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Using Wake Windows to Help Your Baby Sleep

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Many parenting blogs discuss nap time, sleep training, and other essential tips to help your baby sleep better. We know that a sleep schedule is essential to your baby’s sleep success. However, an integral part of your baby’s sleep schedule are wake windows. A wake window is the time your baby can stay awake and alert between naps. Learning to utilize your little one’s wake windows will benefit not just nap time but bedtime, too!

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Want to know when it’s time for your baby’s next sleep? Track your baby’s sleep, uncover patterns and trends, and ensure your baby is getting the right amount of sleep with Baby Daybook.

Wake Windows by Age

Wake windows change as your baby grows and develops. However, a wake window is not associated with a specific time of day; instead, it is the amount of time your baby can stay awake between nap times. 

Average Wake Windows

  • 0-1 month: 45 minutes between naps
  • 1-2 months: 45 to 60 minutes between naps
  • 2-4 months: 1.5 to 3 hours between naps
  • 5-8 months: 2.5 to 3 hours between naps
  • 9-12 months: 2.5 to 4 hours between naps

Of course, no two babies are alike, and these times are generalized. But you can see that as babies grow, they are able to stay awake for more extended periods.

Nap Time Signs

Your baby will give you reliable cues that they are sleepy. Using these cues, you’ll be able to adjust your baby’s wake windows and nap schedule accordingly. 

Sleepy Cues

  • Their eyes start to get droopy.
  • They rub their eyes.
  • They pull on their hair or ears.
  • They yawn.
  • They start to fuss, and their other needs have been met – for example, feeding and diaper changes.

Understanding your baby’s unique sleepy signs is helpful because it prevents your little one from going from tired to over-tired. When a baby is over-tired, falling asleep may be more difficult. You’ll understand what we mean if you’ve ever seen an overtired toddler or child!

Tracking Wake Windows

The Baby Daybook app is a must-have tool for all new parents! In addition to using the app to track your baby’s meals, our app tracks your little one’s sleep, developmental milestones, and diaper changes. And you can track all this vital information directly from your phone or smartwatch!

Tracking baby's wake windows with Baby Daybook app.
Baby’s sleep patterns and awake times in Baby Daybook

The Baby Daybook app allows parents to record their baby’s naps’ start and end times. Keeping track of nap times and wake windows means parents can better plan their days and outings to avoid interfering with their little one’s prime sleep time!

While there is nothing wrong with the occasional stroller or car ride nap, having a consistent sleep schedule where your baby can fall asleep in their crib or bassinet helps develop healthy sleep behaviors. 

Consistent nap times and nap routines for babies also help establish familiarity with their sleeping environment, making bedtime smoother!

Baby Nap Schedules by Age

Like wake windows, infant nap schedules vary by age and development. Below are guidelines and averages for a baby’s nap schedule based on age. However, your child’s needs may vary. That’s why using a system like the Baby Daybook app to keep track of your baby’s awake and sleep times is essential to a successful sleep routine!

Averages for a baby’s nap schedule

How to Use Wake Windows

You may wonder why wake windows are crucial to your baby’s schedule, but wake windows are when your baby eats, plays, and learns! 

The beginning and middle of your baby’s wake window is the ideal time for activities like tummy time, music, and independent play. Yes, babies can play independently! 

Placing your baby in a safe space, like on a soft mat or blanket or playpen with a few toys within reach, develops their curiosity and hand-eye coordination. Independent play also develops fine motor, problem-solving, and self-soothing skills. It also gives you a few minutes to use the bathroom, eat a snack, or relax with a cup of coffee!

Making Nap Adjustments

In addition, understanding how wake windows work means you can plan and adjust your baby’s schedule to optimize their sleep. Paying attention to how long your baby is awake, as opposed to what time they wake up, will allow you to make those adjustments.

For example, if your baby usually wakes up at 10 AM from their morning nap and goes back down at noon, their wake window is two hours. So, if one day they sleep longer and wake up at 11 AM, you would wait until close to 1 PM to try for that second nap. 

Tracking your baby’s naps lets you see how much sleep they’re getting each day. And if they’re having nighttime sleep issues, you can look for patterns that might be disrupting the nighttime rest. 

Use the Baby Daybook sleep tracker to record your baby’s wake-up and nap time daily to discover patterns and learn when it’s time to adjust their schedule! The lock screen widgets on your phone, watch, or other smart screen devices show you how long it’s been since their last feeding, nap, or diaper change, so you never have to guess!

Understanding your baby’s sleep schedule helps parents and baby have a successful day and, more importantly, a successful night!

Download now!
Want to know when it’s time for your baby’s next sleep? Track your baby’s sleep, uncover patterns and trends, and ensure your baby is getting the right amount of sleep with Baby Daybook.


Note: Our writers strive to maintain accuracy and quality in all content produced. However, it’s important to note that the information provided on our blog should not be considered professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. It’s highly recommended to consult a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns or questions.

Article by
L. Elizabeth Forry
L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She holds a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor of Arts in English and Theater, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, and gender development. She has written curricula for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside Annapolis, Maryland.
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