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Dropping naps but still needs rest

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  • Dropping naps but still needs rest

    Well, we have had no nap for over two weeks now. Am hoping that its just a phase and he will get back into them in awhile. In the meantime though while he is fine without a sleep he is really still needing about an hour of just quiet time. He is more than happy to just play in his crib reading books and singing away to himself. (he is 20 months BTW)

    Problem is that he is right in the middle of making the transition to his bed rather than crib. Up till the last few months he has been bed sharing with us and still does when he wakes in the middle of the night. We have slowly and very sensitively been moving him into his own room with the impending arrival of his little sister. So far its been great! No worries and he LOVES his new room! So we have been giving him the option of sleeping in his crib or in his bed, was not interested in the bed at first but is now crazy on it and has slept every bedtime there for the last fortnight. He is also going to sleep on his own now without us in the room, so its just been a fantastic move and we are so proud of him.

    Alright, so to my question! He now wants to have nap time/quiet time in his bed rather than crib, which is fine... but of course he keeps climbing out! If he was sleeping it wouldnt be a problem because we would just keep putting him back until he fell asleep. He really DOES still need a rest in the afternoon and plays quietly for about an hour (sometimes more) before calling for me and being ready for the afternoon. Anything that involves DH or I just winds him up again so its not really an option to just read books on the couch or something, he really needs that time to himself, and seems to enjoy it too.

    I want to know what the AP way of dealing with this would be? I am happy for him to get out of his bed, but its not very safe for him to be wondering the house for an hour without me there to supervise (not very restful either).

    I was thinking about a baby gate for his room? We dont have one anywhere at the moment and not sure how I feel about it. Part of me thinks 'baby jail' another part thinks that its not like its any different to being in his crib! I am now 7 months pregnant and am needing the afternoon rest as much as he is, its just not an option to be racing around the house after him putting him back in his room and putting him back into his bed over and over again is wearing very thin. Besides everytime I go in to put him back into his bed he thinks that its a great joke and climbs back out again to get me back in the room...... we always have a horrible afternoon once these bad gymnastics are over with as he has not had a rest and neither have I!

    So any ideas? I really dont want this to turn into a battle!!! Everything has been so positive and totally led by him up to this point when it comes to bedtime. It just seems a shame to be playing 'bed police' when he is really doing so well! I wonder if a gate on the door is enough to stop him but still enough to be giving way to what he is needing at the moment. It also feels a lot less full on than shutting the door on him.


  • #2
    Part of me thinks 'baby jail' another part thinks that its not like its any different to being in his crib!
    Exactly! If he yells and hollers to get out (crib or gated room) do you respond? I think you should look at how he reacts to quiet-time in a gated room. He may play on the floor, go sit on the bed, back and forth untill time is up. He may do the same thing as in his crib just in a bigger area. You are finding a middle ground between your needs and his. Keep trying ideas untill you find something that works for you both.

    You might want to be napping too! 7mo in the summer! I was there!


    • #3
      Thanks Naomi.

      Just as with his crib the moment he cries and wants out we are right there, its never used as containment as such. He is more than happy to play in there for his 'nap'. We give him books and toys and he just lays down and keeps himself amused. Its the ONLY place that he will do this, normally its "Mum do" "Mum see" "Mum get up!" When he is on his bed its the same thing, he really does spend most of the time just reading and playing quietly.... the problem is that I have to be on the ball as even with the monitor on I have no way of knowing if he is in or out of his bed and if he is out has he stayed in his room? So I spend every five min peaking in to make sure that he hasnt found his way to the bathroom or some other place where its not really safe for him to play on his own.

      I guess you are right, its all HOW its done. We would never put him in there and say 'see you in an hour' and leave him to it regardless. The moment he doesnt like it or its not working we will rethink the situation. Its simply a safety issue as I just dont have the energy at the moment to be chasing him around during the 'rest' time! I need that rest too..... soooo badly!

      Thanks again Naomi. DH and I are so torn between what feels right at the moment and what is doable for me at this stage of pregnancy. I just needed reassurance that I am not being an evil witch. Only a little while to go and then with any luck this exhaustion will pass! It will be a different exhaustion but I am hoping easier to cope with!!!!!! (I hope)


      • #4
        You are not an Evil Witch!
        I think if you put a gate up and he is happy to play in his room, why not? I know some people are able to totally child proof their homes but I have a 100yr old danger house so I cannot leave my little kids unattended to roam about! The stairs are so steep and no handrail and certain rooms have odd floors, some don't even have doors etc! If his room is safe and you come when he calls it will be OK. And I remind you again to NAP when you can! That second baby will wish you were napping now!


        • #5
          Well an update..... it was a MASSIVE failure. I did everything as per normal with his nap, had explained to him what was going to happen with the gate before we went into the room and then once again before I left the room.

          There was silence and I knew that he was getting up the moment that I left, then I saw his shadow standing at the gate. He was just standing there really still and quiet. I left him for a couple of min before going to make sure that he was OK because its not really like him to just stand there. The moment he saw me he just lost the plot, sobbing and clinging to me. I was cuddling him and he was literally shaking!!!!! Ugh! Feel so mean! I am not sure what it was that he didnt like so much about it, but assume its just that he felt like I had left him. I promised that we wouldnt use the gate again and bedtime was fine but he would not go back into his room that afternoon.

          Feel so mean. I am glad I didnt leave him standing there for too long, was debating if he was just looking around and scoping things out or if he was just sad....sad I guess.

          So the gate was a baaaaad idea for my little one. Have to start rethinking how I am going to work this though. Yesterday afternoon was a total right off (as it always is) as he didnt have a rest. I dont think that either of us can manage another 9 weeks with tantrums and crying every afternoon due to over tiredness!

          Any other ideas?


          • #6
            Can you nap in the room with him? I am still pushing naps on you!

            Is that the first time you have put a gate up in his room? I bet that is why, in addtion to the limit. Hypothetically if he was used to the idea it may not be so bad (as mine have gotten used to the top of the stair gate.) Gentle introduction and normalcy get kids used to carseats, bike helmets and other things like that. The first times are rarely easy!

            What are you needs during his 'quiet time'?
            I know you would like him to have the 'quiet time'.

            Let me know and I will try to think of more ideas.


            • #7
              Thanks again Naomi. Yes, first time with a gate or anything remotely like it (other than a fire gate).

              He no longer naps with me, I spent a week trying to get him back into it but he just wanted to play and climb on me... not very restful! Today out of desperation I rocked and held him and he DID fall asleep!!! Blissfull sleep for 20 min. I couldnt get him into his bed though as cannot stand back up with him at the moment, so kind of rolled him onto the ground. I am thinking that if that works again I might try a makeshift bed on the ground for him. Anything for the rest! I just sat on the couch in the sun, it was wonderful and I felt much more capable to face the rest of the day than I did before the 'nap'.

              My need is as simple as getting a rest. I would love to nap, or even just sitting down with a hot drink and staring at the wall is enough. Just a bit of downtime. He is getting his two year molars at the moment and also going through some lovely boundary pushing and all those other fun things that come with a little one of this age. Its just simply exhausting at the moment. Without some sort of rest between us the afternoon is just awful. He is grumpy and over tired but will not sleep and I am good for nothing more than rocking in the corner crying - OK, an exaggeration, but not by much!


              • #8
                Could he play in a room where you can lay down? ....or would he just bother you so much?
                During my second pregnancy I would steal a light nap with a tv show on for my firstborn. He was almost 3 and would sit on the couch near me so I would touch him the whole time, but I did get rest. This was out of total exaustion! He had not napped for 6 months by the end of my pregnancy! I really understand! Great technique today!