We know it can be confusing to navigate the tonnes of information that's available to you about sleep and your child. Some programs will provide recommendations about not only what time to get your baby to sleep but also when to wake them up. We also know that the whole 'do you ever wake a sleeping baby?' question is a hot topic among parents so we would like to share some valuable information for you to remove the confusions.
Firstly this post doesn't cover newborns as there are many factors to consider in their more complex care relating to feeding and health. So if you're looking for specific Newborn support then feel free to reach out. This information relates to post-Newborn and up to about 14 months+ when you may see some changes.
Generally, no we wouldn't suggest waking your sleeping child when they are over 3-4 months old unless there are the below exceptions:
1. Waking them to keep them in line with bedtime routine: For example, if bedtime is 7pm then typically you don't want them sleeping past 4:30pm unless they are sick. If they are sick these guides go out the window as they need all the extra sleep they want just the same as we do when we are sick as adults. If they are ill you would leave them to sleep and then adjust bedtime as needed. Please note that if you need to wake your child to check symptoms, administer medicine or other health care then we are not advising against this in any way.
2. 14 months+ refusing bedtime: For anyone who has gone through this you know exactly what we are talking about. Suddenly your child is refusing bedtime and there is all sorts of fuss that starts. In these situations you may need to look at their day nap and restricting that to 1.5 hours and even 45-60 minutes once they are older if still napping in the day.
Other than that we suggest you respect the sleeping rhythms of your little one as much as possible. We do suggest sticking to some guidelines about Awake Times which you would have seen posted on here several times before but other than that, their length of sleep is something we leave be. You will find they establish their own patterns anyway.
Happy sleeping x