How long should my baby be awake?

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

Having healthy sleep habits includes sleeping and napping at the right time. A baby’s age and stage of development helps us to determine the appropriate number of naps they should be taking each day, the recommended duration of day vs. night sleep and the amount of time they should be awake during the day in-between sleeps, this is called an awake window. Awake windows include any period of time a baby or child is awake between waking from one sleep and going to sleep for the next, this period of time includes feedings and wind down time.


If you get your baby down to sleep at the right time your baby will generally go to sleep easier and will sleep better. Getting the timing right can be a little trial and error but if your child goes to sleep with minimal upset, is napping well and is happy during their awake time, it’s a good indication that you have the timing right. In saying this, some babies fight sleep even with the right timing so it’s always good to look for signs of tiredness and monitor your baby’s cues during their awake time. By getting the timing right you will avoid putting your baby down overtired or under tired, both of which can result in sleep issues.


Every baby is different, some will be able to stay awake for longer or shorter periods of time than other babies. The below guide is based on a baby who is well rested, taking adequate naps and sleeping well at night. It is important to use the below awake lengths as a guide only and compare them with your baby’s sleep needs and sleep cues. If your baby isn’t taking adequate naps or is awake for long periods during the night they may need shorter awake lengths than the below suggests.

**Please note between 4-6 months of age your baby would slowly work up to being able to have an awake length of up to 2.5 hours**.

I hope the awake length guide helps in getting your baby’s nap times right with the goal being a well-rested and happy baby. If you need more support with naps, awake lengths and schedules please contact me for further advice.

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