BABY CARE

How Long for Better Baby Sleep

5 month old wake windows that are not too long can help your baby take long naps and sleep through the night. While awake times vary, most 5 month olds are napping every 2 to 2 1/2 hours throughout the day. Learn all about your baby’s schedule and awake times based on my 15 years as a sleep consultant!

5 Month Old Wake Window: Morning

The first morning wake window for your 5 month old should be no more than 2 hours. Most babies this age only stay awake for around 2 hours before they are ready to nap again. Furthermore, the first wake window of the day is usually the shortest even though they just slept 10-12 hours at night, ideally.

Keep in mind that you want to have them asleep by this time so plan your routines accordingly!

Second Wake Window

The 5 month old wake window before the second nap will likely be another two hours, maximum. Most babies this age can’t stay awake longer than two hours without getting overtired. Overtired babies tend to take short naps and struggle to fall asleep in the first place.

Late Afternoon Wake Windows

If your 5 month old baby is taking four naps, you will likely use another 2-hour wake window. Babies this age taking four naps typically sleep every 2 hours all day and before bedtime.

However, if your baby is already taking just three naps, the third wake window before the third nap will usually need to be a bit longer. You might try 2 1/2 to 3 hours in order to avoid overtiredness at bedtime.

Wake Window Before Bedtime at 5 Months

The wake window before bedtime at 5 months old is usually just 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Some babies can stay awake for 3 hours but, in my experience, this is less likely. All babies are different but your baby will usually sleep better at night if their last wake window is on the shorter side.

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How Many Naps for a 5 Month Old?

Virtually all 5 month old babies nap 3-4 times a day. There is a very small percentage who will transition to two 2-hour naps at this age but is very rare, in my experience of 15 years as a sleep consultant.

Since most babies this age can only stay awake about 2 hours at a time, most are taking four naps. Only one or two naps will usually be an hour or longer. The others will be a catnap of 30-45 minutes. If your baby has dropped to three naps, they are more likely to take at least one 1 1/2 to 2-hour nap.

If you aren’t sure how many naps your baby should take, be sure to read our article about when to drop to two naps.

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How To Help Your 5 Month Old Sleep Through the Night

The right schedule means using the right wake windows for your 5 month old. If your baby is well-rested, they are more likely to sleep through the night! If you’re struggling, be sure to download a copy of our free e-Book, 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night.

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