Newborns Awake Times – Normal Waking Hours and What To Do During This Time?
Many parents are of the opinion that the baby will sleep when he is tired. Of course, if this were true, the life of every mother would be much easier. But in fact, the child needs to be helped to fit when it needs to be done and to understand when he sleeps. Naturally, this is a rather complicated process. But knowledge of awake times will help you with this.
Wake times are all the time the baby is awake between naps. These aren’t only games, but also preparation for bed: feeding, changing clothes, the ritual of laying down, and the process of falling asleep itself. Of course, young children have shorter wakefulness times than adults. What are the optimal awake times and how to fill them?
Baby Awake Time Chart
Baby awake times increase as the baby grows and develops. We always remember that children are different (temperament, features of the nervous system, sensitivity, sleep needs, and more). Some may stay awake longer than their peers, others tire faster and need more sleep. The main criterion is the behavior of the child! Also, if you see any changes in this, it means that it is time for the child to sleep or wake up. In addition, you don’t need to forcefully put to bed if you think it is necessary now and when the right time hasn’t yet come. Otherwise, the baby’s mood can instantly change, and it will be even more difficult to fall asleep than initially.
If you have a cheerful baby who easily falls asleep and wakes up without tears, is actively awake in a good mood, daytime dreams last an hour or more, he gets enough sleep, even if he doesn’t fit into sleep norms a little.
It is important for parents to listen to the baby’s cues and adjust baby wake times. How to understand in which direction to change the time of wakefulness – to increase or decrease? First, look at the age norms of wakefulness in children – this is the time that babies can usually stay awake without overwork and tears.
Awake times by age are indicated for children who sleep well. If the child has had too little sleep or has accumulated a lack of sleep, the optimal awake time for him is less. When the child sleeps off, compensates for the lack of sleep, his awake time will approach the values that we will show you shortly. If the baby had a lot of emotions, bright events, pleasant or unpleasant (noisy guests, a trip to the clinic, a lesson in the pool, etc.), rest will also be required earlier.
Focus on the values if: the child wakes up in tears, sleeps for 30–40 minutes and wakes up crying, is naughty and cries a lot before going to bed, wakes up 20 minutes after falling asleep. In this case, you need to help the child by extending or shortening the awake time.
If the baby is awake longer (or less) than indicated, but you see that he has enough sleep, there is no cause for concern. This isn’t so rare, especially with the next leap in development, changes in family life, moving, illness, teething, etc.
Awake Time for 1-Month-Old
Usually, 3-week-olds sleep 6 hours several times a day. In between these long naps, the child needs about 1-1.15 hours of wakefulness. This time includes feeding, swaddling, playing, changing diapers, bathing, and more. This value is suitable for all newborns because this period of each child is almost the same. It is clear that there may be deviations at the very beginning, but when the child gets used to such a regime, every month his sleep will be better, while he is awake he will be joyful. If a 3-week-old baby is fussy when awake, it may mean that something is bothering him, or not enough sleep. Accordingly, that problem needs to be clarified so that the child can feel comfortable at any time of the day or night.
Awake Time for 2-Month-Old
Here the time increases slightly compared to the sleep of a month-old baby. Now he needs to stay awake within 1.15-1.20 hours. Here, the child may still not be very calm and may need a little more time to sleep. Just watch his condition and well-being.
Awake Time for 3-Month-Old
Now the 3-month-old wake time is a maximum of one and a half hours. This will be enough to do all the necessary procedures before the next sleep cycle. It is worth noting that from about this age, many children begin to erupt their teeth. Accordingly, the wake time for a 3-month-old may be a little longer because it will be difficult for a child to fall asleep feeling pain. This can last until the baby is 8-9 months old. Therefore, instability in sleep can be a common occurrence for every infant. Also, if he often wakes up for the same reason, it is worth extending his sleep time so that the baby can probably sleep and feel much better.
Awake Time for 4-Month-Old
At 4-month-old, awake time may already need less time to sleep. This is a natural process that occurs gradually almost every new month of life until a certain age. Now wake time for a 4-month-old can last up to 2 hours. Now you will definitely start to have more time for communication and games with your child. You can also go on small walks so that the child can already look at the world around him.
Awake Time for 5-Month-Old
Now the time interval of the child’s wakefulness will be from 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes. Given this, you already understand that the duration of the child’s sleep phase is constantly decreasing. Accordingly, soon he can go to 2-day naps, and after another 5 months – and even 1 day’s sleep. It is also worth noting that at the end of 5-months of age, the child may need the same amount of sleep as at the beginning of 6 months.
Wake Time for 6-Month-Old
As we said above, the end of the 5th month and the beginning of the 6th month of a baby’s life are very similar. Awake time for a 6-month-old will take about 2 hours 45 minutes. This time is already closer to the next month and can gradually increase up to 3 hours. In addition, given the varying degrees of development of children, this time can be a little more than half an hour.
Wake Time for 7-Month-Old
Wake times for a 7-month-old at the beginning equals the same time frame as in the previous version. If your child’s development is quite active, and he behaves as actively, moves and plays a lot, then a 7-month-old awake time can be up to 3 hours. If the child is calmer and loves to just lie down, then the time, of course, can increase.
Awake Time for 8-Month-Old
Now the child’s regimen is beginning to return to normal. At the age of 8 to 10 months, the child will be awake for 3-4 hours. And again, we note that depending on the development of the child, these indicators grow. Very soon, you can make the regimen so that during the daytime the child sleeps only once and can sleep peacefully all night without waking up.
How To Keep Your Child Busy While Awake?
It depends on age, but there is still a general rule. The child’s waking time should be divided into two parts – active and calm. The active part includes fun games, practicing new skills, and physical activity. The active part includes games, practicing acquired skills. For recommendations on games for each age, read our service “Games with a child month after month”. Closer to bedtime, activities should be calmer, without emotional and physical stress – putting toys in place, reading, drawing, bathing (if it relaxes the child), etc.
Waking time includes not only playing, eating, and getting ready for bed, but also the laying down ritual and the process of falling asleep. If the child’s age is 1.5 hours awake, count how long it takes to change clothes, prepare the room, lay down, and fall asleep. Finish the games in advance so that you can do everything without haste and discomfort before the child “goes overboard”. You may find that you need to start getting ready for bed within an hour after getting up. Highly irritable and sensitive children may need more time to calm down before bed.
And so, now you can already determine exactly when your newborn baby will need to go back to sleep. You don’t need to memorize this time by heart, because after a certain period, it will still change. It will be enough to write it down and attach it in a prominent place, or just open our article. After that, just observe your child and compare your waking time with our values. If you see a significant deviation from the norm, we advise you to contact your pediatrician to find out the possible cause of this situation. Also, if you don’t know what to do with your child while he is awake, just use our little tips. So you can have a great time together and give your child positive emotions before a sound sleep.
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