July 12, 2023

The scoop on awake windows

What are they?

‘Awake windows’ are the length of time that a baby or toddler can comfortably stay awake before needing to sleep again.

Awake windows vary from child to child as each individual is unique. Windows are based on the age of the child as well as specific needs and are a general guideline. As babies age, develop, and become more aware, the awake windows lengthen. The following are awake windows based on age:

Newborn (0-2 months): Newborns have the shortest awake windows and tend to be asleep most of the time, the majority of their awake window spent feeding.  – 45 to 60 minutes

3-5 months: Awake windows begin to stretch to – 1.5 – 2.5 hours

6-8 months: 2 – 3 hours

9-12 months: 2.5 – 4 hours

12-18 months: Toddlers are usually able to stay awake for 3 to 5 hours before requiring a nap

18 months to 3 years: 5 – 7 hours – some toddlers are able to drop a daytime nap within this age range while others are able to tolerate rest/quiet time along with nighttime only sleep.

As a reminder, awake windows are rough and general guidelines. It is imperative to observe each child’s individual cues for levels of fatigue/alertness. Each child’s mood, activity level, sleep patterns, physical health will have an effect on their unique awake windows.

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