Awake windows - why they're good and bad

This is absolutely the topic I am MOST frequently asked about. For all ages from birth through to toddler years.

Awake windows are such a source of anxiety for parents - there are sooo many suggested awake windows on social media, in guides and books etc.

How are you meant to know what is actually the right information?

You may be following awake windows and just feel like the day is messy, unpredictable and frustrating.

I thought I would shed some light on why you might feel this way and what you can do about it.

Why awake windows are good:

  • They help you have a rough guide of how long your baby should be awake for between naps

  • They help you offer your baby or toddler a sleep before they become overtired

  • They’re incredibly useful for newborns (12 weeks and under) used in combination with tired signs to prevent overtiredness when you aren't following a more set routine

Why awake windows are bad:

  • If you just follow awake times on their own, you will likely find it hard to follow a predictable set day routine

  • If you follow awake times on their own you may be missing ‘tired cues’ your baby is showing you

  • They can cause real anxiety for parents

  • Awake times can vary significantly depending on the time of day and the age of your little one

A couple of examples:

  • A 10 month old may have a 2-3 hour awake windows between waking in the morning and 1st nap and waking from 1st nap and having their 2nd nap…..but their awake window before bed may be 3.5-4 hours long!

  • A 4 month old may have a 1 hour 45 - 2 hour awake window between their naps however awake window before bed may be 1 hour 20 - 30 minutes long!

  • This shows you how simply saying ‘a 10 month old’s awake window is 2.5 hours’ or ‘a 4 month old’s awake window is 1 hour 45 - 2 hours long’ just isn’t correct and is really confusing for parents.

So what can you do with this information?

If you feel anxious and confused about awake windows and would love some 1:1 support - book in a 15 minute chat to find out how I can help.

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