How to use Awake Windows to encourage better sleep
This article is part of New Kind’s postpartum doula’s best sleep tips.
Eat, awake, sleep. That’s the rhythm we want you to establish with your baby.
As baby develops, they will be able to stay awake for longer stretches of time. These periods of time are called awake windows. Working with baby’s natural awake windows during the day will help them sleep better at night and during naps. During the awake window and after feeding, keep your baby engaged by talking, singing, and playing. Look out for sleepy cues and yawning and then work to get the baby to sleep before the awake window passes.
Approximate awake windows, including the time to feed and burp:
How to engage your baby during awake windows
- Face to face time: Sing and talk to your baby, make funny faces, stick out your tongue, blow raspberries, count their toes, and tickle them.
- Tell them what you’re up to: If they are in bouncer while you get things done, let the baby see and hear what you’re doing.
- Tummy time: It’s super important to help develop neck and shoulder muscles. Never leave baby unattended during tummy time. They may not like it at first, but keep practicing!
- Interesting textures and sounds: Give your baby different objects to feel - soft toys, rattles, teething, and musical toys work well.
- Read to your baby: Start with nursery rhymes and short books.
- Play gyms and mobiles: Encourage them to look at the toys and eventually try to reach for them.
- Infant flash cards: These black and white cards stimulate brain development, and many babies are absolutely fascinated by them.
- Mirrors: Get a non breakable mirror and let them study themselves. Mirrors are a great addition to tummy time.
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