Wake Windows and Why Moms on Call Does Not Discuss Them

Today we are discussing “Wake Windows” and why you don’t hear Moms on Call talk about them. Keep reading for a look into the chaos of a schedule with Wake Windows and the consistency of a schedule without them!

The term “Wake Windows” has gained ground over the last couple of years. We often get questions on Wake Windows and why Moms on Call doesn’t discuss them. Let’s break down what they are and how Moms on Call approaches awake times in Moms on Call’s Typical Day Routines.

What are Wake Windows?

A Wake Window is the time that the baby is awake between sleeping. Wake Windows are determined by baby’s age.

The goal of a Wake Window is to keep baby up long enough so they are tired for the next sleep time, but not over-tired.

This means that the next “sleep” time is dictated by how long they were awake.

This results in every day being different which makes it difficult to create a consistent routine.

We partner with families every day who are experiencing confusion and finding their days to be chaotic when trying to follow the Wake Window approach.

Moms on Call is more about consistency.

The way our little one’s body tells time is by doing the same thing, at the same time, every day. When we focus on a routine, it allows us to have some predictability with flexibility built-in to account for an early wake-up or those crazy short naps. With the Moms on Call Schedules, you have a 15 minute grace period on either side of times listed. We also provide a few key points in the day, called “Crazy Day” times, that will help you get an “off” day back on track. 

Let’s look at a realistic example using both methods:

Below we break down two partial days using each method with a 9 week old baby. “C” times stand for Moms on Call’s “Crazy Day” times, for the days that get thrown off by an early wake-up or short nap. The “C” times are the times that we want to keep solid in the schedule when nothing is going our way. If we can hit these times, even if nothing else that day happens on schedule, we’ll still be able to salvage nighttime sleep!

9 Weeks Old

  • Beginning to handle about 1 hour and 15 mins to 1 ½ hours of awake time
  • Feeding about every 3 hours

Wake Windows (60-90mins)

Monday

6:30am: Feeds

7:30am: Dozes, put down for a nap

8:30am: Wakes, but isn’t time for Feed

9am: Feeds

9:45am: Nap (because they have been up for 1hr 15 mins)

11:15am: Wakes, but isn’t time for Feed 

12pm: Feeds

12:30/12:45: Nap (No playtime after feed due to being awake for 60-90 minutes)

2pm: Wakes (very fussy)

2:30pm: Feeds early

3:30pm: Nap

…and so on!

Tuesday

7am: Feeds

8:30am: Nap (90 minutes after waking)

9:30am: Wakes 

10am: Feeds 

11am: Nap (90 minutes after waking)

11:45am/12pm: Wakes 

12:30pm: Feeds 

1pm: Nap 

2pm: Wakes

3pm: Feed

3:30pm: Nap

…and so on!

So, you see that every day is different following the Wake Window approach. Some Wake Windows may be 60 minutes, some may be 90 minutes. This results in not having a predictable routine from day to day. 

*If you choose to use Wake Windows, then do your best to keep as many of the “Feed” times as consistent as you can from day to day. 

Moms On Call

(Recognizing “C” Times and the 15 minute grace period)

Monday

6:45/7am (C*): Feed (regardless of when they last fed) 

7:30am: Playtime (They may doze here and there, but every 5-10 minutes move or shift to another activity or snuggle position.)

8:15/8:30am: Pre-nap routine and then down for nap

9am: Wake (It is normal to wake after 30-45 minutes, fuss for 10-20 minutes, then doze for 20-30 minutes. Go in and soothe, but keep low-key with minimal interaction.)

9:45am/10am: Feed

10:30am: Playtime (May doze for 5-10 minutes during awake time. Keep changing location or activity.)

11:15/11:30am: Pre-nap routine and down for nap

12:30pm: Wakes, fusses, talks, dozes 

12:45/1pm: Feed 

1:30pm: Playtime (Dozed for 10 minutes while out in the stroller)

2:30pm: Nap

4pm(C*): Feed (no matter what time they last fed)  

Continue with the schedule as listed in Moms on Call’s Resources.

Tuesday

6:45/7am (C*): Feed (regardless of when they last fed) 

7:30am: Playtime (They may doze here and there, but every 5-10 minutes move or shift to another activity or snuggle position.)

8:15/8:30am: Pre-nap routine and then down for nap 

9:45am (Awesome nap!) Feed

10:30am: Playtime

11:15/11:30am: Pre-nap routine and down for nap

12:30pm: Wakes, fusses, talks, dozes 

1pm: Feed 

1:30pm: Playtime

2:30pm: Nap

4pm(C*): Feed (no matter what time they last fed)

Continue with the schedule as listed in Moms on Call’s Resources

Staying consistent with the schedule helps baby learn their routine. Their bodies learn the times that they eat, sleep and play each day. Using Moms on Call’s Typical Day Routines to keep sleep times and feed times at the same consistent times each day allows us to have flexibility to get through the day (even when they wake early and nothing else goes as planned)!

Remember that no matter what, YOU are doing great!

For personalized, one-on-one support and help with customizing your family’s routine, reach out to us to be paired with a certified MOC consultant who will walk this journey with you, answering and providing a plan for your specific situations.