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Are Wake Windows Important?

Have you heard the term awake window but feel confused at what it means?

Do your naps feel a hot mess and it feels impossible to find the solution. Not impossible! Enhance Sleep is here to put an end to your overwhelm and help your baby nap better and sleep longer, day and night!


Babies just cant stay awake all day like we can as adults. Regular naps act as a refresher to help them through the day. Its all about the science of sleep (I wont make it complicated but you can research into that science if it takes your fancy)

Put simply, a wake window is the time baby WAKES to the time they are next ASLEEP.

This involves all nappy changes, feeds, play time and solids.

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Your baby’s internal body clock (circadian rhythm - there’s that science of sleep again!) is highly sensitive in children. A newborn has very small windows of awake time and lots of naps. Without it they are susceptible to over tiredness (say hello ghastly witching hours and exhausted mums and babies!) As a baby gets older they can stay awake longer and nap a little less.

Knowing your age appropriate wake windows reduces over tiredness, under tiredness, catnaps and (hip hip hooray!) less night wakings. Pretty important right!?.

Awake windows are a guide to indicate how long baby can stay awake for.

Remember these awake times are just a guide. They indicate when the majority of children at that age should be asleep. They indicate the MINIMUM and MAXIMUM time your child should cope with. Offering sleep before or after these suggestions could lead to over or under tiredness. Remember your baby is not a robot; each day may look a little different. Activity, stimulation, appetite and pressure to sleep changes on a daily basis. Follow our top tips to enhance your sleep.


🌟 Write down the age appropriate window as described below. When baby wakes set an alarm for the start of that window. This should signal to you baby COULD be ready for a sleep. Watch baby. Tired signs after the alarm suggest its ok to head to bed. No tired signs, no worries; wait another fifteen minutes and observe again for tired signs. Repeat this for a few days and you should see YOUR child's own sleep needs emerge.

🌟 Try to watch your baby for 15-20 minutes before the end of their awake time. Tired is tired. Head straight to bed and work WITH their body to fall asleep. A tired child pushed to the end (or beyond) their window means you will be working AGAINST their body and settling and sleep may be challenging.

🌟 If you are consistently seeing your baby under tired, push the awake time out by 10 minutes every 2-3 days until you find their perfect sleep time - easy to settle, long restorative naps and waking happily.

🌟 Consistently seeing tired signs >1 hour before a nap is due suggests baby's schedule is not meeting their sleep needs. Baby may benefit from regular naps, happening at roughly the same time each day. Naps happening >1 hour different each day can have an impact similar to jet lag.

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Sleep deprivation is torture. Tessa Gow is a midwife and certified sleep consultant working with families across the globe. She offers nurturing methods with lasting results. Let her be the support and guidance you need to get through this. On the other side of a consultation with Enhance Sleep is rested, functioning families. Take the first step towards healthy sleep by contacting me today.

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