S.V. asks from Kirkland, WA on February 25, 2008
23 Month Old Not Napping and Stripping off All Clothes and Diaper!
Hi there, Any suggestions would be great. I have been racking my brain to try and figure out why my 23 month old just decided one day that she didn't want to nap. I have tried earlier, later, longer soothing period, high protein lunch before and nothing seems to be working. The other dilemma is that now, I can't just leave her in the crib to play (which she does very well, I have to admit) because she strips off all of her clothes and her diaper and ends up peeing in her bed! We have tried a snug onesie, tights, and even went so far as to duct tape the diaper on! It is making me a little cuckoo considering I am 23 weeks pregnant and would love to take a nap while she does ;)
Thanks for your help,
F.J. answers from Anchorage on February 29, 2008
This may sound crazy but put everything on backwards, it has helped me out a few times they can't reach the straps on the diaper or the buttons on the onesies if you have too duct tape the straps or try pull ups and footed pj's.
M.W. answers from Seattle on February 25, 2008
Looks like she's just decided not to nap any more. Frustrating to you, I can imagine. Try telling her since she's such a big girl and doesn't want to sleep during nap time, that her body still needs rest, so from now on she will have 'quiet time'. Give her activities she can do that are quiet (books, coloring, quiet building toys i.e. Duplos) that she can do independently (so you can rest too), and let her know she can do these only during 'quiet time'. Bring them out during that time, and put them up and inaccessible when the time is over. Make it a big production by storing them in their own tub, and special place. She can help bring them out, and them put them back in the tub when time is up. It will take some adjustment probably for both of you, but be consistent and don't give in to allowing these items to be played with any other time. As for the stripping, I've known a few kids that have done this. Nothing weird, just enjoying their nakedness and ability to take their clothes off. Maybe use it as an opportunity to start potty training. "Oh look, you've taken your clothes off, let's sit on the potty and see if you can go." No pressure, make it a fun activity. I'd definitely deep six the duct tape. That can't be good for her skin if it comes in contact with it, and can be quite painful to remove. If it's just to keep the diaper closed, you've obviously discovered her ability to just pull the diaper off like underwear. Good luck!
K.C. answers from Seattle on February 26, 2008
Raising children does have it's challenges for I have raised 5 who are grown and am now enjoying 5 grandchildren. I remember those nap times and struggling to get my child(ren) to nap. What I would do, is put him/her in a regualar bed and lay down beside her (that way you get a nap/rest, too). When the child would attempt to get up, etc. I would firmly tell her this is her quiet time and she needs to lay down. Then I would just put my arm around her to snuggle and close my eyes as if I was asleep. Most days he/she would get bored enough to go to sleep and other days he/she would just lay there. What I feel is most important is that you let your daughter know (in a loving but firm way) that you are in charge and also, that you are consistant with whatever you choose to do, if you want results. Motherhood is not easy but it's the best occupation in the world!
J.B. answers from Seattle on February 26, 2008
Have you tried putting the diaper on backwards, with the tabs in the back. Most kids can't reach around to undo them.
E.R. answers from Medford on February 27, 2008
Duct tape the diaper on.
Warm milk and/or a warm bath before bedtime.
Pet her (from her forehead) to help her go to sleep... this works on my daughter and I. lol
N.S. answers from Seattle on February 26, 2008
I feel your pain. My son used to put his hand down his throat to make himself throwup when he didn't want to go to bed because he knew someone would come in and clean it up and delay him having to go to sleep! Kids are just so darn smart! That lasted about three months. But once we started potty trainning we had another issuse. He would take his diaper off in the middle of the night, a dirty diaper, but not wake us. So we started saftey pinning his zipper on his pj's and it has worked like a charm! You might try this while your little one is napping. Also, a high protein meal will only give her energy, so try to up her carbs before she goes to take a nap. Also she is at an age where she thinks she doesn't need a nap, so you may want to try putting on some classical music in the back ground and tell her that it is quiet time. I tell my son, "it's quiet time, you odn't have to sleep, but you have to stay in your room and be quiet." So I give him a couple of books and turn on the music and within 5 minutes he is out cold. I am like you, I am pregnant, just finishing up my first trimester and I would like a nap also! LOL! Good luck!
S.W. answers from Seattle on February 26, 2008
I hate to tell you this, but you might have to give up the idea of a nap. My son stopped napping at 23 months when his sister was born. He also would strip and take his diaper off and pee and poop in his bed. After the fact I realized that he was acting out because of lack of control. All of a sudden he was not the only child in the house and the only thing he could control was whether he napped and whether he stayed dressed. Your daughter is probably sensing that she is not going to be the only baby in the house and acting out as a result. The good news is that it is just a faze and she will move on to something else eventually. I think my son did this for a couple months and then finally stopped when we stopped fighting him on napping. We tried putting his diaper and pj's on backward which worked for a day or two. My best advice is to try not to make a big deal out of the peeing in the bed and hopefully she will lose interest in it. When she does it just stay calm and change her sheets and move on. If she sees you getting emotional and angry about it she will keep doing it because she is getting your attention for it. Good luck!
S.B. answers from Seattle on February 26, 2008
Hi S.,have you considered potty training now? If she is taking off her diapers no matter what, maybe she is giving you signals that she doesn't want to be in diapers anymore. Maybe try to get her to sit on those little toilets and try to go then. I have heard that girls are easier to train than boys (he turned 3 in October, and still wets just a little bit). It could also be a great advantage to have her toilet trained before the baby comes! My three year old doesn't nap either, and when he was two he didn't really like to go down for naps. He also had a bed at a very young age because he hated his crib. We have a matrice cover that goes on that is snug and easy to wash if there are accidents. I go cuckoo also when he is home & doesnt sleep. He still wakes up a couple of times at night, and doesn't like to rest during the day. (This is just one of those days!). But, when I was pregnant with my second, we got onto a regular schedule. I found that getting him to bed between 11:30-12:00 worked the best. By this time he was tired and would sleep. Any later he was just too tired to go to bed. If we'd be outside or at the park it would be a struggle to get home, but then getting him to bed was even more of a challenge if it was any later than that. We also had a routine with a brush teeth and story time, and than helped a ton. He'd still wake up 6 or 7am, so I would get to bed when he did at night and we survived! Hope you figure it out! Best wishes! S.
C.W. answers from Spokane on February 26, 2008
I just wanted to let you know I understand and you are not alone out there. My daughter, almost 2, has started doing both these as well. She will not leave her diaper on and she has dropped her afternoon nap. Her doc says it is normal for children her age to drop naps if they are getting enough rest at night. As for the diaper thing I have been told to potty train, but what I found that helps are G-diapers. They are cloth with a disposable insert and the tabs are in the back so she can't get to them(plus they are biodegredable:)
I feel for you not napping being pregnant, maybe you could find a mama's helper, a sitter just to watch her while you nap or get stuff done. That is what saved me during my second pregnancy, I would have someone watch my daughter while I took a rest.