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Wake time (WT) is the total period of time your baby is awake at any given time, and includes time spent eating. I believe in using age-appropriate Optimal Wake Times (OWT) to ensure your baby is asleep before they become overtired.
Optimal Wake Time is the amount of time your baby should stay awake, not necessarily how long they could stay awake. I know your baby can likely stay awake longer, but that doesn’t mean they should.
Consistently paying attention to OWT and making sure baby is asleep before becoming over tired is essential to maintain balanced cortisol levels, which I believe is an essential ingredient for babies to be able to consistently connect their sleep cycles, both day and night.
Optimal Wake Time (OWT) changes frequently in the first year (i.e. every few weeks), and it is very important to stay on top of these changes in order to establish and maintain consistent nighttime sleep.
At times, your biggest challenge will be to find ways to keep baby stimulated during their wake times in order to stay awake until their age-appropriate nap time. Both parent-stimulated and child-directed play time are important so make sure you are working towards balancing both.
While optimal wake times are typically equal during the day, the period between the end of the last nap and bedtime can be slightly shorter/longer than baby’s suggested age-appropriate optimal wake time, based on their age. To learn more, check out The Full Feedings Method® Online Programs.