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At end of tether with toddler - any advice welcome!(14 Posts)
My toddler is just 2 and sleeps at night from 6.30pm-6.30am (approx.)
She used to have a nap in the day but only ever did this in her pram. She's never napped in her cot, but goes to bed happily there in the evening. Our usual routine was that after lunch she had a big cup of milk and someone took her for a stroll in the pram, and she dropped off.
Now she's putting up a terrible fight. She begins tantrumming when she knows it's lunch time though she does eat and enjoy lunch. Then she says 'I'm tired' but refuses to get in the pram. If she's forced into the pram she cries very loudly for the whole walk and keeps herself awake. If we put her in her cot she plays but doesn't go to sleep, and also tantrums if the light is turned off. She seems to have developed a hypersensitivity to the possibility of a lunch time nap and be very, very angry for the whole of that time.
What happens is this ruins the day pretty much from 12.30 onwards. She has severe meltdowns at lunch time and then doesn't really want to do anything in the afternoon or is in battle mode. Most days I can't wait until bedtime and am knackered. I'm also 7 months pregnant.
What would you do? Let her cut her nap altogether, or try something new? You might think she was overtired and would go to sleep earlier, but no. We have builders next door and so home is not a very relaxed environment, and my toddler just wants to spend all afternoon at home tantrumming and sort of purposefully wasting time. When I offer her activities she says no, and then tantrums that we haven't done them. I feel completely depressed.
My two had both given up naps by 18 months. I found out was better to weather the grumps during the day as if they napped they would be up and buzzing till ten pm. My friend in a similar position used to call the time between four and bedtime Mogadon time, as in that's when she needed one
Dd started doing this just before 2. I let her drop her nap and I just tuck her up on the sofa with peppa pig for an hour instead. We both still get some quiet time and she doesn't spend the whole afternoon being angry. Sometimes she goes to bed early at 6.
And does she sleep well til morning slightly? My dd is very energetic and loves the day so I can kind of understand why she hates to miss out.
There is a sleep regression at 2yo and with my DD she refused naps then for about 2 weeks then picked it up again and still has it at 3.1 ... I'd say keep trying for a couple of weeks, even though its a bit soul destroying
Yes she sleeps fine, 11.5 to 12 hours most nights unless unwell. I worries about her being overtired and not sleeping well as she was like this as a baby but no longer the case. I can't bear battling with her over a sleep she isn't desperate for , but some people would persevere. You could try without and see how she goes? If it's a disaster then go back to trying to insist on a nap?
Oh and if she goes to bed early she sleeps until the same time which is 6.30-6.45 so doesn't make her wake early
Maybe try dropping the idea of a lunchtime nap and letting her snooze for a bit later on once she's too tired to fight it. Would she sleep in the car if not the pram? My DD (just about to turn 2) is edging into this phase of fighting the lunchtime nap, although there are days when she will happily have 1.5hrs! On others she will just refuse to sleep and then start flagging about 4pm, so I put some telly on and have some quiet time together and if she nods off, I'll let her have 15-20 mins but no more, otherwise bedtime is hellish.
If your dd says no to activities, I would just let her get on with playing by herself. I think they just say No to anything you ask/offer them because they like to feel as though they're in charge. If you let them decide for themselves i.e. just turn them loose on the toybox
and make sure they don't climb up the bookcases while you mn they can bring stuff to you that they want to play with, or ask to do painting or whatever, then they feel like they're in control.
maybe she's feeling pressure to I to sleep so is having a bit of ab2 year old 'I want all the control' strop over it. Try totally relaxing about a nap - sit on the sofa after lunch and wath a film or read books; do something quiet and sedentary. Then maybe try naps again in a few weeks.
Thanks both, really good advice. She might sleep in the car but I can't drive! Mine would never fall asleep on the sofa - she too lively!! She's never 'dozed off' just been knackered.
Would she fall asleep in the car in the way back from a morning activity? That's how I used to trick mine into napping!
Oh sorry, cross posted!
Try similar with the pushchair then?
Mine v v rarely 'dropped off' either.
Also, get her out in the fresh air as much as you can, helps no end with the sofa relaxing later on I find! Although you may be limited if you are 7 months pg. Is there a park near you with an enclosed bit for toddlers she could let off steam in?
Yes, there's a good park and she does keep very busy. The other day I took her to something from which the walk back took an hour!! Still no dropping off. It is helping to keep the pregnancy weight off but gawd am I knackered. You've all been a tremendous help. Tbh it is not so much the lack of nap but the tantrumming.
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