February 19, 2008,
A.W. asks from Lake Stevens, WA on February 10, 2008
Could My Daughter Be Ready for No Nap??
My 15 month old daughter fights me like crazy when it is nap time. Some days it takes me 15 minutes to get her down and others we struggle for over 30 minutes and I just give up. The CIO method does not work for us. We have tried and tried and it just escalates into a worse mess. Nighttime is ok and we really don't have issues. She sleeps about 11 to 12 hours at night. I know she is tired and gets so whiney in the evening if she doesn't nap. I am just wondering if any other moms struggle with naps like I do and what you do to make it easier.
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for the wealth of advice. I have read each and every one of the post. I appreciate it. I am glad that I am not the only one out there going thru this "cycle." There are so many awesome ideas that you have provided. I never thought I would get this much response.
We are still having issues and I am trying pretty much anything and everything. She is just a strong willed child, but luckily I realize that and don't tend to cave easily. My goal is just to remain consistant and diligent and pray that this is just a phase she is going thru. When I say I have tried it all, I have. Yesterday I was just so tired that I just put her in her crib with toys and books and said quiet time and left. Since I have never done that before, I sat in my room and cried. It lasted about 30 mins where she kept herself entertained and quiet but didn't fall asleep. And after 30 mins, she started jumping in her crib and screaming. I gave it 15 more minutes and that was it. I had to go to the post office, and of course she fell right to sleep. I do not like to use this as an aid, but I had to get an errand done. Anyhow,Like I mentioned before, CIO doesn't work for us and almost has the reverse affect, my daughter gets more worked up to the point of throwing up and then it takes me an hour to calm her down. To me, that is not a way I can parent.
I am just praying this is a phase. She just started walking two weeks ago, seems to be getting more teeth, is probably bored because we live in the NW and it rains too much, and just about the time I figure it out, she will have change the game plan again.
S.B. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
T.F. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
My kids both tried to give up their nap early (around age 2) and I resisted and am happy to say they both still nap now at age 3 1/2 (I have twins). I did have to separate them (not an issue for you, but maybe other mothers reading this with twins). They were the same way with whining when they didn't have it, so I knew they were tired. I gave them a board book and told them to read it in bed quietly to their stuffed animal as a nap-nap story because the animal was really tired and needed help getting to sleep. Eventually they fell asleep on their own doing this. A friend of mine had to use crib tents as her child tried to climb out of the crib, and play with other toys, but would fall asleep if in the tent with a board book. Every child is different, so I hope this helps. From what you describe though it sounds like she still needs it and I think most kids nap or at least have a "quiet time" in their room until Kindergarten.
C.S. answers from Anchorage on February 12, 2008
Well if she is sleeping that long at night, she might not need a nap. Also, if you are trying to get her to take a nap in her bed, she might think it's night night time and not just nap time. My sister had this same problem with my nice. Her doctor told her when she gets up in the morning let her take her pillow and blanket with her. When she starts feeling sleepy let HER lay down where ever. Be for you knew it my nice was taking a nap where she laid down. I know it sounds crazy, but it worked. No fighting with her, and my sister was relived.
E.A. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
I have a 17 month old daughter that REFUSES to sleep in her crib during the day. She has since she was born. She also does well sleeping at night, just not during the day. I learned that when she would get tired she would fall asleep in her high chair (not the best place...) or her stroller. The stroller has worked out to be the best place for naptime because I can set her up watching Seseme Street or Baby Einstein and she is out like a light soon after and now sleeps @ naptime for 2 hours+, which I'm sure you know is very valuable mommy time!
I hope this helps with ideas. :) Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
R.A. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
You cannot make a child nap. But you can create a structure that encourages it. A fifteen month old is old enough to understand some general commands, and to do what mommy says. This is a typical age to start testing limits. So, naps come first. She knows you can't physically make her sleep, so she's going to see what happens.
But there are some things that you can make her do, and if you start there, eventually you may have less of a struggle at nap time. Start in unrelated areas. Gently let her know that what mommy says, goes. For example, you give her apple juice, but she wants milk. Let her know that this time, mommy thinks apple juice is best for her. If she's thirsty, she gets juice. Or, you want her in the stroller and she wants out. Let her know that this time it's not going to work for mommy to carry her. So, in the stroller she stays. (Even if she cries.)
You are sending her a message: "Hey, mommy only wants what is best for you and she's willing to do it, even if you don't like it."
These are issues you can control. She can't have milk unless you say so. She can't get out of the stroller unless you unbuckle it. She will learn that mommy has the authority to make decisions and she must comply. Then, when it comes to issues that you cannot control, like naps, she will be more likely to do what you wish. She respects your authority.
In the meantime, make sure you are at home every day for about two weeks at nap time. Put her down at around the same time every day.
It may continue to be a struggle. Be patient. Even if she never turns out to be an easy napper, you are giving her the service of letting her know you care enough to insist on what's good for her.
1 mom found this helpful
K.M. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
my daughter is 18mths and it has been the same for me since about 15mths also. i just let her chose. sometimes she will go right to sleep and others she just plays for an hour. if she isnt in the bed by 2pm then she just doesnt get a nap. she gets whiny too. i am not sure that it is all because of no nap though. i also agree with judy v
T.G. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
I wouldn't force her to nap, but I think it is good to have "down time" where she lies down quietly during the day where you read to her, maybe make her some warm tea. I ran a Lifeways day care and it's important to have that time and get into a rhythm.
M.L. answers from New York on February 12, 2008
We use kind of a modified CIO method, with a routine during the day. I noticed that my baby (16 mo. now)was going down without a fuss at night after bottle/bath/kisses/prayers/snuggles then bed w/ her lovey. I started a new routine during the day, incorporating her bottle and some snuggles before her nap. It's possible that your baby is giving up her nap...but she might be just realizing that it's an option to go without it! Sometimes it takes my baby 30 minutes to fall asleep, but she'll eventually do it (with a mixture of crying and singing to herself.)
J.C. answers from Seattle on February 12, 2008
Your daughter still physically needs a nap, even if she would prefer to nottake one. I found the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Weissbluth to be incredibly helpful with my two kids,who both sleep very well. If CIO does not work for you, you may find an acceptable solution in this book. Don't give up, and don't give in. Your daughter will just become conditioned to wait you out, and she will! Little kids have incredible stamina to resist if they know they will prevail.
R.S. answers from Portland on February 14, 2008
I'm not familiar with the CIO method, but it does sound like your daughter is working out of nap time. You can't force her to sleep. You can provide a soft quiet place & time with no pressure to sleep. I would make her bed time earlier to help with crankiness and be thankful she sleeps 11 to 12 hours a night. Good luck R.
J.M. answers from Portland on February 12, 2008
Several of my kids were like this. I just still enforce quiet time every afternoon when the baby naps. I found that even though my child that didn't want to nap the ended up crashing during quiet time every third day.
Every child is different so you have to try different approaches to see what works.