2 Yr Old Nap Pattern

Updated on November 13, 2009
A.W. asks from Lumberton, NJ
6 answers

My son, third child, just turned 2 a couple of weeks a go.
My first child never had anything in her crib, has developed a bit insecure I think
My second child's best friend was her thumb.
My third I put whatever appeases him in his crib as long as it is safe.
He is screaming the last 3 days going down for a nap. His cry is so LOUD it unnerves me. I don't know what he wants! He just wants this stuffed animal, then that, then a cloth, then I try covering him with a blanket, then he wants a sippy cup of water in the corner, then he wants me to fill it up with more water, on and on.
I am not the type to let my kids manipulate me so this "game" drives me crazy and the last three days have been the worst. I just end up closing the door and letting him cry himself to sleep. I hate that.

What can I do next?

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answers from Philadelphia on

My 2 year old (23 month old) daughter does the delaying game at bedtime. She started it about a month ago and I didn't quite notice, and it really came to a head this last week. Now I'm putting a stop to it.

This is how I'm dealing with it: I'm sticking to our naptime/bedtime routine, I explain to her what's coming next and i stay as calm as possible the whole time. If she screams and screeches at me -- I calmly tell her that "Mommy isn't yelling at you, so you shouldn't yell at Mommy" - that often calms her down into a talking voice.

Her main delaying technique is to ask for more hugs and more songs. So part of her routine, she gets one hug and 2 songs. After that, its done, and its time for her to lay down. The last 2 nights there has been a LOT of screaming after the 2 songs were done and she wanted "more sing" but I stuck to my guns, and after 20 or 30 minutes she put herself down. I expect that tonight she'll put herself down sooner than that, as she realizes that she has to follow my rules and that the delaying techniques aren't working anymore.

So anyway -- this is a long way of saying let him choose 2 items for him to bring to bed (or 3 if you want, it doesn't matter, just pick a number and stick to it, don't waiver). After he gets those X items. It's time for his nap. No questions asked. I'm impressed as to how much I can talk to her when she's upset and explain to her what is "proper behavior" and what isn't. I can ask her not to yell at me, I can ask her to take a deep breath. I can reason with her.

Give it a try. Stay calm. It'll suck for a few days, but once he realizes that his games won't work -- he'll straighten up to your way of doing things. Just stay consistent.

Sorry for the long post. Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

It sounds to me like he is trying out his manipulating techniques. My son was (Correction: IS) like that. Some mommy days just stink. It's normal to feel that way sometimes, but if he needs the rest, then, as the PP mentioned, the sleep is more important than the crying. Get his kit & kaboodle all assembled then put him down & GO OUT of the room. Have you ever played a CD in his room during nap time? It might distract him from the crying sooner. Hang tough, momma!


answers from Allentown on

Hi, A.:

What time is nap time?

What is the reason that he has to take a nap?

Just want to know. D.



answers from Philadelphia on

If he's routinely asking for the same things (toy, blanket, sippy), then I would just have them already in the crib before naptime. Maybe you could let him pick his 1 or 2 naptime stuffed animals right before you start to soothe him down for his nap? I agree with the PPs question as to what time naptime is--noon or 1 is supposed to be age-appropriate. After that, he's old enough to be told that it's naptime and that once he has his stuffed animals, sippy, etc, you are leaving and not coming back. (I'm a mean, let-cry parent, obviously)

You are doing the right thing in letting him cry if he still needs the nap to get through the day. The nap is more important than the crying in the long run...

Best luck.


answers from Pittsburgh on

I say establish a short and sweet routine, while incorporating some of those elements, but make it the same every time; eg. read a book, sing a "nap" song, hand him his animal, put the a full sippy cup of water in the corner, and hand him the cloth. Say, "Sleeptime" and walk out IMMEDIATELY. He may fuss, but if you do this in the same order over and over day by day in a matter-of-fact manner things may improve. If you deviate and get more water, etc, he will think, "Ahhh...that's the way to draw this out and put of naptime"!
I take my 2 year old upstairs, put her in bed, give her a book, announce it is sleeptime and get the heck out of dodge. If I linger it is all over. My hubby lingered a few days ago and we have been paying for it ever since (she missed two naps the past two days). Good luck, sweetie.



answers from Philadelphia on

Shew, he doesn't want to take a nap!!! Make it short, sweet and to the point and let him go! He needs a nap, you know, he just doesn't want to because he is 2 and there is sooo much more to do! If you are consistent he will get over it in a few days, my daughter is 2 and we went through the same thing just after she turned 2!

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