#Moms- I need help in the napping department, stat!

I need help moms/dads!  Zane has been a wicked good sleeper since he was born. He was sleeping through the night around 5 months, and before that only rose once for a quick bottle, and right back to sleep. He still continues to sleep very well at night- 9pm-8/8:30 am uninterrupted. However, his naps have gone out the window.

Part of it is my fault for his nap schedule being so unscheduled. I never had time to formally put him on a strict schedule so I let him take his naps when he wanted. It was variable when he would nap; but, he had no 9/2 nap schedule. However, he always took at least 2-3 hours of daytime sleep. However, in the last few days, he has not been napping at all. I try to put him around 2 and he falls promptly to sleep. At 2:30/2:45, I hear the screeching and crying of Zane. If I don’t get him, it turns into full non-stop hysterics. He you know the type- eyes crunching, snot ejecting all over, tears running down to his belly. It is bad!

At this point, after only about 30 minutes, I get him. He is a cranky mess when I get him and no matter what I do, I can’t get him to calm down. I resort to feeding him and trying to put him down again. This time, he rolls around his crib for 30 minutes, but never falls asleep.

Lately, he has been very cranky (mostly in the am though)  and I can only attribute that to lack of naps. Part of me thinks his molars are coming in, so maybe I should try some Motrin before his nap and see if that does the trick. However, I don’t really want to resort to giving him Motrin at every nap. The other part of me thinks maybe I should let him cry it out at after thirty minutes. I am totally not against CIO; however, for some reason, have a really hard time when he cries. Hayley had severe colic and we ended up letting her CIO at 6 months. I had no issues letting her do it because she was a bad baby, and I was at my wits end.  For real- it was either letting her CIO or I was going straight to the psyche ward. With Zane though, he is such a good baby, and I can’t see myself doing the CIO method.

So, moms- any advice? Did your kids go through this? Was it a phase?

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  1. says

    I am totally against CIO so I can’t give advice there. If you are letting him cry it out until he is in hysterics, he is never going to calm back down and go to sleep. Some children just go through these stages. When my son won’t nap, I just sit and hold him for as long as he will let me. I figure at least that way he is resting and taking a break. I have 3 other children so sometimes it’s hard to find the time but I also feel like that’s my job so I need to make the time. I just can’t imagine letting my child scream and cry for 30 minutes. That is unfathomable to me.

  2. says

    Hmmm. It’s so hard to tell when they can’t tell you what’s wrong. Could be getting sick, could be molars, could be a phase. LOL, I’m just no help! My guess is, give it a week and things will (hopefully) settle down some.

  3. says

    I was pretty adament about naps and them being at specific times because I knew that no naps meant a potentially cranky baby and I was not about to deal with that. Seth may get irritated about my stance on the napping, but when both kids are cranky hes ready pull his hair out. I know that I am right on this.

    Most likely Zane is starting to cut his molars. Rebecca started to cut hers about his time and thankfully they all came in within 2wks of each other so there wasn’t too much crankiness, but definitely give him the motrin a little bit before he goes down. Do you play any type of music in his room at rest time? We play a CD that we play for Rebecca and did with Aiden. Also we run an air purifier to help with air ciculations, but it also doubles as our white noise machine. What about a lovey? Does he have one that he favors? Good luck.

  4. says

    Melissa, trust your instincts, if you don’t feel comfortable letting him CIO, don’t! This is clearly unusual for him, so it will probably fix itself. Has YOUR schedule changed at all? Have you been anywhere lately? Babies are so sensitive to their schedules, any change and they are in hysterics. If you think it might be his teeth (my first reaction from reading it), get some Hyland’s teething tablets. They are all natural, no chemicals, and work wonders! *hugs*

  5. says

    Been a long time since I have been at this stage with my kids. Maybe try laying down with him and reading a book until he falls asleep? Or try some soft music? Obviously if he is cranky, then he still needs his naps. My song gave up naps by this age, but he wasn’t cranky. He had more energy then he knew what to do with it & a big sister to play with. Hope things get better soon!

  6. says

    What worked for me is when he starts to cry (after a moment or two), go in and comfort him. Do not pick him up. Lay him back down and soothe him. Leave the room & repeat until he sleeps. He obviously needs a hap but you picking him up messes up his signals. Worked great for both my kids. I definitely wouldn’t let it reach the hysterics stage.

  7. says

    Melissa, I don’t have any children so you may take my advice with a grain of salt. I taught preschool and also elementary ed for several years so I have had experience with children. I think sticking to a schedule is very important for little ones. It gives them a sense of control over their world, even when you are the one dictating the schedule. They know what to expect and when and can easily respond to what is happening around them. Sticking to a schedule would be great for you too because if he is not sleeping at the scheduled time, you would be able to determine if there was some outside factor affecting his sleep, like molars for instance and you could easily give him the motrin without worry that you are just giving him medication so he will sleep. Just knowing that it is quiet time is great too because as he ages you can transition him into quiet activities like reading books or self soothing during the hours he should/was be napping. Plus you would have a defined time to do what it is you need to do without worrying if you’ll have the time because he is cranky or doesn’t want to nap. Quiet play in the crib is better than no rest at all.

  8. Kristy says

    If he is cranky in the mornings you should try putting him down to nap earlier. That is what I do for our 3 year old who still takes a 1 hour nap. I adjust her nap schedule about ever 3 months or so when she shows signs of being more or less tired. It is a common misconception that keeping your baby awake longer will help them sleep for a longer period. A stress hormone is released when they become overly tired and then when they do finally sleep the hormone interferes with good rest and they wake sooner.

    Hope your little guy gets to napping better for you… It makes for a long day for a mom when nap times are cut short!

  9. says

    My daughter was on a very strict nap schedule up until she was abut 2. When she turned 2 she stopped wanting to take a nap although I could tell she really needed one. I never pushed it after that. She now falls asleep when she needs to. As for our baby I have him on a very strict nap schedule. Naps are great for everyone. Moms get things done and children rest. Try some music, rub his back (just a couple suggestions that work for us). Good luck :)

  10. says

    It’s been a long time since I experienced this, but I woould cuddle and quietly and smoothly sing as he falls asleep….the bad part is, you might also fall asleep with him! AND…..if you have chores to do, oh well!

  11. says

    I am sorry! We never were fans of the cry it out, I think the most we got to was 5 minutes. Sometimes it works, but once they hit that hysterical stage it is much worse in my opinion so I totally understand!Quinn’s nap times were crazy too, sometimes she will nap at 2, sometimes at 4! We just try to do the same things before nap time so she gets the idea. Is he a cuddler? It must be a phase because we all know that little babies need their rest :) Good luck mama, I hope it gets better!

  12. says

    I am a firm believer in a schedule. Knowing how their day will (mostly) flow makes naptime a natural transition. Also, I make sure they have a full belly.

  13. says

    I am a full supporter of training your child to sleep. If you do it early enough, there is no CIO. However, sometimes a bit of a gentle CIO can be helpful when you have a stubborn child.
    The best advice anyone can give you is LISTEN TO YOUR GUT! What ever is in your gut, it usually what will work for you. Trust it. What works for someone doesn’t work for every one.

  14. says

    I am thinking a phase.. all kinds have them. Try things, experiment. That’s the only way you will know (possibly) what the problem is and find out new tricks. I have had days where my son wouldn’t nap anymore, for no good reason, or he would wake up hystiric in the middle of the night, for no good reason. Could very well be his teething too… there is this homeopathic product i LOVED when my son was teething and did totally did the trick. It’s all natural, so no worries. Check it out.
    S.O.S. Mom

  15. says

    I personally dont like cry it out…I only last MAYBE 5 min….B is pretty much on a 2 nap schedule! I do have a sound machine that plays music and I put it on a timer and that usually works. She usually naps after breakfast then after lunch. have you tried teething tablets instead of motrin?

  16. says

    I would give it some time. You may be right in thinking that his molars are coming in and disrupting his sleep. Try giving him a dose of motrin to see if it helps. If he sleeps fine, then you know the reason!
    Also, try putting him down a bit earlier. He is more active now, and may tire earlier, even if he doesn’t show it.
    Good luck! I have a feeling this is just a phase, but definitely not a fun one for you!

  17. says

    I feel for you! Could it just be a phase? My daughter recently went through a 3 week or so phase of taking 30 minute naps, and then being grumpy and over-tired as a result. Then the phase just passed (knock on wood that her much-improved naps are here to stay!) Also, if you haven’t already read it, I strongly recommend Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. I always go back to it whenever my daughter has a new sleep issue. I find he seems to recommend an earlier bedtime to solve a wide variety of sleep problems. Maybe that could help? Hang in there! :)

  18. says

    My babies have been easy with bedtime/naptime due to keeping on very strict schedules. It was a nightmare getting them onto the schedule when they were newborns, but it truly helped! Also I taught my kids to be self soothers, so I can merely put them in the crib, give them “the blanket” and walk out. Infact it’s now to a point where Jade WON’T go to sleep if anywhere is in sight. She HAS to be completely alone…which is great when we are at home, but not so fun at camping, or visiting family when we have to share a room. lol.

    Naptimes, it’s a struggle when they don’t want to take one, but need one desperately. Definitely try Ellen Christian’s method! That was how I taught my kids when they were younger. Don’t let it get to hysterics, cause then they can’t learn to self soothe or calm down enough to go to sleep.

    even now when Jade decides she doesn’t want a nap, I merely go in her room and calmly say, “Jade, it’s naptime. It’s time to sleep”. lay her back down, give her “the blanket” and tell her I love her, and then walk out. Sometimes I still have to do this 2-3 times at the beginning of naptime; but eventually she relaxes and goes to sleep.

    Other naptimes she will just play in her crib the entire time, but at least she’s in the crib, “resting” and it still helps more than if she wasn’t put in her crib at all.

    But she is also on a schedule and knows 2pm is naptime. her body is used to it and most of the time she is ready for it.

    So definitely set a time to be his designated naptime and keep trying, eventually his body will adjust and it may not be such a struggle after a week or two.

    Oh, and make sure you have special Mommy relax time in the evening, as you will probably need it after your days of battling the naptime riots. You need to keep your sanity and peace of mind even while fighting this battle.

  19. says

    I loved it when mine went down for a nap it was such a lovely time, then one day they just decided they didnt need one anymore. If he is cranky when hes awake then it does sound like teething and it will pass honest !! Have you tried some soothing music next to him when your trying to get him to nap?

  20. says

    My first daughter was up all day when she was around 12 mos. She didn’t need a nap. Sounds like Zane doesn’t need to nap either. Some babies are that way. Don’t worry about it. He’ll sleep when he needs it. He just doesn’t want to miss out on anything. That’s the way my oldest daughter was.

  21. says

    Is he teething? Going through a growth spurt? He sounds like he’s already sleep trained so I wouldn’t let him cry for longer than 10 minutes. You could also try moving his nap to a later or earlier time to see if that worked better. Good luck!

  22. says

    Aww poor mommy and poor Z. I would honestly try putting him down earlier for his nap. They can still get over tired and over stimulated at this age. I also do quiet time before nap time as much as I can. She gets a sippy of warm milk and we quietly read books on the floor in her nursery. Then I tell her Evie it’s nap time, give her a paci, turn on her music and kiss/hug/cuddle her and then put her down, which is all the same stuff we do right before bed except she (STILL) gets a bottle before bed. I think following a smilar routine for bedtime helps her get relaxed and in the “Nap mood”. Hope that helps hon!

  23. says

    My guess is that it is the molars. It can really mess with the nap times! What time do you feed him lunch? I feed mine at around 12-12:30 then let him run around a bit (mainly dirty a diaper) then I put him down around 1:15-1:30 or so. Maybe try to put him down a little earlier? Is he doing just one nap now or is he still doing two naps? I think it’s just a phase and maybe the teeth are keeping him from sleeping.

  24. says

    I really struggled with this same thing. It could be teething or him just being really over tired. I noticed that the later I let my daughter stay up the less she slept during a nap.

  25. says

    I’m a hard core schedule person. My kids were happier because of it.
    I agree with the advise of trusting your gut. I believe it is his molars and I can still remember my daughter getting hers and she did not nap either.
    I was called in to get my grandson on schedule and this is what I did although it is time consuming at first.
    I laid him down for his nap and I remained in the room and sang to him (only a few songs and left the room). He was not allowed to stand up but to lay there while I sang. He did eventually go to sleep and I had to repeat this for about 3 days until he would lay down and sleep without my singing.

    I’m old school so I do believe in CIO because when a child learns that they can get their way with tears then they will use it to their best advantage and I have witnessed royal brats because of it as they grow older. I never let my children cry for 30 minutes though. Mine would only last 10 to 15 at the max. I did make appearances if necessary and lay them back down and tell them it was nap time. That way the only thing they connected by crying was me coming back in and laying them back down to take a nap so realized that crying did not get them their way.
    I would also try some soft classical music in his room to give him something to listen to as well.

  26. says

    Oh boy!! I feel for you! It’s hard.. We were firm in schedules. Period. And, we found that they only cry for a short time and then it becomes ‘their schedule’… It is really hard to stick to it at first, not gonna lie! But, well worth it in the end! For BOTH of you… ;)

  27. says

    We aren’t a CIO family and I have never been. I tried it for a brief minute with my first 13 years ago, and after 3 throw ups and he was still in hysterics 3 hours later I decided I don’t have the heart for all that :). We went through the cranky hysteria after a short nap though with my 3 year old about a year ago and it is frightening. My opinion (and it is just an opinion) is that 2 or 2:30 is too late for a nap if he is up at 8 am. He is likely getting overtired, and then something is waking him up. My son gets up still at 7 and naps every day at 11. If I wait until 1 or 2 because I just CAN’T nap him on time, he sleeps very short and is a bear all day afterwards. I personally would try laying him down around noon or 12:30 following a nice lunch. I would make a routine about it, and if it is hard for him, I would lie with him. I am a hybrid attachment parenting parent. I didn’t carry him once he was mobile, but at naps and night time, I lie with him until he goes to sleep. Usually 10-15 minutes of cuddling in a dark room and he is out. Idk if it will work, every child is different and it sounds like you have been doing an awesome job thus far, but anything is worth a shot eh?

  28. says

    I have never been a fan of the CRY IT OUT thing. Babies cry for a reason and have not yet learned the art of manipulation through crying so why would allow a baby to cry? Anyway my sweets… I see a lot of myself in this post of yours as I have gone through it before, although mine are grown and I now have a Grandson I stick to my guns on this. By the way, My 2 boys went through the same thing and I would never tell anyone how to handle their children but suggestions I do have. You are doing a great job so trust yourself. I remember my boys would sometimes sleep for 10 hours at a time and after months had gone by then all of a sudden they switched up on me and the sleeping scale tilted to waking up every darn hour on the hour…Little suckers!!! Keep it a little loose and not too tight and all will be allright. Take Care Girl XOXO

  29. says

    If it was truly his molars, he wouldn’t still be sleeping through the night is my first thought because teething doesn’t just occur during daylight hours.

    Second, establish a new naptime routine that includes a nap at the same time each day, but do some physical activity before to tire him out. Then some wind down time with a book and singing or a cuddle with Mom. We rarely let ours cry it out, only in dire need. (wry smile) I always took a nap with our little ones because I was often tired too.

    Lastly, every child is different. Some need more sleep than others, though Zane is still so young. Of my eight children, half of them never wanted to nap past a certain age. The others napped until they were over 2. Three of those children were known to, and one still does even at 4 years old, tell us it’s bedtime – and yes, it’s usually right around his normal bedtime!

    Hope you figure out something that works for you and Zane.

  30. says

    We have 3 and they have all been quite different. However, if they have refused naptime, I except them to do quite playtime in their room which often leads to naptime anyways. Of course, there have always been points where they refuse, get cranky, and figure out they need it with some cuddling and movie watching. Good luck!

  31. Nikki m says

    I think Zane and my little guy are about the same age (17 months). I have also had an issue with the naps and in the past few weeks sleeping in general and even sometimes with getting my little guy to eat. Also, my little guy is such a sweetie in general, mostly happy go lucky like Zane. Anyway, last week after a few days of similar behavior we took the baby to the doctor just in case we were missing anything like an ear infection. All is well but she did say that he was teething and both top and bottom molars were coming in. Last night was yet another almost sleepless night until I gave in and gave him some acetaminophen. I hate to give any kind of medicine, but sometimes I think they must be in so much pain. If a generally good baby is wailing like that and holding and rocking them is not doing the trick, maybe you may have to resort to medicine. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  32. says

    Baby C used to be a great sleeper like Zane. Once I switched from 2 to 1 naps, she takes a lot shorter nap. It’s tough, because they get cranky and clumsy. Try to get him on a schedule if you can. I put Baby C down right after lunch, so she is has a full belly. Good luck! I know it’s so tough.

  33. says

    I agree it’s probably teething. You could try Hylands Teething Tablets (they work wonders for my 17 month old who is also teething – and they’re back on the market and safe.)

    Ditto to the white noise or music. I have soothing piano playing and this time of year, I add a fan too. It helps my children sleep much better.

    ((HUGS)) It will get better.

  34. Heather says

    Many things work for my little man. He’s only 7 months old but is teething like crazy. I play a lullaby Cd or a low rumble thunderstorm that I downloaded from the internet for background noise. When that doesn’t work my husband will take him for a drive in the car. It worked for my oldest too when he was younger. For the teething I use the Hyland’s teething tablets too, they work great.
    I sometimes use CIO, but only for about 5 mins at a time. Then I will go in and rub his back or his little head and it helps to calm him down. He will usually fall asleep soon after. We still use his swing for naps too.
    Good like and I hope he grows out of it.

  35. says

    Such a hard thing. The only thing that I can think of is that he is overtired and therefore too overstimulated to sleep. He sleeps restless and doesn’t get the necessary rest to make the vicious cycle end. We sometimes only do one nap, however it is normally from 12-3, if I even wait until 1 it’s a train wreck. I hope you get things straightened out soon – nothing is worse than nap strikes!!

  36. says

    My only advice is don’t give up and let him drop his nap yet. My daughter had a couple nap strikes but I kept insisting she take one. It does sound like it could be teething so maybe try a homeopathic teething tablet? They seemed to help my daughter. I wouldn’t do Motrin or Tylenol daily. People build up an immunity to pain killers if they’re used regularly, so I save for when we really really need them. Good luck!