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18 month old is waking from day naps crying and v upset

(15 Posts)
Sinople Sun 10-Jul-11 12:48:41

My DD has been waking from her only day nap crying, sometimes it's difficult to console her and we have to resort to DVDs and tempting her with other things that she likes to calm her down (these have worked but not always and are prehaps not working as well as previously... more new dvds on the way).

This usually occurs when she doesnt seem to have had enough sleep (she may wake spontaneously, or be accidently woken by something else).

The crying is totally out of character and is the opposite to how she wakes in the morning. She doesnt wake in the night crying...

i really cant work out what's so upsetting. she has always only ever had one day nap, and this has usually been a 3 hour nap, although it's been getting shorter as she's getting older.

She can manage without a day nap on occasions, and her mood rarely deteriorates if she's v tired, so the napping crying is a mystery.

Is it so terrible to wake before you are ready?

and if she's not ready to get up why not drift back to sleep like she does in the night?

Has anyone out there had a similar problem. I assume it's a phase, but it's been a long one, 6 months on and off...

any thoughts would be appreciated

Well I had a thought but then you said she wakes up fine in the morning so my thought is probably irrelevant.

DS does this occasionally when he wakes too soon from his nap - but he'll usually go back to sleep again afterwards, proving that he hasn't slept enough. He's a real little bugger to wake up before he's ready as well! Grumpy as anything, and normally he's not at all.

Where does she have her nap? In her cot/bed or out on the sofa or where? Is she in the dark or the light?

Sinople Sun 10-Jul-11 13:27:59

she naps in various places, it doesnt seem to matter where, the same thing happens... but not if she's had enough sleep (i think)

Perhaps try putting her into her cot/bed then, with the curtains closed, simulating night time - then when she wakes too soon, she might nod back off again.

doughnutty Sun 10-Jul-11 14:07:15

Was going to suggest leaving her to cry for a wee while in case she drops off again. This is what we do with DS and he normally goes off after 5 minutes or so.
To clarify, I never wanted to let him cry it out but it happened accidentally when I was 30+ weeks pg and couldn't drag myself up from my own nap! Please don't judge me!

RandomMess Sun 10-Jul-11 14:13:56

With my one that was grumpy regularly like this when waking up from her nap was that I woke her and basically gave her a bottle/sippy cup of warm milk before she had a chance to complain, seemed to realy help.

Def try and see if she'll go back to sleep if left first though.

Sinople Mon 11-Jul-11 05:16:09

RandomMess - so you woke her (armed with warm milk), and that helped? Ive recently stopped B.feeding so i think my DD is not yet that enthusiastic about milk from a cup, but I could try.
ThumbsNose - I'll try and be more consistent and pay attention to whether a darkened room makes a difference. I dont have blackout blinds at this stage but maybe I should invest in some.
doughnutty - anything more than a quick wimper and she'd work herself up and be more difficult to handle in my experience. She sleeps in a bed, so she'd be up in a flash!

TheLemur Tue 12-Jul-11 10:59:12

I had a similar with DS. I think it's because they have sleep cycles and they wake up in the light bit of their sleep cycle when really they need another deep sleep cycle. ie: they are still tired. I found the best thing was to let him cry in his cot for a few mins and he'd sometimes drop back off. More often than not though it wouldn't work and we'd just have to put up with half an hour of crying and a grumpy afternoon. Lots of outdoor exercise pre-nap should help as might an earlier bedtime.

garliclover Tue 12-Jul-11 13:34:56

My DS does the same, and always has. Fine the rest of the time, but inconsolable after his afternoon nap. I recently discovered that only rice cakes or other small snack works. He just needs something to munch on while he sits on my lap quietly and takes stock of the world. Otherwise it can take as much as half an hour to calm him down. And I have no idea why!
Let us know how you get on...

BethanRebecca Tue 12-Jul-11 16:12:48

My DS is exactly the same, I thought for a while maybe it was nightmares, but maybe i'm wrong! I usually have to put the tv on and we have a big cuddle until he calms down, but then he will be in a foul mood and very clingy for the rest of the afternoon. This isn't very helpful i know, but it's great to hear that my DS isn't the only one!

kenobi Tue 12-Jul-11 16:59:29

Mine was the same and the answer was simple - she was either waking before she was ready (and was cross about being awake) or she was waking hungry.

For the former like TheLemur I would see if she would drop pff again (and she would, alot) or just put up with it; for the latter a 4 oz milk in a sippy cup and a big cuddle had her bang to rights.

Tigresswoods Tue 12-Jul-11 22:52:55

Sounds like low blood sugar level. I give DS a little handful of raisins when he wakes, it is goooood grin

mamalovebird Tue 12-Jul-11 22:59:58

I was on a very similar thread a few weeks ago as my ds does the same. The suggestion of a snack really helped. He woke up really bad tempered. I just let him sit on me, offered some raisins or a biscuit & some juice and it seemed to work.

Sinople Wed 13-Jul-11 11:04:04

Sounds like it's fairly common then... my DD is 18months and we've recently stopped b.feeding. i know a BF would stop her crying (either put her back to sleep, or just calming her) but this is no longer an option. Some distractions work, like a well chosen dvd, an offer to play with the water at the sink, an orange, but nothing consistently works and we end up trying one thing then another. The length of crying times varies from 5min to, id say, half an hour or more. For a while when she was having naps in the car if she woke id just start up the engine (not saying a word) reverse down the driveway and do a blocky, that did the trick and she went back to sleep waking some time later in a happy and normal mood. This doesnt seem to work now thou... i might be taking to long to get the car moving after the crying starts... if she's in the house I havent found anyway of getting her back to sleep, in the house it's just a case of resolving the tears with distraction. If I offer her a cup of formula/milk/water she pushes it back at me.

mamalovebird Wed 13-Jul-11 15:18:28

My DS is the same - if he's woken up there is no way I'll get him back to sleep in the daytime. I just have to accept that.
DS pushes drink and food away but I jsut keep offering and cuddle him and keep things quiet until he gets over himself and he'll take it eventually once he's actually remembered what it is he's got himself in a total tiz about (I swear they forget!). He's probably still a bit tired/hungry/stiff from sleeping but until he learns that it's okay to go back to sleep, I'll just have to get on with it.

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