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Do wake windows matter?

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

Do wake windows matter?

Here’s the deal…

What's the deal with 'wake windows', and why is everyone so obsessed?

  • Maybe you see all these moms looking at the clock and saying that their baby's wake window is over and they need to go to sleep.

  • Maybe you look at their baby and they seem perfectly content, and happily playing, so how can this mom determine that it's 'naptime'?

  • Maybe you're tracking your baby's sleep on an app and the app tells you when it's time for a nap, but the information doesn't seem to be helping your baby's sleep.

Wake windows CAN be confusing, and it can feel like you're constantly watching the clock.

So let's get to it!

Wake Windows Matter

But why? Are they even real...??

The amount of time your baby is awake, as determined by their age, is a guide to help you figure out when your baby is due for sleep.

That's all.

That's the most simple explanation.

I'd like to think that we'd all like to put our babies down for a nap when they're tired, and to go to bed when it's their 'sweet spot' for night sleep, and when we do that, they go to sleep with much less protest and difficulty.


Wake windows increase in length throughout the day

Do you watch Heartland?

There's that one episode where Ty has a 'baby nap timer' thing and he keeps saying to everyone that his daughter needs a nap EVERY 90 minutes on the nose and he becomes a *bit* obsessed about it.

I applaud his efforts!

But also, calm down, Ty!

The amount of time your baby can stay awake is a range, for example, 1.5-2 hours.

Rarely is it 1.5 hours all day long.

*Typically* the first wake window of the day is on the shorter side, the afternoon one is mid-range, and typically before bed, it's on the longer side of the range.


Baby wakes up, is awake for 1hr15 minutes, then goes down for a nap.

After nap #1, they're awake for 1hr30 minutes, then nap again and repeat.

Then maybe before bed, they can handle 1hr45 minutes if they've napped well, maybe even 2 hours.

Your baby may not be following the 'typical' wake windows

This is a really important point.

I've seen 5-month-olds manage 6-month-old wake windows.

I've seen 12-month-olds manage 9-month-old wake windows.

Factors that help determine this:

How behind on sleep is your baby?

How long has your baby been behind on sleep?

Were they premature?

Every baby develops at their own rate:)

Start paying attention to the clock and your baby

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by this whole 'wake window' thing, here's what I recommend!

Start by searching your baby's wake window range for their age, google can tell you this quickly.

Then start watching the clock and your baby.

Do you notice that they are in fact looking tired after 1hr30 minutes in the morning, but can manage 2 hours in the evening?

Start doing a quick pre-nap routine: diaper change, sleep sack, book and to bed.

And start to notice what happens!

P.S. The Huckleberry's app can help you track your baby's sleep easily, and show you trends if you're into that:) it's an algorithm, so just remember that when using the app.

Need more help? Let's connect!

So maybe you've been working on wake windows, and routines and your baby still isn't sleeping well, or bedtime is really challenging, or they're up all night long.

Let's work on that!

Parents have reached out to me for all sorts of sleep challenges, such as:

  • Short naps

  • Snack feeds/feeding to sleep

  • Difficult bedtimes

  • Many night wake ups

  • Many night feeds

  • Early mornings

  • Difficulty napping

and so much more!

{How this works}

  • You tell me about your child's sleep and I share how I can help

  • You decide if we're a good fit

  • We get going on sleep strategies to get your baby sleeping well!

Ready to connect?

Here for you,

Melody Patton

Click below to get your Ultimate Sleep Bundle!

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