How to adjust your baby’s routine as his daytime sleep needs change

Sleep is not black and white, and it’s important to take into consideration that sleep naturally changes all the time. As babies get older, their sleep needs change too.

One of the top factors in helping your little one sleep well is to respect his sleep. If you don’t your little one will be left feeling overtired and under-rested, and life may feel a bit more stressful for you too. You may also catch yourself trapped in a catch 22 when the overtired cycle and disturbed nights seem never to end.

A huge factor to take into consideration here is a baby’s awake time.

By keeping your baby’s sleep needs at the forefront of your mind, you can spot your little ones sleep cues more easily, act on them and get your little one down for naps and bedtime without it being stressful. Your baby will be happier and well rested for it, and you will slowly begin to see your days settle into a gentle flow where you might be able to catch a few precious moments to yourself and get to enjoy your baby, happy, refreshed and energised. Bliss!

A baby’s ‘awake time’ is the amount of time a baby can comfortably stay awake for in between naps before becoming tired again – and then overtired if you miss this window.

An example of awake times:

0-12 weeks                 45 mins- 1-hour awake time
12-16 weeks               1h 15- 1h30 awake time
17-25 weeks               1h30-2hours awake time
6-8 months                 2 hours awake time
9-12 months               3-4 hours awake time
13-2.5 yrs                    5-6 hours
As little ones can stay awake happily for longer periods of time, their nap timings will change. For, e.g., A 6-month old baby may nap at around 9 am 1 pm, 4 pm and go to bed to 7 pm. An eight-month-old baby who no longer needs that late afternoon cat nap may nap at 9:30 am, 1:30 pm and go to bed earlier at 6:30 pm to avoid becoming overtired. A 10-month-old baby may nap at 9:30 am, 2:30 pm and 7 pm. A 12-month-old may only have one afternoon nap at 12 pm for 2 hours and go to bed at 7 pm

Each baby is different, and it’s up to you to work out what your baby’s awake time is.

Read here on how to establish what your little one’s awake time is.

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