Ferber/nap adjustment for 1 year old
August 8, 2016 8:08 AM   Subscribe

My old year old is beginning to fight her naps, and wakes up very upset.

I have always rocked her to sleep for naps since she was a baby, and now it is just getting too hard because she either takes way too long to fall asleep or once I sneak her into her crib she wakes up 30 minutes later crying for me. At night time I only cuddle her for a few minutes and put her down awake but drowsy, she will cry hysterically for about 5 minutes or less and then puts herself to sleep through the night (12-13 hours), naps are totally different.

I've tried everyting, I tried not rocking her and putting her down awake with strick nap time routines in place like night time, but she will pop up and she will stand there crying for a long time, I'll go in pat her and walk out, but she will not settle until I go back in and rock her to sleep. She was doing 2 naps a day a bout 1-1.5 hours each, but now she wakes up 20-45 minutes crying upset. People say just keep doing it and she will figure it out but everytime I try to put her down awake for her naps she wont nap and it ruins the whole day because she is cranky, I just get her up and try again in an hour and it is repeat so I give up and rock her so that she eventually gets some sleep.

Should I do this strict for a week and just suffer through her tiredness until she actually gets that nap time is nap time. I just dont like the fact that I have tried for 3 days and its 3 days of her crying with no naps until i rock her. Some babies dont need as much naps, but she isnt' that baby, she needs a good 2-3 hour of nap time during the day or she is miserable and we can't even enjoy our day together. I'm just not sure if I should do this strict with her, and tell grandma she has to be strict too (grandma watches her during the day while I'm at work and she says its hard on her to let her cry.) Any suggestions would be GREAT! Tired baby, tired mama.
posted by MamaBee223 to Human Relations (12 answers total)
What time are you trying to put her down?
posted by Night_owl at 8:49 AM on August 8, 2016

Response by poster: She has ALWAYS gone to sleep at between 6-7, by her request, I just follow her cues so night time is okay. Typically her day routine is she wakes up by 7:30 am, is tired by 9:30-10 (naps for 30-90 mins, now it is like 30 minutes and waking up tired and crying), she will be up for two more hours and want to go back to sleep by 1 pm (same thing). Then depending on how terrible her naps were by 6/630 shes read for bedtime.
posted by MamaBee223 at 9:17 AM on August 8, 2016

Best answer: She might be ready to transition from two daytime naps to one.
posted by goggie at 9:34 AM on August 8, 2016 [11 favorites]

My first move would be to do what you do for bedtime but for naptime. And it sounds like you've tried this a bit, but then you ask if you should be strict about it for a week, so it sounds like you've only done it a time or two? My approach would be do it for a week and see if it sticks.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:34 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: She might be ready to drop down to one nap instead of two. 12 - 13 hours of sleep at night is a very long time and really good!

My little guy was also clocking 12+ hours at night with a 6 PM bedtime, and started resisting his two naps a day shortly after his first birthday (difficult to drop off to sleep, would wake up far too soon in tears, etc.). We switched him to one nap a day at 13.5 months and it was so much easier. I think we could have tried one nap even sooner. My hunch is the babies who are sleeping that solid 12 hour chunk at night are ready for just one nap earlier than other kids. His one nap a day now lasts 2 to 2.5 hours, starting at noon, so it works out really well and he still ends up with as much total sleep each day as he did with two naps. He also wakes up from his one nap pleasant and cheerful.

I originally thought it was way too early to switch him to one nap, but I read this article and that gave me the courage to give it a try!
posted by castlebravo at 9:44 AM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I think you're definately right in saying she is ready for one long nap. Was the transition tough? She gets really tired by 10 am still for that morning nap but maybe just pushing her through for a couple more hours keeping her active? I'm betting that it wasn't an overnight transition from two to one long one, was it short for a while until he got the hang of it? I feel what will happen is I will push it but then she will continue just one short 45 minute nap, and it will be too late to get another nap in and I want to start avoiding the second one. Did you start to push him a little later each day if he was still showing signs of being tired in the morning?
posted by MamaBee223 at 9:49 AM on August 8, 2016

When my son moved from two naps to one it was all about keeping him active & distracted in the morning. Then he'd have lunch and then nap in the early afternoon. It took a couple of weeks to adjust - there were some days where we didn't make it all the way to lunch and that was fine - but planning some kind of activity (park, backyard, game, etc) for around that 10:30 mark meant we could push through the slightly sleepy mid-morning and have an actual nap after lunch.
posted by machine at 10:19 AM on August 8, 2016

The transition for us was not too bad. He would still be rubbing his eyes, etc. during his "old" morning nap time and we had to be careful to not do any longer car rides because he would fall asleep and throw off his new schedule. Getting him outside in fresh air helped, and just keeping him entertained with toys seemed to keep him happy enough until his new nap time. Even now at 16 months, if it is 10 AM or later, we have to keep car trips short so he doesn't doze off too early.

We didn't have an organized transition - I guess his daycare had already been giving him only one nap a day for the past couple weeks, so he was already used to it there - so for us, we really did just try keeping him awake for two extra hours in the morning, and then by 11:30 - noon he was tuckered out and ready for a nice long nap after his lunch, and slept for two hours straight! For us it seemed to click immediately, but again, we discovered our daycare had already been doing it that way for a couple weeks. If he napped poorly at daycare, we just made sure we had him in bed a little earlier at night.

Once his food was on a schedule, that helped too. He eats lunch at 11 AM and then noon works perfect for a nap, because the food coma kicks in.
posted by castlebravo at 10:20 AM on August 8, 2016

Yes, one long nap!

I liked the No Cry Sleep Solution for help with sleeping issues.
posted by john_snow at 10:33 AM on August 8, 2016

Most of the babies at my daughter's daycare above a year have transitioned to one nap. My 10 month old is right in the middle of this - sometimes with the one longer afternoon nap, sometimes with the 2 shorter ones, sometimes (non-ideally) falling asleep very late in the day.

A thing I have noticed is that she sometimes takes a very short am nap during their buggy ride - could you get her out in the stroller during the time she'd normally nap in the am? That way she can doze lightly for 15 or 20 mins or not at all, but probably the transition back home would wake her up.

Also, is she in a developmental leap for something new? We've had sleep problems during every transition - learning to roll, learning to stand up/crawl. I assume we'll have another one as she learns to really walk. I think other language and cognitive leaps happen during these times too. These feel like forever but in reality have only been about 2 weeks long.

(And yes, meals on a schedule help us too.)
posted by vunder at 2:12 PM on August 8, 2016

We do nap and quiet time combo. It doesn't matter what little toddles does - but he is in his crib with toys and books for at least an hour. If he sleeps, great. If he plays, fine. Maybe switch to one nap in the afternoon with toys/books available in the crib, and earlier in the day when the babe is tired but not ready for bed, just some quiet time driving in the car (for errands) or reading books together quietly.
posted by Toddles at 11:32 PM on August 8, 2016

I have three and they were all different!

#1 dropped her 2nd nap early (10 months or so) and kept her 9-11am nap (though she got up at 5am every day) until she was 17 months then dropped that too.

#2 would only nap on me, so i put her in a carrier or held her and she slept or not on my back/my arms, but didn't cry either way.

#3 dropped his morning nap a bit like your little one is - it got shorter and he woke grumpy.

So with him i would try to get him out in the morning, somewhere not too far (no long buggy or car rides, which encouraged sleep) and keep him awake through his old 9am naptime and then put him down for a nap right after an early lunch. He would sleep 11.30-1.30 or 2pm BUT his bedtime moved a bit later.

As an aside two of mine woke grumpy. No matter what. Some people are just grumpy when they wake up and tend to be more so after napping (rather than after the overnight sleep). That's the sort of thing you discern as they grow and their neurology develops. It's not necessarily something that needs solving. I'm only saying that because moving her nap might not solve the grumps and that doesn't mean it wasn't the best solution. Good luck!
posted by intergalacticvelvet at 5:27 AM on August 12, 2016

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