Trouble with Toddler's Naps (12-24 mos)
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Naps > Trouble with Toddler's Naps
HELP!!!! My daughter has become an increasingly worse sleeper
with time. She is 12 months old. I still have to rock her and
breastfeed her to sleep and put her down in the crib dead asleep.
Most nights, I have to rock her back to sleep at least once.
We're working on that. But my true concern right now is NAPS.
She won't take them! She is SOOOO tired which is surely
contributing to night problems. The only way she falls asleep
for naps is in the car. She used to nap well (45 min a.m. 2 hours
p.m.) in the crib (and sleep 13 hours straight a night). Now
however, I'll breastfeed her, she'll fall dead asleep, and then
as soon as she touches the crib, she's JUMPS up as if she were
faking it and stands in her crib and cries, no SCREAMS. No
amount of patting, singing, rocking, or anything will get her
back to sleep. Even if I try to give her the other breast, she
won't return to sleep. I am a fulltime student working from home
with no childcare provider and NEED those naps to get anything
done. Any suggestions for parents that have overcome this? I am
so desperate that I have left her crying in her crib for awhile
while I cried and threw pillows in my room until I could get over
the sense of helplessness, desperation, frustration, etc. Other
than this my daughter is AMAZING and I am head over heels in love
with her, but this is making life hard for everyone.
My daughter is the same age as yours and has some of the same
falling to sleep associations. She nurses and if she's still
awake after that, I put her in her baby carrier and we
walk/bounce around her room until she falls asleep. I also have
to wait until she's Really asleep (deeper breathing, zero
fidgeting) before putting her in the crib. She also wakes up at
least once (usually 2-3 times) during the night, which I think is
pretty normal. If I'm not yet in bed, I nurse her and rock her
back to sleep and return her to the crib. If I am in bed, she
comes to bed, nurses, and falls back asleep.
It sounds like you need to differentiate her nap routine from her
going to bed for the night routine. We sing different songs for
the nap, and of course, there aren't any baths or PJs before
naptime. You could also try varying the time when you put her
down for her nap. If I miss my daughter's tired ''window,'' then it
is near impossible to get her to nap without going at it for an
hour or more. Watch for signs and as soon as she's starting to
get cranky, rubs her eyes, loses interest in what she's doing, or
gets quiet, start the nap routine: fresh diaper, nurse, whatever.
I like Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution book. She's has
lots of suggestions and explains how babies' sleep pattern are so
that you can work with them. I've also given her rescue remedy
and a calm child herbal tincture I found at Elephant Pharmacy at
times when she's been way overtired or fussy. They both help (you
can take them too! Or just get some skullcap or make a cup of
On the days when my daughter doesn't sleep well (few and far
between, now) I find that it is essential to get out of the
house, whether we go somewhere or just go for a walk. It makes
both of us happier and more relaxed.
Another thought--make sure she's not eating anything for
breakfast that would make it hard for her to calm down and relax
for her nap. When my daughter eats a lot of fruit early in the
day, she gets a little sugar wired, even though it's natural.
Good luck and remember, this too shall pass!
I understand your situation. My daughter never took naps unless i
sat with her the entire time, this happens even now when she is
with me, and she is two years old! The question you have to ask
yourself is, what can i do to make her more comfortable? Have you
tried nursing her in bed, and moved away carefully? That would
sometimes work for me. If i had to get work done, and could not
put her down I would do one of two things, when she was tiny I
used a sling and typed, did research on the computer while she
slept, or cooked while she was in the sling (although she got to
be much bigger and then that did not work)2. Then I would just
sit in one place with everything that I needed, and sat with my
boppy pillow while I nursed her,typed on the computer and let her
sleep. OR I would sit on the couch and read whatever needed to
get read with her on the boppy pillow, which helped a lot. I used
to get a good 3 hours of work done that way. Sometimes it is a
good use of time to just catch up on your own need to rest. You
will figure out a way that works for you, this happened to work
for me. since my daughter had severe GERD she was constantly
nursing, and I found that this was the only way to get anything
done. I still use the boppy today =) Good luck, try whatever it
takes; since both of you crying in separate rooms seems to be
more stressful than just sitting with her for a half hour and
letting her have a quickie nap.
My 1-year old son likes to marathon nap...2-3 hours at a time.
This seemed to work okay when he was younger and I guess needed
more sleep, because he used to sleep through the night. Now,
he wants to wake up for a bottle in the middle of the night and
still take two 2+ hour naps during the day.
I hate to ''wake a sleeping baby'', but it seems that his daytime
sleep is definitely affecting his nighttime sleep. My plan is
to keep him from eating at all during the night. If he cries I
let him cry for awhile and try to soothe him if he cries too
In the morning, if he is crying at 6 am, I am resisting the
temptation to give him a bottle and go back to sleep (even
though I desperately want to). Instead, we wake up go
downstairs and have breakfast. I am trying to make him realize
that bottletime/eating is for when we are awake. Am I being
too harsh? Are my expectations too high?
We just got a better sense of what is ''normal'' for kids with our 15
month old who has been an erratic and light sleeper. We found all the
answers to our questions in Weisbluth's book ''healthy sleep habits''.
We had even consulted with a sleep specialist but the book was better at
explaining the biology and medical research that relates to sleep from
birth through school. I really highly recommend it. THere is a lot of
attention to napping and bed times for kids in the book, hope it helps
Our (now 2.5 year old) boy used to do just the same thing you have
described: he would nap for 3 or more hours during the day and then ask
for the bottle a couple of times during the night.
Although our pediatrician adviced us against bottle-feeding at night (I
guess because the baby has to learn how to put himself back to sleep by
himself), frankly, we resisted doing that for some time, as we both were
too tired to have battles with our son when we could sleep - both me and
my husband work full- time. Fortunately, this turned out quite well, as
our son has gradually stopped asking for a bottle - by the age of 1.5 he
slept through the night. Maybe, your son is just not ready yet and if
you let him have his bottle for another couple of months, he will stop
needing it, as our son did?
In regards to nap time - my son still sleeps 3 to 4 hours in a row
during the day, and i think that it is normal. He wakes up around 7 am
and goes to bed at 9:30 pm, so as far as I can see, his nap doesn't
disrupt his schedule.
Hope that helps. Good luck with your son!
Once babies get into a great sleep pattern, they go ahead and throw a
wrench in the works, don't they. My thoughts -- try to start
consolodiating his naps into one a day. The books say 18 months, but my
girls did it at 11 months and 14 months. That seems to be the normal
range in the group that my kids run with...That may help with the night
I would ignore the middle of the night waking. It will go away soon.
The 6 a.m. thing is tough. I started getting up at 6 with my older
daughter when she would wake up. This lasted for a few miserable months
until she shifted into a good three hour afternoon nap and 12-hour 7 to
7 routine. With baby 2, I would throw a sippy cup in the crib at 5 when
my daughter woke up and head back to bed. I'd hear from her again at 8.
Again that lasted for a few months and now she (at 18 months) is on the
same three hour afternoon nap 7 to 7 (and sometimes 8 - yee-haw!)
routine. For both it took a few months to transition. But it was worth
Help! I've scanned the archives but am not seeing much about
this situation. My 15-month-old is still solidly needing 2 naps
a day, but has been fighting sleep more and more for 3-4 months
now--bed-time, nap-time, whatever. Nap-time is particularly
difficult: she'll have circles under her eyes, too crabby to play
or read, and she'll sometimes go down for 20 minutes of quiet
rest, and then she's singing and dancing in her crib for the rest
of her hour (non)naptime, pitching her blankets and toys out,
anything to stay awake--but never actually sleeps. She won't
sleep in the car, and often does the dancing routine at night, as
well. Once she IS asleep, she is out for an hour in the morning
and often two in the afternoon.
I try to follow a schedule, but she has never been predictable
like some kids: I aim for 10 a.m. and 2:30-3:00p.m., but she
often is already fussy and tired by 9 a.m., and that throws off
the afternoon nap, too. She is put to bed about 6:30 p.m., up
between 5:30 and 6:45 a.m.--going down earlier has not helped,
and if we do put her down earlier she also won't see her other
parent except on weekends. We've tried going in to put her back
down every 10-15 minutes, we've tried just leaving her to dance
and fuss for the hour, nothing seems to get her to go to sleep
sooner, except waiting her out for over an hour until she gives
up and sleeps. And leaving her in her crib for more than an
hour, twice a day, seems unreasonable and mean. Yet, without the
naps she is too tired to play or do anything but watch the
TV--which isn't acceptable to us.
One problem with this is that it seems the entire day is spent
either eating or refusing to nap, without nearly enough playtime.
But she doesn't get much quality playtime when she's tired,
fussy and crabby either.
Any suggestions? Do I just wait her out every day, let her up
after 20 minutes and put her back down again when she fusses out
less than an hour later, give up on schedules and wait until she
is unbearable, follow a rigid schedule? And, does anyone know if
this might be related to the sensory integration issues that she
is already getting OT for?
The naps seem too late--she's tired at 9, and 9 and 1 are standard nap times,
anyway (Weissbluth ''Healthy Sleep Habits''), so why wait til 10? As long as she
needs two naps, I'd push them earlier.
On the other hand, if the morning nap turns into a play session, I'd consider making
the switch to one nap. Weissbluth also says morning naps disappear between
months 16-21, so you're probably in for a schedule change soon anyway. You
could stretch her morning awake time so the morning nap starts at 10:30 one day,
then over a few days 11, then 11:30, so gradually you've got a solid nap starting
between 12 and 1.
I am curious what has you convinced that your 15 month old
still needs two naps, other than being tired? I am also
curious what kind of play she is usually engaging in. I have a
toddler not much older than yours who is extremely active and
fights sleep too, sometimes, which is common for any toddler.
The thing that makes the biggest difference is making sure that
he has A LOT of time outdoors, not in the stroller, but running
freely (crawling or whatever she does is fine!)..outdoors seems
to be especially good for getting to sleep and sleeping soundly
later, but running around anyplace outside the house works as
well if it's rainy (Barnes & Noble kids section/train table,
Hilltop mall, Target, Gymboree classs, etc.!) I wouldn't
recommend this be too close to bedtime, but being outside most
of the morning or afternoon when it's nice out will probably
make a big difference. When my son is cranky and seems tired,
he often really is just bored, I have found, and needs to get
out of the house, and also needs to do something fun with me
(which usually means a very active game together, playing ball
or chasing, or climbing). Don't underestimate how much time
your baby needs roaming on her own, without being pushed in a
stroller or carried. Most of all I would suggest dramatically
increasing how much time she spends outdoors (and it's the
perfect season to do this!) and I bet it will make a
difference. By the way, my son transitioned to one nap a day
around your son's age, and started napping around 12 or 1,
which now is more like 1 or 2 at almost 18 months (for 1.5 to 2
hours or so), and he has been going to sleep around 7, now it's
changed to 8 since the time changed, and wakes at 6:30 or so.
I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice! I hope this helps.
B - Meet us at the park to play! : )
it sounds like it is the age where many children move to one nap
a day. if you drop the morning nap and push her to about noon for
the afternoon nap this may help. but you may need to move bedtime
a little earlier (the other parent may suffer for a time but it
is better for the child) until nap-time is re-established. and
follow a schedule! you are hurting her and yourself if you
don't. this is advice from weissbluth's, ''healthy sleep habits,
happy child.'' look at it if you need more help.
My 18 month old son has always been a good napper,especially
after transitioning to 1 nap a day at 15 month. He used to fall
asleep on my chest while we were both lying on my bed and I
would move him carefully after 10 minutes or so. He would then
sleep for about 2 hours, from 12 till 2pm.
Because I'm 6 month pregnant it has become very uncomfortable
for me to lie on my back He also took longer and longer to fall
asleep that way -- I guess it was not very comfortable for him
I decided to put him down in his crib for napping (after
darkening the room together, sitting in the rocking chair and
singing a pecial nap-song). It worked twice - 10 days ago- and
since then he screams bloody murder every time I put him down.
He sometimes quiets down after I leave the room and plays, but
never for very long before he starts screaming again. I have
also tried to put him down after he is asleep (some rare
occasions when he fell asleep in the car and I carried him to
his crib), but he wakes up and cries.
To give some more background:
We had a hard time to get him to sleep by himself at night -- he
needed to be rocked and held till asleep, but finally learned it
and has been sleeping from 7:30 till 7 almost every night since
4 month. We used the sleep-ladies method (having him cry, but
being in the room at first and moving further away from his bed
every night till finally leaving the room. Took about 4 weeks.)
I have tried the same training for napping, but he gets even
more upset with me in the room (which wasn't the case at night).
Going in every 10 minutes helps a little -- he doesn't get as
hysterial, but still cries and screams for the entire hour I
have him stay in the crib. Most days I end up driving him around
in the car afterwards. Even then he takes 30 minutes to fall
asleep, sometimes doesn't and always wakes up after 30-40
minutes. If I wouldn't do the driving it would mess up his night
sleep(been there). He is cranky all afternoon and I'm sure he
still needs to nap at his age. But on the other hand he doesn't
show signs of tiredness before naptime as he used to do which
makes it hard for me to determine a good time to put him down --
I have tried earlier and later as the time that used to work...
Any advice on that would be greatly appreciated since I'm
totally clueless what's going on.
mother of a ex-good napper
Hi! It seems like you son is too tired to nap, believe it or
not. Babies who resist napping and nap too briefly usely are. I
think it's because when he switched from one to two naps his
bedtime should have been moved up earlier. Now he is suffering
from accumilated sleep deficit. Try having a temporarily
earlier bedtime, 5:30pm, for four or five nights. This helps
him catch up on sleep, wake up better rested and fall asleep
earlier. You know how sometimes you are so tired it's really
hard to fall asleep, same case with your son. Also try extra
long soothing before naps. Also you might have to stop checking
in on him, he's probably old enough that he's learned you keep
checking and eventually pick him up. I know it's hard but think
how much happier he'll be when he's napping better! You might
want to get Weissbluth's 'healthy sleep habits, happy child',
it has really helped me with all my daughters sleep issues at
different ages. Good luck!
mommy who's been there
My 20-month-old son is increasingly refusing to nap. He normally naps from about
12-2 each day, but lately downright refuses. Its not because he doesn't need the
nap anymore - right about noon he starts getting cranky and visibly tired. I feel like
I've tried everything - from waiting a few more hours until he's *really* sleepy to
sticking to a routine for nap (lunch, then milk, then bed, a few books, night night; if
he gets up, put him back down, if he gets up, put him back down, etc. - the longest
I tried this was for FOUR HOURS and he never gave up) to forgoing nap altogether
and even once closing him in his room (thought of it as a ''huge crib'') which was a
very big mistake (he went ballistic with panic). However nothing works. He refuses.
Cries, jumps up, plays, gets off the bed without end, etc. I wouldn't worry so much
about this if it weren't that: (1) he does get really cranky, throws tantrums, and is
generally obnoxious to be around because he's tired and (2) if I just go ahead and
take him with me to continue my errands for the day, he inevitably falls asleep the
moment I get to my destination. Only to have me turn around and go back home for
him to wake up the second we arrive back home and once again refuse to sleep!!
Friends have suggested I use the car to get him to fall asleep, since its the one sure-
fire thing. However, I don't want to because I don't want him to get into that habit,
and secondly, I'd have to drive all two hours for this to work because once I stop the
car, he's up again, regardless if its been 10 minutes or two hours. I'm at my wits
end. He basically stays cranky (on and off) until bedtime, 8 HOURS later. And it also
means I don't get much done after 12pm because I'm so actively dealing with this
nap thing. Help!!!
First of all, don't panic. It is pretty normal for kids to get into phases like
this and it
doesn't mean that your child will never nap again. My son had periods of a month
or two when he refused all naps and then really wanted them again. Sometimes he
would never sleep in the crib but only in a car or stroller, but then he would go
to napping in the crib. So one approach is just tough it out and see if it
If not, you have two choices:
1. Give up trying to make the child nap. Put him to bed at 6 p.m. Yes, it is
to be without your afternoon downtime, and the late in the day crankiness is
horrible but you can do it. And if you make that decision, and stick to it, it
easier than every day trying to make the nap happen and it failing. It just
your routine and you and your child will adjust to it.
2. Give in to not napping in the crib. How about a stroller? If your kid will
the stroller, it means you can use that time to exercise, much better than just
driving for hours. You can use it to run simple errands that are in walking
- return library books, pick up milk, etc. If you don't have that near you, you
drive to a central location, get out the stroller and walk around.
Or just give your kid 30 minutes of sleep while driving around, enough rest to get
them through the rest of the day without too much melting down, and then put
them to bed early.
All kids are different. Not all kids take those beautiful two hour naps every
afternoon like clockwork. My two kids couldn't be more different in terms of
napping - a long term battle with my son, my daughter just climbs in her bed and
goes to sleep without protest
I feel your pain
As hard as it might be to come to terms with, he might just not
need to nap any more. My son went through the same thing around
that age. I did try the car thing to get him to sleep and would
park in the driveway, and even that stopped working after a
couple of weeks. It's like when they transitioned from 2
naps/day to 1/day, they get cranky. When we could get him to
nap, it started getting harder to get him to bed in the
evening. The only thing we found that helped was to get him to
bed earlier in the evening, and to do ''quiet time'' mid-day.
This means playing quietly by himself in his room for a set
period of time or some times I'll even just put on a short
video to get him to lay down on the couch and take a break. I
also make sure he's getting a good snack around this time so
his blood sugar doesn't drop and make him even more cranky.
We had a similar situation. Once we took away the bottle at
age 2.5, our daughter never took another nap (and yet needed it
desparately). We ended up saying, you don't have to nap, but
you do have to stay on your bed until the buzzer goes off. I
put lots of toys and books on the bed and turned on quiet
soothing music. She kept getting up and we eventually put up
one of those baby gates across her door. She could see out and
after the initial crying and screaming (and you have to stop
interacting and talking to them) she decided to entertain
herself on the bed. At first I set the timer for 10 minutes
and gradually worked up to an hour. While she didn't sleep, at
least it provided a stopping point in her day where she could
regroup. Another idea - when you do send him to preschool they
will make him rest in the afternoon as well. Maybe you could
find an afternoon-only program. : )
When do most kids give up on napping? My 20 month old daughter
frequently will not nap. I do everything possible to encourage her
to nap: I nurse her, drive her around endlessly (this used to be
foolproof), make sure she doesn't oversleep in the morning, and
give her filling snacks. There is no obvious physical reason for
her not napping, though there have been some changes in our
routine. We moved her into her own crib and room a month ago and
I've had a (seemingly) drastic decrease in my milk supply. She
does, frequently, seem tired and gets really cranky and tries to
fall asleep a couple of hours before bedtime.
Has this happened to anyone? What did you do? Could she be giving
up on napping at this age? I'm really going crazy. Her nap time
is one of the few times I get to rest.
Your daughter still needs and wants a nap. I think what is going
on is that the foolproof methods of inducing sleep in an infant,
such as the soothing motion of the car, stop working for a
toddler/preschooler. Start thinking more about helping her fall
asleep the way you fall asleep. After a meal, have a quiet
activity, darken the room, read a book or two, put her in bed,
rub her back, talk to her or sing a little, tell her what you
will do after she has a nap. Tell her she doesn't have to
sleep, but she needs to close her eyes and rest. Good luck. My
42-month old is still napping, so it can be done!
You might want to review the sleep book, Healthy Sleep Habits,
Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. It has been recommended here
before and is my favorite resource for sleep questions regarding
babies through teens. I am sure he can give you guidance on
this issue and others as they arise.
My daughter gave up her nap quite early. We made her bedtime
earlier. Also, we have a quiet time for at least half an hour
in the afternoon, which means reading or drawing, no running,
My 18 month old boy frequently doesn't nap either, which seems
crazy to me, but he also doesn't seem too adversely affected by
it. He's never been real positive about the whole sleep thing -
he's way too excited about what he might be missing. The
trade-off is that on the days he skips his nap he's more likely
to go to sleep easily in the evenings, like 7:30 or 8:00 instead
of 8:30 or 9:00. And he's up by 7:30 or 8:00 usually. His doc
says he's ''active'' and just doesn't need as much sleep.
We definitely try for a quiet time, like right now, for instance,
when he sits in his crib reading books or playing with small toys
while I get some chores done [I'll be paying my bills in a
minute!]. It resolves a little of my dilemna regarding when else
to do that kind of stuff.
We just got a twin bed for our daughter, who is almost 20 months old. She'd been in
a crib since she was 4.5 months old (after co-sleeping with us for her earliest
months), and has been in her own room in the crib since she was 6 months old.
She's been sleeping through the night and napping well in the crib consistently
since she was about 12 or so months old.
But she'd started to get too big for the crib, and occasionally waking up at night
without being able to get back to sleep on her own (unusual for her) without coming
into our bed or having one of us rock her on the rocking chair (tiring in the middle
of the night). We decided it was time for the bigger bed, and that if she did wake up,
at least one of us could lie down next to her to help her back to sleep (believe me, I
spent several waking nights with her wondering if I could crawl into her crib without
For the past 4 nights, she has been going to sleep at night in her bed right away,
and sleeping through the night happily. But NAPTIME is a different story... She
seems to think it's ''free play in her room'' time instead, because she can get out of
her new bed easily. I don't like the idea that the only way she had been able to nap
well until now was because she was ''trapped'' in her crib and had no other choice -
and we don't want to bring the crib back just because then she'll have no choice but
to sleep. We read her millions of stories at naptime, which is after a good lunch, and
even lie next to her in her bed while reading. Then we tell her it's naptime and time
to sleep, and we leave her room and close the door. But most of the time she lies
down quietly for a few minutes then starts playing again around her room.
What to do? Did we move her to a big bed too soon? We really don't want to bring
the crib back, especially since she's sleeping so well at night in her new bed. Are
there special ways to teach a child to nap in a bed they can get out of on their own?
Is there an age where they just get this, and naptime becomes easier? Should we put
her down earlier and then just let her play until she decides she's tired and goes to
sleep? Will she, or will she just play for 2 hours?
I would love any suggestions. Thanks.
incredibly patient mama
What's worked for us is giving our 3-year-old daughter a choice between
napping and having quiet play time in her room. If she chooses quiet
time, she knows that she is also choosing to go to bed immediately after
dinner to make up her lost sleep. This means no bath, no playtime, and
most importantly, no stories before bed. She has only chosen quiet time
a handful of times.
(Tomorrow, of course, all this may change.) I guess I should add that
she's a kid who clearly needs and benefits from a daily nap, which
doesn't seem true of many of her friends.
My daughter is 20 months old and is now in the Big-Girl Bed, as her brother
has arrived and will soon be taking the crib. Bedtime has been a bit
challenging, as she will get out of bed and play for awhile before finally
climbing back into the bed and falling asleep. Naptimes, however, are a
disaster, as she cannot seem to settle herself down and will not sleep unless I
put her back in the crib. There was only one post in the archive that spoke to
this, and giving up naps is not an option, as she still needs them (and so do I!).
She likes the big bed, but would rather play than sleep. We desperately need
to work this out, as my son is now 3 months and I will be sleeping in her room
as soon as we can figure out how to get them both the sleep they need. How
have others made this transition? Are there tricks or techniques? Specific
disciplinary actions that are appropriate at this age? Do we just resign
ourselves to two cribs? I'm either too tired or too frustrated to be creative
anymore and could use some help.
One thing that has always helped settle my kids into their beds
is to put a hot water bottle down under the covers where the
cold little tootsies go. They love to get their feet on it, and
it starts to relax them, and then boom! they are asleep.
Can't hurt. And at ages 9 and 11, they still love it on a cold
night - or when they have a sore tummy - so we have about 3 in
hope it helps.
We had a similar situation when my youngest son came along. I
told my older son (who would not nap in the big boy bed) that
he'd have to nap in the crib until he could learn to nap in his
new bed. He didn't like it, but he at least napped when I put
him in the crib. Eventually, after several false starts, he
started sleeping in his big boy bed, but shortly after that gave
up his naps all together.
In the mean time, I put the baby down in a porta-crib until the
big crib was vacated. It worked for everyone. My youngest didn't
know the difference, and my older one took the time he needed to
learn how to nap in the big boy bed.
You are right that 20 mos. is way to young to give up naps and I
think you've answered your own question. Get another crib, after
all she is not really a ''big girl'' anyway. Don't take her out of
her crib because a new baby is coming. Put the big girl bed away
until she is climbing out of the crib and no longer safe. You
will be grateful that you did.
My son stopped napping when we got rid of the crib, too.
However, I kept the crib until he was 3 and a half (and he is a
BIG kid, too). I'd get a second crib for the new baby - can you
borrow one from someone for a year? Give her her crib back and
keep on napping!
I also experienced the shock of this transition you're referring
to. We followed a friend's suggestion to put a gate on our
daughter's door at nap time so that even if she couldn't sleep,
she could stay and play quietly in her own room. Some days I
deperately need the break, especially since I teach night school.
This has worked well. Now she's used to the routine, and we often
don't use the gate at all. She's rather indifferent to it most of
the time (I felt bad to put it up, but my exhaustion factor got
me over that fast.) On days when she really doesn't want to stay
in, she has knocked the gate over, so we adjust from there (like
maybe no nap that day, or try again after another activity). What
I've learned is, you can't make anybody sleep. But you can create
a quiet atmosphere that encourages sleep, or at least lets a
toddler wind down. Her quiet play in her own room has often
turned into a voluntary nap (especially when we've seen signs
that she's tired). Hope this helps.
I will soon be facing a similar situation and have been
soliciting advice. Some friends have gone the two crib route,
but like you, I have no desire to do the two crib thing. The
best suggestions that I have heard are to use a pack and play
for my daughters naps and turn the crib over to baby #2 for
naps/bedtime or, keep my daughter in the crib full time until
she is 2 or 2 1/2 and just have baby #2 sleep in the pack and
play until then.
-heading your way
The exact same thing happened to us. My daughter was 20 months
old when we had to move her to a bed to free up the crib for the
2nd baby. She also wouldn't take a nap in her bed and would just
play. We ended up putting her to sleep in a playyard that we set
up in our bedroom... worked great. In fact, she seemed to find
it comforting again to be in a cozy space. She stayed there for
naps until she was 3 or so and was potty-training for naps and
needed to be able to get up to use the potty. We moved her back
to her bed for naps at that point and she will nap there now on
most days. Good luck.
Personally, I would reconsider moving a 20 mo. old to a bed.
Your baby could sleep in a pack and play if you really don't
want to buy a second crib (what about a second hand crib?). It
seems worth it to save the hassle. Twenty months is young for
the freedom of a big bed. When my nearly 3 year old moved to a
big bed, he gave up naps that day. If I'd have known, I might
have put my younger one in a pack and play for a bit and waited
it out. The older sib. has suffered from not having a nap, but
he just wouldn't do it without the structure of a crib.
When our son was 2 1/2, he slept in a ''big-boy'' bed for exactly one week before we
gave up and put him back in his crib. He just wasn't ready. Like your daughter, he
still needed to nap but got so excited by the freedom of his new bed that his
naptimes turned into glorified playtimes.
I think my husband and I were more disappointed than our son -- he only asked a
handful of times what happened to his bed, and once we got him back in his crib,
he reverted back to being a great napper. Like you, we thought that we needed to
move him into a bed so that we could give his crib to his baby sister, not to mention
that a lot of his friends were starting to transition into beds.
We ended up buying a second crib for our daughter, we have had two cribs now for
over a year. We ended up purchasing a good-quality used crib from Child's Play in
Rockridge and then bought a new mattress. Our son is now 3 1/2 and is finally
ready to make the move -- he has been dropping his naps pretty consistently, and
has been asking for a bed for the past couple of months. I think that you should
consider what is best for your daughter -- the fact that she still needs to nap and
that she cannot do so in a bed.
What worked for us was to buy one of those cheap IKEA ''bed-
tents'' and install it in his bed (it didn't fit nicely, but!).
We then spent time ''camping'' with our toddler, reading stories,
telling him stories about the stars in the tent... and just
making a big deal out of it. He started taking some naps in
there (but we didnt' force it) and little by little he got more
and more into the bed and by the end of 2-3 weeks he was
happily napping and sleeping on it. Now we have to convince the
baby to leave our room and join his brother :=)
You should just resign yourself to two cribs. Some experts say that many children
need the security of a crib until age three, some even until age four. At less than
two years old-it just seems way too young. I waited until my daughters wanted to
sleep in a bed (about two 1/2 for both of them) and it made the transition a lot
My 21 month-old daughter takes a nap everyday about 11:30 am.
She sleeps heavily for exactly one hour and wakes up. I go in
and have to rock her back to sleep and ever so gently lay her
down again. This usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. She will
then sleep another 45 to 60 min. This ''routine'' has been going
on for about 4 months, probably longer. Is this common? Does
anyone have some recommendations on how to help her sleep the
whole time? (We are ''attached'' parents and are not partial to
CIO methods.) She usually sleeps pretty well at night. Help!
grumpy mom needs a break
My daughter did the same thing, only she would wake up after the 1st 45 min. What
helped was to stand near her right before her ususal wake up time (bring a book or
ipod). Then, as soon as she began to stir, I'd pat and shush her or jiggle the crib
stroller. Usually this would get her back to sleep within a minute. If not, we'd do
the ususal rocking, nursing. The goal was to prevent her from fully awakening if
possible. After what seemed like a long while (many weeks) she finally began to
sleep continuously for 2 hours. I think I got this idea from Elizabeth Pantley's book,
the no-cry sleep solution--a good non-cio sleep resource. Good luck to you! I
remember how frustrated I was about this before I found a good solition.
long napper's mom
All of a sudden my 22 month old son's naps have pushed out
from 12:00 to 2 PM. Which is screwing up our nighttime
routine. I have put him to bed at 9:40 for the last four
nights. UGH. I don't know if it's because his 2 year molars
are coming in or what!? Normally he gets up at 7:00 a.m.,
naps at 12-12:30 until 2:30, and then goes to bed at 8 p.m.
He does not appear to be sick, but he is definitely teething.
How do I get him back on track. I am so wiped out. Help!
What's happening from 12 to 2 right now? Are you spending
that whole time trying to get him down for a nap? I would
find that frustrating and not worth the work, and time to
find a new normal. Maybe he's ready to give up the nap, at
least on a daily basis? My younger child stopped
napping--daily napping--well before 2 years old. You can try
instituting ''quiet time'' in place of the old nap time. Maybe
make the rule that he has to stay in his room from 12-1, but
he doesn't have to nap if he doesn't want to. Just so you
can get a break during the day. That worked with my older
one when he outgrew napping (but he was older at the time,
might be hard for a not-yet-two-year-old). Or let the nap be
at 2:00 if that's what makes sense for your toddler's body,
but limit the length of it so that it doesn't affect bed time?
My 22month old son is now too big for his crib, and has even
started climbing out of his playpen, so we've transferred him
for the second time to a toddler bed. He'll sleep in it at
night, after playing in his room with the door closed for a
while. He just puts himself back in it and generally goes to
sleep. The problem is he won't nap anymore. I put him in it and
try to relax him with stories and songs, but as soon as the door
closes he's off trotting aroung the room, climbing on things and
playing. He doesn't cry but I worry about him getting in trouble.
This wouldn't be such a big deal if I wasn't 7months pregnant,
and desperate for a nap myself, plus very worried about when the
new baby arrives. Any advice would be MUCH appreciated.
Tired and desperate
I was in your same situation at the beginning of this year, so
I really feel for you. Unfortunately, the end of my second
pregnancy coincided with my then two-year-old giving up her
nap. I thought if I let her sleep in her crib again, then that
would help, but she would just climb out and tear her room
apart. Bribes (i.e., a promised trip to the park if she would
play quietly in her room) didn't work either. The only way I
could get any rest was to have a babysitter come over or
drop her off at a friend's house. And once in a while (maybe
25 percent of the time) she'd fall asleep in the car after a
long drive. I would just nap in the car as well--she'd wake up
if I brought her in the house. I'm sorry that I don't have a
magic cure for you. The only consolation I can give you is
that I actually felt better and less tired after the new baby
arrived...pregnancy was more of a drain on my energy than a
second child! And no, my daughter has not resumed
napping. Good luck.
not as tired anymore
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