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need toddler advice

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:33 AM
  • 11 Replies

My 21 month old has started refusing to sleep during nap time. She is driving me crazy because about 4:30-5:00 she starts melting down. Whining and clinging to my leg while I prepare dinner and driving me crazy. I also have an 8 month old who also melts down about this time.I need help before i lose my mind!

She started sleeping in a big girl bed in december bc she beats herself up in the crib. (she's a wild sleeper). So she just climbs right out of bed and proceeds to destroy her bedroom, make all sorts of noise that wakes up her baby brother in the next room.

Please give me some advice before I lose my mind!

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:33 AM
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by Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM
my 19 month old normally naps from2-4 but some days he refuses. I just let him go until he passes out usually right around 4.

I try to stick him in his room with a gate on the door for a little bit and that usually helps with him calming down. Occasionally he cries and when I go get him he gets all snugly and falls asleep in my arms.
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by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM
I rock my 19 month old to sleep. It's convenient for me bc I love the snuggly mood she's in and we bond durning that time. I am also an at home mom. I realize I will have to break her of this, and I plan on doing it with stories before bed along with a little snuggle time. But I guess just experiment and find what works for the both of you.
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by Gold Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM
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 Around that age, mine rebelled against naps, too, so what I did was start "quiet time." I put a pallet of blankets on the floor in the living room in front of the TV and said she didn't have to go to sleep, but she did have to be very, very quiet. 9 out of 10 times, she'd fall asleep within moments. ;)

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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If you still have the crib, I'd recommend putting her back in it.  Does she actually make herself black and blue the way she sleeps? You could put crib bumper pads on the crib... they are not recommended any more for use with newborns, because of the possibility of suffocation, but I don't think an older baby is at risk.  Please look into this before doing so, though.

Another thing to do.. will take about two months, but you can sit in her room until she does fall asleep.  She needs to make this her habit, and once she's used to napping in her big-girl bed, she will fall asleep on her own.  Most day care workers will help the children fall asleep by dimming the lights, playing soft music, and giving back rubs.  Their presence also discourages children from getting out of bed or making noise.  If your child gets up, you simply, quietly, but firmly, put her back to bed.  Ten times... seventy times... your daughter may laugh, thinking this is a cool game.  She may get angry and resist.  But she WILL learn that you mean business.  That naptime is time to stay in bed.

After about two months of this, she should learn that you mean business, that she cannot get out of bed and play.  Also, her little body will be "trained" to sleep then and falling asleep should be easier.  

Children do go through stages when they don't sleep, but the naptime rest is still important.  She may not sleep for two or three months, then she'll hit a growth spurt, and she'll sleep so long and hard that you have to wake her up! This is all normal.  But do wake her up.  She only needs to nap between 1 1/2 hours and 2 hours a day, if she is getting enough sleep at night.  

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Change to rest time not sleep time.     Give one book and half the duration.


by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM

my daughter is same i started quiet time cause she sleeps beter at nite i think she just knows when she stired now

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

 We transition to quite time around that age.

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 4:32 PM

I would recommend that after a period of big muscle activity (outdoors in pretty much all weather except a hurricane or blizzard) heading inside for a substantial snack (or lunch) and then a quiet time --sitting on the floor on a bunch of pillows, or on your bed (or hers) reading gentle, familiar stories in low light with everything (including the phone ringer) off.

You need the rest as much as everyone else. A snuggle in the early afternoon will give you all more energy for later in the day, even if you don't actually sleep --which you probably all will.

Also, it's very likely that part of her meltdown is how long it has been since lunch. A substantial (protein-rich) snack at 3:30 might fend it off entirely.

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I used the stroller when mine hit the age when they didn't want a nap, but DEF needed it.  If walking her around the house, yard, block, to the park, whatever, gets her to sleep, then you can do what you need to do (like sleep too) and she won't melt down and she won't wake her lil bro.
Otherwise, you might try a quiet time instead of a nap, put on quiet music and let her read.  I had to institute "George time" with my youngest at about the age your dd is now.  After he did his "chores" (like the big kids), I sat down and watched Curious George with him.  He laid down with his head on my lap and we just watched tv together.  He didn't nap during that time (ever, I don't think).  Anyway, even if she doesn't nap, I would try to find a way to keep her quiet without destroying her room, so the baby can sleep.

by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 2:37 AM

I don't know what time you put her to bed, but don't let her sleep too late in the morning and don't let her have a nap until after lunch.  Feed her before the nap as usually when we eat we get a bit drowsey.   Put her in bed and read to her a few minutes to see if she will settle down.  When my daughter was older I'd tell her she didn't have to go to sleep but had to stay in her bed and she could "read" some books.  She had her own books she could look at =- Golden books and there were other books I read to her.  it is important that she nap or she will get too tired and then be horrible.  You are seeing that near dinnertime.  I would think that having her in a baby bed might be more helpful as she can't run around, but she may get upset too.  I would suggestyou have a rail or mesh on the side of the big girl's bed so she can't roll out.  Good luck to you.  It isn't always a good habit, but for nap, you could take her to bed with you and both of you fall asleep for a bit.  You could probably slip out after she is asleep.  But being held by you would keep her warm and make her more sleepy as well.  Room should not be cold. 

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