How To Create A Baby Awake Time Chart (+ FREE Printables)

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Inside: Wondering how we got our baby consistently napping by 4-weeks-old and sleeping through the night by 8-weeks? Read below for how to create a baby awake time chart for ages 2 weeks – 6 months.


Disclaimer: All of these thoughts are my own. However, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission if you purchase from one of the links below.

Have you ever asked yourself…

  • Why is my baby awake for hours at night?
  • How long should my baby be awake?
  • How are other parents getting their babies to sleep by six-weeks-old?

Well, I can tell you—it isn’t magic.

The best chance you have at getting your baby to sleep on a regular schedule is by sticking to a baby awake time chart (in other words, a consistent schedule.)

Now, this is not to be confused with sticking to a strict regimen that doesn’t allow for any flexibility. Every baby is different and what works for some, may not work for others.

I’m only telling you through my experience…

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How we got our baby:

  • On a regular feeding schedule by 4-weeks old
  • Sleeping through the night by 6-weeks-old
  • Sleeping 12-hour stretches by 12-weeks-old
  • Consistently napping since birth 

In all fairness, we’re extremely lucky to have a baby that’s easily soothed. He’s quick to calm, and it usually doesn’t take more than a couple of guesses to figure out what’s wrong when he’s upset. However, I don’t think it’s his temperament alone that makes him such an easy baby to care for—I believe in the power of sticking to a consistent baby awake time chart.

As a disclaimer, please don’t take anything below as medical advice. Always consult with your pediatrician on the best care for your baby.

*The schedules below have been modified from Moms On Call

Baby Awake Time Chart

To skip all the juicy tips and head straight for the baby sleep schedules, click below:

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    The Basics

    While this may be considered out-of-the-norm, we only kept Asher in our room for one night. I gave up breastfeeding after only a few days due to my disability (no, I don’t believe I’m a terrible mother), so I wasn’t going to reap the benefits of conveniently reaching into his bassinet and sliding him over to me when he was hungry.

    We decided to move him into his nursery for several reasons:

    • We had a postpartum doula, so it only made sense to keep him with her on nights that she was at our house. 
    • I didn’t want to wake my husband up with nighttime feeding and diaper changes in our room—why should we both have to lose sleep?
    • We didn’t want to get him in the habit of only feeling comfortable when sleeping in our room. 

    We also used the SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet. The snoo is a magical piece of machinery from the author of The 5 S’s and Happiest Baby on the Block, Harvey Karp. It’s designed to gently rock your baby to sleep while using white noise. 

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    When your child gets fussy, the rocking and white noise increases and alerts you through a text message if your baby has been crying for too long. It also uses a sturdy, hypoallergenic sleep sack, which makes it nearly impossible for a child to roll over onto his stomach, reducing the chance of SIDS (and new mom anxiety). 

    I couldn’t recommend this product enough—it worked GREAT for us. A friend of mine was coincidentally having her baby 6 months after me, so we decided to split the cost and share it. I was sad to let it go, but around the five month mark, we gave it over to our friends to use.

    How long should my baby be awake?

    It’s important to look out for your baby’s sleep cues to determine the best time to put them to sleep. When a baby is sleepy, they’ll yawn, have glazed over eyes, stare off into space, and/or rub their eyes. If you see any of these signs, it’s important to put your baby to bed soon, as to not keep them up long enough for them to get overtired and fussy.

    While it’s true that all babies are different, it’s up to you to help guide their sleep patterns. You are responsible for teaching them how to get the rest they need.

    Does Feeding Count as Awake Time?

    Absolutely, feeding is counted as awake time. It’s hard to keep a newborn awake and it’s even harder to wake them when they look so peaceful. If you need help keeping your baby awake, try doing tummy time with him during playtime. It also helps to rub a cold, wet washcloth on their forehead while they are eating to keep them awake. 

    What Does a Typical Night Look Like for Newborns?

    Unless you have a colicky baby, most newborns will sleep for 3 – 5-hour stretches at night. This means that you will usually have to get up with your baby twice during the night to feed and change them. For example, we would put Asher down at 9:00 PM, and he would typically wake up around 12-1 AM and again around 4-5 AM.  

    Have you seen my post on How to Thrive at Montessori Parenting When You’re A Disabled Mom? It’s packed with tons of valuable information to help make parenting easier when you’re a disabled mom. 

    In the beginning, my husband and I decided to each take one shift during the night. We quickly realized that this meant neither one of us would benefit from a full night’s sleep, so we changed and started alternating nights.

    We immediately started Asher on a schedule as soon as our pediatrician told us that his weight was OK, and we could stop feeding him every two hours.

    FYI – you’ll be required to feed your baby every 2-3 hours after he’s born. Once he exceeds his birth weight, you can then let him sleep during the night for as long as he’ll go without having to wake him up to feed.

    Here’s the baby awake time chart that we started with to get Asher used to a schedule:

    Baby Awake Time Chart for 2 Weeks – 4 Weeks

    Of course, a two-week-old baby is mostly going to sleep all day and a schedule is really just a suggestion. We did try and follow it as best we could, though. I really believe us starting so early and sticking to it helped Asher get the structure set in place to start sleeping for 12-hour stretches by 3 months.

    6:00 – 7:00 AM – Feed & Back to Sleep

    *This feeding time will vary depending on your baby’s second stretch of sleep. Your goal is to feed them within a timeframe that would get them to sleep until 9 AM. 

    9:00 AM – Wake Up & Feed

    *Keep this time as consistent as possible. *Feedings should be 3oz to 5oz. 

    9:30 AM – Playtime

    *Playtime could incorporate tummy time, reading & light music. 

    10:00 AM – 2 Hour Nap

    *Try to not let them sleep longer than two hours at a time. This will help with their nighttime sleep.

    12:00 PM – Wake Up & Feed 
    1:00 PM – 2 Hour Nap
    3:00 PM – Wake Up & Feed
    4:00 PM – 2 Hour Nap

    *Your baby may get fussier as the day goes on. 

    6:00 PM – Last feed before bedtime

    *Keep this time as consistent as possible.

    7:00 PM – 1.5 Hour Nap
    8:30 PM – Wake Up

    *Try to keep awake for 30 minutes. 

    9:00 PM – Bedtime Routine
    11:30 – Dream Feed

    *You don’t have to do this, but it may be helpful to get your baby to sleep longer.

    Baby Awake Time Chart for 4 – 8 Weeks

    Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first part of the newborn phase. While your baby is still a tiny, sleeping machine, you’re probably feeling like you’re starting to get the hang of this whole parenting thing.

    Below is the baby awake time chart for babies 4 – 8 weeks. At this stage, your baby will have slightly more awake time in the evening and an earlier bedtime. 

    6:00 – 7:00 AM – Feed & Back to Sleep

    *This feeding time will vary depending on your baby’s second stretch of sleep. Your goal is to feed them within a timeframe that would get them to sleep until 9 AM. 

    9:00 AM – Wake Up & Feed

    *Keep this time as consistent as possible. *Feedings should be 4oz to 6oz. 

    9:30 AM – Playtime

    *Playtime could incorporate tummy time, reading & light music. 

    10:00 AM – Nap

    *Try to not let them sleep longer than two hours at a time. This will help with their nighttime sleep.

    12:00 PM – Wake Up & Feed
    12:30 PM – Playtime 
    1:00 PM – Nap
    3:00 PM – Wake Up & Feed
    4:00 PM – 1.5 Hour Nap

    *Your baby may get fussier as the day goes on. 

    5:30 PM – Last Feed before Bedtime

    *Keep this time as consistent as possible.

    8:30 PM – Bedtime Routine
    11:00 PM – Dream Feed

    *You don’t have to do this, but it may be helpful to get your baby to sleep longer.

    Baby Awake Time Chart for 8 – 16 Weeks

    You did it, mama! Your little one is transitioning out of the newborn phase and learning how to kick, punch and roll. If he hasn’t already started sleeping through the night, then get ready, because you’re about to have your first (kinda) full night’s sleep since giving birth. This is an exciting time!

    By now, your baby should be on a pretty consistent schedule depending on when you started. 

    7:00 AM – Wake Up & Feed

    *Keep this time as consistent as possible. *Feedings should be 6oz to 8oz. 

    7:30 AM – Playtime

    *Playtime could incorporate tummy time, reading, activity mat & light music.

    8:30 AM – 1.5 Hour Nap
    10:00 AM – Wake Up & Feed

    *Try to not let them sleep longer than two hours at a time. This will help with their nighttime sleep.

    10:30 AM – Playtime
    11:30 AM – 1.5 Hour Nap
    1:00 PM – Wake Up & Feed
    1:30 PM – Playtime
    2:30 PM – 1.5 Hour Nap

    *As he gets older, it will get increasingly harder to finish the full 1.5 hour nap.

    4:00 PM – Wake Up & Feed

    Last Feed before Bedtime. *Keep this time as consistent as possible.

    7:30 PM – Start Bedtime Routine
    11:30 – Dream Feed

    *If your baby is still not sleeping through the night, I suggest doing a dream feed before you go to bed.

    Baby Awake Time Chart for 16 Weeks – 6 Months

    Congratulations! Your baby has doubled in size since he was born and is now ready to try solid foods. The below schedule will vary depending on how you choose to introduce solid foods. I will lay out the ideal schedule for once your baby is eating 3 solids per day. 

    7:00 AM – Wake Up & Feed

    *Keep this time as consistent as possible. *Feedings should be 6 to 8 ounces. 

    7:30 AM – Playtime

    *Playtime could incorporate tummy time, reading, activity mat & light music.

    8:30 AM – Feed Stage 1 Solid Food
    9:00 AM –  1.5 Hour Nap

    *Do not let them sleep longer than two hours at a time. This will help with their nighttime sleep. 

    10:30 AM – Wake Up & Cuddle
    11:00 AM – Feed Bottle & Playtime
    12:30 PM – Feed Stage 1 Solid Food
    1:30 PM –  1.5 Hour Nap

    *As he gets older, it will get increasingly harder to finish the full 1.5 hour nap.

    3:00 PM – Wake Up & Feed Bottle

    Last Bottle Feed before Bedtime *Keep this time as consistent as possible

    3:30 PM – Playtime
    5:30 PM – Feed Stage 1 Solid Food
    6:30 PM – Start Bedtime Routine

    Buckle up, because from six months on, you’ll stay on this routine until you’re child is ready to drop a nap.

    Once your baby is around 6-months-old, things will start to get slightly easier. They’ll begin rolling over, which means they’ll nap better, because they prefer sleeping on their stomachs. Also, they’ll start to get the hang of toys and can entertain themselves for a bit of time.

    Additional Tips & Tricks

    New Mom Anxiety

    Soothing

    • It may look funny, but our doula taught us the secret way to hold a baby that will always calm him down instantly.
    • Stick a finger in your newborn’s mouth, nail side down, to immediately calm him.
    • When your baby is old enough, dip the pacifier in gripe water, and he’ll hold it in his mouth for longer.

    Stock your newborn’s library with the essentials! Check out The 15 Best Books for 1-Year-Olds (All Under $7) today! 

    Feeding

    • The Haakaa cup is a convenient tool to catch additional breast milk.
    • If bottle-feeding multiple babies (or just want the size to be more noticeable), mark the nipple size on the outside of the bottle top with a sharpie, so you can quickly find the size you need.

    Sleeping

    • When rocking your baby to sleep, don’t look them in the eyes, as they will get excited and think you want to play.
    • Always do the same bedtime routine in the same way at the same time. This habit will trigger your baby into knowing that it’s time to go to sleep for a longer period of time.
    • Only use the white noise machine during times you want your baby to sleep to help associate the sound with sleeping.

    Finally, wake up refreshed.

    Sign up and receive the same baby awake time charts that we used to get our 12-week-old sleeping through the night.

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Final Thoughts On How To Create A Baby Awake Time Chart For Better Sleep

      Although there are many factors in getting your baby to sleep, I wholeheartedly believe in the value of implementing a baby awake time chart as early as possible.

      A baby awake time chart is a convenient way to understand the needs and wants of your baby without having to guess. Having your baby on a consistent routine will ultimately increase the amount of time that you get back in your day and create a less stressful environment.

      Is your baby on a schedule? Comment below and share your tips to help other parents.

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