One of the key factors in having a well rested baby, is being mindful of how long they have been awake and watching carefully for ‘tired signs’. Naturally, each and every baby is a wee bit different, but here is a rough estimate of the appropriate amount of awake time (the window between sleeps) for each age group.
A newborn should be awake for between 45 minutes to an hour.
3-month-old should generally only stay awake for 1.5 – 2 hours.
For a 6-month-old the window of wakefulness is 2 – 3 hours.
For a 9-month-old the window of wakefulness is 2 – 4 hours.
For a 12-month-old the window of wakefulness is 3 – 4 hours.
For an 18-month-old the window of wakefulness is 4 – 6 hours.
For a 2-year-old the window of wakefulness is 5 – 6.5 hours.
For a 3-year-old the window of wakefulness is 6 – 8 hours. This is when most children transition away from naps.
A Baby who has missed this ‘window’ of opportunity, will almost always have a more difficult time falling asleep, so it is important learn early on, what your babies tired cues are, and head right off to la-la-land when those signals are observed.