13 month old nap struggle

(8 Posts)
Bingbangbingbangbong Tue 17-Nov-20 11:57:33

I wonder if anyone has any advice regarding helping my 13 month old to nap?

He has been sleeping through the night for the last few months, goes to bed at 7pm and is good as gold for that. Lays in his crib happily, white noise on, little bottle and then settles himself no problem. He will just lay there quietly until he drifts off to sleep and doesn't wake until 7-8am the next morning.

Nap time is a totally different story!! He shows signs of tiredness between 11am/12pm, so ill take him up to sleep and he cries/screams and just takes forever to settle.

Usually he will cry and fuss for about 30 mins, but it can go on for over an hour and i'm not sure what to do! I hate leaving him in there for a long time because it feels so cruel and I worry that so much of his time is spent in the crib without any stimulation, especially if he point blank refuses to sleep at all. But equally, if we take him out, you can tell just from looking at his face that he is so tired and he is so emotionally fragile for the rest of the day because he hasn't slept.

When he does eventually fall asleep, its for a good 1 1/2 - 2 hours, sometimes creeping towards 3 (he dropped to 1 nap a day quite a while ago due to always being a rubbish napper), so he does obviously need the sleep.

Any tips to help him settle? His nap routine (crib, bottle, white noise etc) is all the same, it just works fine at nighttime and not during the day!

Should I be leaving him that long to settle? The whole thing is so stressful. When we plan things like seeing family or going out somewhere, they usually get made for the afternoon, but then we are always on edge about wondering how long he will take to sleep/how late to make the plans/running late for the plans we have made/him just being a stroppy monster when we have the plans because he refused to sleep.

It feels like we are being held totally hostage by his nap routine!

OP’s posts: |
Bingbangbingbangbong Tue 17-Nov-20 14:59:40

Example of today

Woke up at 7am

Started showing sleepy signs at around 11

Taken up for a nap at 11.10 with a bottle. He drank the bottle and then cried and screamed for 40 minutes. Brought him back downstairs until 1pm. Tried a nap again and he cried for half an hour.

Brought him back down for lunch, which he ate, but he was so tried i was having to prompt him to keep chewing and he looked like he was going to fall asleep in his highchair.

Took him back up at half past 2 and he ended up working himself up in his crib until he was hysterically screaming.

So now i'm feeling awful because he's so tried, he's spent so much time in his crib crying and now he is in hysterics.

OP’s posts: |
YouAndMeAndTheDevilMakesThree Tue 17-Nov-20 15:18:31

Hi OP, in my limited experience, what works for naps isn't always the same as what works for bedtime. My DC1 still needed rocking to sleep for naps long after being able of self settle in the cot at bedtime. So you can try all sorts of different things for nap time without messing up your bedtime routine.
Also have you tried an earlier lunch then nap straight after? At that age DC1 had lunch at 11.30 then nap anytime from 12 onwards. We weren't giving bottles in the daytime by then though.

That said, we were still hostages to nap time though! flowers

confusedx3 Wed 18-Nov-20 15:48:06

Hi OP,

Cannot offer any advice but sympathies - going through the almost exact same, except my bubs is 12 months.

Goes to bed (exhausted) at just before 7 and normally wakes up once or twice during the night which in comparison to a few months ago is truthfully not bad going! Then wakes up at half 6/7 following morning. Some days she doesn't nap. at all.

Today, she was tired about half 10/11 so took her into bedroom where she fell asleep but woke up as soon as I put her into her cot. So she has slept for about 20 minutes. Tried again at about half 2/3 as she was getting really upset and whingy. No luck, instead started playing in the bedroom. Have taken her out in buggy now and still nothing, is just singing to herself. She will be so tired by bedtime that she will be passing out.

It's genuinely horrible to see them looking so tired isn't it. I feel so bad for her right now because she's so shattered she's really clumsy at times. She will spend from about half 4/5 this evening crying and whining until her bedtime, which is really crappy as this is the time her dad gets home. So they never get any quality time together either sad

Hoping this is just a phase.

GeorginaTheGiant Wed 18-Nov-20 15:51:23

I agree try rocking. Mine never self settled for naps and both dropped them stupidly early. As long as they settle well at night it doesn’t worry me as naps have an end date whereas bedtime doesn’t. Whatever gets you through I say!

Ohalrightthen Wed 18-Nov-20 15:53:44

Similar issue here, DD self settles at bedtime and sleeps through, but has to be shh-patted to sleep for most naps.

Bingbangbingbangbong Thu 19-Nov-20 00:11:32

Thank you all!

It feels so much better to know we are not there only ones struggling! I guess I took it for granted that a good bedtime = good nap time too.

Last night he went to bed at his usual time of 7pm, but slept through all the way until 9am (I guess to catch up on the lost nap sleep).

We had the same thing today. The later wake up meant that the nap time schedule was way off. He dozed off in the car for about 10 minutes at about 1am, transferred into his crib ok and just happily messed around in there for 40 mins before starting the crying again.

To be far to him, he wasn’t too stroppy today, despite only having 10 mins of nap time.

I think I’m just extra stressed because I am going back to work in January (full time) and have just arranged childcare to start for then. Feel like I’m going to be failing by passing him on to someone and having to have them deal with his bad napping/grumpiness. Your experiences make me feel much better about that.

In regards to those who mentioned earlier lunch etc - lunch is also a bit of a struggle! He happily accepts all food in his mouth, (breakfast and diner are always good), but lunch takes effort. He either chews and sucks food for ages before spiting it out, or will take a few spoonfuls of yoghurt before deciding it’s enough! Routine at the moment is 4oz bottle at wake up and then 1 or 1 1/2 wheatabix at 10/10.30. Getting any more food in him before sleep is a battle.

OP’s posts: |


YouAndMeAndTheDevilMakesThree Fri 20-Nov-20 19:42:42

Hey OP, if you're going back to work full time, chances are your childcare provider will be able to sort the nap issues out for you. Mine did!

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