Wake Windows: What You Should Know
It can be challenging for parents to adjust to sleep schedules with a newborn in the home, especially when newborns have very different sleep patterns. Understanding newborn wake windows and sleep patterns can help parents be best prepared, but is certainly easier said than done. Understanding newborn wake windows and sleep patterns means learning how often your baby will sleep, and how long it’s expected for them to be awake. The windows of time that newborns are awake is referred to as newborn wake windows. In this blog, we will review what newborn wake windows are and how Dreamland’s sleep products can help your newborn fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
What are wake windows for a newborn?
In between newborn sleep periods, they will be awake for a certain amount of time. This time is referred to as a ‘wake window.’ Newborns will typically have a certain length of time they will be able to stay awake for, which changes as they get older.
In the newborn stage, you can anticipate your baby to be awake in stretches that last on average about 45 minutes. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of time spent sleeping throughout the day. A newborn between 0-3 months can sleep from about 14-18 hours of the day.
Should newborns have wake windows?
An important consideration of wake windows, or the amount of time your newborn is awake, is that they can become overtired if they’ve been awake too long. An overtired baby can become overstimulated, leaving you with a fussy baby who will have an even harder time getting to sleep. Keeping an eye on the periods of time your newborn is awake will allow you to prevent reaching that moment of having a newborn in distress.
Why are wake windows important?
As mentioned, wake windows for newborns are the amount of time your baby is spending awake between sleep. Understanding wake windows allows parents to understand how much time they can expect their baby to be awake. By understanding wake windows, you can ensure your baby is getting the right amount of sleep and understand sleep patterns to develop a routine. As your baby gets into their sleep routine, you should start to notice signs that they are getting sleepy. Don’t ignore these signs.
When your baby is nearing the end of a wake window, you may notice signs like eye rubbing, yawning, or staring. Now is the perfect time to get your baby settled for more sleep to prevent overstimulation. Dreamland’s Weighted Sleep Swaddle is the perfect way to get your baby relaxed for sleep time. The gentle, evenly distributed weight in the sleep swaddle is not only safe for babies, but naturally reduces stress and improves relaxation. This calming effect results in a baby’s ability to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, until their next wake window. Not to mention, the built in swaddle band makes swaddling effortless. No more struggling to get your baby swaddled for sleep time.
Do newborn wake windows include feeding?
Since wake windows are the total amount of time awake between sleep, feedings will naturally be a part of this time. In addition to feeding, your baby’s wake window can consist of all sorts of things like diaper changes or a fresh outfit change. Dreamland’s Dream Pajamas are designed with a two way zipper to make bedtime diaper changes easier. Created by a fellow mom - Dreamland understands the small details that make a world of difference when it comes to baby pajamas, swaddles, and other everyday products. Our Dream Pajamas are ideal for wearing with a sleep sack or swaddle. Made with 100% cotton, our Dream Pajamas keep your baby comfy for sweet, sweet dreams. And that means dreams for you to mom and dad.
How long should a newborn stay awake after feeding?
With a full belly after a feeding, it’s common for newborns to be relaxed enough to go right to sleep. Depending on how long they’ve been awake, some newborn babies may stay awake after feeding-- which is okay too! There is no set rule for how long you need to keep your baby awake for. As we have mentioned, understanding wake windows can help establish sleep routines, but they aren’t always going to be the same. As your newborn gets older, you can expect them to stay awake for longer periods of time. This may mean they stay awake for play time even after feeding.
How long should a 2-week-old wake window be?
At two weeks old, your newborn will likely not be able to stay awake very long. While all babies are different, it’s common that newborns will stay awake in stretches of about 45 minutes to an hour. Some babies may stake away for hours at a time, which is okay so long as they aren’t showing signs of overstimulation or sleepy cues.
When you notice your baby getting sleepy, it’s a good idea to help calm them to sleep. As mentioned, a Dreamland Weighted Sleep Swaddle is the perfect option for soothing your newborn to sleep. The gentle weight helps to calm them and when used on a regular basis, they can start to associate it with bedtime. This cue allows them to start self soothing and preparing for sleep.
Should you try to keep a newborn awake during the day?
While your newborn is awake, it’s a great idea to incorporate stimulating activities such as singing, reading, or taking a walk through the neighborhood. Activities like these can help keep your newborn awake for a few minutes. Remember that newborns are typically only awake for periods of 45 minutes to two hours at a time. There’s no need to force your newborn to stay awake if they are nearing the end of a wake window and ready to get some more sleep. For products that can help your newborn sleep soundly, take a look at Dreamland Baby sleep essentials. Products like our Weighted Sleep Swaddle can help your baby stay asleep longer, meaning you can catch up on some zz’s too.