More Nap Time Woes... — The Bump
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More Nap Time Woes...

So for the past couple of weeks, I felt like I had gotten things figured out (Isn't that always the way it goes?)

I had started paying extremely close attention to his tired signals, he seemed to be napping regularly, for 20 to 30 minutes each nap and all was good.

About three days ago, he has started putting up a huge fight everytime we try to put him down for naps or bedtime.  Again, we're not doing anything different and I'm not sure where all the angst is coming from.  He screams his head off, kicks, slaps, the whole nine.  The second I sit in the glider with him, he starts in.   We have to hold his arms with our arms while rocking him and after about ten minutes, he typically succumbs.  We put him down to sleep and ten minutes later he wakes up.  Process starts again.

It is not a matter of my over or under-shooting his 'awake times' as far as I'm aware because I have tried from the second he shows signs of tired to waiting a bit.

Yesterday I decided to just get him back up, as though he had napped and let him play - He got up and started playing like nothing had ever happened.  I would try every hour and a half or so (or when he showed signs of being tired) and sometimes he would nap (after a fight) and sometimes he wouldn't.

All in all, he took three 30-minute naps yesterday and spent most of the day tired and fussing.

I'm really clueless here.  My pediatrician keeps saying that at this age, his babies slept for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.  Everything I have read, though, says that they should only be awake for a certain amount of time in between naps (around 2 hours at Jackson's age), so I don't understand how this works.

I don't want to have this fight everyday - It's very wearing and very frustrating.  My question is... for the sake of Jackson...

Should I keep having the fight and try my hardest to get him to nap every couple of hours or should I just say 'screw it' and have him stay up all day until he'll fall asleep with minimal fighting?  What's best for him? 



Re: More Nap Time Woes...

  • What's best for him is that he's well rested and not cranky. If that means 1 nap per day, then so be it. I don't have an exact answer for you since I am not with you to be able to tell when he's tired/not tired/cranky/not cranky.

    I've been through this with 3 kids and have trained them all to nap/sleep. BUT, I use CIO and it has worked wonders for our family. I can just plop my kids in their bed/crib and they will put themselves to sleep.

    What happens if you don't put him down and you keep him up? Does he get overtired and then cranky? Or is he fine? 


    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
  • image MamatoJackson:

    It is not a matter of my over or under-shooting his 'awake times' as far as I'm aware because I have tried from the second he shows signs of tired to waiting a bit.

    I'm not sure about this. I know with my kids the moment that I SAW the signs of tired, they were ALREADY overtired and they wouldn't nap. I had to catch them right BEFORE those signs.

    It's a small window (around 5 minutes) to find and it's very easy to miss it.

    He also may be changing his nap schedule on you. That's not uncommon........

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
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  • totally ditto on catching him BEFORE he shows signs. because as soon as the signs are there- so is the overly tired phase. you have to put him down BEFORE he is tired.
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  • ditto harriet and stacy. you have to catch them before they are acting tired. if you wait too long after tired signs, you end up with a child who bounces off the walls or whines for hours because they got overtired. 

    At 6 mo I don't think most kids are on 2 naps a day. Have you tried tracking? You seem to be a bit Type A and it might help you feel like you're doing something. lol Then after a bit you should start to see patterns, and feel out just how long he really can stay up in a stretch. I think it's what, 2-3 hours at that age? Try putting him to bed before he starts showing signs.

    However, do not think that if he doesn't turn into a perfect sleep machine that you're somehow failing him. Some kids (like mine) are more stubborn than others. She came out with an attitude. haha

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  • We had to at bedtime use the "human straight jacket" as I called it around that age for nighttime.  He was going to bed too late.  We got that worked out and now it's much easier.

    We also had to eventually give into the CIO.  We didn't give in until ds was almost a year and there had been no improvement in his sleep/naps.  In fact it was getting worse before we finally decided to do that.

    I know where you are coming from because my ds is also a bad sleeper.  I was exhausted because most of that time I was working and had to get up super duper early too.  I have finally figured out that ds is what I will call a manipulative sleeper lol.  If we start giving in, he knows it and takes advantage of us.  One night of ignoring him/cio and he goes back to sleeping well again.

    I wish I had more helpful advice but nothing else helped my son.

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  • By 6 months both of mine were down to 2 naps/day....but I know all kids are different! My DS fought sleep from the very beginning and we had to do full on CIO. We did it very early, and honestly I feel like it was much easier. I think the older they get the more difficult it gets. For us, it made a huge difference when they learned to fall asleep alone (not being held, etc). However, for a long time DS still wasn't a great napper. But like anything else, he needed to be taught or trained how to nap. So I never put him down other than those two daily naps. Eventually he got better, and then of course, as soon as one routine works itself out, they go and switch it up to one nap! GL!
  • Thanks, guys.

    It is so, so true that the second you think you've got something figured out, it changes.  I am definitely kept on my toes, so at least there's that. :)


    I'm going to try keeping him up longer.  He seems to be fairly happy - He gets a big whiny, I try to rock him, he screams, I get him back up and then he's good for another hour to hour and a half.  So if this works for him, I guess it works.

    The plus side - When he went down for his nap, he slept for an hour and a half.   


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