Are you searching for the key to a reliable routine for your 2-month-old? Here’s how to use the 2-month-old wake window to help your baby get the rest they need!
I will forever remember the 2-month-old stage as the the first time my little girl smiled at me. As I unwrapped my newborn baby from her swaddle in the morning, she gave me the sweetest, most genuine, gummiest smile and I completely melted.
Thank goodness for those moments, because I also remember being completely exhausted!
When your baby reaches about 8 weeks old, they start to come out of their sleepy newborn haze. They seem more alert and awake during the day, and it’s simultaneously so cute and so much more work.
Thankfully, this is the age when you can first start using the concept of wake windows with regularity—up until this point, sleep is pretty sporadic and just happens when it happens!
What does a 2-month-old wake window look like for your newborn? Let’s talk about it!
How Long Can a 2-Month-Old Stay Awake?
There’s no reason to have to guess at how long your 2-month-old can stay awake. That’s what age-appropriate wake windows are for!
Awake windows are a baby sleep lifesaver. That’s why I use them so much as a sleep consultant—they’re easy to follow, and they just make sense regarding your baby’s sleep pressure.
Your 2-month old will likely still be showing baby sleep cues. You can pair those cues with wake windows to really optimize your baby’s sleep.
When your baby hits their 8th week of development, they’ll be able to stay awake for up to 60 minutes at a time. Keep in mind that if your baby was a preemie, it might take them a little longer to work up to that amount of time.
By the time your baby is 3 months old, they may be ready to transition to a slightly longer wake window. But for now, don’t push it!
The 2-month-old wake window starts from the time your baby opens their eyes until they close them for their next nap, and will last between 45 to 60 minutes. It can take some trial and error to find the right wake window sweet spot!
2-Month-Old Wake Windows & Feedings
It probably feels like your 2-month-old baby is constantly feeding. At this age, babies need to eat a lot! So do wake windows include feeding time?
The answer is yes—wake windows at any age include time spent feeding.
I know that your newborn probably gets pretty sleepy (or even falls asleep!) when they’re nursing or bottle feeding at this age. Sometimes it’s hard to identify the line between awake and asleep when they’re feeding!
My advice for new parents is to do your best to keep your baby somewhat alert and awake while they’re eating. Tickle their toes, gently move their arms and legs, or softly tap the bottom of their chin as they feed.
The more awake your baby is while feeding, the easier it will be for them to settle into a longer sleep cycle with a full tummy.
Your 2-month old may still be sorting out their day and night confusion and may wake up frequently at night to feed.
It can take 2 to 4 months for your baby’s circadian rhythm to fully develop. Use white noise and blackout curtains to create a dark room. And remember that night waking is developmentally appropriate at this age.
Can a 2-Month-Old Wake Window Be 2 Hours Long?
The reality is that a 2-hour wake window is too much time for your 2-month-old.
If you keep them awake for two hours at this age, you risk dealing with an overtired baby. Overtiredness will wreak havoc on your baby’s ability to fall asleep later on.
Your baby’s wake windows will get longer, I promise. It’s just a matter of time!
The 3-month-old wake window will extend to about 1.5 hours, but most babies aren’t ready for a 2-hour wake window until they’re closer to 4 or 5 months old.
The 2-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
Once your baby is out of the sleepy newborn phase, you can start to gradually incorporate more of a routine into their day.
As babies become more alert, communicative, and inquisitive around the 2-month mark, it gets easier to transition into an eat-play-sleep routine.
Eat-play-sleep is a favorite of mine because it’s a flexible framework for your days, and not too rigid. It’s also great because it separates feeding from sleep, which is helpful when you’re trying to avoid sleep associations like nursing to sleep.
Your 2-month-old will likely still need to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours, and will probably take 4 naps throughout the day. I recommend that you make bedtime about 11 to 12 hours after your baby wakes up in the morning to start the day.
How Many Naps Should a 2-Month-Old Take?
At this young age, your 2-month-old is still reliant on frequent feedings to grow and develop appropriately.
Since they need to eat so frequently, they’ll be up more during the night (hang in there, mama!), and that means they’ll need more rest during daytime hours.
In other words, your 2-month-old is a napping machine!
For the most part, at this age your baby will need between 6-7 hours of daytime sleep, for a total of around 16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. If they’re napping for 1.5-2 hours at a time, that means you’re looking at 3-4 naps during the day.
If your baby doesn’t get enough sleep during the day, they’re likely to get less sleep at night. I know it seems counterintuitive, but the more sleep your baby gets, the better they sleep!
You’ll hear me say this a lot: sleep begets sleep.
Since naps are so frequent, don’t stress too much about incorporating a nap routine with your little one. Just do something short and sweet before nap time if you can squeeze it in. Even a quick diaper change can do the trick!
2-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
The 2-month-old sample schedule below incorporates wake windows that are each one hour long. It also includes a cat nap as the last nap of the day, to carry baby through to bedtime without getting too overtired.
Keep in mind that your baby’s naps may not be this long. Short naps are common since newborn sleep is still erratic at the 2-month mark. It may take time for your baby to take longer naps and a set schedule may not develop until later.
If your baby only naps 30 or 45 minutes, you can either extend the nap by letting them nap on you, or start a new wake window.
7:00 am: Wake up + nurse or bottle
8:00-10:00 am: Nap
10:00 am: Nurse or bottle
11:00 am-1:00 pm: Nap
1:00 pm: Nurse or bottle
2:00-4:00 pm: Nap
4:00 pm: Nurse or bottle
5:00-6:00 pm: Cat nap
6:40 pm: Start baby’s bedtime routine + nurse or bottle
7:00 pm: Bedtime
Eliminate Short Naps with a Predictable Sleep Routine
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Questions about your 2-month old’s wake window? Leave them in the comments below!
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