Have you ever heard the term “wake windows?” If you’re trying to figure out a schedule for your baby or improve his sleep, you’ve likely run across this term. Today we’re diving into what wake windows are, why they’re important, and finally, providing examples of wake windows by age.
Wake windows are the amount of time your baby is awake between one nap and the next. A wake window starts from the time you take your baby/child out of the crib and ends when you lay them down again.
When you set your little one up with proper wake windows, you’ll notice that they fall asleep more easily and sleep longer. If the wake window is too long, your baby or toddler will likely be overtired resulting in them having difficulty falling asleep. In older children, you may experience more bedtime battles. On the other hand, if the wake window is too short, your little one may not seem tired, have a hard time falling asleep, or only take a short nap.
Every baby is different but you may see some of the following signs when your baby is tired:
Toddlers show they’re tired in different ways than infants. They are more active and have longer wake windows so it can be hard to tell sometimes. Here are some signs to look out for:
When trying to figure out how much time your little one needs between naps, I recommend firstly following her cues. If she’s showing signs of sleepiness, that’s your best indicator to transition to her pre-nap or bedtime routine. If you’re struggling with seeing sleepy cues in your little one or don’t know where to start, use the general guidelines below.
Another reminder, the shortest wake window usually takes place earlier in the day. Meaning, your little one may fall on the short side of the wake window for their first nap of the day. By the end of the day, she will likely be on the longer range of the wake window.
Now, let’s take a look at the typical amount of time between naps based on age.
If you’re wondering how much sleep your little one needs, make sure to check out this post.
If you need help figuring out a schedule for your little one or are having trouble with any aspect of sleep, I invite you to reach out to me.