Wake Windows? or Flexible Schedule?
During the first three months of life, clock times are not appropriate for our baby’s development. It’s because they don’t yet have a body clock! Our body clocks put us adults on a daily rhythm. This helps us to stay fairly efficient. Think about it, with our body clock, the standard is three meals a day, and we sleep and repair our body and cells at night. It means we can do things for long periods of time. We get the pleasure of seeing our friends or going outside or working!
If we didn’t have circadian rhythms, it would be CHAOS. You’d be hungry every 2 hours, and after feeding, you’d go back to sleep until they feel hungry again in a few hours. This is how your baby is.
So instead, we follow wake windows. As we follow these wake windows, they get longer and closer to what life will be like after having a circadian rhythm. That’s the big event we are getting ready for at 4 months! The more we can lengthen your baby’s wake windows, the easier that transition will be.
Around 4 months of age, your baby will develop a body clock - this is when you will likely start to notice your baby’s sleep falling into more of a pattern, and they will shift into more of a set schedule. Here is what your baby's sleep might look like from the newborn stage to the toddler years:
Under 1 month: Wake window = 45-60 minutes.
1-2 months: Wake window = 45-75 minutes.
2-4 months: Wake window = 45-90 minutes.
At 2 months: total sleep should be around 16 hours, with the majority during the day.
4 months: At 4 months, your baby will graduate from wake windows and move to clock times because now your baby has a body clock. YAY! At this point, your baby’s body wants 3-4 naps per day. At 4 months, total sleep should be around 14 hours with ~25% during the day.
Somewhere around 8 months (every baby is a little different), you'll transition to 2 naps. At 8 months, total sleep should be around 14 hours with ~20% during the day.
Somewhere around 15 months (every baby is a little different), you'll transition to 1 nap. At 15 months. total sleep should be around 13 hours with ~15% during the day.
And at 3-4 years old, it goes to 0 naps - which saddens a lot of people!
The schedule in your Lovebug app will calculate your wake windows for you when your little one is under 4 months. When your little one hits 4 months, the app will help you transition to more of a flexible schedule, and guide you to achieving those coveted long, consistent naps.
Looking to transition to a schedule? You our video lesson series on getting to a schedule here.
Struggling with short naps? Watch our lessons series on lengthening naps here.