Looking to optimize your five-month old’s sleep? Learn the appropriate wake window for your 5-month old get and other helpful sleep tips to ensure your 5-month old gets the rest they need.
Five months old is such a fun age and stage! Your five-month old is really starting to show their personality now and may even start becoming mobile.
Rolling, scooting, and even some crawling keeps your 5-month old busy during their awake time.
See what 5 month old wake windows are and how to help your 5 month old get the best sleep possible.
To help you better, download my free sleep calculator to see when naptime and bedtime should be based on your baby’s age. Click here to grab it, it’ll be super helpful.
5 Month Old Sleep Overview
- 2–2.5 hour wake windows
- 3 naps
- 3.5 to 4.5 hours of day sleep
- 11–12 hours of night sleep
How Long Should Wake Windows Be at 5 Months?
At 5-months old, your baby needs about 2 to 2.5 hours wake windows in between naps and before bedtime.
Typically the first wake window of the day is the shortest, being 2 hours, while the other wake windows throughout the day can be closer to 2.25 to 2.5 hours.
Using the right wake window will help optimize their nap lengths, avoid an overtired baby, and help them sleep through the night.
How Many Naps Does a 5 Month Old Need?
Your 5 month old needs about 3 naps.
If you haven’t made the 4 to 3 nap transition yet, it’s time.
Short naps are still pretty common at this age and can make nailing down a sleep schedule tricky.
If your baby is consistently taking short naps:
- You can help extend the nap by offering a contact nap or going for a walk in the stroller
- Practice crib hour
- Just get baby up and start a new wake window.
Try not to shorten the next wake window even if your baby takes a short nap as that can just perpetuate the cycle of short naps.
See our sample 5 month old sleep schedules below.
What Time Should a 5-Month Old Go to Bed?
I recommend your 5 month old having a bedtime between 7–8 p.m.
Remember that your baby needs between 2–2.5 hours of awake time before bedtime.
For example, if your baby’s last nap ends at 5:00 pm, then a 7:15/7:30 pm bedtime will work great.
Sample 5 Month Old Sleep Schedule
Not every 5 month old will take those nice long naps.
If your baby takes 45-minute naps, you get them up and start a new wake window, your schedule might look like this:
My advice is to help baby to lengthen one of the naps to help make it to bedtime.
This may look like:
- Stroller nap
- Contact Nap
- Car ride nap
Pretty soon your 5 month old should be able to sync up their sleep cycles and move past this 45-minute nap intruder.
Frequently Asked Questions About 5 Month Old Wake Windows
Is there a 5 month old sleep regression?
There is a 4-month sleep regression, that can happen between 3.5–5 months old. Around the time your baby is hitting 5 months, they should be past the regression.
Can I Sleep Train My 5 Month Old?
Yes, I have worked with 5 month olds helping their family get better sleep.
If your 5-month old is used to being fed or rocked to sleep, you can sleep train to start teaching them independent sleep habits.
Why is the First Wake Window the Shortest?
Even after sleeping 10 to 12 hours at night, most babies still have some built-up sleep pressure, making it harder for them to get through a long wake window in morning.
This is also why most babies take a great first nap. If you’re struggling to transition your baby to a crib, try starting with the first nap of the day.
As the day goes on, most babies are able to have a slightly longer wake window.
For your 5-month old, start their first wake window at 2 hours, and then shift to about 2.25 to 2.5 hours for the rest of the day.
How to Stretch Wake Windows
The best way to stretch wake windows is to add 15 minutes to each wake window for several days. Keep the new schedule for about 5 days before making additional changes.
If your baby starts to struggle with sleep, give it some time before deciding the new wake window isn’t working.
You can also stretch one wake window at a time, if you want to transition your baby even more slowly. Start with the last wake window of the day and add 15 minutes to it for several days before messing with another wake window.
If your baby seems tired before their new wake window, try taking them outside or playing with a new toy with them. Sometimes they just need a little help to make it to the new wake window.
My Baby is Sleepy Before Her Wake Window is Up
This is super common and I know what a struggle it can be to keep them awake.
At this age, I go by wake windows more than baby’s sleep cues. Some babies have very subtle sleep cues or none at all, while other’s sleep cues can be misleading!
My daughter usually seemed sleepy before her wake window ended. I had to take her outside to keep her awake for that extra 15 minutes, but then she would take a longer nap when I was able to keep her awake just a little longer.
Should you Wake a 5-Month Old from A Nap?
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “never wake a sleeping baby” but it’s not a mantra I live by. There are times when it’s appropriate to wake a sleeping baby.
If your 5-month old is sleeping too late in the afternoon, and it will interfere with bedtime, wake them.
For example, if it’s 5:00 pm and bedtime is typically 7:30 pm, wake your 5-month old so they have enough time to fit in their 2.5-hour wake window before bed.
I always recommend giving yourself about 30 minutes flexibility in either direction.
So if you want to let your baby sleep longer, you’ll just push bedtime back so they can get in their 2.5-hour wake window before bed.
Sleep and Feed Schedules for Every Age
Take away the stress of figuring out your baby’s sleep needs. With the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder, you’ll get sleeping and feeding schedules that you can implement for every age, even if you currently have no routine in place. Check out the Baby Sleep Schedule Binder here.
If you have any questions about your 5 month old wake windows, leave them in the comments below.