naps and is cranky all the time. Understanding wake windows will help you to avoid this problem.

Baby’s wake window is the awake time between another baby’s sleep. They can easily improve your life and help your baby better. So are wake windows important and worth a try? Yes, they are. Starting following sleep schedules is not that hard.

First of all right wake windows will help you to keep your baby awake enough to get tired. Also, the right wake window excludes an overtired baby and helps to improve the baby’s sleep. If the baby gets tired enough, it will fall asleep easily, without long whims and tantrums.

Sticking to the rules of the wake window will give the baby the right amount of sleep, improve feeding, help you to understand your baby better cause crying is no more a sign of tiredness, reduce capriciousness and help the baby to get on a routine.

It is easier and more realistic to follow wake windows than by the schedule, especially when your baby is just a little and cute newborn. In the end, if your baby is enough tired during the day it will improve your baby’s night’s sleep. And this is really important to parents of two babies.

Baby’s wake window: how long should it be?

Parents shouldn’t try to understand wake windows subconsciously. Let me tell you about age-appropriate wake windows. Baby wakes windows change when your baby grows. The certified pediatric sleep consultant recommends following the wake window schedule.

The newborn wake window needs to be from 40 to 90 minutes. 4 to 6-month babies need from 1.5 to 2.5 hours awake. 7 to 15 months of life, babies need 2-4 hours. Awake time for 16 to 18-month babies is from 4.5 to 5.5 hours. Older needs around 6 hours of wakefulness.

You should know that the first wake window in the morning is usually longer than others, while night wake windows are shorter. If your baby gets tired early the next wake window will probably be longer. Remember, if the wake window is too short your baby won’t have enough sleep pressure. Because of that, they can start crying and crying over and over.

On the other side baby, which is too tired, will do the same thing, so the trick is to find the exact right time to end the wake window. If you want to stretch the wake window, try some simple rules.

Distract your baby. Bring your baby into the fresh air and give your baby a change of scene. You can try playing a different play or go to another room, so your baby will stay awake for an extra 10 to 20 minutes.

Make a “day and night” difference. When it’s time to go to sleep shut the curtains and make sure it is quiet in the room. Also, you can try to go for small increments to stretch the time between naps.

But how to follow this rule? Well, try to start to clock once the baby is awake, look for sleepy signs, and keep in mind how much time your baby needs to get tired. The next time you can put your baby down a few minutes earlier.

When my baby is ready to fall asleep?

Usually, babies need as much as we said before, however, every baby is unique and a baby’s wake windows can be less or more. While your baby is staying awake, you should pay attention to his behavior to notice the baby’s sleepy cues and you will easily notice the difference.

The main point is not to overdo it. Awake time should not be too long or the baby’s wake window will become a suffer and you won’t have a restful night. You should understand that every baby is unique. Some babies are able to stay awake longer and others can be sleepy after short play.

What are the sleepy cues?

If you notice reduced activity, eye rubbing, staring, blinking, looking away or pulling at ears you should end the wake window and get your baby ready to sleep because these are usual baby’s sleep cues. Also, there’re some “late” sleepy cues, such as fussing, arched back and sweating. Once you see these tired signs, you’ll know it’s time for bed.

An overtired baby equals a big problem

If your baby gets too tired (even if the wake window is not too long, this is still possible) this will lead to different signs and consequences. Maybe you’re lucky and the next wake window will just be smaller. Baby can have a harder time falling asleep, have a rough night without enough sleep or even skip naps.

To stay awake longer baby needs more energy. Longer wake window can lead to fatigue and this usually affects babies sleeping. Newborn sleep is especially important so don’t make wake windows for small babies too long.

Overtired signs

Overtired baby starts crying too much and doesn’t get satisfied with feeding. They yawn, look weird and become rigid.

What to do during the baby’s wake time?

Well, wake window time is just a time when you and your baby stay awake and spend time together. Of course the main is to feed the baby but how to make wake window time as useful as possible. Well, there are two types of interaction with your baby: active and peaceful.

We recommend doing the intensive activity during the first part of the wake window. You can dance together, play or go with them for a walk. Playing on the ground, and exploring the world together is the best thing to do for your baby.

Peaceful activities include singing and talking with your child, listening to some music, and learning some new things with your baby. We’re sure, you’ll find out to spend a great time together.

How long should my baby sleep?

During the newborn period, the baby’s naps last around 2 hours. Throughout the day your baby will wake up and fall asleep several times. Usually, babies wake up when it becomes hungry, but if your baby sleeps for too long don’t be afraid to wake them up.

At the newborn phase, babies need less than 3 hours of sleep in a row, this time will increase. Little babies can’t just have a long sleep as adults do, they need short naps throughout the day.

Naps are truly important. They enhance learning, support better nighttime sleep, and link to better emotional regulation. We are sure that this will improve your life and make it much better. While a baby grows, they need fewer hours of sleeping, their naps and wake windows become longer and at the end, they will sleep only twice or once a day, as a normal toddler.


  • How long should a 1 week olds wake window be?

Newborn babies stay awake for around an hour. Don’t forget about sleepy symptoms, they will help you to understand your baby’s state better.

  • How long should a newborn be awake in a day?

Most newborn babies need from 6 to 8 hours of being awake.

Yes, feeding time is an important part of being awake for the baby. If your baby doesn’t get enough calories they will ask for them at night.

  • Do newborns need wake windows?

Of course every baby and, which is probably more important, parents need baby wake windows. You can start using them from the first day of the baby’s life.

  • When can I start the wake window?

Your next wake window can become the start of your sleep schedule. The rules are simple and using baby wake windows won’t bother you.

Read also: Best sleeping position for colic baby-how to relieve tight belly

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