Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Napping Sitch

Let me just start by saying SIGH.


The nappage is not going so well around these parts. Miles is sort of settling into a routine (two times a day; 1-2 hours each nap), but not terribly regular. Sometimes it will be just one nap, or the naps will only be 30 minutes long. It's tough, but I can deal with that. He's an infant; he will likely develop a regular pattern by the end of his ninth month (next month, GAH!). It'll be fine.

Oscar is a completely different story. Oh, Oscar. I'm looking at him right now, passed out on the couch in the living room from sheer exhaustion. He hasn't napped for four days. Poor guy.

Before anyone tries to tell me maybe he's through napping, please see above. The child needs to nap. He's just a smidgen over two. Prior to the last month or so, he went down like a rock at 11AM for three hours. THREE HOURS.

Until he was about 15 months, Oscar took two naps a day, one from 9-11:30/ and one from 2-4. There was some serious nappage going on around here. They were hard fought at first, but once he hit around nine months, he went down like a dream.

Then, he dropped his afternoon nap. My understanding is that most kids drop their morning nap first, but not Oscar. I tried to move his one nap later in the day, but he wouldn't have it.

So, since about 16 months, he's been sleeping 11-2 pretty much every single day. A great napper. A championship napper.

Until about a month ago. I'm not sure what happened. He just decided NO. When I put him down, he rages. I mean, screams his flipping guts out. Like shrieking and sobbing and flailing around and throwing his bunny and blankie from the crib and howling. "MOMMA HOLD YOU! I ALL DONE MOMMA! I ALL DONE NAP! I FINISHED! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! IEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! WAAAAAAAAAA! OPEN DOOR! I NEED DOOR OPEN! I NEED DOWNSTAIRS! MOMMY! MOMMY!"

For an hour. And then I go and get him and we continue about our day. At first I though he was saying he's finished with his current nap. Now I'm beginning to think he's indicating that he's through with the entire actuality of napping. Can that be?

And he's just sucky after no nap. He often refuses dinner, tantrums at bath time, shoves his brother, tries to bite me when I intervene. He's like a completely different kid. I want my sweet, funny boy back.

About every third or fourth day, he'll nap out of sheer exhaustion (like today.)

I am at a loss, internets, a total loss. I've tried everything. Moving nap time later; moving bed time later; moving bed time earlier; lunch before nap; lunch after nap; reading before nap; CIO for an hour; just letting him not nap; letting him fall asleep in front of the TV; laying down with him; adjusting the temperature in his room up and down. None of it is working.

So I'm calling on you, oh wise ones. What do you do to get your toddlers to nap? I'm out of solutions and I'm running out of patience. Oh, wait, I AM out of patience. Suggestions needed. Please. Help. Me.


Cara said...

Oh Lord. I hope you get this figured out soon. I'd go nuts. Wouldn't be able to take it. Have you considered putting a small TV in his room that he can only use at naptimes?

Keely said...

Ugh. I don't know. X is, for the most part (knock on wood), a pretty good napper. He sometimes wakes up early and sometimes fights it going down, but not that badly.

White noise machine? Humidifier? When X is super hysterical like that, running water (or Elmo, but that's no good for naptime, tv can stimulate their brains too much for sleep apparently) will calm him down.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Sweetie, I have given up. I just instituted quiet time. "You don't have to nap, but you must stay in your bed and play quietly." I then leave the room claiming to take my own nap and listen for the monitor. After about 20 minutes, she usually quiets down and I then check to confirm she is in fact sleeping.
Sometimes though? No nap, no way. Those are typically the weekend days when I can't take it anymore, refuse to make dinner, we go out to dinner, and she falls asleep a minute before we park, and then wakes up for her meal only to act like she can't believe she has to sit with us. Lots o'fun, that one.

Anonymous said...

I hear a good stiff whiskey does wonders for that.

No, just kidding. (Although it probably would.)

Caiden went through a phase where he would only nap in my room, which I figured out was because it's dark in there. As soon as I applied that knowledge to his own room (by way of a winter comforter folded in half and pinned over the window) he was out like a light, literally. We don't have to do this anymore, and I suspect this may have been a Caiden-specific quirk, but it couldn't hurt to try it on Oscar, too.

Veronica said...

Amy stopped napping at 20 months. Sure she needed to nap, but she refused to. Completely.

I still miss it.

Kelsey said...

oh that's so awful. I cry for you.

rachel said...

I put a baby gate up in bens doorway and leave him in his room. It's my quiet time, even though he usually has a meltdown for the first few (or 20) minutes, he ends up sleeping 99% of the time. i find that the harder he fights his nap, the more he really needs one. It's really hard not to give in to him but he has started doing really well with it. Once he is asleep i take the gate down so he can come out of his room as soon as he wakes up.

Big Mama Cass said...

Ugh... sounds like my house as of late. My dr insists that I make Monkey sleep in the afternoon and not the morning so I kept trying to switch him because he too gave up the afternoon nap, not the morning and I have had pretty crappy luck with that. I have finally thrown in the towel. Today I only got 30 minutes out of him. *Sigh*

Casey said...

Graham is on nap strike too and didn't nap twice this week. I know what you mean about missing your sweet kid since we've been dealing with a little asshole on our end when he's tired.

Have you tried putting him down a little earlier? Maybe you're missing the window and he's overtired and fighting it? We've had that happen but now that the kids are in school, it's hard to get Graham home and in bed by his usual 12:15 so he's fighting sleep. Good luck.

FoN said...

Oh, that sucks. I wish I had a pearl of wisdom for you. Valium? Just kidding!

Heather said...

I'm so afraid of this happening with my little one too. She's been the absolute best sleeper/napper since four months old. I wish I had some good advice but I'm sure you already do the whole naptime routine everyday that leads up to the nap and that's all I've got. Hopefully this is just a small phase and he'll eventually get back to napping again so you can have your sanity back as well.

Susanica said...

Jenni, I've been thinking about this all weekend. And I've come to the conclusion that the answer is the bunny. The bunny needs to take a nap every day and Oscar has to make that happen. Build it a little bed right next to Oscar. Make it listen to gentle music, listen to a story from Oscar and get rocked to sleep by Oscar. Your battle will no longer be with toddler boy. He doesn't have to nap if he doesn't want to, but he must make sure bunny gets his nap. It's worth a try right? -M

Anonymous said...

Yeesh. That sounds hard.

The girl is usually ok about naps but when she kicks up about it I usually go for quiet time. She generally gets bored and goes to sleep.

Good Luck