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Call me a PC hairy-legged muesli-eating lentil weaver, but does anybody have a suggestion for recalcitrant 18m-old that isn't "let her cry it out"?

(12 Posts)
phdlife Mon 08-Nov-10 11:22:31

She's good for nights. (By which I mean, "I don't want to talk about it.") But her daytime nap? All of a sudden it's a no-go zone.

We go through the routine: stories with 3yo ds. 3yo ds then goes to sleep. I bring dd into her room, lie her down, bf her. (So shoot me.)

Until Saturday, she would roll over, sigh "mama", and pass out at this point. Since Saturday, she is far too busy trying to scratch that frickin' mole off my boob, comment on passing traffic, or tell me all the words she knows (which there are quite a lot), to go to sleep.

First time, I tried just leaving her shut in her room. This felt scary and weird, as closing a door remains the fastest way to send ds hysterical with terror, but dd didn't give a rat's. She chatted merrily to herself, calling out every once in a while. Not really knowing what I was doing, I went in randomly, put her back on bed, said "sleep time, night night", then left. Bear in mind she was almost nodding off at morning tea, before a quick nappy change and the stories, so it's not that she's not tired. And after an hour, she asked for another bf, finished, rolled over and went to sleep.

Second day, I tried all the same, only with, how shall I put this? rather less... charm. And this time she asked for bf three times, each with the same result: She wasn't giving in. Hell, she wasn't taking the slightest bit of notice. Which was impressive, since, having been deprived of my one measly hour of rightful me-time, lava was coming out my ears and I suffered a catastrophic sense-of-humor failure. (Trans: after an hour and a half, I let her out, then lay down on the bed and cried.) She didn't nap the rest of the day, which was hell with 11kg of whingey toddler attached to my leg, and the night afterwards was double hell.

Day three, I'd read about sleep regressions (my golly goodness that explained a lot - thanks for the links, AngelDog!) and felt much calmer. She faffed around for half an hour, then started to cry a little. Just at that moment, the Parentline counsellor, who was right in the middle of telling me what to do, said, "...you just let her cry through it" and I thought, "I'm not doing that" so I hung up on him, marched in there, picked her up and cuddled her, and bang! off to sleep on my shoulder within two minutes.

Everyone's saying to me, it's fine to leave her in there alone, and if I go in it must be with no eye-contact, no talking, no touching her. And I just cannot get my head around that. If that's what you want to say here, please save your keystrokes.

But I would appreciate any other suggestions. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, need her to nap, for both her sake and mine.

Orissiah Mon 08-Nov-10 13:08:26

So can't you cuddle her to sleep as that seemed to work on day 3?

omnishambles Mon 08-Nov-10 13:12:04

Dont ask me, dd falls asleep in front of the tv around this time - she used to nap 'properly' in her cot self soothing blah blah but from about 2 she wouldnt nap unless in the buggy/car seat or on the sofa so I let her do it <shrugs>

I would cuddle her to sleep as well - unless that was having a knock-on effect at nighttime - ie she was waking up more and needing you more to go back to sleep etc.

poorbuthappy Mon 08-Nov-10 13:17:04

Christ I don't know either...1 twin fell asleep within 10 mins of being put down at 11.45, the other 1 is watching cbeebies after having dinner cos she just won't give in, but is completely knackered...
So I will be watching this thread with interest!

SparklePffftBANG Mon 08-Nov-10 13:17:07

yes, sorry, what's the problem? Is it that when you put her down she woke up again?
Could she be <whispers> dropping her nap??

LillianGish Mon 08-Nov-10 13:26:04

Ds used to rock himself to sleep in his car seat at this age (not crying, but chanting'Yay, yay, yay' - something which later translated to rocking himself against the back of his cot - so not ideal!). Alternatively I would drive round in the car until he nodded off then try to carry him inside without waking him up. Didn't have a car when dd was that age so used to walk the streets with her in pushchair til she went to sleep. You could also try a video - mine would nodd in front of the TV when very tired (usually at about 5pm though when they'd battled against any form of midday nap). It was at about this age that both dc's need to be persuaded of the benefits of a daytime nap so "me time" as you put it was much rarer than when they were tiny babies. I would dive into a cafe with dd or consider the walking "me time" in terms of getting some exercise. I think that if you want to have "me time" in your own home with dd in bed you may have to tolerate a bit of grizzling. I think your final sentence says it all really! Good luck.

greenbananas Mon 08-Nov-10 22:05:16

OP, I am also a lentil-weaving, toddler feeding muesli eater, and I've been having similar problems with my 2 year old DS. I like him to sleep a bit in the daytimes because it makes him a happier, more chilled-out child and because it gives me an hour or two to myself. He's still having the breastmilk and the cuddle, but he wriggles refuses to go to sleep.

I hadn't heard of sleep regression (must look into that!)... I've been wondering if it's got anything to do with my caffeine intake?

belindarose Tue 09-Nov-10 09:47:10

I currently have my (thankfully fairly small) 15 mo on my back in a sling, peacefully napping. She started refusing one or both naps a few weeks ago and this is working like magic. The other nap will be in the car or pram today. I can't face the cot battle anymore (as I have to suffer it most of the night!)

Cosmosis Tue 09-Nov-10 10:59:43

I'm reading this at the moment which has a lot of good ideas re sleep cues etc, might be worth a read?

cockles Tue 09-Nov-10 11:09:41

Mine only napped in the buggy from age one up. Could you do that, with the older one scooting beside, and then bring her home to sleep in hall?

Colourful Tue 09-Nov-10 11:17:37

Does she have to nap in her room?

Ds1 always napped in a pram outside, right beside the kitchen window (inside if it rained)

Ds2 started off napping in a pram and once he looked like he was going to drop his nap he started to nap on the sofa with a blanket on him and always looked so content. He could sleep for 2 hours like that, even if we had friends over. He just liked being with us.

[disclaimer: I am the biggest soft touch when it comes to sleep. I have never let my children "cry it out" (the very thought makes me sick) and have 2 wonderful sleepers now]

Zoidberg Tue 09-Nov-10 14:25:48

I sympathise, I get the same feeling of lava coming out of ears when I've been trying for an hour to no avail with 18mo DD. As you need to stay in for DS, could you try pushing DD back and forth in pram in another room? This sometimes works for DD, I usually transfer her to bed after 5 mins asleep. Sling on front sometimes works, sometimes she howls at me tho and I go back to BFing and she sleeps (or stays awake argh). Or sometimes I give up for half an hour and try again later, if it's going to be one nap I'm less bothered about when exactly it is, tho it's true the longer we leave it the less good a nap it is.

DD has been napping from 10/10.30 recently, previously was 11.30, could you try a slightly different time, imagine it's tricky with 2 though. DD even has days when goes back to sleep at 9 (if woke at say 5 something), for an hour and half, and not another nap later in the day and she's been okay with that. I'm thinking it's developmental (of course!) and read somewhere about the 18month sleep regression lasting up to 3 months.. so am trying to go with it, BFing mostly, not sleeping much at night sigh.

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