one hour of >>>>:0
September 28, 2017 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Our 16 month old kid no longer wants to nap.

  • Current schedule is being waking up between 6:30 and 7. If he isn't up by 7, we wake him up. He is usually droopy with sleep by 1, which is when we put him to bed. In better times, he naps until about 2:30 or 3. Currently, we go through the whole bedtime routine except for bathtime, then put him down. He starts to whimper even before he goes into the crib. Once put down, he will basically just stand in his crib and yell until we go in and get him.

  • Right now, we just let him yell for about an hour, because it's all we can take. It also seems to rile him up more when we try to soothe him during (go in, pat his back, make sure he has his pacifier, then walk back out without saying anything).

  • The only thing that makes him stop crying is to take him out of his crib. He'd prefer to take 100% of his nap in your arms in the rocking chair, and we think he'd happily nap for two hours if we did that every day.

  • He is very tired after his hour of >:0. Yesterday, we went to the grocery store, and he was falling asleep in the grocery cart even though he usually adores going to the grocery store.

  • No problems at night. Bedtime happens between 7:45 and 8:00. He usually wakes around 5 a.m. for at least a while, but usually puts himself back to sleep quickly.

  • Sleeps in his crib in a onesie or pajama set, zipped up into a sleep sack with his beloved Wubbanub. He has a WIDE FREAKING ASSORTMENT of soft toys and potential attachment objects in his crib, but appears to mostly prefer his pacifier and a certain polka-dotted ribbon.

  • At 4 months, we did some low-key sleep training for the night time. He went through a phase about eight months ago when he didn't want to nap, but it was more a situation where he would sleep for at least half an hour, then wake up and want you to cuddle him. Now, he just stands in his crib for an hour and screams angrily.

  • Once a week, he takes two 45 minute naps in the car when he goes down to visit my parents.

  • He has just about all of his teeth -- we're guessing that he's got 14-16, and may be working on additional molars. He hasn't really done this NO NAP NO MASTERS thing while he was getting other molars in.

  • Pushing his nap out to 1:30 or even 2 has not led to better results.

  • Mr. Machine is staying at home with him, and usually puts the kid down to nap. As far as we can tell, it doesn't matter who does the kid's naps.

  • When you get him after his hour of >:0000 and have gotten him out of his sleep suit, he seems to be extra cuddly and chatty and playful. Mr. Machine kinda got the feeling that the kid felt like he'd been punished, and wanted to be extra charming.

  • posted by joyceanmachine to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
    How long has the nap strike been?
    posted by vunder at 12:09 PM on September 28, 2017

    This may or may not be practical, but mine naps much better if I’m in the room with him (reading, checking my emails, etc). Could your husband spend a couple of afternoons chilling out in the same room with a book?
    posted by tinkletown at 12:16 PM on September 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

    Maybe bumping the nap up earlier, to 12 or 12:30? It could be that by the time he is obviously 'droopy with sleep,' he's actually overtired & cranky, and then he quickly zooms past the 'tired' window into 'paradoxically hyperactive and NOOOO I DON'T WANT TO SLEEP'

    Is he doing any mini-naps in the car in the morning? I discovered even a tiny ten minute nap on the way home from errands could ruin any chance of Toddler Bravo taking his usual nap at that age.

    You could also try bumping him up to an earlier bedtime on the days that he's skipping a nap, like 6:30 or 7 PM. I have heard 'sleep begets sleep' and I really found that to be true with my little dude. If his naps got thrown off course, we'd put him to bed extra early, he'd still wake up at his usual time (or even sleep in), and then napped much better the next day, I think because he was no longer overtired.

    Otherwise, he might just be working out some developmental stuff and it'll blow over in a couple weeks, and he'll suddenly be acting a lot older. You don't realize it's happening until it's over, unfortunately.
    posted by castlebravo at 12:31 PM on September 28, 2017 [10 favorites]

    See what happens if you let him sleep in in the morning as long as he wants.
    posted by yarly at 1:29 PM on September 28, 2017 [4 favorites]

    Possible over stimulation, less stuff in crib, maybe by himself or one plain softy? Which Scandinavian country was it that give a box of supplies with each newborn and the "box" is the crib.
    posted by sammyo at 1:32 PM on September 28, 2017

    Kid 1 slept like an angel and loved naps. Kid 2 was exactly like what you are dealing with, except the napping issues started at about 6 months. There was no good solution except to carry him in a baby sling during naptime. When he got too big for that we resorted to driving him until he fell asleep as that was the only other thing that worked reliably.
    posted by fimbulvetr at 1:34 PM on September 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

    This exactly happened to us. Same age, same standing in crib wailing.

    He still naps on schedule at daycare. Peer pressure.

    Sadly we became "those parents" who take him for a 10min drive at 12:30, and then come home and transfer him to his crib. But damn it I need my afternoon break still.

    On the plus side, he now goes to bed like a dream. 4 stories, 5min snuggle, kiss and we leave the room, he talks himself to sleep.
    posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:57 PM on September 28, 2017

    Sadly we became "those parents" who take him for a 10min drive at 12:30, and then come home and transfer him to his crib. But damn it I need my afternoon break still.

    This is what I did for a long time, starting around 17 months. For a long time, it worked. Then it didn't. I had to keep the car moving, or take her on long walks over bumpy pavement. By 18 months, she was never napping except inside of an idling car, often for as briefly as ten minutes. Meanwhile, her bedtime was getting later and later. I went on a trip when she was 20 months old, and dad couldn't get her to nap at all. That was the end of regular naps, though they did taper off--she'd nap every other day, then every third, then once a week or so. Her bedtime was always hours earlier and easier when she didn't. She's nearly 4 now, still occasionally naps in the car, but never otherwise. Yes, it hurts a little, still, when I hear that friends still get their 3 year olds to take 2 hour naps in the afternoons. But it is what it is. Better than fighting my child.

    This reassured me that I wasn't breaking my child by going with her napless flow.
    posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:06 PM on September 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

    At that age, our twins were still loving 2 naps a day. Maybe he's getting too overtired by the time he starts his one nap. Are you open to trying 2?
    posted by studioaudience at 10:25 PM on September 28, 2017

    Currently, we go through the whole bedtime routine except for bathtime, then put him down.

    When my son was about 18 months, he went from wanting an entire naptime routine to us literally lying him down in his cot, at which point he'd say bye and wave to us. I wonder if it's too much at a point they are overtired.
    posted by threetwentytwo at 2:14 AM on September 29, 2017

    This sounds counter-intuitive, but I'd also try doing nap and bedtime earlier. I'd try putting him down for a nap around noon, and for bed around 7. The theory is that overtired kids have a harder time falling asleep, and by the time they're visibly tired, it's too late. At this age, my kiddos could only handle being awake for about five hours.
    posted by snickerdoodle at 4:28 AM on September 29, 2017

    Our kid two refused to nap in a crib as soon as she was able to stand up on her own. She napped beautifully in a queen sized bed. (But then also stopped going in her crib at night shortly thereafter, which was a different problem for us). So, maybe the issue is the crib. Can you create a nap area on the floor, babyproof the room, and lock him in there? That way if he isn't sleeping he can move around and maybe give you some time?
    posted by dpx.mfx at 8:16 AM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

    I echo the advice of moving both nap and bedtime earlier. I'd do nap at 12 and bedtime at 7. He sounds like he could be overtired (especially if he's already drooping), and that really can make naps harder. And hey, if it doesn't work, then it doesn't work -- but worth a try!
    posted by ethorson at 4:25 PM on September 29, 2017

    I also agree that you should try moving the naptime up. Experiment a little, but ideally you should be putting him down when he's tired but before he shows it. Who knew parenting involved so much mind-reading?
    posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:47 PM on September 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

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